Licensed sportswear retailer Fanatics’ online NFL sales grew 35% year-over-year during opening weekend of the 2020 season.
Two of the game’s biggest names changed teams during the offseason, thus necessitating new jerseys, so it comes as no surprise that they top the early-season jersey sales rankings.
Tom Brady’s new Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey was the top selling item, with Cam Newton’s New England Patriots jersey coming in second. They were followed by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson — the league’s reigning MVP — and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.
As of the season opener on Sept. 10, Newton’s jersey sales trailed Brady’s by just 50 units during opening week, Fanatics founder Michael Rubin tweeted.
Over opening weekend a year ago, the top-selling players were Brady, Mahomes, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
Notably, Brady and Newton’s jerseys were not so popular that they outweighed the impact of teams with more widespread appeal.
The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs topped the team sales list, followed by the Cowboys, 49ers, Patriots and Buccaneers, Fanatics said.
The Cowboys led team jersey sales over 2019 opening weekend, followed by the Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Chiefs and Bears.
The 2020 player and jersey team rankings are inclusive of sales from Sunday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 13 — the first full day of the 2020 regular season.
The NFL Players’ Association and Fanatics agreed to a deal that made the company the gatekeeper to player licensing rights in April 2016, and Fanatics has a long-term deal that makes it the exclusive distributor of most Nike-branded NFL merchandise. Nike has an eight-year deal to provide all 32 teams with uniforms and sideline apparel.
Brady’s Bucs jersey had previously performed exceptionally well.
The day he officially signed with the team in March, his jersey sales spiked 900% day-over-day — even as pre-order mockups bore No. 0 before his signature No. 12 was finalized.
But just a couple weeks later, when the team released its new uniform designs on April 7, sales of Brady merch spiked 3,000% day-over-day on Fanatics, NFL Insider Ian Rapport reported. More Tampa Bay merchandise was sold that day than in the prior 17 days combined.
Brady had the NFL’s highest-selling jersey in both 2019 and 2018 when he was with the Patriots. Carson Wentz was the highest-selling jersey on Fanatics in 2017, and Elliot topped the list in 2016.
Back in the 2015 season, Brady and Newton also went one-two in jersey sales through NFLshop.com.