Fans buy ‘anything’ with Hawks logo on it; retailers scrambling
Fans are snapping up jerseys and other Seahawk-themed gear in advance of Saturday’s big game against the New Orleans Saints, putting pressure on retailers to keep their shelves stocked.
Seattle Times business reporter
Top-selling player jerseys
1. Broncos QB Peyton Manning
2. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
3. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick
4. Patriots QB Tom Brady
5. Saints QB Drew Brees
8. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch
13. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman
Top-selling team jerseys
Source: NFL, sales from April 1-Dec. 31, 2013.
Wearing a green and blue Seahawks sideline beanie with a pom, jacket, sweatshirt and T-shirt, Julee Ashmead needed one more item for Saturday’s game — a Seahawks rain poncho.
“They always sell out at the stadium,” said Ashmead, 38, who was shopping at the Seattle Team Shop in University Village on Wednesday.
She has been sporting her Seahawks gear all week, and will be in full regalia for the playoff game.
“This year, for some reason, I bought a lot more gear,” said Ashmead, who grew up watching the Seahawks with her four brothers and father, who has season tickets.
Ashmead has lots of company in the stores. Shopkeepers around the Puget Sound area say they’re scrambling to keep Seahawks-branded merchandise on the shelves.
“Seattle has a great fan base,” said Becky Gazarek, district manager for the Seattle Team Shops. “Everyone wants jerseys, but the fans will really buy anything with a Seahawks logo.”
On Occidental Avenue by CenturyLink Field, the Seattle Team Shop and SoDo Sports have been ordering merchandise daily. Thursday afternoon, some sizes of jerseys were scarce and the sideline beanies and 12th Man flags were sold out.
Brian Rapacz, 48, stopped at SoDo to buy himself a jersey and his nephews Seahawks shirts. When the store didn’t have his size in Russell Wilson’s jersey, he went next door to the Seattle Team Shop and bought the last one.
The Team Shops released a new shirt Wednesday that says “We are 12” on the front with the Seahawks logo, and “#Louder” on the back, which they expect to be popular, the spokeswoman said.
But, the gear doesn’t always need a logo. Fanciful swag has been popping up online — stilettos, tutus, hats and even garters for anyone wanting to sport the signature blue and green during a wedding.
Bre Mehl, a stay-at-home mom in Gold Bar, started selling her Rock the Hawk crochet hats complete with mohawks for $26 last week on Etsy.com, which caters to artists and craftspeople. She originally made the hats for friends and family, who got lots of attention at the games.
Jaimi Albritton of Federal Way has been making poofy skirts and selling them on Etsy for $28 to $40, depending on the size, since August. She’s sold 18 Seahawks tutus, many of which she said are for adults.
To keep up with excited 12th Man shoppers, Shane Breeze, store leader at the J.C. Penney in Northgate Mall, said he has his sales associates direct shoppers to other apparel in Seahawks colors when supplies of logo merchandise run out before a new shipment arrives. The company has had to supplement its typical three-day-a-week truck deliveries with UPS deliveries, Breeze said.
Catherine Hannan, 21, home from Whitman College in Walla Walla for winter break, left her old Matt Hasselbeck jersey at school. After debating whether she should spend $100 for a new jersey, she decided she couldn’t watch Saturday’s game without one; she bought wide receiver Golden Tate’s No. 81.
“It is kind of a big commitment,” she said after trying on three jerseys. “But I’ll be watching the game at home with my family and I don’t have any other Seahawks gear.”
And what if the Seahawks keep winning?
Fred Meyer is ready. Company spokeswoman Melinda Merrill said its printer will set up shop in Seattle to print and distribute T-shirts to stores in less than 48 hours. The company already has “if win” orders in place if the Seahawks become conference champs, and are Super Bowl-bound, and if they win the Super Bowl.
Stephanie Moore of Tacoma sells her Seahawks-painted shoes on Etsy for $115 to $130 depending on style. She has sold 35 Seahawks pairs since starting the site a year ago.
She’s wearing a pair of her blue and green paint-splattered Converse shoes to Saturday’s game in the hopes of catching everyone’s attention.
“I’m ready — I’ve been waiting for the orders to come in,” she said.
Coral Garnick: 206-464-2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @coralgarnick