Sports Fan Apparel & Souvenirs
One of the easiest ways to recognize sports fans is by their clothing. While many fans collect souvenirs, others also wear team clothing. It's easy to see that the person wearing an NFL fan jersey is a supporter, and the same holds true for other sports such as MLB, NBA, and NHL. Even the NCAA has gotten into jersey merchandising.
What About Jerseys?
Sports jerseys are among the most popular pieces of apparel and souvenirs a fan can own. Whether you want to wear them out to the game or seal them behind glass there is a jersey for every taste:
- Fan Jerseys: Often sold through the various League stores, these jerseys are the most common and are usually bought by people wanting to show their fandom. Fan jerseys are usually worn rather than displayed.
- Autographed Jerseys: Often displayed behind glass, these jerseys feature the original signature of the player who wore that number. Autographed NFL jerseys can be extremely collectible.
- Game Worn Jerseys: Also seen more often on a wall than on a fan's back, game worn jerseys are a piece of history. Game worn NFL jerseys from Super Bowl teams can be very desirable.
Who Makes League Apparel?
Each of the big four leagues has its own independent contracts with apparel makers:
- MLB: Major League Baseball deals with two companies for apparel; Majestic makes the uniforms while New Era makes the caps.
- NFL: The National Football League has a deal with Nike for on-field uniforms.
- NBA: Like the NFL, the National Basketball Association also relies on Nike uniforms.
- NHL: After years of using Reebok, the National Hockey League has turned to its parent company, Adidas.
Collecting Apparel and Souvenirs
When collecting fan apparel and souvenirs, it's important to understand the importance of authentic memorabilia. Not only does authentic memorabilia directly support the game you love, but it also adheres to standards of quality and accuracy. Nobody wants a misspelled name or incorrect logo on their jersey or cap. The most important thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. If you know who makes the jerseys for your favorite league, you are better able to distinguish the official apparel and souvenirs from the unofficial ones.