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MLB Tabs Arthur Andersen In Effort To Quash Counterfeiting
Published January 11, 2001
MLB has formally announced the creation of the MLB Authentication Program, under a two-year deal in which Arthur Andersen will authenticate all autographed and game-used baseball memorabilia. The program is scheduled to hit retail March 1 (THE DAILY). ESPN's Chris McKendry reported the memorabilia items "will be numbered and hologramed, separating them from frauds. Once they're sold, buyers can register the items at MLB.com" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/10). MLB Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan said that "financial considerations were not the motivation for baseball's strategy," as his office has "not projected potential revenues for the program." Brosnan: "We haven't gone out and counted our money on this. Do we think the marketplace is going to grow? We think so. Have we projected revenues? No" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/11). Arthur Andersen will be paid $100-200 per hour for the MLB work (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/11).
IMPACT OF DEAL: Southwest Sports Group COO Mike Cramer said of the deal, "To the extent it's used on game-used stuff, it's very useful. ... If we're [Rangers] out there and we donate a jersey to an auction and someone is going to pay thousands of dollars for it, we want to assure people they're getting the real deal." Cramer added that the Rangers "use a logging system to keep track of equipment and uniforms used by the players," while the Stars have a deal with NJ-based MeiGray Group that purchases their game-used merchandise (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/11).