Monday, November 24th, 2014

NFL Shop: “HEY YOU! BUY STEELERS STUFF!!”

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Ravens fans, consider yourselves warned…this investigative report will expose the NFL’s love of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the highest levels.

One of everyone’s favorite questions to be asked is always, “What do you want for Christmas?” For as many years as I can remember, my response has always been, “Anything with a Ravens logo on it.”

After being the easiest person to shop for in the history of holiday shopping, I think I’m going to change up my approach this year. If you have ever seen my wardrobe collection or Ravens room, it’s quite obvious that I am  one of the NFL’s best customers.

This season has been great for the Ravens when it comes to the Steelers so far, but the anger that courses through my veins every time I see their logo remains at an all time high. When I received the latest catalog from NFLShop, I basically found myself thumbing through 58 pages of fury.

While picking out potential items for Christmas, I do not want to have to substitute a Ravens logo over a Steelers logo in my mind.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly what most people will have to do, regardless of who your favorite team may be.

People may call me crazy or biased on this approach but I wanted to justify this to myself and prove that I’m onto something .Or, maybe I am just starting to go a little overboard when it comes to my dire hate towards Western Pennsylvania Towel Wavers. Whatever.

I sat at my desk and counted every single standalone item in the latest NFLShop catalog. Excluded from my count are staged “themed rooms” overloaded with merchandise, the cover, and any uniform spread that featured all 32 teams.

Now, the covers of these magazines will be different depending on which region of the country you live in. I am still baffled that every magazine I receive has Steelers related merchandise on the cover even though I live in North Carolina and am two hours from the Panthers.

Ugh.

Now, onto the results.

Guess which team was featured the most?

That’s right….the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Throughout the catalog, the Steelers had 28 standalone items featured.The (SUPER BOWL CHAMPION!) Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears with next with 22 items each.

Having six items more than the second place teams may not seem like all that much, but let’s also take into account that a full 40% (13) of NFL teams teams didn’t even have six  items featured TOTAL. Let’s also take note (but not factor into the statistics) that the Steelers also had a full page spread of Steelers themed game room  in addition to the aforementioned cover.

The average amount of items per team was 9.03 and only 13 of the 32 franchises had more than ten total impressions.  For those wondering, the Ravens finished with 11.

Even if I didn’t dislike the Steelers so much, I would be disappointed as a fan of many other teams that received limited or no exposure. The Jaguars, Titans and Lions were only featured twice. The Panthers, Buccaneers and Seahawks were only featured once—and the Cardinals and Rams weren’t  shown at all.

Regardless if the team is good or not, the NFL should at least take pride in the team logos and creative merchandise seen on the sidelines each Sunday. Showing little or nothing of a team’s merchandise isn’t good for either business or the fan base.

NFL licensed apparel is expensive and I want to have a pretty decent idea of what the item is going to look like before I purchase it. The internet is a very easy alternative but why have a catalog if you’re just going to push everyone online to begin with?

I know the NFL has plenty of money and won’t really hurt by me asking for other things besides Ravens merchandise this holiday season. However, they did make it an easy decision when they filled my mailbox with a Steelers-filled catalog of junk.

I now have something else to wipe my hindquarters with besides a terrible towel. Thanks NFL!

Comments

7 Responses to “NFL Shop: “HEY YOU! BUY STEELERS STUFF!!””
  1. Napoleon Blownapart says:

    It’s marketing – the Steelers have one of if not the largest fanbases in the country (as do Green Bay and Chicago for that matter). Whether or not you agree with the legitimacy of some of their “fanhood”, they still have more fans than any other franchise.

    It’s understood that when most people are shopping, they make a buy/no-buy decision in their minds within a fraction of a second – even if they believe they are actually “thinking further” about whether or not they are buying something. It’s why we have marketing exists – to try to influence that snap-decision towards a purchase.

    So from the NFL’s perspective, a large part of their customer pool is predisposed to anything Steeler related (or Packer related, or Bear related), so they market the products in their catalog accordingly.

    Stop with the Steeler/NFL conspiracy theories – they’re the lowest form of hate. You guys can bring it much harder than that on legitimate topics.

  2. Scott says:

    Despite where it ranks regarding hate creativity, the point remains valid.

    I also don’t think it is a very good marketing strategy to appeal to the fans of three teams while alienating those of 29 others.

    … and ignoring personal bias, it is just naive to think that the NFL doesn’t skew from the normal routine when it comes to their most profitable franchises/players/etc. Tom Brady’s two personal bullshit rules come to mind almost instantly…

  3. Napoleon Blownapart says:

    The point isn’t valid though – I’m sure all of the data is correct but to infer from that data that the NFL wants everyone to buy Steelers gear as opposed to their own teams is ludicrous. No one has ever said to themselves “I’m a big Bengals fan but, but GEE doesn’t that Cowboys lamp look nice!”. It doesn’t ‘alienate’ anyone – very few people (I would call them ‘reasonable people’) don’t just boycott the NFL or abandon their franchise because thier teams logo isn’t featured prominently enough in a catalog. They’re picking the low hanging fruit (of which there is much more) from the popular teams. It’s the same logic behind targeting certain age groups or genders in marketing.

    In terms of your last point – I couldn’t agree more. Most major changes in the NFL are aimed at protecting high profile players/teams. The various rules created for guys like Brady and Manning, the horse collar rule which was created after TO broke his leg against the Cowboys – do those rule changes happen if its Brad Johnson and Ike Hilliard? Probably not. But that’s got nothing to do with how they construct their catalog.

  4. RavensHater says:

    The reason for this is because the Steelers are a national team. They have fans all over the country. same as green bay, Dallas, Washington, NY, Chicago, etc. no one cares about the pathetic ravens except for people in Baltimore. there r just a simple little team. steelers on the other hand are a real powerhouse team, and once again will knock off those Baltimore hoodlums once again

  5. NestMinder says:

    ^ DERP!

    Once again, like the other two times they knocked them off this season?

    Man, they sure looked like a powerhouse last night in nearly going down 10-7 to the Browns in the fourth quarter at home.

    And two weeks before that barely hanging on to beat the Tyler Palko-led Chiefs.

    POWERHOUSE!

    DERPDERPDERP

  6. DERP DERP DERP DERP NEXT!

  7. mike says:

    “there r just a simple little team” – wow…

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