You don’t have to tell the Washington Redskins they were really, really bad last season. They already know.
In fact, the Redskins are curiously willing to remind people of that fact after CNN reported Friday that sales of the team’s merchandise are down 35 percent in the most recent quarter. Team spokesman Tony Wyllie pointed directly to Washington’s 3-13 record in 2013.
“Unfortunately, team performance on the field is a major factor in the apparel business, and a 3-13 season doesn’t do much to help sales,” Wyllie told CNN Money. “However, we are working hard to improve that record and we look forward to the season opener this weekend.”
If you buy the Redskins’ explanation, we hope you enjoy your Dan Snyder Kool-Aid. The ongoing controversy surrounding the team’s nickname, which many people find offensive, certainly has more than a little to do with the drop-off in sales. Several teams coming off terrible 2013 seasons did not experience a decrease as strong as the Redskins’.
“People are having second thoughts about wearing a T-shirt with the logo or name that it has now been called racist,” Matt Powell, senior analyst for SportsSourceOne, told CNN.
The impact on the Redskins’ bottom line is minimal. NFL merchandise sales in total were up 3 percent, according to the report, and since merchandise revenues are split evenly among 31 of the 32 teams (the Dallas Cowboys — Washington’s biggest rivals — are the example), the Redskins won’t suffer any individual hit to their balance sheet.
Photo via Twitter/@connor_guercio