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Jersey Sales Show Big Increases


SteveNJ
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From the NHL's PR Machine:

FROM THE BUSINESS DESK

TOP 10 SELLING JERSEYS ON SHOP.NHL.COM (Oct 1-31, 2006)

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

2. Ryan Miller, Buffalo

3. Alexander Ovechkin, Washington

4. Maxim Afinogenov , Buffalo

5. Chris Drury, Buffalo

6. Jason Pominville , Buffalo

7. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh

8. Peter Forsberg, Philadelphia

9. Daniel Briere , Buffalo

10. Jaromir Jagr, New York Rangers

TEAM SALES

For the month of October, sales of Sabres merchandise were up approximately

1170% compared to last year.

Other notable increases...

Carolina - 433%

Edmonton - 336%

San Jose - 239%

Anaheim - 235%

Washington - 161%

Atlanta - 135%

New York Rangers - 106%

New Jersey - 103%

-- Overall sales on NHL.COM for the month of October are up 95% compared to last

October.

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From the NHL's PR Machine:

FROM THE BUSINESS DESK

TOP 10 SELLING JERSEYS ON SHOP.NHL.COM (Oct 1-31, 2006)

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

2. Ryan Miller, Buffalo

3. Alexander Ovechkin, Washington

4. Maxim Afinogenov , Buffalo

5. Chris Drury, Buffalo

6. Jason Pominville , Buffalo

7. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh

8. Peter Forsberg, Philadelphia

9. Daniel Briere , Buffalo

10. Jaromir Jagr, New York Rangers

TEAM SALES

For the month of October, sales of Sabres merchandise were up approximately

1170% compared to last year.

Other notable increases...

Carolina - 433%

Edmonton - 336%

San Jose - 239%

Anaheim - 235%

Washington - 161%

Atlanta - 135%

New York Rangers - 106%

New Jersey - 103%

-- Overall sales on NHL.COM for the month of October are up 95% compared to last

October.

That's something that's always good to hear. Looking good.

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For the month of October, sales of Sabres merchandise were up approximately

1170% compared to last year.

Maybe it's time that the 2% of Sabes fans that are in an uproar about the new logo and unis give it up. To me, it looks like there is no longer a doubt that the new design is a smashing success. You can say what you want about it being due to the team's hot start, but I'm sure there was just as much if not much more excitement about the team during it's playoff run last year, and the sales jump was nowhere as dramatic as it is now. Face it, your team got it right with the new logo from a marketing perspective, even if it is at the expense of a few die-hard purists, they obviously have pleased the masses. If we look at Ducks sales this year, the increase is in line with other teams that had increases without a logo change... for THEM it can be due to a strong start, but obviously the discrepancy between Ducks and Sabres sales is due to unprecedented excitment for the Sabres new look.

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Maybe it's time that the 2% of Sabes fans that are in an uproar about the new logo and unis give it up. To me, it looks like there is no longer a doubt that the new design is a smashing success. You can say what you want about it being due to the team's hot start, but I'm sure there was just as much if not much more excitement about the team during it's playoff run last year, and the sales jump was nowhere as dramatic as it is now. Face it, your team got it right with the new logo from a marketing perspective, even if it is at the expense of a few die-hard purists, they obviously have pleased the masses. If we look at Ducks sales this year, the increase is in line with other teams that had increases without a logo change... for THEM it can be due to a strong start, but obviously the discrepancy between Ducks and Sabres sales is due to unprecedented excitment for the Sabres new look.

The Sabres forum members would be petitioning for your head on a steak right now Wolf...

I personally agree, for the most part, with a few differences that I'll point out. I ordered one of the new sweaters, as you know, and was more than eager to do so. I hate the logo. To me, the rest of the look is superb though. My point is that while the uniform as a whole is a smashing success, I still don't feel that they got the logo right from a marketing point of view, simply because I don't feel that is the logo that it is driving the success. A lot of people, like myself, just don't care that the logo isn't that great, because we want to support the team, wear the new colors, and love the overall look of the new uniforms. I think that the design and colors, coupled with the teams popularity, is what is driving the sales and while the logo, as controversial as it may be, isn't hindering the figures at all (in the bigger picture), I don't think it's really helping any and I think that, even though it would be a very small increase, having a modernized version of the original logo would have led to even more sales. Marginal, most likely, but I still feel that the organization came this close to hitting a homerun and pleasing every fan of the Sabres, new, old, casual and diehard, and ended up missing out on some of the old and diehard fans.

