Yesterday, we learned that Colin Kaepernick's jersey was the fourth best selling jersey in the month of June. This was up from a previous placement at seventh in May. He moved past Rob Gronkowski, Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston, who are now in the tenth, seventh, and eighth spots respectively.
It's a curious thing to track jersey sales, and it started me wondering about how Kap got the fourth position in the first place. I think there are a few discernable reasons.
First, QBs will sell more jerseys - plain and simple. Of the top 25 jerseys, 13 are QBs. And, that list includes Tim Tebow (who clocks in at number 16). This seems to be another good time to lolololololololol at Chip Kelly and his QB situation.
Second, I imagine that certain teams probably have a leg up on the jersey game because they are in larger markets or because they have more fans. For example, I have always heard that one of the reasons that 49er fans travel so well is because there are a ton of fans who grew up watching Joe Montana and Steve Young in the 80s and 90s who became 49er fans, even though they lived in a place like Nebraska, simply because Montana and Young were so good and so much fun to watch. When you have a storied franchise like the 49ers, you are going to have more fans than normal. Additionally, these fans, who are used to the idea that the 49ers should have an MVP caliber QB might be excited at the prospect of Kap's summer at Camp Kurt Warner. We might put Tom Brady's jerseys into this sort of category: his Super Bowl victories have certainly made Patriots fans across the nation - hence, his jersey is the third-best selling in the nation.
But, these are dark times for the 49ers, when pessimism vs. optimism debates rage and we pit one Jim against the other. Are there enough optimistic fans out there buying Kaepernick jerseys? Perhaps there are. But, I also wonder if there is another subset of people, both 49er fans and non-fans, who are buying the jersey based upon the name on the back. Let me propose one rationale: it seems that Kaepernick has positioned himself quite effectively as a leading fashion icon in the NFL. I wonder if this icon-status has the power to propel his jersey to the top positions of jersey sales. This sort of reasoning probably explain Tebow's sales, for example: he can wrap up a certain demographic of people (usually conservative Christians who see their values exemplified by Tebow) in a similar manner that Kaepernick also appeals to a certain cultural group - fashion people.