MEIJER LAUNCHES EXCLUSIVE HOCKEY VIDEO OFFER

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Meijer here next week kicks off a promotional tie-in with the Detroit Red Wings hockey team in which the supermarket/discount chain will have the exclusive rights to offer a video chronicling the team's history."Moments of Magic: A Celebration of Hockeytown," from USA Home Entertainment, New York, features highlights from the team's 76-year history, which includes nine Stanley

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Meijer here next week kicks off a promotional tie-in with the Detroit Red Wings hockey team in which the supermarket/discount chain will have the exclusive rights to offer a video chronicling the team's history.

"Moments of Magic: A Celebration of Hockeytown," from USA Home Entertainment, New York, features highlights from the team's 76-year history, which includes nine Stanley Cup championships.

Sal Scamardo, vice president, business development and sports, USA, said the time was right for this offering to appear on the Michigan market.

"The Detroit Red Wings are unbelievably hot right now," he said. "They are in the playoffs, and TV ratings are high."

Meijer, which could not be reached for comment on the promotion, will offer the title in DVD and VHS on special displays and will receive considerable promotional support in the form of radio spots and arena activities. Video highlights will be played on the Joe Louis Arena Jumbotrons, ads will appear in the game programs and DVDs will be given away at games. A kickoff luncheon and media event are scheduled for April 9 at the Hockeytown Cafe that will include some Red Wings hockey stars and several Meijer store managers.

In addition, Scamardo said Meijer could host some in-store appearances by some Red Wings superstars from the past.

He said he was hopeful that the video offer would generate sales of 100,000 units, but sales volume could depend on how far the team goes in the playoffs.

The suggested retail price for both the VHS and DVD versions is $14.95.

Although he declined to reveal specific terms of the arrangement with Meijer, he said the retailer agreed to "make a minimum commitment in terms of units and marketing support" in exchange for exclusivity.

USA has conducted similar exclusive sports promotions with supermarkets in the past, including one with Publix for a video about Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino that sold nearly 100,000 copies and another with King Soopers for a video about Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway that sold about 150,000 copies.

"Retailers all love having exclusives," Scamardo said.

He said Meijer was chosen as the partner for this offer because of its strong interest in the project and its high level of penetration in the Michigan market.