When Jason Collins first came out publicly last April, his Washington Wizards jersey became a hot-seller. Now demand is already high for his Brooklyn Nets jersey -- and the jersey just went on sale.
Vicky Picca, the N.B.A.'s senior vice president for licensing and business affairs, used the word "unprecedented" Monday to describe the inquiries from people interested in buying something with Collins's name on it. On Tuesday, they can start making purchases, including T-shirts with Collins's name that will be available only online.
We've known for years that the first few out gay pro athletes in the big men's sports would be a marketing and sales winner for whatever team signed them. It's great to see the public not just embrace Collins with applause, but also with their wallets.
The jerseys are now on sale online through the NBA store. You can get them in white or black for $69.95. While the historic number -- the one he wore in his first game -- was 46, he will be wearing No. 98 for the rest of the season, and that is the number being sold.
From Nets Daily, the Nets have chosen not to sell the jersey in their own store at Barclays Center:
By choosing not to sell the jerseys at their store inside Barclays Center, the Nets are giving up profits. The Nets get 50 percent of sales at the store; only 3 percent --the same as every other NBA team-- if their gear is purchased through the NBA online site. It's a conscious decision, said a league source: that the Nets don't want to appear to make money off Collins. "It's about basketball," said the source.