In a month’s time, we’ve seen the NBA settle their labor dispute, open training camps, each team play only two preseason games, and kick off their shortened 66-game regular season. That’s a very short amount of time for teams to get players signed to new contracts, facilitate practice and preseason games for players to become acclimated with one another on the court, and settle their regular season rosters.
An additional kink that affected teams this season was handling of merchandise – what rookies will make the team, and what kind of jersey demand will they experience?
Enter Jimmer Fredette, a rookie guard for the Sacramento Kings. Demand for his jersey has been through the roof, as noted by ESPN.com columnist Rick Reilly:
“Things are starting to shimmer for The Jimmer. In just over a week, the Kings have sold more than 1,000 Jimmer jerseys and now have two full-time employees affixing his name on the backs of blank ones to meet demand.”
It’s good to see the team flexing its workforce domestically to meet the demand, but a question I have for the team is “Is this production being completed for orders already received or is this forecasted demand?”
I’d also be curious to see how much of this demand is linked to Christmas versus his popularity coinciding with the season kicking off today.
Anyway, devoting the time of two full-time team employees to exclusive production of Jimmer jerseys is significant, but it’s important to only produce what is needed and not create a glut of jersey inventory that can be problematic. Remember, excess inventory is a waste. Hopefully Jimmer plays well and the jerseys continue to sell.