World Cup success fuels UK merchandising boom

England’s and Scotland’s World Cup qualification will double UK licensing and merchandising to 50m, according to industry estimates.

Sony Signatures, the exclusive licensing and merchandising representative for the competition, says the revenue generated between now and the end of the June finals will double from 25m.

Global merchandising rights for all the teams involved are expected to be worth 1.7bn.

Rhona Levene, a marketing executive for Sony Signatures, says: “There have been a number of companies waiting for last Saturday’s results before deciding whether to get involved in the programme.”

So far 20 companies have signed deals with the UK arm of Sony Signatures, which is owned by Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony. They include toymaker Hasbro, computer games manufacturer Electronic Arts and Zippo lighters.

However, Levene says 20 more would commit only if they knew England qualified for the finals. Retailer Marks & Spencer has signed a licensing deal with Sony but reserved the right to increase its involvement in the deal if England qualified for the competition.

Christopher Protheroe, deputy managing director of Sony Signatures, says: “The England and Scotland games produced wonderful results. It enables the companies working with us to be part of the growing football market in this country.”

UK merchandising revenues for the 1994 World Cup finals in the US, for which neither Scotland nor England qualified, totalled less than 5m.

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