SBD/Issue 24/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

NCAA Merchandise Revenue May Fall For First Time In Eight Years

CLC Says College Licensing Market
Might Struggle To Top $4B In '09
Revenue from college merchandise "could fall" this year for the first time in eight years, "barring a surge in sales in the next few months," according to Tim Lemke of the WASHINGTON TIMES. With the college football season in "full swing and basketball ready to start, companies that sell officially licensed college merchandise are hoping for a good autumn to boost an otherwise stagnant year." Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) Senior VP & Managing Dir Derek Eiler: "We are definitely kind of in the throes of it right now from September 1 through November and really into the holidays." CLC said that the college licensing market produced $4.3B in revenue last year, but "might struggle to top" $4B in '09. The first few months of this year "were grim," and sales of merchandise to college football bowl games "fell by more than half." Eiler said that the industry is "bracing itself for some bad news, though he said he doesn't think there will be a dramatic decline in revenue." Eiler: "Retailers are hanging on to their dollars a lot longer and really chasing hot teams or hot product categories that are selling really well. The impact of how those dollars are spent we won't see until the year's end. If the tsunami is coming, we don't see it yet" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/15).

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