Fans to media: “oh, were you saying something?”

From the Newsroom

Although a bleak picture has been painted of fan support after recent scandals, the fans themselves have been speaking with their wallets, buying baseball merchandise in record numbers, according to sales figures.

MLB executive VP of business Tim Brosnan said that gross retail sales of licensed products are up “almost 100 percent” in 2005, as compared to figures from the same period last year. And much of those sales are due to the Red Sox’ world championship, with the Sox almost doubling their percentage of total sales, from 12 percent last year to 21 percent in 2005. Yankee and Red Sox gear accounts for 53 percent of total merchandise sales.

Faust Capobianco IV, president of Majestic Athletic, who supply official jerseys and jackets, agreed that sales show the beating baseball is taking in the press hasn’t affected fans’ love for the game. “All the talk about how the steroids dialogue will affect the game is speculative and anecdotal — merchandise sales are quantitative,” Capobianco said. In the media’s defense, speculation and anecdotes are more fun to watch…

Published April 1, 2005

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