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Team-issue exclusives in big 4 pro sports. Why?


Cleveland Fan

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Why would the NFL (some of the on-field t-shirts) or NBA (practice jerseys) have any team-issue exclusive gear rather than make money from selling them to fans?

For anybody wondering what NFL t-shirts are team-issue exclusive, here's a couple examples (Browns):

This shirt in orange:

http://www.nflshop.com/Cleveland_Browns_Men_T-Shirts/Mens_Cleveland_Browns_Nike_Gray_Legend_Staff_Practice_Performance_T-Shirt

This one in white and gray:

http://www.nflshop.com/Cleveland_Browns_Men_T-Shirts/Mens_Cleveland_Browns_Nike_Brown_Facility_T-Shirt

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It's supply and demand. Who wants a practice jersey?

I've talked to plenty of people who have asked me where they can buy a Cavs practice jersey (I've also read some internet discussions elsewhere - non-logo/uniform boards - involving people asking about where to buy NBA practice jerseys. Those usually end with the OP being shouted down by those who see any authentic gear being sold as an offense to the players). Also, the NBA practice jerseys aren't the bland generic stuff you see in the NFL. They're pretty intricate designs that would probably sell pretty well (as the MLB and the - fairly bland, in my opinion - NHL practice jerseys do).

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It's supply and demand. Who wants a practice jersey?

I've talked to plenty of people who have asked me where they can buy a Cavs practice jersey (I've also read some internet discussions elsewhere - non-logo/uniform boards - involving people asking about where to buy NBA practice jerseys. Those usually end with the OP being shouted down by those who see any authentic gear being sold as an offense to the players). Also, the NBA practice jerseys aren't the bland generic stuff you see in the NFL. They're pretty intricate designs that would probably sell pretty well (as the MLB and the - fairly bland, in my opinion - NHL practice jerseys do).

Intricate as in Adidas stripes on the sides, and generic number and wordmarks, not exactly ground breaking. Also people may want some but do you think they would want them for $60+, or atleast a significant amount of people who would choose them over a swing man jersey.

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It's supply and demand. Who wants a practice jersey?

I've talked to plenty of people who have asked me where they can buy a Cavs practice jersey (I've also read some internet discussions elsewhere - non-logo/uniform boards - involving people asking about where to buy NBA practice jerseys. Those usually end with the OP being shouted down by those who see any authentic gear being sold as an offense to the players). Also, the NBA practice jerseys aren't the bland generic stuff you see in the NFL. They're pretty intricate designs that would probably sell pretty well (as the MLB and the - fairly bland, in my opinion - NHL practice jerseys do).

Intricate as in Adidas stripes on the sides, and generic number and wordmarks, not exactly ground breaking. Also people may want some but do you think they would want them for $60+, or atleast a significant amount of people who would choose them over a swing man jersey.

$_35.JPG

It sounds to me (anecdotal eveidence, admittedly) like there would be some who already have all of their teams' swingmans and would likely buy a practice jersey over a fashion jersey or a one-off/one-season only swingman.

Also, why do you think they sell so well in MLB and the NHL (especially MLB), but NBA fans scoff at the idea?

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because an nba practice jersey is nothing but some mesh and screen printing. MLB BP jerseys are coolbase which is a much nicer material and stitched on wordmarks, numbers, and NOBs and look much more presentable to wear in public than a pinny. I've never seen an NHL practice jersey at any retailer so I doubt many of those sell. You also see BP jerseys a lot more than other practice jerseys because that's what they'll wear at spring training and you almost always see one in a pre game show, you very rarely see other sports practice jerseys.

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Thanks for the responses. Does anyone have any idea about why some colors of NFL on-field t-shirts aren't available at retail?

By the way, re: where I've seen the NHL practice jerseys, it's mostly been at team shops and hockey-specific retailers (brick-and-mortar and online).

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The first example I could think of was this shirt that the Sabres wore during the 2011 playoffs. I work at the Sabres Store and was asked by countless customers if we were selling them, so the demand was certainly present.

