What better way to run a business during a work stoppage than to raise prices? That’s precisely what the NFL has done when it comes to replica player jerseys, according to the folks at JoeBucsFan.com.
The Tampa Bay-specific website recently reported that the league has increased the price for replica jerseys (i.e., the ones with the painted numbers that eventually begin to come off after a certain number of washings) at NFLShop.com from $79.99 to $84.99.
NFLShop.com also is accepting advance payment for rookie jerseys, which are not yet officially for sale because the rookies don’t officially have numbers. (Apparently, the league decided against the Jim Otto approach.)
It’s a curious move, to say the least. But there’s possibly some method to the league’s apparent madness. Really, anyone who would fork over $79.99 for a new NFL replica jersey during a lockout would surely fork over an extra $5.
Then again, a cynic might wonder whether the NFL added the extra charge in the hopes of negatively impacting a potential player revenue stream during the lockout, since they receive a portion of the proceeds of every jersey sold. If that was the objective, however, we think the league would have raised the prices even higher.
UPDATE: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that the league does not set the price for the jerseys, but that the parties who hold the licenses to make and sell the jerseys have that exclusive ability. That said, the NFL by all appearances has approved the increase by not asking the licensees why in the hell they’re increasing the jersey prices at a time when demand is going to plummet.