This possibly is the first time a TV network has produced consumer merchandise from what was an on-air promo.
Starting in November, 7-inch figurines based on the likenesses of Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw, James Brown and Chris Collinsworth will be sold at retail through a deal with toymaker Equity Marketing.
"I can't recall a network ever leveraging their promotion campaign into merchandising," said Neal Tiles, senior VP-marketing for Fox Sports. "This has always been seen as an extension of the promotion campaign,"
Under its Headliners toy brand, Equity already produces figurines for Major League Baseball, the MLB Players' Association, the National Hockey League and other sports organizations.
The Fox Sports merchandise will be sold for $12.99 for each figurine.
Fox Licensing & Merchandising put together the deal for Fox Sports and Equity Marketing. In an effort to speed up the manufacturing process, molds from Will Vinton Studios, creator of the Claymation characters, are being supplied to Equity.
The merchandise will be branded with the Fox Sports logo, as will packaging and TV spots produced in-house by Fox Sports to promote the products.
Fox Sports also is moving into other merchandise. Starting next week, the network and the NFL are producing TV spots pushing Fox Sports jackets and other goods previously available only to the Fox Sport crew.
They can be purchased on Fox Sports' Web site (foxsports.com).
"There is a huge cachet . . . when it comes to these products," Mr. Tiles said. "Previously, if you got the merchandise it was only because you knew someone on the inside."
Because of NFL restrictions on in-game promotions, the TV spots will be aired only in pregame and post-game programming.
Fox Sports also struck a deal with Priority Records to produce a special Fox Sports CD called "Fox Sports Game Time."
There are 19 music selections, including some original songs such as Snoop Doggy Dogg's version of the Queen tune "We Will Rock You." Other artists performing on the CD include Kid Rock, Master P, Puff Daddy and Ice Cube.
"Our hope is to stay close to the sports themes of the stadium experience," Mr. Tiles said.