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SBD Global/September 10, 2012/International Football

Sydney FC Looks To Cash In On Del Piero Jersey Sales

Sydney FC could generate $5M in jersey sales from signing Alessandro Del Piero.
A-League Sydney FC could make A$4.8M ($5M) in jersey sales alone off the signing of Alessandro Del Piero -- double the Italian's annual salary, according to Jamie Pandaram of the DAILY TELEGRAPH. Sales of Del Piero No.10 Sydney FC shirts could reach 30,000 worldwide this season -- which would be only 10% of the usual figure given his Juventus jersey sold 300,000 units in '11-12. At $160 each, 30,000 sales would land Sydney FC $4.8M, a nice return for Del Piero's $4M, two-year contract. Del Piero would earn a percentage of jersey sales, but "Sydney FC's cut, and the wider financial ramifications of his signing seem destined to make it an economic masterstroke." Sports merchandise retailer Peter Wynn said several Sydney FC fans visited his Parramatta store last weekend "to have Del Piero's name printed on their old club shirts." Wynn said, "Since Del Piero has been signed it has ignited a lot of interest. "We've put his name on quite a few Sydney FC jerseys." Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata said that the club "would be happy to break even" off the Del Piero deal. He expects the player's Sydney jersey "to sell in Italy." Pignata: "I honestly expect to see a lot of Sydney FC shirts walking around in Turin with No. 10 on the back" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/10).

POP STAR TREATMENT: In Sydney, Sebastian Hassett reported that Sydney "will pull out all stops" for the arrival of Del Piero, including a public welcome at the airport when the Italian arrives Tuesday. The 37-year-old will be given "the full pop star treatment." Sydney will "aim to milk every drop of publicity" Del Piero's arrival. Sydney CEO Tony Pignat said that fans "would be invited to greet the A-League's biggest signing when he touches down in Sydney." Pignat said, "This is part of fans and everyone else getting involved in the game so I'm not going to sneak him through a back door, and he's comfortable with that" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/10).

THE DEL PIERO EFFECT: Also in Sydney, Ray Gatt reported that Del Piero will likely play his first match for the Sky Blues in a trial against Newcastle "in the humble surrounds" of Buff Point in Budgewoi on the Central Coast on Sept. 22. The home ground of Budgewoi Soccer Club can hold several thousand, though there was talk that the game could be switched to Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford "because of the huge interest in seeing Del Piero play." Pignata said, "It will be our final trial before the start of the season and yes, definitely, I can't see why he won't play." Pignata acknowledged the Sky Blues' "heavy financial commitment to the Del Piero signing" -- it is understood he will be getting $4M for his two-season stint -- and confirmed the club "is in discussions with Football Federation Australia over insurance requirements." He said the reaction to Del Piero's signing has been "overwhelming" and has already had "a huge effect on membership sales" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/10).
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