Jaguars merchandise sales slow as team’s losses mount

Usually business is booming this time of year at Sports Mania. But this year, fans aren’t motivated to buy gear.

Sports Mania is filled with Jaguars gear.
Sports Mania is filled with Jaguars gear. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The Jaguars' lack of success this year is leading to a lack of sales for team merchandise.

As a result of the Jaguars' current record of 1-6, a popular sports store in Northeast Florida is financially feeling the impact.

This time of year, business at Sports Mania in Jacksonville Beach is usually booming, especially since the store carries Jaguars merchandise. Usually business is so good that the store either runs out or comes close to running out of Jaguars gear. But this year, the Jaguars have one of the worst records in the NFL, and fans are simply not motivated to purchase gear.

“Fans don’t like losing. They want the W. If you have wins, that transitions into sales," said Sports Mania owner Mathew Smith.

Sales have been extremely slow this season. Now, the store is so deep in the red that it might take a Hail Mary to get the owners from closing shop.

“This is our No. 1 seller every year. I may have sold two pieces this season," Smith said while holding up a Jaguars T-shirt.

He then showed News4Jax a Jaguars jacket, saying, “I’ve invested thousands on these jackets for people to go to the London game when it gets cold, and we’re just kind of just a standstill."

Last year, quarterback Gardner Minshew II jerseys and shirts were selling off the shelves, but this year, hardly anyone is buying those items.

“Minshew mania was a lot of fun last year. It defensibly drew numbers in fans and in sales," Smith said.

And this season, the team’s losing record is only part of the problem -- only a fraction of fans can attend games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And those are people who buy stuff and then go to the game to show off their fandom," Smith said.

On Nov. 7, the Georgia-Florida game will take place at TIAA Bank Field, so Smith is hoping sales of Bulldogs and Gators merchandise will be enough to help the store remain in business.

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