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U.S. SPORTS MERCHANDISE SALES IN EUROPE FALL
Published December 2, 1996
International sales of U.S. pro sports merchandise are not what they used to be, according to Craig Copetas of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. A year ago, anything featuring a logo of a U.S. football, baseball, basketball or hockey team was a "sure-fire seller." But, over the past year, overall sales have "gone flat," forcing the leagues to develop new ways to get its merchandise to the European sports crowd. This season, the NFL will gross $10M in broadcast rights outside North America and an additional $250M in merchandise sales. The NBA will receive $25M in foreign-broadcast rights. MLB had $70M in merchandise sales in Europe in '96, and close to $20M in broadcast rights. But European sports fans no longer "race" to buy merchandise. Education has "clearly" surfaced as the league's No. 1 strategy to increase overseas market share (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/29).