Gonzaga Seeing Huge Jump In Merchandise Sales At Fanatics.com During March
The big winner in college basketball-related merchandise sales during March Madness is Gonzaga, one of four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. The team since March 1 have seen sales of its logo merchandise on Fanatics.com jump an incredible 514% as the Bulldogs rolled to a 31-2 record and No. 1 ranking. Fanatics.com is one of the largest online retailers of officially licensed sports merchandise. Gonzaga also was the second most searched team on the retailer's website, just behind Duke. One interesting note for the season: 65% of Gonzaga merchandise was bought by people outside the state of Washington. Indiana also enjoyed huge gains with its sales up 159% over last year's numbers in March. For the season, Louisville, the tournament's overall top seed, leads all colleges on Fanatics.com in percentage increase for merchandise sales, with a 122% jump compared to the same dates last year (Michael Smith, Staff Writer).
HOUSE OF STYLE: The AP's Samantha Critchell reported adidas’ college basketball postseason uniform changes “happened to be in line with fashion runways and recreational athleticwear, where highlighter brights and creative camo have been bona fide trends.” Alternative uniforms have “become part of the college football and basketball landscape." GQ Senior Editor Will Welch said that the uniforms “could be a recruiting tool for next-gen talent.” Welch said, "There's something gimmicky about them, but outlandish choices like this can end up defining an era." Former Gap Creative Dir Patrick Robinson said, "It takes guts to make change. As a designer, I admire that Adidas is not being afraid, not testing it, not dipping the toe. They just went out there with this bold look. They changed the conversation" (AP, 3/20). ESPN.com’s Paul Lukas wrote there is “definitely a generation gap when it comes to uniform tastes, but it probably has as much to do with quantity as it does with quality.” The “Fruit Stripe uniforms” from adidas offer fans “something to ponder: What exactly is the point of wearing a new, ‘innovative’ design if a bunch of other teams are wearing essentially the same thing?” Lukas asked, “Wouldn't you rather wear something unique, something you can totally claim as your own?” (ESPN.com, 3/20).