JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Trevor Lawrence mania is here and there’s at least one sports store owner who is grinning ear-to-ear.
“Yesterday helped immensely,” said Mathew Smith, owner of Sports Mania in Jacksonville Beach.
His store is where sports fans young and old go to purchase clothing featuring their favorite college and professional sports team.
There’s a wide variety of apparel, but Jacksonville Jaguars gear is what the majority of people come in for.
Smith said hours before the Jaguars drafted Lawrence as their new franchise quarterback, demand for home-team merchandise was off the charts.
“Yesterday was a great day in sales for us,” Smith said. “Definitely one of the busiest days we’ve had in more than a year here.”
And he’s not exaggerating.
Around this time last year, they were barely open because of the pandemic. Then during last year’s NFL season, sales on merchandise slumped as the Jaguars sat at the bottom of the AFC South division and home games had limited attendees due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Winning football games drive sales in our industry,” he said.
Now that Lawrence is expected to come in and lead the Jaguars to more victories next season, Smith expects anything with the former Clemson star’s name on it will be in high demand.
“The jersey sales are going to be huge,” Smith said. “The Jags have changed the primary home color to teal. Teal jersey’s have always been limited. And now we’re making a big push to get as much teal product as possible. No one has had a Trevor Lawrence before for the Jags so we are looking to get those in teal, black and white. And the sales are going to be huge.”