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Off to market

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  January 22, 2010 08:25 AM

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Well, here we go, yet another "team is printing championship T-shirts before winning the game" story. That'll really fire up the troops.

The noive of those New York Jets, actually touting AFC Champs gear, despite the fact that their web site clearly states the opportunity to "pre-order" said gear. Yet the availability caused somewhat of a stir yesterday, prompting folks to label the team cocky, arrogant, and fueling the bulletin board fodder for the Indianapolis Colts.

Who are also selling AFC Championship merchandise.

At this stage of the sports marketing game, nobody should be surprised if the Red Sox offer the opportunity tomorrow to pre-order 2010 World Series champion hats. Yet this becomes a story somehow every year. In every sport. The unmitigated gall. Somehow, the opposition is supposed to turn it into a rallying cry. Folks, there's a straw over there that's desperate for grasping. Here's a little tidbit of Advertising 101: EVERYBODY DOES IT.

The Jets were erroneously attacked yesterday for having the impudence to have their web site stocked with gear first. Are they being perhaps a little too gung-ho with it all as opposed to the other teams in question? (The url www.jetsshopchampions.com redirects to the team's pro shop.) Sure, but they're the Jets. How often do they have this opportunity?

Of course, all this talk leads to reminiscence of "The Book." Two years ago around this time, the Globe was fiercely criticized for the availability of "19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England's Unbeatable Patriots" on Amazon.com. Remember the bleep storm that thing started? But hey, that's the way things work. In order to sell something these days, there has to be advance notice. This one, by the way was also available for pre-order, yet got a lick of the publicity that the Globe's did, much like the Colts' merchandise got yesterday. Goes both ways, kids.

The difference, obviously, is you can still buy that one for $15.56. Free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.

Come Monday, the Jets could have plenty of pre-orders that go unfulfilled. But who's bothering buying the Colts stuff? If 19-0 wasn't a concern, only the Super Bowl was, why even bother allowing AFC title gear?

In either case, Nicaragua can fully expect a new shipment of clothing some time next week. Should the NFL err though and send them this, I fear for our foreign policy going forward.


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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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