When a pro sports team does well, merchandise sales tend to follow suit. That’s been the case for the surging Toronto Blue Jays, who now hold a playoff spot for the first time since 1993.
“We’ve definitely had more people coming in and asking for it, looking for Tulowitzki stuff and Donaldson, Donaldson being the most popular,” said David Yusyk with Olympian Sports.
After two blockbuster trades on the eve of the Major League Baseball trade deadline where the blue birds acquired all-star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and former Cy Young award winner David Price, fans have been flocking to sports stores like Olympian, River City Sports and Jersey City looking to get their hands on Blue Jays’ gear.
“Mostly with the Jays’ stuff, we have almost nothing left. We’ve even had to phone around to other stores (in Regina and Manitoba), everyone got so smashed. I don’t think anyone expected the big trades and when they did it started to fly,” said Jarrid Jepson with River City Sports.
“It was within the day, the Tulowitzki trade happened late in the night, and by noon, we had people calling is seeing if we had stuff. Donaldson and Tulowitzki are the big names now. We have some (Russell) Martin stuff but there’s almost next to nothing here,” Jepson said.
Two rows of Blue Jays merch is all that’s left at Olympian Sports in Willowgrove – photo by Francois Biber/CKOM
But when teams aren’t doing so hot, like the winless Saskatchewan Roughriders, sales have dropped right off.
“They were definitely better last year, not the best this year,” Yusyk said. “Not a lot of people are coming in looking for anything; honestly I haven’t had anyone ask me for some Rider gear in the past two weeks.”
But there’s still time to turn it around. Two seasons ago when the Riders brought back defensive lineman John Chick, sales went up. And they went up again once the Riders resigned Weston Dressler after he was cut from the NFL.
At River City Sports, Jepson said his staff was nervous after Darian Durant injured himself in the first game of the 2015-2016 season.
“(Brett) Smith being in the lineup, that drove for a little bit and as soon as Durant went down we were a little worried but we figured they’d come back but they haven’t yet,” Jepson said.
With a waiting list for Blue Jays’ gear, merchandise is expected to fill shelves up later this week as more and more fans wear the Toronto blue instead of the Saskatchewan green.
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