SBD/5/Sports Media

TAKE ME OUT TO THE VIDEO STORE: POLYGRAM TO PUSH MLB VIDEOS

          PolyGram's efforts in the sports video market are
     examined by Thomas Arnold in the L.A. TIMES.  Since taking
     over the NFL's home-video line in '92, PolyGram has grown
     that league's share of the market from a "meager" 5%, with
     annual sales of "fewer than" 200,000 units, to 22%, with the
     most recent Super Bowl tape alone "in line to sell more
     than" 300,000 units.  Now, having just signed a five-year
     deal with MLB, PolyGram Video President Bill Sondheim "has
     his sights on resuscitating" MLB's sports-video franchise,
     which presently accounts for "less than" 7% of the market.
     PolyGram plans to use the "same strategy it employed to
     drive football sales. ... Beef up the product with music,
     kids and brands.  Trim the catalog.  And, perhaps most
     important, launch intensive local marketing efforts in the
     teams' hometowns."  Sondheim admitted that MLB is "a lot
     harder sell" than the NFL, and said possible ideas include a
     "nostalgia line," a children's line and a "greatest hits of
     baseball."  Sondheim is also considering packaging the NFL
     and MLB in partnerships so that retailers can "dedicate
     square footage to us year-round and merely rotate the season
     in play with product and signage" (L.A. TIMES 3/5).

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