Ever since the beginning of sports, there always been fans who hop on the bandwagon of the best team. Whenever one team becomes unstoppable, all of the sudden, their fan base grows extensively. This is nothing new, and we continue to see elements of bandwagoning to this day in every professional sport.
Now, star athletes have their own shoes and articles of clothing. Everywhere you go, you will see average, everyday people wearing the various jerseys and shoes representing their favorite team or player.
I always wonder, what is the story behind how they became fans of that team or player? Often times we will learn that these fans are devoted to the best team, based mainly on the fact that they are they best.
Fans can have love for any team, regardless of where they are from. Scientists call this fan identification, it shows a sense of community centered around a given team. In a study published in the journal Sport Marketing Quarterly, it discusses how levels of fan identification depend on factors such as the reputation of the organization, the frequency of contact with the organization, and satisfaction with the organization overall.
If a team is doing well in the NBA, does this mean that their merchandise will sell more than before? I discussed this topic with Dick’s Sporting Goods manager Jake Schwartz, who talked about how “fans will always be attracted to the best teams in the league, that is why Warriors jerseys have sold more in the past five years than ever before.”
The NBA store online drew up statistics on the best selling jerseys of the past year. The top five best sellers were from three of the best four teams in the league. Steph Curry, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving were among the most sold jerseys of the past year.
How well a team does completely affects how their merchandise sells. Fans who never rooted for a certain team will start buying that team’s jerseys and shoes, just because they are the team on top.