Edit Here: And there's nothing wrong with that. Missing out on some fans is inevitable. They came very close and the result has been in their favor. I just feel that it may be to their advantage to listen to the verbal feedback of the fans and perhaps change the logo. Right now, what I feel is happening is that the sales are being looked at and interpreted as "the jersey is a success". This is true, to an extent. When a jersey is a success, it doesn't necessarily mean that all components of it are. This is where I think the orginazation should look to the verbal responses of their fans, rather than sales figures. Maybe everyone loves everything about the jerseys, except for the front numbers. Maybe we like it all but the logo. Maybe, since the 'tucked in' proposal fell through, the jerseys could use striping on the bottom. Changing the logo, I feel, would give the Sabres possibly the most liked uniform in the league, because everyone seems to love the overall look of the sweater. Even altering the logo a little bit, to make it less "slug" like might appease the angered fans (though not being one, I don't really know what exactly is in their heads). Also, I don't see how the organization stands not to benefit from changing the logo as many of the people who held out against this jersey would undoubtedly purchase it if the logo were fixed, and many of the people already bought this jersey, would buy another one with the changed logo (there I will include myself - as that would probably end up being the most aesthetically pleasing jersey of all time, in my opinion).

Like I said - the logo didn't stop me from picking one up, but I'd have been even more eager, and might have even picked up both the home and away jerseys had the logo been different. In my mind, the jersey is such a success that the logo just simply won't deter those who like the overall look from buying it. The logo on it's own however, is not strong. In otherwords, the stand alone appeal of the logo is minimal, but in context, with the new uniform all taken into consideration it looks just fine. Sometimes I feel I'd give a limb to get the Sabres fans over on our message boards to see this, but unfortunately there remain numerous fans who refuse to accept defeat and move on. In short, I'm with you on your overall opinion, but I don't think it's the logo, but rather the overall look that is the driving force behind the success of these sweaters.

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Maybe it's time that the 2% of Sabes fans that are in an uproar about the new logo and unis give it up. To me, it looks like there is no longer a doubt that the new design is a smashing success. You can say what you want about it being due to the team's hot start, but I'm sure there was just as much if not much more excitement about the team during it's playoff run last year, and the sales jump was nowhere as dramatic as it is now. Face it, your team got it right with the new logo from a marketing perspective, even if it is at the expense of a few die-hard purists, they obviously have pleased the masses. If we look at Ducks sales this year, the increase is in line with other teams that had increases without a logo change... for THEM it can be due to a strong start, but obviously the discrepancy between Ducks and Sabres sales is due to unprecedented excitment for the Sabres new look.

I don't think Duck fans are that excited by a stylized word and ANOTHER black jersey on the rack. Their team is doing so well, you'd figure that the bandwagon purchases will pick up eventually. If it looks like a duck... B)

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The Sabres forum members would be petitioning for your head on a steak right now Wolf...

I personally agree, for the most part, with a few differences that I'll point out. I ordered one of the new sweaters, as you know, and was more than eager to do so. I hate the logo. To me, the rest of the look is superb though. My point is that while the uniform as a whole is a smashing success, I still don't feel that they got the logo right from a marketing point of view, simply because I don't feel that is the logo that it is driving the success. A lot of people, like myself, just don't care that the logo isn't that great, because we want to support the team, wear the new colors, and love the overall look of the new uniforms. I think that the design and colors, coupled with the teams popularity, is what is driving the sales and while the logo, as controversial as it may be, isn't hindering the figures at all (in the bigger picture), I don't think it's really helping any and I think that, even though it would be a very small increase, having a modernized version of the original logo would have led to even more sales. Marginal, most likely, but I still feel that the organization came this close to hitting a homerun and pleasing every fan of the Sabres, new, old, casual and diehard, and ended up missing out on some of the old and diehard fans.

