Hail to The Chief of NFL Merchandise Sales, Patrick Mahomes
Professional sports yields many polarizing athletes, but it’s tough for us to see Patrick Mahomes ever becoming one. The 24-year-old has such a agreeable disposition that it stands to figure that as long as he plays for the Kansas City Chiefs (or any other NFL franchise), he is going to be a fan favorite. Already in the headlines for helping his club book its place in Super Bowl LIV, the quarterback added more good news yesterday, as the NFL Players Association announced that he leads the league in merchandise sales, ending Tom Brady's two-year reign.
Patrick Mahomes beat out Tom Brady in NFL merchandise sales in 2019 https://t.co/BDOJzuoei1
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 20, 2020
Anyone who has watched Mahomes knows he stands to be a generational talent, making branded merch a surefire purchase for fans in Kansas City and around the country. The NFLPA charted licensed buys between March 1 and Nov. 30 of last year, a period where expectations grew immensely high that Mahomes would orchestrate a deep playoff run for the Chiefs that would bring the organization its second Super Bowl winner. It used data from 75 official licensees, and included sales of jerseys, T-shirts, hoodies, wall decals, bobbleheads, photos and more.
Still a coveted mover of merch, the former No. 1 seller Brady occupies the second spot on the list, and his presence on the chart makes for an interesting look at merchandise sales. Though he and the Patriots had a mixed year, there were certainly many people who thought that Brady could again summon some of the postseason magic that has brought the Patriots six Super Bowl titles. However, the AFC East champs lost to the Tennessee Titans, the team that Mahomes and his teammates vanquished Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, in the Wild Card Round.
That loss means that aside from the two wins that Mahomes and the Chiefs amassed in the AFC’s playoff bracket, only one player in the top 10 tasted postseason success this season—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who sits in seventh place. Does this say anything about the nature of branded NFL merch that just Mahomes and Rodgers made deep playoff runs, and that Brady is the only other top 10 member even to reach the postseason this year? The other seven either play for huge market teams, namely the Cowboys, Bears, Giants and Steelers; or they suited up for a city that had high expectations this campaign, like the Browns.
Perhaps the big market element ruled the day for most of the rankings, but sheer talent and a well-liked disposition were the keys for Mahomes (whose team is not exactly situated in a hotbed of commercial renown) to move so much merchandise.