Harlem Globetrotters Celebrate Record-Breaking Season

By Brett Meister

The Harlem Globetrotters’ 2008 “Magic As Ever” North American Tour broke records with a nearly 5 percent increase in gross tour revenue, set all-time levels for merchandise sales, hit television ratings highs, and exponentially increased online traffic, re-establishing the Globetrotters as a worldwide entertainment powerhouse.

The team developed star players and featured its greatest rookie crop ever. Fans witnessed the Globetrotters’ storied arch rivals, the Washington Generals, return after a 12-year hiatus to compete in an exciting new show.

The 241-game tour attracted close to 2 million people, while delighting fans young and old in 203 cities in 45 U.S. states; Washington, D.C.; and four Canadian provinces. The Globetrotters set records for gross ticket sales at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, and in several other venues in major cities, including: Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Orlando and Charlotte.

The Globetrotters burst back onto the national and network television scene after a 14-year absence with “Harlem Globetrotters: A New Generation,” an hour-long, primetime special that became the highest rated program in MyNetworkTV history and re-aired in two encore presentations, with a cumulative rating of 3.8 for the three broadcasts.

The pop culture icons appeared nationwide on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Insider” and the ESPN family of networks; and were covered by media giants USA Today, Associated Press, Reuters, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Variety.

After launching a new, robust website in October, traffic to www.harlemglobetrotters.com increased 122.2 percent, to nearly 3 million page views per month. Merchandise sales of the Globetrotters’ 60-plus products online and in arenas boasted record domestic per caps of $6.61 per game.

“We are extremely thrilled about this watershed year,” said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. “This iconic brand has been re-energized and is poised to assert itself as a dominant form of family entertainment worldwide for years to come

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