Sportress of Blogitude

Russell Wilson eclipses Johnny Manziel, now has NFL’s top-selling jersey

at CenturyLink Field on September 21, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

The numbers are in and according the latest tally, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is the owner of the NFL’s best-selling jersey.

An NFL Players Association report that compiled sales of merchandise bearing player names revealed that more fans are plunking down their hard-earned money for Wilson gear for the second quarter of the fiscal year for the dates June 1 through August 31.

The  owner of the league’s top-selling jersey in the first fiscal quarter was Johnny Manziel, whose Cleveland Browns jersey were selling like crazy during the time that followed the team taking the quarterback with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Manziel now is the owner of the No. 7 best-selling jersey while Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers round out the Top 5, meaning quarterbacks, not surprisingly, are the biggest draws in the jersey-buying market.

The lone NFL player from the defensive side of the ball to crack the Top 10 was Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who barely sneaked in at No. 10.

Other notes from the NFLPA’s press release:

The list, released quarterly by NFLPI, the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), is based on total overall sales of all officially licensed products from online and traditional retail outlets as reported by more than 80 NFLPI licensees such as Nike, VF Imagewear, Fanatics, Outerstuff, Fathead, McFarlane Toys, Oyo Sportstoys, Bleacher Creatures, Forever Collectibles- and Photo File. Licensed product categories include men’s, women’s and youth game jerseys and t-shirts, murals, figurines, matted and framed photos, bobbleheads, drinkware, collectibles and electronic accessories, among others. 

Additional highlights:

  • Russell Wilson outsold all players in both Nike game jerseys and Nike t-shirts.

  • Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall made the biggest leap from the first quarter, jumping 18 spots from No. 31 to No. 13, Drew Brees improved six spots, from No. 14 to No. 8.

  • Peyton Manning sold the most Fatheads.

  • Packers running back Eddie Lacy was tops in bobblehead sales.

  • Johnny Manziel is the only rookie on the Top 50 list.

It’s hardly surprising that a player such as Wilson owns the leagues top-selling jersey. Coming off a Super Bowl championship certainly does not hurt, nor does his nice guy persona, as evidenced in those saccharine sweet American Family commercials, as does his social activism.

Nationwide campaigns that help portray an NFL player as a classy individual and model citizen — bonus points awarded for being entertaining as well — obviously makes their apparel more attractive to fans outside their home market. Peyton Manning’s Papa John’s spots help his brand, as does Aaron Rodgers’ State Farm “Discount Double Check” commercials.

Of course, talent and on-the-field success likely are just as important when a consumer is deciding which NFL player they want to support by having their clothing bearing a star’s name.

[H/T Pro Football Talk]