SBD/13/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

TRADING CARD COMPANIES PREPARING FOR BASEBALL'S REVIVAL

     Photographers for the six MLB-licensed card companies are in
spring training camps taking pictures of players who have
switched teams, while sales forces for card companies "have
fanned out nationally to drum up delayed orders" by dealers.
Normally, this would be the hottest selling time for cardmakers,
but "these are slow times in the baseball tier of the trading-
card arena."  From a peak of $1.3B in '91, baseball card sales
fell to $946M in '93, according to a survey by Action Packed
Cards.  Salomon Brothers analyst Jill Krutick said market
uncertainty may mean a "slimmed-down industry for a few years":
"Our expectation is the industry won't snap back to its pre-
strike highs for a few years.  There's a lot of ill will, and
kids have found other things to do, like video games and pogs."
Many companies have slashed their production of '95 cards.
Production is down 75% for Upper Deck's Collector's Choice and
down 66% for their Series I (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 4/13).
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Related Topics:

MLB, Upper Deck, Washington Nationals

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