Edit Here: And there's nothing wrong with that. Missing out on some fans is inevitable. They came very close and the result has been in their favor. I just feel that it may be to their advantage to listen to the verbal feedback of the fans and perhaps change the logo. Right now, what I feel is happening is that the sales are being looked at and interpreted as "the jersey is a success". This is true, to an extent. When a jersey is a success, it doesn't necessarily mean that all components of it are. This is where I think the orginazation should look to the verbal responses of their fans, rather than sales figures. Maybe everyone loves everything about the jerseys, except for the front numbers. Maybe we like it all but the logo. Maybe, since the 'tucked in' proposal fell through, the jerseys could use striping on the bottom. Changing the logo, I feel, would give the Sabres possibly the most liked uniform in the league, because everyone seems to love the overall look of the sweater. Even altering the logo a little bit, to make it less "slug" like might appease the angered fans (though not being one, I don't really know what exactly is in their heads). Also, I don't see how the organization stands not to benefit from changing the logo as many of the people who held out against this jersey would undoubtedly purchase it if the logo were fixed, and many of the people already bought this jersey, would buy another one with the changed logo (there I will include myself - as that would probably end up being the most aesthetically pleasing jersey of all time, in my opinion).

Like I said - the logo didn't stop me from picking one up, but I'd have been even more eager, and might have even picked up both the home and away jerseys had the logo been different. In my mind, the jersey is such a success that the logo just simply won't deter those who like the overall look from buying it. The logo on it's own however, is not strong. In otherwords, the stand alone appeal of the logo is minimal, but in context, with the new uniform all taken into consideration it looks just fine. Sometimes I feel I'd give a limb to get the Sabres fans over on our message boards to see this, but unfortunately there remain numerous fans who refuse to accept defeat and move on. In short, I'm with you on your overall opinion, but I don't think it's the logo, but rather the overall look that is the driving force behind the success of these sweaters.

Mach, the one thing you are not taking into account is the 1170% increase in sales is for Sabres 'merchandise' in general, not just jerseys. The merchandise (including caps, tees, fleece etc.) is selling because of (or despite) the new logo - this can't be attributed to the nice design of the jersey. I can attest to the fact that EVERYTHING Sabres that we have on the site is selling like hotcakes, whether it bear the new logo or the vintage logo. The only Sabres gear that isn't selling anymore as expected is the 'Goat's Head Soup' Red/Black merchandise that the new stuff replaced. Sabres vintage gear always sold well, but it is selling even more now due to the return to the blue and gold I believe, and the fact that it ties in better with the new look (I don't really think vintage gear is selling in protest to the new design, though I am sure some people are buying it exclusively for that reason).

Does what I said about the Sabres fans giving it a rest mean that I love the logo? No, I am pretty much with you and agree with much of what you say, such as your statement:

....the organization came this close to hitting a homerun and pleasing every fan of the Sabres, new, old, casual and diehard, and ended up missing out on some of the old and diehard fans.

So, okay, maybe we give them a 90%? Maybe an 85%? You're the teacher and are probably much better at grading projects than I am B). But no matter what that grade is, the fact is that the organization seemed to do a pretty good job based on the manic sales of the merchandise. I would have loved to see a new take on the vintage logo too, and agree that would have sealed an A+ on the project from an aesthetic and purist standpoint. It certainly would have made for an awesome jersey. But would it have had a huge impact on the sales? Especially on non-jersey sales? I really doubt it. So,my point is, even though they didn't necessarily please 100% of the fans to 100% satisfaction, they probably pleased 90% of the fans to at least 80% satisfaction (the other 10% being anywhere way below 80%). To me that is a job done well for a fan base as emotional and on edge as the Sabres fans seem to be. Perhaps only here in Montreal, (the mecca for reactionary, hypersensitive hockey fans) would fans get more riled up about a logo change. So, the fact that the Sabres organization has evidently gotten in the neighborhood of an A- or B+ from an overwhelming majority of their fans, and they have increased merchandise sales by 1170% means they do not deserve to (like me) have angry fans calling for their heads on a stakes!

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Wolf that is a great response and I'm with you 100%. I will say this:

"The merchandise (including caps, tees, fleece etc.) is selling because of (or despite) the new logo"

pretty much sums it up. I am of the opinion that in many cases, it is despite the logo - the Sabres are just a great team that everyone wants a piece of and I don't think a logo is going to keep people from doing so. Now, there are certainly also numerous people who do like the logo, and to them I can only say to stand by their opinions and not let the various Sabres purists who would ridicule them and call them bandwagon fans deter them from their choice. I myself will be subject to ridicule at some point, I'm sure, after I recieve my 'slug' jersey. I don't care.

