SBD/Issue 59/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

AFL Merchandise Proving To Be A Hot-Seller For Teams, League

Bills' 50th-Anniversary
Merchandise Selling Well
NFL VP/Consumer Products Leo Kane indicated that the "more than two dozen licensees" who have been making about 100 products related to NFL teams wearing AFL jerseys this season have "produced tens of millions of dollars in sales," according to Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. Yesterday's Patriots-Dolphins game marked the last game this season in which original AFL teams wore vintage jerseys to commemorate the league's 50th anniversary, and Patriots Exec Dir of Media Relations Stacey James said that sales of AFL and 50th anniversary merchandise "have made up 20[%] of overall sales, compared with 12[%] last year" for the team. The Patriots' "best sellers have been 50th-anniversary T-shirts for $19.95 and red jerseys worn in 1963." Bills COO Russ Brandon said that 30% of his team's "merchandise sales this year had been 50th anniversary or AFL related." Meanwhile, Belson reported the Broncos' team store has "sold more than 1,800 pairs of the high socks" the team wore during its vintage games at $14.95 a piece. The striped socks "have been an unexpected hit" -- Broncos Retail Operations Manager Tim Kellond "receives about 250 calls a week from customers asking when more will arrive from the manufacturer." Kellond: "I get them in and sell them out in two hours" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/6).

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