Playoff run has Lions merch flying off the shelves

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Detroit Lions and their playoff run is not just making history, it’s also making a lot of money for businesses that area cashing in on apparel and merchandise sales.

Combined with Michigan football winning its first national championship since 1997, Grand Rapids sports store Legends Sports and Games say both shades of blue are bringing in a lot of green for them.

“Everybody’s thinking of sports, so they’re buying more sports cards, they’re buying more memorabilia,” Lou Brown, the president of Legend Sports and Games, said. “They just want to be around sports.”

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Compared to before the season, Brown says Lions merch sales have tripled.

“We were coming off of the last two to three years, (which) has been tremendous,” he added. “It’s been something beyond anything I’d ever seen in my 40 years of history of being in the sports card industry.”

The same can be said about Michigan stuff: Brown says those sales have also tripled.

“We’ve got other stuff… J.J. McCarthy autographed memorabilia, like the jersey, mini helmets, things like that. But it is a challenge to keep it in,” he explained. “They’re flying.”

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Customer traffic rose by at least 20%, with most shoppers reaching for anything Lions while they can. Brown, a Lions fan himself, says it’s a very good problem for his business to have.

“(You) always want to see them win, kind of wince when they don’t, which is a lot in past years,” he said. “It’s been really exciting to see what they’ve done this year.”

Brown says businesses like his still have more merch on the way, including official Michigan national champion helmets and framed panoramic pictures of NRG Stadium in Houston during the game.

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