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49ers clean up in team merchandise sales

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We take a look at 49ers merchandise sales numbers for 2012. Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis contributed to a strong year of merchandise sales.

USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers revival over the last two years has brought plenty of people onto the bandwagon. Appearances in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl will do that for a team, and the merchandise sales reflect that. According to NFL PR person Joanna Hunter, the 49ers finished first in team sales this past year.

The performance was helped by a pair of top ten jersey sales. Colin Kaepernick was fourth in jersey sales, while Patrick Willis was tenth. Robert Griffin III claimed the top spot, with Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis following him.

If Kaepernick can build on his strong 2012 campaign, I have to think he could challenge RGIII near the top of those rankings. Although RGIII is incredibly popular, he was a name-brand immediately following the draft and through the season. Kaepernick was known among 49ers fans, but other than that, he didn't blow up until he took over the 49ers starting QB job.

It is interesting to note that this is the first time since 1981 that the 49ers led the league in merchandise sales. In 1994 and 1995, surrounding their last Super Bowl victory, the 49ers finished second.