As for the grades - I'd give the organization an A. By no means do I wish to take away from the major success that they have come by. The change to blue and gold, the update of the colors, the jersey design, and the team itself are all components of a fantastic product that is being eaten up right now. I just (as I said earlier) don't think the logo has anything to do with that, even on merchandise other than the jersey. The logo is poor on it's own and should someday be replaced, but just as it is at its best, when contextualized on a jersey, it is still better, when put in some context on a hat or t-shirt. These items are designed just as strategically as the jerseys, I'm sure, so as to be appealing to the fans. I think that the Sabres overwhelming popularity - they may be one of two teams to have all new looks and be enjoying strong season, but they are by far the more likeable of the two - the great colors, the teams success and the general buzz generated by the uniform change have all contributed to the incredible sales. While I don't feel the logo has played any major part in contributing to the sales, it simply isn't as bad as any of us (Sabres fans) make it out to be and is by no means bad enough to keep the masses from buying anything Sabres related they can get their hands on.

Note: when I say the Sabres are more likeable than the Ducks, above, what I mean is that people seem to be in love with our team's youth, depth, speed and style of hockey. I'm not taking anything away from the Ducks or their fans, but Buffalo right now is just a hot item team.

Further - a response to the end of your first post, Wolf, concerning the Ducks vs Sabres in sales - it's true that our sales did not see this much of an increase during the playoff run last year, but that is largely because it was common knowledge by that point in time that we would be going back to blue and gold this season. I know this because during the playoffs I almost ordered a Pominville jersey, but upon discussing it on the Sabres forums, I - like many others - decided to hold off and buy one of the new sweaters once they were unveiled, to avoid being outdated. There is also the fact that the Sabres just seem to have been doing more, steadily, to generate buzz. The playoff run, the Jack Adams for Ruff, the off-season signings of almost every player who was off contract, the jersey unveiling and the record tying winning streak. I know that all Summer long Sabres nation was waiting with their piggy banks nearly bursting for the new jerseys to be unveiled. When they finally became available for purchase (not the unveiling, but when they became available at online retailers and Buffalo area stores) the season was right around the corner and basically every day since the jerseys went on sale the Sabres have given their fans more and more reason to eat them up. There was a lot more anticipation for the Sabres, I feel and a lot more hype, not only built in the first month of the season, but coming in to it as well.

I'm not saying that the jersey aren't selling because they're simply beautiful. That is largely the reason that they are, but I'm just noting that the Ducks hype is really nowhere near the Sabres right now, so I'm sure that has something to do with the nearly impossible sales figures we're seeing.

Once again though, I fully agree with you and your response was really a great one.

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There's also the Pronger leaving Edmonton factor that comes with Anaheim's likeability.

That would only have a minor effect in my opinion. While Pronger fans would probably like to get the new jersey that he is in, Ducks fans as a whole were probably thinking more about the new Selanne or McDonald jerseys.

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Note: when I say the Sabres are more likeable than the Ducks, above, what I mean is that people seem to be in love with our team's youth, depth, speed and style of hockey. I'm not taking anything away from the Ducks or their fans, but Buffalo right now is just a hot item team.

I'm not saying that the jersey aren't selling because they're simply beautiful. That is largely the reason that they are, but I'm just noting that the Ducks hype is really nowhere near the Sabres right now, so I'm sure that has something to do with the nearly impossible sales figures we're seeing.

The Sabres' sales figures are just amazing.

I am very impressed with the way the Sabres have built their team up beyond respectability. The Ducks, well, I don't really like them since they're a Coyote rival, but they have been extremely impressive, too. Sooooooo, I will buy a Sabres jersey someday and not a Ducks (which I find boring, anyway). Can't knock a 14-0-4 record, though. When I have been to the LA area, the impression I have gotten is it's still the Kings' town, even though in Anaheim, the Ducks are well-received. I haven't been there in a couple of years, but a hockey fan I know in Riverside concurs.

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