SBD/17/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

TRADING CARD INDUSTRY LOOKS STRONG

     In Saturday's TAMPA TRIBUNE, Bob Chick by-lined an in-depth
profile of the U.S. trading card industry, which posted sales of
$1.7B in 1994.  "Cards have always survived.  From cigarette and
tobacco products of the early 1900s to caramel and chewing gum
they have weathered financial storms and forecasts of doom." But,
Chick warns that "the make-a-bundle quick is the Achilles' heel
of the card business and more so in 1994 with a frazzled market
and an abundance of product."  HIGHLIGHTS AND NUMBERS:  Baseball
accounts for roughly 50 out of every 100 card sales, basketball
25, football 15, and hockey 10; Fleer reported revenue of $231M
in 1993 and expects $300M this year; Upper Deck is aiming for a
30% market share in 1995 and "is moving into Mexico with football
cards in Spanish and into part of Europe with its basketball
line";  Fleer, Upper Deck, and Topps "control between 75 and 80
percent of all sales"; in 1993 there were approximately 525
national and regional trading card sets for baseball, basketball,
football and hockey -- "about half that number flowed into the
market from normal industry channels, the other half from food,
beverage, restaurants, etc." (Bob Chick, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/15).
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