Dodgers Catalog Focuses on Women, Latinos

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The Los Angeles Dodgers 2001 spring catalog is placing more emphasis on families, women and Latinos, who have become a major part of the baseball organization's fan base.


The franchise dropped 60,000 of its latest catalog more than two weeks before its home opener this month. The club sends books to people on its house list, which includes season ticket holders and those who have previously purchased items from the catalog, but doesn't prospect.


Los Angeles has a significant Latino population, many of whom are Dodgers fans, and it made sense to bolster this group's image in the catalog, said Todd Russell, manager of sports marketing for AGA Catalog Marketing & Design, New York. Russell created the Dodgers book at Hershey Communications before the company was acquired by AGA earlier this year.


"The catalog has a more ethnic look and broader range than in previous years," said Russell, who has helped design the book for the past three years. "We utilized more models and focus more on enhancing the Dodgers brand. It was something the Dodgers suggested to us, and we moved forward with it."


Mike Nygren, director of merchandise for the Dodgers, said the ballclub wanted to represent fun and family throughout the book. That theme is showcased with its layout as well as the front cover, which depicts a father and son wearing Dodger apparel and enjoying a baseball game.


The average sales order for the current catalog is $67, which falls in line with previous catalogs. Sales orders usually are $64 to $72 for the books, Nygren said.


The ballclub has on occasion dropped two catalogs and could drop three new books this season. The additional catalogs are in response to the high demand for the team's growing merchandise assortment, Nygren said.


"We're always putting in new items in the book, and our assortment continues to grow," Nygren said. "The entire catalog is very personalized, from [the editorial] to having most of the shots done at Dodger Stadium."


The second page of the catalog feature a short note from Bob Daly, chairman/CEO of the ballclub, stating the team's "reinvestment" in its tradition of providing fans with competitive games in a wholesome environment. The second and third pages also feature four popular players -- Shawn Green, Eric Karros, Chan Ho Park and Darren Dreifort -- wearing jerseys and caps available in the book.


"We have the jerseys and caps in the front of the book because they are our most popular items, and it makes sense to have them upfront. Toward the back, we have memorabilia items and baby items, which are popular as well," Nygren said.


The 28-page colored catalog is digest size, which is a change from the last year's 8 1/2-inch-by-11 inches book. Russell said the digest size helps streamline the book, giving it a cleaner appearance. The front and back covers are printed on 80-pound, white cloth paper, while inside pages are printed on 80-pound white cloth text.


Nygren declined comment on the cost to produce the catalog or what the anticipated return on investment is.


Another change in the book is there are two items printed on the back of the order form, which hasn't been done in previous catalogs, Russell said.


"These are items that may not be as popular as others in the book, and we wanted to utilize the space with them," he said.


Each page has four to eight items, but a few pages carry multiple offerings of the same item. Prices range from $8 for a deck of playing cards to $225 for a Clubhouse Retro Wall Clock. The back of the book features a new version of the ball club's Hawaiian shirt for $75. Nygren said the shirts are very popular items and chose the back cover to showcase it.


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