Retailers Also Have Stock in Playoffs

Having the right merchandise on hand can be a gamble
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2008 2:39 PM CDT
If the Red Wings win it all, retailers are likely to jump to create hats and shirts featuring the octopus, a symbol at Detroit hockey games sine 1952.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Fans aren't the only ones rooting for particular teams in the NHL and NBA playoffs: Retailers are hedging their bets as well, getting ready to print different shirts and hats depending on games' outcomes. If Pittsburgh clinches the NHL Eastern Conference today, thousands of commemorative garments will hit the stores within hours; otherwise, sellers will stay in limbo, reports the Post-Gazette.

"The key is to get the product to market while the fans are still euphoric about the win," explains an industry analyst, and some retailers are doing even more than that. Shop.NHL.com is allowing fans to choose Stanley Cup merchandise before the first game is even played, and will only finalize the orders once the champion is decided. (Read more NHL stories.)