Dodgers World Series merchandise and apparel drawing record demand

Maria Torres
·4 min read
Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, October 27, 2020 The Dodgers and the Rays in game six of the World Series.
Dodgers players wear their championship hats and T-shirts while celebrating their World Series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

You may not have a chance to pick up a Dodgers World Series shirt from a street vendor or haggle with a fan hawking apparel at a parade in the near future.

But there is no shortage of memorabilia available across Los Angeles for Dodgers fans who didn’t brave overnight lines at Dick’s Sporting Goods or rise early Wednesday to snag copies of their preferred news publications.

Just turn to the internet.

The Los Angeles Times’ online store is selling World Series back issues along with pre-orders of a magazine and a hardcover collector’s book. Major League Baseball’s electronic commerce partners are continuously replenishing their merchandise stocks. And fans have used third-party websites to sell their own takes on the Dodgers’ first title in 32 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow demand for Dodgers merchandise this postseason.

It might have heightened it.

BreakingT, a social trend-inspired designer that has been licensed by the MLB Players Assn. for three years, launched eight World Series graphic tees within 20 hours of the Dodgers defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday night. It expects to release at least two more.

The site’s 21 best-selling shirts Wednesday were all Dodgers-related, said marketing director Dom Bonvissuto. A “Title Town” shirt featuring block letters in purple and gold and blue and white sold best, followed closely by a “Champion” tee in which an image of Clayton Kershaw in the stretch takes the place of the “I.”

The company easily had its best day-after-championship sales in its six-year history. Bonvissuto said he wouldn’t be shocked if Wednesday wound up as the company’s second-best sales day overall.

“That’s just crazy,” he said. “All of it [Dodgers merchandise] is selling.”

Within eight hours of the final out, Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin tweeted that users purchased more Dodgers championship gear than fans of the Lakers (2020), Philadelphia Eagles (2018) and Chicago Cubs (2016) did when their respective teams clinched titles.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Dodgers World Series products had been purchased online in nearly 100 countries. The top-selling domestic markets were, in order, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas and New York City. Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Kershaw dominated sales of player gear.

Jack Boyle, the company’s co-president of direct-to-consumer products, said in a statement that between the Lakers and Dodgers, Fanatics is “anticipating two of the top five highest-grossing championship sales events in company history.”

On a smaller scale, there is Vincent Samperio. He runs Chavez Ravine Fiends, an online community of fans, and has been selling Dodger-themed merchandise through third-party site Teespring for the last two seasons.

The venture has been successful. Samperio said his designs commemorating Joe Kelly’s testy confrontation with the Houston Astros in late July — Kelly mocked Carlos Correa with the profane one-liner “Nice swing, b–” — were purchased in 187 orders.

By Wednesday morning, Samperio said his World Series merchandise had surpassed Kelly gear in overall profit.

Playing off the motif of “Title Town,” Samperio designed a graphic featuring the Commissioner’s Trophy and Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy the night before Game 6. He launched the line, which features face coverings, shirts, mugs and other items, soon after the game.

Baseball card collectors are also in luck. Topps is selling Game 6 cards online until 2:30 p.m. PT Thursday and a 15-card team set will be available for the next month.

Of course, a brick-and-mortar experience is still available to fans. The Dodger Stadium stores will reopen Thursday at noon with fresh World Series threads on sale until 9 p.m. Beginning Friday, the shops will welcome customers from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. while the stadium is used as a voting center.

If it’s anything like what Cece Villa witnessed late Tuesday night at Dick’s in Torrance, the journey to the team store might be worthwhile.

“People in the parking lot were playing Randy Newman,” said Villa, 29, from San Pedro. “There were lines but it didn’t feel like it because you were celebrating with each other.

“It wasn’t as distanced as it could have been and maybe over capacity, but I felt super safe. There was hand sanitizer everywhere. For the weird times that we’re in, it made it feel a little bit normal.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.