Harrah’s to Open WSOP Branded Store in Las Vegas, Inks Deal with Major League Merch Company

WSOP merchandiseThe World Series of Poker is set to announce later today that it plans to open an Official World Series of Poker retail store in Vegas in the near future. Scouting for the location is currently underway. Unfortunately tearing down Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill isn’t being considered.

The new Las Vegas store announcement is tied to a deal the WSOP has inked with major league merchandise company XP Events to manage the WSOP’s online store and all of its officially-licensed retail shops in Vegas during the series, in addition to the new brick-and-mortar shop.

XP has managed merch sales for the NBA and NHL All-Star games, the World Baseball Classic, the President’s Cup, and the Tour de France. XP Events also runs retail shops for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Florida Panthers.

According to Harrah’s, the official WSOP online store (wsopshop.com or is it shopwsop.com?) will be re-launched this Thursday, May 15, with a wide range of new WSOP products and “an exciting, user-friendly shopping experience.” So we’re guessing you won’t have to wait 117 days for your order to be fulfilled.

WSOP-relatedly:

:: The Hottest 2008 WSOP Schedule on the Internet

:: Best Strip Joints to Get Your Grind On During the 2008 WSOP

:: Sure Place to Get Laid this Summer During the 2008 WSOP

UPDATE: WSOP has just dropped the press release on the above. Read it after the jump . . .

WORLD SERIES OF POKER® SIGNS PACT TO BROADLY DISTRIBUTE MERCHANDISE AT RETAIL

Alliance with XP Events to Bring WSOP-Branded Merchandise to wsopshop.com, Retail Kiosks & A Stand Alone Brick and Mortar Store

(Las Vegas, NV – May 13, 2008) The World Series of Poker has reached a multi-year alliance with XP Events, a leading retail merchandise management and fulfillment house, to broadly distribute WSOP merchandise across multiple retail touch points, including a new WSOP branded store in Las Vegas.

Through this agreement, XP Events becomes the official branded-merchandise provider for the World Series of Poker, the world’s leading poker brand.

XP Events will manage the officially-licensed WSOP online store, officially-licensed retail outlets throughout Las Vegas during the May 30-July 14, 2008 tournament, and manage a new Official World Series of Poker retail store, coming soon.

“XP Events is a leader in sports merchandising and marketing and we’ve been impressed by their work with the NBA and NHL,” said Jeffrey Pollack, the Commissioner of the World Series of Poker. “XP’s expertise will broaden our footprint and provide our fans and players, and poker enthusiasts everywhere, with a world-class shopping experience.”

XP Events, based in Denver, Colorado, has managed retail sales for many world class events including the NBA and NHL All-Star games, the World Baseball Classic, the President’s Cup, the Tour de France, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“Poker is a sports and cultural phenomenon and we are thrilled to align with the best brand in the business, the World Series of Poker,” said Alan Fey, president, XP Events. “From e-commerce to retail, we think this alliance will benefit consumers allowing them multiple touch points to support their poker passion.”

The official WSOP online store (www.wsopshop.com) will be managed by XP Events and will be re-launched on May 15 with a wide range of new WSOP products and an exciting, user-friendly shopping experience. New WSOP products that will be available through the online store include a large selection of stylish clothing, attention-grabbing hats and unique memorabilia for fans of the World Series of Poker.

The third component of this new alliance includes establishing a WSOP branded retail store in Las Vegas. Scouting of a location is underway, with the design concept to be modeled after XP Events-run retail shops for the Phoenix Suns (U.S. Airways Arena), Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field) and BankAtlantic Center (Florida Panthers).

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