Apparel sales reflect rising Bronco fever

NED B. HUNTER Updated: January 4, 2013 at 12:00 am • Published: January 4, 2013

Sales of Denver Broncos apparel have climbed as high as their fans’ hopes for winning this year’s Super Bowl.

Sales of apparel bearing the wild white mustang could hit sports apparel sales figures not seen locally since 2007, when the Colorado Rockies made the World Series, said James Stephens, store manager of Fanzz Sports Apparel at The Citadel mall. Stephens said his store’s sales already have exceeded last year’s amount for Bronco apparel. He expects that trend to continue as along as the Broncos, this year’s AFC West Division champs, continue to win.

“Normal sales for a January are about $35,000,” Stephens said. “If the Broncos happen to make the Super Bowl, I am willing to guess we will get $50,000 to $55,000 in sales.”

The Target store at 5240 N. Academy Blvd. sold most of its Bronco clothing the week before Christmas, said Fabien Roberge, executive team lead of the sale floor. The store’s first shipment of sweatshirts and other items with the division championship mark sold out in two days, he said. Roberge said sales of anything bearing the mustang have increased since the fifth week of the season.

“They are buying almost anything that has the Bronco on it,” he said. “We even had pillow pads that sold really well.”

Sales of Broncos sports attire started to climb just before last season’s wildcard playoff game, the team’s first postseason appearance since 2006, said Scott Franklin, general manager of the Broncos’ team store inside Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Sales continued to climb in March with the signing of Peyton Manning and surged again in April when team officials decided to change the Broncos’ primary jersey colors from navy blue to orange, Franklin said.

Sales continued to be strong this season, despite the team’s 2-3 start, Franklin said. Apparel sales began to skyrocket in the fifth week of the season when the team started its 11-game win streak.

“Since then everything has snowballed,” Franklin said.

Store owners said Peyton Manning and Von Miller jerseys are the most popular items. Both jerseys come in three styles: the $110 Replica; the $150 Limited and the $300 Elite style. The Elite is the authentic “worn on the field jersey,” Franklin said.

Increased sales of team apparel add little revenue to Broncos owners’ bottom line, Franklin said. That’s because each NFL team, except the Cowboys, splits the revenues from sales at team-owned sports stores. With sales at other outlets, revenue is generated by licensing agreements with Nike and New Era, which won this season’s NFL licensing contract after a 10-year run by Reebok.

The Broncos, the AFC’s top-seeded team, will face Baltimore at home on Saturday in the division title playoff game. The Super Bowl is on Feb. 3.

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