Super Bowl LIV is nigh and retailers have been stocking up on merch to outfit football fans nationwide.
Nearly 194 million American adults plan to tune into the clash between the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the National Retail Federation says, and they plan to spend a total of $17.2 billion celebrating one of professional sports’ biggest events. Most of those dollars will go to game-day snacks like chicken wings, sliders, guacamole and nacho chips (80 percent) but 11 percent say they’ll spend on apparel and accessories in support of their favorite team, says NRF, which worked with Proper Insight & Analytics to survey 7,267 adults 18 and older between Jan 2-9.
In the lead up to the big game in Miami on Feb. 2, online retailers have tweaked their product assortments to ensure shoppers are ready for the big game. Sports-centric retailers like Lids and Fanatics have taken a leading role in stocking Super Bowl-related gear, according to retail data analytics firm Edited, and account for 91 percent of all new products.
Clothing and accessories selling at budget-friendly price points are no-brainer investments on the retail side. T-shirts compose the majority of big-game products stocked, says Edited retail analyst Krista Corrigan, followed by fleece garments including full-zips and hoodies. At retailers like Academy Sports + Outdoors and mid-level department store Kohl’s, “hats and socks offer easy entry price points,” Corrigan added.
Does the data offer any hint at which team is winning the popularity contest? Not quite, as Edited’s numbers show 49ers’ merch barely edging out Chiefs gear, 51 percent to 49 percent. And casual fans of the sporting spectacle are able to show their enthusiasm, too, says Corrigan. Online retailers are carrying “generic” Super Bowl and Miami-themed merchandise, she says, for viewers and visitors “looking to rock clothing honoring the event and host city.”
But one player has taken a decided lead in the clash of the quarterbacks. In a head-to-head comparison of the two elite athletes, Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49s has the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes “beat from a majority SKU sellout standpoint in the lead up to the event,” Corrigan says, noting that 65 percent more products have sold out for the Bay Area leader compared to his Midwestern counterpart (28 items vs 17 items) and at a 6 percent higher average retail price ($83.49 vs. $78.46).
And “while it’s still early to predict successful categories,” she added, shoppers have already cleaned out two styles of Sideline Pregame anorak jackets on Nike.com, where Super Bowl-edition jerseys for both teams are also available for pre-order.