SBD/August 22, 2011/Franchises

Brewers Seeing Attendance, Merchandise Sales Increases This Season

Morgan's Tony Plush T-shirts are the top seller at Miller Park
The defending Super Bowl champion Packers may "rule the roost" in Wisconsin, but the Brewers are "making some big noise of their own as the hottest team" in MLB, according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said that the team "will hit 3 million" in attendance by the regular season's end. It would be the "third time since 2008 that the team reached 3 million and marks a significant achievement for any franchise in what has become a challenging economic year." Schlesinger: "The team is playing well and we don't have the ticket inventory. We would like the ability to increase seating capacity on some days." The Brewers have had "24 sellouts so far this season, and are averaging 36,920 fans a game, good for ninth in baseball." They have "emerged as a regional team that draws from all over the state as well as northern Illinois." In addition, the Brewers have become "national players at retail." Walker noted that is "thanks in part to Tony Plush, the alter ego of outfielder Nyjer Morgan: The No. 1-selling item in the the stadium is the Plush T-shirt." Schlesinger and MLB note that, "for the first time in franchise history, the Brewers rank in the top third of all franchises for national retail sales." The Brewers also are "in the top third among all clubs for retail sales within their own ballpark." MLB reported that sales "overall of Brewers gear are up 12% over last year," while New Era reported that sales of Brewers caps "are up 130% from July of last year through" July '11. The Brewers have "approximately 130 different sponsors and are already talking with sponsors about possible postseason plans." Schlesinger: "We will set a record in terms of gross revenue for sponsorships." The Brewers will not "disclose financials" for the franchise, but a league source said that even with "a long playoff run, the Brewers will not report a profit this year." The reasons "include a player payroll well north of $90 million, increases in stadium expenditures, such as a new scoreboard and suite makeovers, and increased expenses" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/21).

JOINING THE TRIBE: In Cleveland, Terry Pluto reported Indians tickets sales are up 45%, and "single-game tickets sold for the year are up 67 percent from last season." Average game attendance is 22,196, which "ranks No. 25" in MLB. Meanwhile, TV ratings on SportsTime Ohio "are up nearly 100 percent compared with last season." The Indians' Aug. 11 game against the Tigers "had a 9.4 rating, second highest of the season." Pluto noted of the "top five TV broadcasts for the week of Aug. 1, Indians games were four of the five," and they had "seven of the top 15 broadcasts that week" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/21).
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Milwaukee Brewers, Franchises

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