The Eagles began selling Tim Tebow No. 11 jerseys on PhiladelphiaEagles.com just hours after the (right now) fourth-string QB signed with the Birds.
The green Tebow jerseys cost $69.95 for youth size, $94.95 for women and $99.95 for men. The three types of Tebow jerseys were already the Top 3 sellers on the site by midday Tuesday.
And, in case you were wondering, the Eagles do offer various sizes of jersey for second-string QB Mark Sanchez while only offering youth sizes for top QB Sam Bradford and third-string QB Matt Barkley.
1) Except on rare occasions, I highly doubt that front offices communicate down the totem pole to teams’ online marketers, and certainly not to league websites or third-party outlets like Modell’s as part of some conspiracy. To read into whose jersey is or isn’t for sale is to waste your time. As I’ve detailed before, often product assortments at team and league websites aren’t even managed by the teams and leagues. The NFL Shop and the Eagles’ website (the store portion), for example, are managed by Fanatics, a local company whose duties used to fall under the GSI Commerce umbrella before a portion of the business was bought by eBay. I don’t know the particulars of their current partnership, but I highly doubt that marketing decisions are driven by the team, or at least not anyone in a position to know what Chip Kelly is thinking (Chip Kelly might not even know what Chip Kelly is thinking!). To read anything into this stuff is just dumb. The sole determinant, I’d wager, is whether or not some business manager thinks something will sell – in this case Tebow jerseys – and if so, then they’ll sell them. Which brings us to #2…
2) The three types of Tebow jerseys were already the Top 3 sellers on the site by midday Tuesday. Of course they were! Top sellers are akin to something trending on Twitter. Of course the new, famous guy accounted for the top-selling product on the Eagles’ website yesterday as opposed to, say, DeMarco Murray, who’s been here for a month. Our top-selling t-shirt yesterday was the eagle Tebowing, and while it’ll be a good seller, that doesn’t mean it’s our all-time best-seller already.
3) Often, online jersey orders from the manufacturer, league or team – again, with some exceptions – are fulfilled to order on blank jerseys. It makes the most sense that way. Marketers markup popular players and create skus so it’s easier for customers to find, but I’d be willing to bet that whether you order a Bradford or Tebow jersey, it’s still getting printed on-demand. This likelihood is even lost on Darren Rovell – ostensibly a business reporter, but actually an idiot – who joined the chorus:
Yes, because they have Eagles blanks in women’s and youth, so it’s easy to throw his name on them to order.
3) And, in case you were wondering, the Eagles do offer various sizes of jersey for second-string QB Mark Sanchez while only offering youth sizes for top QB Sam Bradford and third-string QB Matt Barkley. Wrong. There is an adult Sam Bradford jersey available.
Yes, in-store sales are different. For instance, Modell’s saying that they won’t stock many Tebow items tells me that they don’t want to be saddled with inventory if the Eagles cut him, not that the Eagles are necessarily planning on cutting him. Conversly, online stores carrying or not carrying a jersey tells us only that people do or don’t want to buy it.