SBD/Issue 41/Events & Attractions

Growth Expected In Most Areas For '09 World Baseball Classic

MLB Official Projects 15% Increase In Sale Of
WBC Merch From '06 Event
The sales cycle for the '09 World Baseball Classic is in "full gear, with marked increases expected across all major revenue streams for the international tournament's second edition," according to Fisher & Lefton of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Ticket sales are underway for the event, and total attendance for the 39-game tournament is "certain to surpass the 737,112 recorded for the inaugural event in 2006, as the 2009 version is playing in generally larger venues and now is an established event." Selling one million tickets to the event is "seen as a possibility." Advertising for the tournament, "which will be broadcast to 220 countries overall and domestically on ESPN and the fledgling MLB Network, will be handled by Grey Advertising and will break later this month." In terms of sponsorship, "several packages have been sold on both a country-specific and global basis." Though MLB Senior VP/Int'l Business Operations Paul Archey "declined to discuss specific countries," industry sources said that Best Buy, which recently opened its first stores in Puerto Rico, is "sponsoring that territory's WBC squad and will have its logo on the team's uniforms." As for merchandise, MLB VP/Int'l Licensing Denis Nolan said that he is "projecting at least a 15[%] increase in merchandise sale" from the '06 World Baseball Classic. For the tournament, Majestic Athletic "will produce uniforms for all non-Asian teams, with New Era producing caps for those clubs." China, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei "have their own deals." Nike "holds performance-wear rights" for all 16 teams (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/10 issue).

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