Tom Brady seemingly has an endless supply of fans wanting to dress like him.
The annual report the NFL Players Association filed with the United States Department of Labor revealed the New England Patriots quarterback led all players last season in income generated from jersey sales, video games and trading cards. Brady’s $2.5 million haul, which doesn’t include earnings from his solo endorsement deals from UGG and Under Armour, prompted astonishment from one sports marketing expert.
“(Brady’s continuing marketability) is just truly staggering, because he’s been in the same market, selling the same jersey for 17 years,” GSE Worldwide president of sports marketing Russ Spielman told The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan. “You see, Peyton Manning moves markets when he did, and you understand when his jersey goes to the top of the sales. But for Tom, I mean, how many more Patriot fans are there that don’t own his jersey at this point, but it keeps going. It’s awesome to watch.”
Brady actually earned less last season from those income streams than he did in 2017-18. Nevertheless, his No. 12 jersey was the NFL’s top-selling shirt, helping to keep him atop the NFL merchandise pecking order for the second consecutive season.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was second on the NFLPA’s highest-earners’ list in 2018-19 with $2 million, and former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was third with $1.5 million.
We’ll take a crack at why Brady’s jerseys keep on selling: each of his six Super Bowl victories represents a new fairy tale that people between ages 1 and 100 want to live out themselves.