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TAKE ME OUT TO THE VIDEO STORE: POLYGRAM TO PUSH MLB VIDEOS
Published March 5, 1998
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).