November 11, 2016
All sports fans want to wear their team's colors with pride whether it is at their team's home stadium or in the comfort of their own home. Every year, however the price of buying the latest team jersey or shirt is increasing.
In this article we look at what is causing the rising prices.
Supporting teams in the NFL has become more expensive with the prices of tickets and jerseys rising. Time Magazine reports that fans will have to hand over $150 for a limited jersey and $295 for an elite jersey. The difference in price is due to the elite jersey being an exact replica of what the players wear on the field with the same advanced fabric technology. The magazine jokes that fans might have to start taking out loans to support their team.
Nike makes all of the gear worn by NFL players and is in its fourth year as the sport's official gear supplier. Business site Bloomberg suggests that fans continue to buy the latest jerseys because they are concerned with making sure that they get the right match look. The site went on to mention that Nike is profiting from the decrease in the length of a player’s career due to the punishing nature of the game. Therefore jerseys change more frequently than before, requiring fans to keeping purchasing them to keep up with the latest changes to their teams.
In soccer there is also a debate around the price of soccer shirts. In 2014 the England football soccer team came under fire for the price of its latest shirt also made by Nike. The price of one shirt was £90 ($122) and the Telegraph detailed that even the Prime Minister David Cameron stated that it was too expensive. Like NFL fans, soccer fanatics are very keen to wear the latest shirts in support of their team. With the majority of fans coming from blue-collar backgrounds the increase in prices is seen as pricing the tradition fan out of the market.
One aspect that affects the sale of soccer shirts is the success of the team. London paper the Metro reported that Iceland saw a surge in demand for soccer shirts after knocking England out of this year’s European Championships. They went on to say that there was a 2000% increase in demand with fans of England’s rivals Scotland buying shirts in support of the small country. Football analysis site Betfair revealed that England and Scotland will face each other in the build up to the World Cup 2018 this November. Both teams had disappointing summers and have got off to shaky starts as they fight to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. If either team doesn't proceed to the tournament this could have a knock-on effect to the amount of shirts they will sell in the future.
One reason for the increase in prices for jerseys across sports could be due to sponsorship deals. The Economist states that English Premiership teams each received around £370m ($460m) from shirt sponsorships, up a third from previous years. The reason that sponsors are pouring money into team jerseys is that the international reach of soccer has increased in the past decade particularly in areas such as Asia. This in turn has a knock-on effect on the price of jerseys due to the increase in demand.
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