(August 2, 2006 - Burbank, CA) – Top European soccer clubs, FC Barcelona, Juventus FC, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain announced today the appointment of Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) as the clubs’ Master Licensee for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Brazil and the rest of South America. The popularity of soccer in the U.S. continues to soar. Greater access to outstanding soccer matches from around the globe, along with an unprecedented number of pre-season tours by leading European club teams has fueled the demand and the passion of millions of fans. For the first time ever, all sixty-four FIFA World Cup matches were broadcast live to millions of households. Several high-profile players including Ronaldinho, Rafael Márquez, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pedro Pauleta play for these highly-regarded European soccer clubs and were some of the biggest names during the recent World Cup. This new deal grants WBCP the rights to license, manufacture, distribute, promote and sell club-branded merchandise throughout the Americas. WBCP will utilize their creative licensing and merchandising expertise to develop a complete range of licensed products. The broad licensing program will include leisure apparel and accessories, toys and games, housewares and domestics, stationery, gifts and collectible items, among other key categories. “Soccer is developing so rapidly around the world and nowhere is that more obvious than in the Americas,” said Esteve Calzada, CMO of FC Barcelona. “FC Barcelona is touring the States this Summer and it is clear that there is massive support for Barca and other leading European clubs. We very much look forward to this exciting cooperation.” “Juventus has always enjoyed the support of millions of fans in the Americas,” said Jean-Claude Blanc, Chief Executive and General Manager, Juventus FC. “This agreement gives us the opportunity to develop our fan relationships even further.” “Millions of fans in the Americas are following the Premier League and the best European soccer every week,” said David Gill, CEO of Manchester United Ltd. “Manchester United has a huge following in the region and is keen to extend its reach in this increasingly important market for world soccer. We are delighted to be part of what is a very substantial initiative.” “This is a huge step for Paris Saint-Germain and a big opportunity for us to develop and grow our club in the Americas,” said Alain Cayzac, President of Paris Saint-Germain. “We are all aware of the increasing popularity of the game of soccer in the region and of the support there for the leading European teams. This agreement represents a big step forward for all four clubs.” “WBCP has long been one of the most successful entertainment licensing enterprises and with our global infrastructure we have the unique ability to create a licensing and merchandising program that speaks directly to soccer fans,” said Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products. “We’re excited to work with great partners and apply our expertise and creativity to develop product that will expand the fan base of these highly successful soccer brands.” Over the past three years, WBCP has forged new ground in the realm of soccer licensing, including representation of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Euro 2008TM, the Mexico National Team and A.C. Milan, among others. “These are prestigious clubs that we are adding to our already broad soccer portfolio,” said Jordan Sollitto, Executive Vice President of International Licensing and New Business Initiatives, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Soccer merchandising is a fast growing business for us and nowhere is the going-forward opportunity more exciting than right here in the United States. We intend to build the awareness and fan base of the clubs we represent just as we do for our movies and television shows all over the world.” About FC Barcelona FC Barcelona is one of the greatest soccer clubs in the world, with a history of 107 years since its foundation in 1899 by the swiss Joan Gamper. FC Barcelona is the club that has most members and one of the most impressive track records in winning titles. Its spectacular playing style has created a global fan base that reaches from the Americas to Asia and has been characterized by mystic figures of soccer: Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona, Romario, Rivaldo and now Ronaldinho. The philosophy of attractive and offensive play has specifically won the support of the youth, to whom stars like Ronaldinho, Eto'o and Messi are role models and idols. The club, UEFA Champions-League title holders and winner of the last two years’ Spanish league, is not only active in the sporting field with several professional sports (soccer, basketball, handball, etc.), but also has a strong social responsibility that goes beyond the pure sports activity. The club's theme is “Més que un club” (More than a club). About Juventus FC Passion and tradition. These are some of the most important ingredients for soccer greatness. There is no doubt Juventus was granted both, making it the most successful team in the “calcio,” the renowned Italian championship. The history and legend of the club is inextricably connected to the Agnelli family, the entrepreneurs at the helm of Italian global icons such as Fiat or Ferrari. Their soccer team, Juventus, has become a symbol of success in Italy and internationally. Their black and white jersey (hence the “Bianconeri” nickname for the team) is yet another symbol of Italian style and elegance. About Manchester United Manchester United is the most watched soccer team in the world. With an estimated 75 million fans globally, its reach is unsurpassed, with the official website receiving hits from two million unique users every month. The club has been the most successful club in the UK over the last 15 years, collecting eight Premiership titles and the European Cup under the stewardship of their legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. The Club is owned by the US-based Glazer family, owners of the NFL team, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. About Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is one of the best supported soccer clubs in France. As the youngest club in the French league, established in 1970, PSG has great European awareness thanks to its fantastic run of success in European competition in the mid 1990s with six consecutive semi-finals and two finals. The club won its first European Title in 1996. PSG is also very well known for including some of the world’s greatest players on the team over the last decade, like David Ginola, Raï, George Weah, Nicolas Anelka, Ronaldinho, Pedro Pauleta. About Paris Saint-Germain Tourists visiting Paris also appreciate the club because of its iconic logo featuring the city’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower. The club’s stadium is the beautiful and historically important “Parc des Princes” with 48 000 seats, the second biggest stadium in France. Last season, Paris Saint-Germain won the French Cup for the seventh time, in one of the most memorable finals the country has seen, when it defeated its biggest rival in France, Olympique de Marseille. About Warner Bros. Consumer Products Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
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