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Published on February 4th, 2016 | by press-room

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INTERNET RETAILER: Super Bowl means super business for some online retailers

BY MATT LINDNER | Associate Editor

Super Bowl starting quarterbacks Cam Newton and Peyton Manning have two of the top-selling jerseys in the NFL’s online store.

Super Bowl 50 is translating to big business online for some.

Sales of  Super Bowl-bound Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos products have more than doubled since last week, with product views for those teams up 60% week over week, reports Michael Layne, director of internet marketing at web-only sports and entertainment decal retailer Fathead LLC. Fathead is No. 385 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide. And if its shoppers are any indication of how the big game itself is going to go, there will be reason to party in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday night.

“The Panthers are outpacing the Broncos by about 16% in revenue and 25% in units sold,” Layne says. “As the teams go, so go the quarterbacks, with Cam Newton-related revenue 16% ahead of Peyton Manning.”

Newton’s online popularity isn’t limited to Fathead.

EBay Inc. writes in a blog post that since Jan. 8, the Friday before the NFL playoffs began, shoppers have bought more than 7,500 Newton jerseys, more than any other player during that span. That makes him the third-most popular jersey all time in terms of sales on the online auction site. No. 1? His counterpart, Broncos quarterback and future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning. Fans bought 10,524 Manning jerseys on eBay when his Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl in 2014. Newton also has the second-best selling jersey on the NFL’s official online store, NFLShop.com. Just trailing him? You guessed it, Peyton Manning.

Of course, spikes in sales and traffic aren’t limited to the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Retailers say Super Sunday can be a busy time for online shoppers as well. Layne says Fathead plans to capitalize on an anticipated 65% spike in traffic on Sunday night.

“The spike will come right when the game ends and we announce via email and social media that we have Fathead wall decals of the winning team’s championship logo,” he says. “Sales for those two hours will be about double what we usually see at that time.”

Consumers won’t stock up just on gear, however.

A spokeswoman for alcohol delivery app Drizly says last year’s Super Bowl Sunday was one of the busiest days of the year, with orders up 25% over a typical day in 2015.

“Our average delivery time (across the country) was 41 minutes last Super Bowl Sunday, which is slightly higher than normal, but still strong considering the increase in demand,” she says.

Drizly has expanded into half a dozen cities since last year, including such markets as Dallas, Minneapolis and New Orleans, which means the app is likely to process even more orders this year.

With a few days left until the Super Bowl, the Drizly spokeswoman says fans should plan ahead if they’re having a party.

“We have a great scheduled delivery feature on site, so if you’re planning ahead you can place your order in the days leading up to the game and select the most convenient time for you to get your delivery,” she says. With a potential spike in traffic, retailers need to be ready on desktop and mobile—or risk losing business.

A report from digital performance technology vendor Soasta Inc. shows that “48% of Americans say that online performance during the Super Bowl matters to them.”


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