How the Super Bowl Impacts Demand for NFL Team Gear

Pattern Data Science

February 2, 2022

It’s almost time for the biggest Sunday of the year. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lifelong Bengals fan, settling in to see your franchise win its first ever championship, or you’re a Los Angeles Rams fan eager to see the Vince Lombardi trophy come to the City of Angels, or maybe you’re just looking forward to good food and some fun commercials – there’s no denying the power of Super Bowl Sunday.

Last year saw a total of 96.4 million people tuning in to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, and while that was the lowest number of viewers since 2007, it was still easily the most watched television program of the year.

As we approach Super Bowl LVI, we wanted to take a look at our data to learn more about how the big game impacts consumer demand for team gear. Which teams were the most popular last year? Do sales spike for teams in the Super Bowl? And if so, how long does the Super Bowl bump last?

Our data science team analyzed market demand for NFL team merchandise over the past few years to answer these questions and more.

Which NFL teams were the most popular in 2021?

To set a baseline, we wanted to take a broad look at the past year to see which teams were the most popular when it came to consumer demand for their gear on Amazon.

We started by analyzing searches for each team name. Here’s what we found:

The nickname “America’s Team” appears to still hold true – nearly a quarter of demand for NFL team gear on Amazon in 2021 was for the Dallas Cowboys.

In second place was the Buffalo Bills, with 10.5% of all NFL team related searches, while last year’s Super Bowl runner-up, the Kansas City Chiefs, came in at number three.

Tampa Bay, the reigning Super Bowl champs, fell just outside of the top five at number six with 5.9% of the combined market share for NFL team related searches.

This year’s Super Bowl teams were far from the most popular in 2021. The Bengals were the 26th most popular team, and the Rams were tied for the second-to-last most popular team.

In addition to analyzing general searches for team names, we also took a look at consumer demand for team jerseys and team hats to see if specific types of gear moved the needle differently for each team.

Here’s how demand for team jerseys shook out in 2021:

The Cowboys claimed the top spot on this list as well, but demand was more evenly distributed among most teams.

The Steelers saw a huge jump in demand in this view, enough to claim the number two spot. The Buccaneers were the third most popular jersey, which comes as no surprise as Tom Brady was consistently the top selling jersey in the league according to the NFL shop.

The Chiefs were the fourth most popular jersey, further confirming the theory that a Super Bowl appearance brings a big boost in popularity. Which is good news for the Rams and Bengals, who were both once again in the bottom half of the league.

Let’s wrap up this view with a look at team hats.

The Cowboys complete their clean sweep, claiming the top spot in this view as well.

Raiders Nation, meanwhile, appears to look to hats more than jerseys or other types of merchandise when it comes to supporting their team, they lept all the way up to the number two spot for consumer demand for team hats.

The Buccaneers made it into the top five, while the Chiefs claimed the number seven spot. And, once again, the Rams and Bengals fell in the bottom half of the list, with the Bengals sitting all the way down in the bottom five.

Now, it’s obviously too soon to say if Super Bowl LVI will shoot the Rams and Bengals to the top of the list, but let’s dig a bit deeper and see how Super Bowl LV impacted demand for the Buccaneers and the Chiefs.

How much does a Super Bowl appearance impact demand for NFL teams?

Common sense tells us that, yes, we should absolutely expect to see demand for Bengals and Rams gear increase significantly as Super Bowl Sunday approaches. But we wanted to dive deeper into our data to see just what kind of impact a Super Bowl appearance has had on teams in the past.

Let’s start by taking a look at weekly demand for NFL gear over the past two years:

Interestingly, Super Bowl Sunday does not represent a high point for NFL gear demand. This makes some sense as by that point there are only two fanbases left who are eager to buy their team’s gear.

Instead, it appears that the holiday shopping season represents the typical high-point when it comes to demand for NFL team gear. The next most significant spikes occur during the opening weeks of the regular season and the start of the NFL Playoffs.

To contrast, let’s first look at weekly demand for Kansas City Chiefs gear, as they participated in each of the last two Super Bowls.

Demand for Chiefs Gear absolutely skyrocketed during the 2019-2020 playoffs, peaking during the week of the AFC Championship game that sent the Chiefs to Super Bowl LIV. It then fell sharply in the weeks following their Super Bowl victory, but there does appear to be a slight long-term boost.

The next year once again saw demand peak during the week of the AFC Championship game, although with a much lower crest and a much sharper drop off in the wake of the Chief’s Super Bowl loss.

