Friday, March 7, 2014
Russell Wilson's Rangers jersey a hot seller
By Richard Durrett
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s impact at Texas Rangers spring training is still being felt in the merchandising industry even though he left camp Monday evening after a one-day stay.
Wilson’s No. 3 Rangers replica jersey and Rangers T-shirt with his name and number on it are among the top-5 MLB sales for players in the last week, according to Fanatics.com, the largest online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise.
The Rangers quickly sold out of their original allotment of Russell Wilson merchandise.
The Rangers sold the items starting Sunday in Surprise Stadium in Arizona and Monday at retail stores in Dallas, Fort Worth and at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The club quickly sold out of its original allotment -- 500 units -- in all locations and has placed re-orders.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Rob Matwick, Rangers’ executive VP of business operations. “It may not sound like 500 is a lot of product, but for a guy that was in camp one day, that’s impressive.”
Wilson spent Monday with the Rangers, participating in workouts and watching the Cactus League game in the dugout wearing his blue Rangers jersey.
Fanatics.com’s numbers showed that Wilson’s T-shirt alone (not the jersey, but the shirt was his name and number on it) was one of the top-selling MLB items overall Tuesday and Wednesday. Interestingly, Fanatics.com said its internal numbers show that Seattle was the top-selling market for MLB gear this week.
“He [Wilson] didn’t take the field until Monday, so we weren’t selling product prior to that and he’s been selling very well,” said Jack Boyle, president of merchandising at Fanatics.com. “The newness sells.”
Boyle noted that as an e-commerce retailer, they can get product out right away, even as Wilson’s story was making the rounds on the web as he participated in camp.
“We’ll stay in stock on the product based on the response,” Boyle said. “We can draw from Arizona, where camp is, but also fans in Texas, Seattle and Wisconsin, where he played. We’ll be able to judge the demand out there and respond based on what the fans tell us.”
Right now, they’re telling them they want Wilson’s name and number on a Rangers jersey or shirt. And those fans come from various parts of the country.