Williamson, Barrett Shatter Sales Records For NBA Draftees
Pelicans F Zion Williamson and Knicks F R.J. Barrett, the No. 1 and No. 3 picks in last week's NBA Draft, have sold "more jerseys and shirts than any other draftees" in Fanatics history, according to Fickenscher & Vega of the N.Y. POST. Williamson has "sold more $110 Nike jerseys and $32 T-shirts than all the first-round picks" in the '18 NBA Draft combined. Meanwhile, Barrett has sold "twice as much merchandise" as Pelicans G Lonzo Ball, who had "set the previous record for NBA Draft merch sales after becoming the Lakers' No. 2 pick" in '17 (N.Y. POST, 6/26).
NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE: In Montreal, John Meagher reports Quebec-based Mint Green Group, which "produces licensed sports apparel under the '47 brand" for many North American sports leagues, has been "working around the clock to keep up with the exploding demand for NBA championship Raptors gear." Mint Green Group CEO Joanne Fletcher-Kent said, "We're doing four to five times the amount of business we normally do with the Raptors and NBA." Since winning their first title, the Raptors have "become, almost overnight, the hottest sports brand" in Canada. Though Mint Green is also a licensee partner of the NHL, NFL and MLB, Fletcher-Kent said that the "current demand for NBA Raptors' apparel is now outstripping all other lines." She said, "We've produced about 70,000 units (or T-shirts) since May 27 when the Raptors advanced to the championship round." Fletcher-Kent: "This championship has given rise to this whole generation of fans. That young generation that, I think, are going to stay NBA fans for a good, long time" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 6/26).