As fans, we support our teams in a variety of ways. Spending a small fortune on tickets, getting a team logo tattooed on, buying the top cable / satellite packages to get all the games, and waking up early (or staying up late depending on where you live) just to yell at the television are all activities of the modern-day sports fanatic. One of the more popular, and least painful, methods of showing your support is to wear the team jersey. Like donning a suite of armor, putting on our favorite jersey on game day can make us feel like a warrior preparing to join our team on the field of battle. The opposition fears the team colors and your significant other even takes a step back when you wear it; although that probably has more to do with you refusing to wash the jersey for fear it will lose its good luck powers.
Sports jersey sales are part of a multi-billion dollar industry. As the most widely followed sport in the world, soccer (or football) plays a big role in this industry. Adidas and Nike, the two leading sporting goods manufacturers, control three-quarters of the soccer market and had a combined $4.2 billion in soccer related income in 2012. With a rapidly expanding market, thanks to ever growing television coverage, this figure is likely to continue growing in the years ahead as soccer leagues, such as the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga, continue to gain world-wide appeal. It is no surprise then that kit manufacturers, like Adidas and Nike, are willing to spend upwards of $50 million a year per club to ensure their logo is the one on the players’ chests. Likewise, kit sponsors, like Emirates Airline and Samsung, are willing to pay an additional $30 to $50 million so that their logo is on the front of a team’s jersey. In effect, each jersey sold becomes a walking billboard.
Naturally, kit manufacturers and sponsors are interested in who sells the most jerseys because that translates into more advertising for them. In the soccer world, data shows that Adidas and Nike dominate the top 10 club jerseys sold. It is important to keep in mind when going through this list that the figures are for official replica jerseys only. This does not include the tens of millions of fake and knock-off jerseys which flood the market every year. So which clubs dominate soccer jersey sales?
10. AC Milan, 350,000 sales per year
Nicknamed the Rossoneri, Serie A’s AC Milan have one of the classic and most distinguishable jerseys within the soccer world. The red and black have been traditional colors of the club since its foundation in 1899. Milan’s traditional away jersey is all white with black and white trim. There is also a third jersey which is mostly gold in color. Like most clubs, the third jersey changes in color and design from year to year. The club’s kit is manufactured by Adidas and sponsored by Dubai-based, Emirates Airline.
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