NEW YORK -- A number of supermarkets, including Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, King Soopers in Denver, and Wegmans, Rochester, N.Y., may soon merchandise a new "greatest moments" series of sell-through sports DVDs from USA Home Entertainment, based here. USA and production companies for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League, kicked off the four-title collection, themed "The USA Pro Sports DVD Collection," earlier this month at a press conference also here.
Joseph Amodei, executive vice president and general manager at USA Home Entertainment, said he is in negotiations with these three food retailers, among others, to carry the titles. "Major League Baseball's All-Century Team," "Greatest NBA Finals Moments," "Greatest Moments is Super Bowl History," and "Lord Stanley's Cup" are each priced at $24.99.
"Sports have always done well in supermarkets, since they are a good impulse and gift item," said Sal Scamardo, vice president of sports marketing at USA Home Entertainment. He sees potential in the food channel despite the fact that no supermarkets are currently booked to shelve the DVDs for the Oct. 10 rollout.
Scamardo said that sports is a perfect subject for DVDs. "It fully maximizes the technology and maximizes what DVD can bring to the home experience." And, he added, as DVD players become more popular, more DVDs will be sold at supermarkets as well as mass merchandisers.
Michael Levine, coordinator for NBA Entertainment and Player Marketing, Secaucus, N.J., was in agreement. He told SN that "as DVD penetration becomes more commonplace in the home, consumers are going to flock to supermarkets."
A total of 9.2 million DVD players have been shipped to the U.S., according to a survey by the Consumer Electronics Association, Arlington, Va. The DVD Entertainment Group, Los Angeles, estimates that as many as 7.5 million DVD players are in households nationwide. And, based on current projections, shipments of DVD movies and music videos are expected to exceed 230 million this year, representing more than $4 billion in retail revenue.
The USA Pro Sports series collectively showcases over 270 minutes of favorite memories in sports history, interviews, statistics, as well as never-before-seen footage of sports legends. The DVD format allows additional footage that would have been cut out on a VHS videotape, producers for the professional leagues agreed. The format also allows fans to change angles on a particular play, gives them CD-ROM capability on their computers, and allows viewers to hear play-by-play by broadcasters from both teams.
"We challenged the leagues to put something special together for sports fans," Scamardo said. "We wanted to do more than just put highlights on DVD."