Brady online sales double since suspension announced
Tom Brady online jersey sales have doubled since his four-game suspension was announced Monday by the National Football League, according to Fanatics.com, which operates the NFL online store and is the biggest Internet retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise.
Brady's No. 12 New England Patriots jersey is the highest seller among NFL veterans on the site since Wednesday, when a league-commissioned report said Patriots personnel probably deflated game balls below the league's allowable limit, and that Brady probably knew about it. The only players selling more than Brady are Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the top two picks in this year's NFL draft.
Fans in 22 states have bought Brady merchandise since the ban was announced, according to the company, with the top-buying states Massachusetts, Florida, California, Washington and Michigan.
"Our feeling is that the Patriots have one of the best fan bases in the country and fans are rallying behind Brady, the Super Bowl MVP, to show their support," Jack Boyle, President of Merchandise for Fanatics, said today in a statement.
The NFL on Monday fined the Patriots $1 million and docked them two future draft picks, while Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement that the punishment "far exceeded any reasonable expectation," and that the franchise unconditionally supports Brady. Today the team changed the avatar on its social media accounts to a close-up of Brady's No. 12 jersey.
A four-time Super Bowl champion and two-time league Most Valuable Player, Brady in January denied any wrongdoing. In his only public appearance since the report was released, he said last week that he hadn't fully processed the report but didn't think the team's Super Bowl title this year was tainted.
The Patriots are the second-highest selling team on Fanatics.com behind the Dallas Cowboys.