The loss of Gordon Hayward last summer undoubtedly hurt the Utah Jazz on the court. Utah went from the No. 4 team in the Western Conference last season to battling for a playoff spot this year without Hayward.
But that’s not the only area the star’s departure hurt them in.
Whenever a superstar like Hayward leaves a small-market team, it likely costs them money in the way of ticket sales, merchandise and concessions, as more often than not people are less likely to spend money to see a team without a marquee star. But Hayward’s departure cost the Jazz in the jersey sales department because they were given too few “City Edition” jerseys from Nike after the All-Star signed with the Boston Celtics.
That’s right, the Jazz sold out of the popular jerseys much quicker than expected after Hayward decided to head to the Eastern Conference.
Confused? Here’s the explanation via Andy Larsen of KSL.com:
“The Jazz made their order on the jerseys at Nike’s deadline of February of 2017, nearly a year before their debut. One shipment was the plan, because of the nature of the “city edition” uniform plan from Nike. Because Nike plans on giving each team a new city edition every year, they hadn’t planned on making more of the 2017-18 uniforms available.
“The Jazz originally made an order for about 700 jerseys, but about half of those had Gordon Hayward’s name on them. When a player changes teams in free agency, Nike automatically cancels the portion of the jersey orders that feature the old player name.
“Still, the Jazz thought 300 would be enough. “When we go back and look at sales history of any alternate jerseys we’ve ever had, we’ve never really sold more than 300 units of an alternate jersey in an entire season,” former Fanzz president and current Jazz consultant Darren Squires said. The team was shocked to sell all of them in just a few days, out of the arena team store.”
Almost a year after Hayward bolted for Boston, his old team still is feeling the effects of the star’s exit.