NBA Jersey Sales Down 38% During Lockout

by November 28, 2011

To no one’s surprise, NBA merch sales fell off a cliff during the work stoppage. From the NY Post: “[adidas], which is currently halfway through an 11-year partnership as the league’s official uniform and apparel supplier, scored close to $350 million in NBA-related clothing sales last season. But with jersey sales imploding, the company won’t see those kind of profits, regardless if sneakers sales remain unharmed. ‘That’s where the lockout hurt,’ said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with The NPD Group. NBA threads, like the Miami Heat’s LeBron James’ — last season’s highest-selling jersey — are down 38 percent. Most online retailers are offering 15 percent to 20 percent discounts, in addition to peddling old-school or throwback jerseys at half-price to entice visitors. ‘Expect FootLocker, Champs and others to follow suit,” said an insider. “It has nothing to do with the holiday, either. Retailers understand that after the lockout, the price tag must be cut.’ Total NBA product sales last season were close to $3 billion. With the lockout, analysts expect this year’s sales number to be closer to $1 billion, citing sneakers as the sport’s lone bright spot.”