Comparing average monthly demand over the past 3 years paints a clearer picture of the long-term impact of a Super Bowl appearance and victory:

The 2018-19 playoffs saw the Chiefs reach the AFC Championship Game, but it was the team’s first Super Bowl win that brought an astronomical leap in average demand. That excitement clearly lingered, as the 2020 offseason saw demand increase by 260% compared to the 2019 offseason.

As we saw in our weekly view above, demand dropped during the 2020-21 playoffs compared to the previous year, even before the Chiefs eventually lost in the Super Bowl. This could be the result of COVID-19 restricting in-person attendance at games, or simply fewer fans jumping on the bandwagon, or a combination of factors.

No matter how you slice it, though, there’s no doubt that success on the field translated to huge boosts in demand for Kansas City gear.

Now let’s take a look at last year’s Super Bowl Champion, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Unlike the Chiefs, who have had several years of playoff success, the Buccaneers stormed onto the stage as unlikely champs last season after the off-season addition of Tom Brady in 2020. In fact, demand for Buccaneers gear was almost zero until the week of March 15th, 2020, which is when the legendary quarterback joined the team.

The week of the NFC Championship game when the Buccaneers upset the top seeded Green Bay Packers, demand for Tampa Bay gear absolutely skyrocketed. Demand that week was up by over 1,200% compared to the weeks before the playoffs began.

While that spike throws off the scale of the chart quite a bit, you can still see the clear impact that Super Bowl win had on demand throughout 2021. Demand at the start of the season and during the mid-December holiday shopping rush were both much larger in 2021 than those same weeks in 2020.

Here you can see the clear impact of a surprise Super Bowl appearance. Fans were so excited after the Buccaneers Super Bowl win that the 2021 offseason saw average monthly demand actually outpace that of the 2020-21 regular season.

This is strong evidence that we should expect to see similar extreme increases in demand for both Bengals and Rams gear after the results of this past weekend’s Conference Championship games.

Bengals vs. Rams – which team has had the more passionate fans so far?

We don’t have the data yet to see how both team’s big victories on Conference Championship weekend has impacted demand for their gear, but we couldn’t finish this piece without at least taking a look at demand for our two Super Bowl teams to see which one is trending ahead of the other so far:

The 2020-21 season saw Bengals fans start the season buying more gear than Rams fans, but by the holidays, demand was higher for Rams gear.

Both fanbases were definitely more passionate this season, but Bengals fans definitely have had the edge all season long. Particularly the most recent week in which we have data, which was just before the playoffs started.

We expect to see incredible surges in demand from all weeks of the playoffs, but early trends so far suggest that Bengals fans have the early edge coming into Super Bowl Sunday.

Has COVID-19 impacted demand for NFL gear?

It’s abundantly clear that a trip to the Super Bowl results in near and long-term increases in demand for that team’s gear. But before we wrap up our analysis, we wanted to take a quick look back at the past few years to see if the COVID-19 pandemic has had any impact on demand for NFL gear.

Unlike the NBA, which experienced a stoppage in play during the height of the pandemic in 2020, the NFL has seen their seasons go uninterrupted, although they have experienced various restrictions on in-person attendance of games since the pandemic began.

Interestingly, we see that in the immediate wake of the early COVID-19 shutdowns, demand for NFL team gear was actually up compared to the 2019 offseason. That increase was short-lived, however, as September 2020 fell far behind the pre-pandemic season opener.

Same goes for December’s holiday shopping season, which was down in 2020 compared to 2019 – although 2019 also represented a significant drop compared to 2018.

Interestingly, though, January 2021 actually saw demand outpace the same month in 2020 and 2019, which suggests that the pandemic had little to no impact on consumer demand for team gear during the NFL playoffs.

It will be interesting, then, to see if January 2022 sees yet another increase in demand compared to previous playoffs.

A lesson for brands

Our analysis shows that while the holiday shopping season typically drives the most overall demand for NFL team gear, a Super Bowl appearance is more than enough to drive significant increases in demand for that team’s gear.

With the Bengals and the Rams on their way to Super Bowl LVI, we expect gear for both teams to start flying off the digital shelves as the big game approaches. And whichever team wins the big game is almost guaranteed to see a healthy long tail in boosted demand.

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

To stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights on the right.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, get in touch today.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (6th September 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360]( Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance]( Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times]( [Read more on the Guardian]( One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (30th August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC]( Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve]( Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard]( Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (23rd August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail]( GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian]( Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire]( H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](