As a gambling man, I am willing to bet that by March of 2021, the Dodgers would have shattered all records on sales for merchandise in one season. Led by a fan frenzy. Fans have been buying everything in sight. When it is all said and done, the Dodgers would have made more money than they have ever made with this new ownership and in fact, in the history of the game. How much? One can only speculate. There are still some fans shopping for items that were unavailable for them last month. Still there are others that will be shopping for Christmas presents in the next couple of weeks and are sure to clear out inventory wherever Dodger items are sold.. Buyers cleared the shelves. Items were sold out at brick and mortars and online stores. One would have to know the sales numbers in order to determine how much profit was made by the Dodgers but their World Series sales cycle has not been completed. It will continue from December through March. This is a number that will have to come out in the 2nd quarter of 2021 when the buzz has cleared a bit. I can definitely see companies coming out with new merchandise to honor the World Series victory prior to the season opener next year and all through the season they will continue to come out with “must have” items. Dodgers have licensing deals with clothing stores, caps, merchandise makers. What is the split with those companies? What is the net profit from merchandise sold with the MLB logos? There are so many variables in merchandise sales that feed additional income to the Dodgers’ organization. It is very possible that the 2020 Dodger merchandise sales broke every record in the history of merchandise selling for any sports team in America…and if it did not surpass the team that held that crown in merchandise sales, they at least came awfully close, only being prevented by the economic downturn that our country is facing.
The Dodgers have super loyal fans. I am not saying that they have the most fans. Perhaps that is not the case. But year after year, for the past 8 years, the Dodgers have attracted more than 3 Million fans to Dodger Stadium. In fact if we go all the way back to 1978, the Dodgers have only not hit 3 million fans in 10 of those seasons. So in 32 of the past 42 years, the Dodgers have surpassed the 3 million mark when the league average has been in the 2Million-2.5 Million range. In comparison the Yankees have only averaged over 3 Million since 1999 although the Yankees do have the single season attendance record. The point is that the Dodgers were in such a drought that fans were starving for this merchandise. And I am willing to bet that sales exceeded any other single season sales record in all of history. The only other 3 possible contenders are the Cubs, Red Sox, and Giants. I will not put the Yankees in the mix because the Yankee fans have had many World Series titles and when they won in 2009, they had just recently won a few in the 90’s so people didn’t flock to the stores like the 2016 Cubs, 2004 Red Sox, 2010 Giants, and now the 2020 Dodgers. With the explosion of online marketing and online sales, it is so much easier for fans to purchase items in 2020. It also seems that in the last 5 years, the popularity of online shopping has increased exponentially. This is fairly new and was not around pre-2005. It was there but not to the extent that we have it in 2020. Not to mention there has been an exponential growth of internet use and online shopping from 2005 to the present. The pandemic and current lockdown have also forced old timers who were accustomed to shopping in person at brick and mortar shops to now do some shopping online and this has also increased the amount of items being sold online. The other thing that will cause this year to be such a record breaking year is the fact that everything cost so damn much. I remember when a beer at the stadium was priced at 8 dollars a cup. Now, you have to pay about $100 for a decent cup. I swear, you have to put some overtime on that weekend doing Uber just to buy yourself a beer at the stadium. This year we didn’t have that problem since the stadium was closed but apply the same inflation rate to the merchandise being sold. I remember when I thought that $30 was too much for a pro fitted cap. Now, you cannot find them under $40. So times have changed. Inflation has gotten the best of us. This is just another variable that will create that record breaking momentum in sales for 2020. A much needed extra stream of revenue for the Dodgers that helps out the bottom line in a year where overall revenue was been down. Next, I will discuss why this frenzy occurred besides the obvious 2020 World Series Title.
What is the buzz all about?
Just imagine this: there are people like me who haven’t been able to flaunt World Series CHAMPIONS merchandise because we have not won a World Series since 1988. The World Series t-shirt from 1988 does not fit me anymore because I was 12 years old when that happened. I remember having a white t-shirt with the cartoon figures with big old heads and caricature faces with the quote saying “1988 World Series Champions” but I am sure I used the hell out of it that same year. My mom probably put it up for sale at a yard sale for about a quarter. Over the years these 1988 World Series relics have been exchanged on platforms such as Ebay, Craigslist, yard sales, Mercari, and most likely Amazon since they have everything that you need these days. So imagine, the amount of money that was spent by people that had been in a drought since 1988. Occasionally, I am sure people have purchased gear over the years. Some fanatics spend tons of money each and every year. I have not purchased a Dodgers jersey in a long time. Maybe it’s because I am frugal or maybe it is because I like to think that the jerseys built by Russell back in the early 2000’s were a lot better quality than the thinner material that is used today. I purchased a gray #14 Kike Hernandez MLB jersey for my son’s birthday and the material is very thin compared to the Russell branded jersey that I have. I spoke with a friend of mine and he has the same jersey and keeps it for the same reason. So it turns out I am not the only one that loves this blank no number white Russell Dodgers jersey. I do not like buying jerseys with names. I once had a Gary Sheffield jersey but I never wore it again after he left. Mainly because I was upset that he left. Beltre was my favorite player and I felt like buying a jersey with his name but I stopped because I remembered what happened to the last jersey I had. Sure enough, he left for the Mariners. I came up with a rule for myself and I do not suggest you follow my rule but the rule is that if I buy a jersey with a last name, it better be an epic Dodger. I won’t tell you any names that might make it onto my list because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of fans who may have their favorite player left out or anger any Dodger fans that feel a name should not be on my list. Some fans are pretty weird about that stuff. It is a sensitive topic. So all of a sudden there is a new logo that people want. People want the World Series Champions insignia, patch, stitching, sign, shirt, cap, flag, pins, jewelry, thongs, etc… Anything and everything they could get their hands on. I myself spent over 400 dollars on the new merchandise and am still waiting for a 7 ½ size cap to arrive. Apparently, they keep selling out and keep on restocking them and I keep hearing about resellers trying to get 60 bucks or more for them. I want the blue pro fitted cap that says World Series Champions on the side. I already got the grey fitted one that says Champs but I do not have the blue Pro fitted one yet. They were out of stock on the size 7 ½.. I also bought magazines, newspapers, and a special edition book from the LA Times. I will provide the links for all of these goodies and I will try out the affiliate links. No shame in my game. I need to make some of that money back.
As you can see, no economic struggle, nor budget, has held back fans from buying this merchandise because owning that merch has become a priority. Food? Who needs food? We will take the merchandise instead. Water bill? We don’t need no stinking water. Give me a 2020 collector’s pin instead. We owe it to ourselves as a reward after all those years of getting close and falling short, always patiently waiting for this moment. However, in 2020, I heard of a dad that skipped his car payment and used that money to buy gear. I heard another adult quit smoking so he could use that addiction money to save for the 2021 opening day tickets. I heard another more responsible person got a second job just to be able to afford the World Series caps for everyone in their family. I lied. I did not actually hear these stories but I imagine them to be true. I will also add that I am not a financial advisor but clearly it would not be a good idea to skip a car payment, nor a water bill, so you can buy your World Series gear. Instead, do as the other hypothetically responsible dad did. This dad got a second job to be able to afford his gifts for his family.
It is easy to see why this dude’s crystal ball says that this year, records were broken in a single team’s merchandise sales following a World Series victory. I bet it was the best: 1 month and 2 months worth of sales following a World Series. I predict the lead will even hold up for strong sales from 3- 6 months following the World Series. Of course, we will not know until the numbers come out. What merch did you buy? Did your items arrive already? What World Series item are you saving for? Did you pay your water bill?