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Hard Rock inks online deal with EBay
By Carl Corry, CBS.MarketWatch.com
ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS.MW) - Just when you thought there were enough Elvis sunglasses available on the Web, the Hard Rock Cafe and EBay are planning to bring you more of the King's stuff and other Hard Rock memorabilia in a new online trading community.
The companies announced the deal Thursday, combining a widely recognized entertainment brand with the leading online auction firm.
Hard Rock Cafe will have a separate auction section within the EBay site, which will also feature some 2,500 to 5,000 listings of Hard Rock Cafe collectible items posted by independent traders.
The deal is part of an effort to develop the Hard Rock brand name beyond the core restaurant business.
Hard Rock spokesman Chris Tomasso said the company hopes to launch the site early next year, building on a trading tradition of Hard Rock collectibles. Listen to the interview.
"Today's agreement with EBay (EBAY: news, msgs) is part of our bricks-and-clicks strategy to bring together key strategic partners and vendors to leverage the Hard Rock brand," said Peter Beaudrault, president and COO of Hard Rock Cafe International.
"By teaming with companies like EBay, a global online force, we will take the music experience of Hard Rock Cafes, our memorabilia, and concerts and events to new audiences on the Web."
EBay shares jumped 9.5 percent to $68.44.
The stock rise was thanks to a new Goldman Sachs report that praised the company's business model and prospects for long-term growth. See Net Stocks.
Hard Rock Cafe International, a wholly owned subsidiary of London-based The Rank Group (RANKY: news, msgs), reported an 18-percent profit jump and a 5 percent sales rise to $200.4 million for the six months ending June 30.
The Rank Group shares closed up 3.9 percent to $5.
EBay visitors can bid on select Hard Rock Cafe commemorative music items, memorabilia and themed collectibles formerly displayed in various Hard Rock locations, such as concert posters, photographs, album jackets and music industry merchandise, the company said.
One-of-a-kind items not directly donated by music artists will be posted for auction, while Hard Rock Cafe will work in conjunction with artists to auction autographed memorabilia to raise money for charity.
There are more than 100 Hard Cafes in 36 countries.
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