GENEVA, Switzerland – FIBA announced today that sales of numbers of official merchandise products of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan have already topped $5m.

FIBA has partnered with Sanrio, one of the leading companies in the merchandising business and used the Official Mascot of the Championship, Bad Badtz Maru, to create a range of 350 items which are sold in 500 outlets across Japan.

Across Asia the merchandise is available through PPW (Promotional Partners Worldwide), and elsewhere Fans can buy through the FIBA on-line store.

This is the first ever merchandising program and e-business of the International Basketball Federation for a FIBA World Championship.

“We are delighted of being able to offer to the basketball fans around the globe the first ever FIBA-line of products for our FIBA World Championship,” said FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. “This will not only enlarge our business portfolio but will also help us to further promote the FIBA brand.”

“Sanrio is very proud to enter a agreement with one of the leading sports federations in the world. We want to assist FIBA to develop the market and the enormous potential not only in the strong markets, but also in the many markets FIBA is present.” Said Sanrio Far east Managing Director, Andy Toyama.

The FIBASTORE details
URL address: http://www.fiba.com/ or http://www.fibastore.com/
Accepted credit cards: American Express, Mastercard, Visa

FIBA World Championship – One World – One Title: Event Outline
The FIBA World Championship is played every 4 years and determines the best basketball nation of the world. The first World Championship was played in 1950 in Argentina.
The 2006 edition will be played in Japan from 19th August until 3rd September in five different cities. FIBA has increased the number of teams playing at the FIBA World Championship from 16 to 24 teams because of the increased level of basketball around the world and the increasing number of competitive teams at the highest level.

Group A
Sendai

Group B
Hiroshima

Group C
Hamamatsu

Group D
Sapporo

Argentina
Venezuela
France
Serbia & Montenegro
Lebanon
Nigeria

Spain
Panama
Germany
Japan
New Zealand
Angola

Lithuania
Brazil
Greece
Turkey
Australia
Qatar

USA
Puerto Rico
Slovenia
Italy
P.R. of China
Senegal


The teams will play against each other in the preliminary phase in four groups of 6 teams. The 4 top teams from each group will then qualify directly for the Eighth-Finals, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals. All the games from the Eighth-Finals to the Finals will be played on a one-game elimination basis in the city of Saitama.

The 2006 FIBA World Champion will qualify automatically for the 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament for Men in Beijing.