BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Some sports insiders speculate the New Orleans Saints are the most sellable team this year and stores, many of them in the Baton Rouge area, are reaping the benefits caused by the demand for team merchandise.
According to NFL officials, their Saints sales are up 10 percent above last year. One retailer in the area stated she hopes this winning streak continues because when the Saints win, so does her bottom line.
"A lot of caps went out and polos," said Sara Sanders, owner of Purple and Gold. "Even the women's jerseys were moving, so that's good."
The 11-0 win-streak the Saints currently sport is the best the team has ever had and with each touchdown, Sanders says she can hear the hangers shuffle. For fans, this winning feeling is somewhat new.
The team has only won two playoff games since 1967. One came in 2006. Back then, many fans said they waited to grab up the gear because they didn't know the team would do so well. This year, however, Sanders said shoppers seem to be feeling the "Who Dat" fever sooner in the season.
"We're getting a lot of phone calls now. The store generally does walk-ins, but we're getting a lot of people shopping online or over the phone," she added.
Karen Gildersleeve describes herself as a long-time Saints fan, one who has stood with the team through the good, bad and even ugly times. Now that the team is on a roll, she says she can shop for Saints stuff for almost everyone on her holiday list.
"I have a brother-in-law that loves them and my best friend's husband, he's a Saints fan," she said.
Shoppers say another early motivator is avoiding the crowds that could come with another playoff push.
"After last night's win, it's going to be really hard," she added.
If the Saints win their game Sunday against Washington, Sanders says her shop will have new "Division Champions" shirts for sale come Monday. Of course, if the Saints keep marching, the new merchandise will keep coming in.
Sanders says the most popular jerseys for men are Drew Brees and Jeremy Shockey. Women prefer Brees and Reggie Bush.
Here is the latest data from the NFL:
The Saints are now the 10th best selling team in merchandise on www.NFLShop.com since April 1st., the NFL's official online store, since April 1st. Sales of the team's merchandise are up more than 60 percent year over year. Drew Brees' No. 9 jersey is the 12th best selling jersey on the site. Over the month of October, the Saints merchandise moved into the top 10 and Brees' jersey jumped from No. 17 to No. 12.
TOP 10 SELLING TEAMS MERCHANDISE
April 1 – November 30, 2009
TOP-SELLING NFL PLAYERS JERSEYS
(April 1 – November 30, 2009)