Friday, October 12, 2012
Notre Dame merchandise flying off shelves
By Darren Rovell
With Everett Golson and Manti Te'o sharing No. 5, their Notre Dame jersey has been quite popular.
A 5-0 record and a No. 7 ranking means Notre Dame gear is hot again.
Since Sept. 1, Fighting Irish gear is second only to Alabama in total sales, according to Fanatics.com, one of the largest licensed online merchants of sports gear. Through this week, sales are up 68 percent as compared to this time last year and up 109 percent compared to the 2010 season, according to Fanatics data.
Fans have ordered Notre Dame gear from the website from all 50 states, with 91 percent of fans ordering from outside the school's campus in Indiana.
On campus, it has turned into quite the frenzy, with sales on pace to top each of the last five years.
"At this point in the season we’re seeing sales growth similar to the 2005 and 2006 BCS years," said Keith Kirkpatrick, director of retail operations for Notre Dame. "Expectations were high coming into the season and we’ve bumped up inventory and staffing at every location across campus to accommodate the demand."
In fact, Kirkpatrick said that he has added extra cash registers to help move along the lines in the stores.
"It was recognized just today that 'Thursday feels like Friday, and Friday feels like Saturday,'” Kirkpatrick said. "I can only assume that will result in one of the busiest Saturdays ever for campus."
ESPN's College Gameday will broadcast live from Notre Dame this weekend ahead of the Fighting Irish's game against No. 17 Stanford.
Expect to see a lot of No. 5 jerseys in the crowd. That's because it's the number of both Manti Te'o, the school's star linebacker, and Everett Golson, the starting quarterback.
"We obviously knew that Manti would be playing again, and we had already projected a significant demand for the jersey," Kirkpatrick said. "With Everett also taking the number, the sales have certainly been affected. While running out of the jersey is always a possibility, at this point we still have plenty left in stock for fans."
Notre Dame is the second most popular college football team in the country after Ohio State, according to an ESPN Sports Poll taken last year.