SBJ/March 18 - 24, 2002/Marketingsponsorship

ROI Marketing will steer licensing

The Women's United Soccer Association hired New York-based ROI Marketing Inc. as its exclusive worldwide licensing representative.

ROI, which has worked with Major League Baseball, the NHL and World Cup soccer, will help the WUSA expand its licensed-product offerings.

In addition to apparel and product licensing rights, ROI received international television licensing rights and group licensing rights, which allows the company to license rights to a third party to use multiple players in its product.

Ralph Irizarry, ROI's founder, said he has a handful of priorities for WUSA licensing.

"We want to give fans the ability to purchase a line of merchandise that is as extensive as any of the more established sports," he said.

The priorities are to develop a licensee base to expand licensed-product offerings at team venues; hire an e-commerce partner to develop Internet shops for team and league si tes; develop merchandise for events such as the league championship game; and introduce WUSA merchandise to retail stores, Irizarry said.

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