Star Struck Adds 8 Million Names in Acquisition

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Star Struck Inc.'s purchase of certain assets of ProTeam Inc. has added 8 million names to the database of the newly formed Star Struck/ProTeam Inc.


"ProTeam was a leader in the field at one point, and with their demise we found it to be a good opportunity," said Ken Karlan, president of Star Struck/ProTeam Inc., Bethel, CT.


ProTeam originally was a privately held company, Karlan said, then was acquired by a company that later went bankrupt.


"[ProTeam] had over 8 million names of sports fans who are catalog buyers," he said. "We bought names from their list in the past, and their lists always produced our best returns."


The sale, completed last month, resulted in the ProTeam books being rolled into the Star Struck catalog. ProTeam owned and distributed ProTeam, Manny's Baseball Land, From the Sidelines, Nothin' but Hoops, Hot Off the Ice, Soccer Madness and Redline.


Star Struck's book included officially licensed sports merchandise from Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Major League Soccer as well as minor league hockey and baseball teams.


Star Struck's mailing schedule will continue to be used. This includes two catalogs annually with a total of 10 drops over the year. Annual circulation for the Star Struck book has been 1.4 million, but no new total has been established since the ProTeam house list continues to be evaluated.


"We are going to use their titles throughout the catalog since they are very recognizable," chief operating officer Jason Scheets said.


Karlan said the ProTeam titles probably will have a presence on the cover of the retitled catalog. He is not worried about an overlap in customer databases.


"A lot of sports fans are not sport-specific," he said. "They have more than one sport that they are interested in, and a lot of what we do is logo-driven, especially in terms of the minor leagues."


Typical customers are Internet and catalog buyers in their 30s who spend an average of $60 to $75 per order.


The Star Struck fall/winter 2001 book is 86 pages. Its Web site usually generates 20 percent to 25 percent of volume while the bulk of sales come from phone orders. Its house list typically produces a 6 percent response rate while rented lists generally yield 1 percent to 3 percent.


However, its house list produced an 8 percent response rate in the most recent mailing during the holiday period.


"In the past we've had a 50-50 split between our house list and prospects for Star Struck," Karlan said. "Now we'll just mail to the house list for the time being. We'll try to optimize what we've acquired. We're still working on our new circulation projection, but the page count for the spring catalog will still be approximately 80. We're going to incorporate as much merchandise as we can from the ProTeam books. We're still evaluating the merchandise to be included. It will be a little bit, but not too much."


The Star Struck/ProTeam spring book is to reach homes in the third week of March.


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