The shirt has (I would assume) sixteen "16"s along the sleeves, representing the number of wins needed to win the Cup. Also, on the chest there is an outline of the Cup with the Sabres logo inside. I certainly would've picked one up, had they been available to the public.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Product oversaturation and target marketing are the big reasons... retail merch is very specifically designed to meet the wants/needs of the target market(s)... I would personally love game-cut jerseys with elastic sleeves, but market research suggests that wouldn't hit a wide enough market (hence why Nike's replicas are boxier and more "generous" through the mid-section)... luckily, you can often find actual game-issued jerseys on eBay, and often for less $$$ than a baggy replica costs in stores.

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Product oversaturation and target marketing are the big reasons... retail merch is very specifically designed to meet the wants/needs of the target market(s)... I would personally love game-cut jerseys with elastic sleeves, but market research suggests that wouldn't hit a wide enough market (hence why Nike's replicas are boxier and more "generous" through the mid-section)... luckily, you can often find actual game-issued jerseys on eBay, and often for less $$$ than a baggy replica costs in stores.

That assertion is barely even relevant in this situation. This is basic element of the product development cycle where function and cost are the driving factors. There's definitely a market for authentic jerseys but the fit and cost of the on field simply would not work in a retail setting. You would also have sourcing issues as there's no way game quality product could be produced at the required scale. Don't get me wrong, research is an important tool for design but this consideration would be deemed unfeasible right out of the gate.

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Why would the NFL (some of the on-field t-shirts) or NBA (practice jerseys) have any team-issue exclusive gear rather than make money from selling them to fans?

For anybody wondering what NFL t-shirts are team-issue exclusive, here's a couple examples (Browns):

This shirt in orange:

http://www.nflshop.com/Cleveland_Browns_Men_T-Shirts/Mens_Cleveland_Browns_Nike_Gray_Legend_Staff_Practice_Performance_T-Shirt

This one in white and gray:

http://www.nflshop.com/Cleveland_Browns_Men_T-Shirts/Mens_Cleveland_Browns_Nike_Brown_Facility_T-Shirt

I don't think these are team-issue exclusive if they are selling them on the NFL shop. Labeling them as "staff" or "facility" is pretty much semantics.

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because an nba practice jersey is nothing but some mesh and screen printing. MLB BP jerseys are coolbase which is a much nicer material and stitched on wordmarks, numbers, and NOBs and look much more presentable to wear in public than a pinny. I've never seen an NHL practice jersey at any retailer so I doubt many of those sell. You also see BP jerseys a lot more than other practice jerseys because that's what they'll wear at spring training and you almost always see one in a pre game show, you very rarely see other sports practice jerseys.

i own an orange isles practice jersey and see a couple handful of practice jerseys at games

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Didn't hockey players all have the same light blue ringer undershirt back in the day? From what I remembered there wasn't any logos on it but every single player (at least every Flyer) had the same one. I'm fairly certain other teams did too because you'd see it when a jersey got pulled up during a fight.

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I remember seeing NBA practice jerseys in catalogs back in the mid 90s. For some reason the only one I recall from memory is the Suns version which still had their 80s PHOENIX lettering. I figure they could do something a bit more interesting with em seeing as the occasional summer league games are on TV, streamed online and such.

Far as NFL practice jerseys, most teams go the basic route (numbers on the front and back, name on back depending on team [Packers do, Bears don't, for example]), others like the Eagles, Chargers, Texans and Broncos wear simplified versions of their game design. And some teams used to recycle old game jerseys (the Packers did this until the mid-late 90s IIRC, the Chargers until their overhaul...I have no idea whether the Ravens do this or not...they're probably the only ones right now if they do). Even the relative darling of NFL practice jerseys, that of the Cowboys, pales somewhat in comparison to a half-decent BP jersey, though.

Hockey's ringer tee...something I sorta noticed but never gave much though to til you brought it up. And now I can't unsee it.

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