Here's why you can't buy the jersey you want, and more:
Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
Quick housekeeping note: ExtraPointsMB.com now has a search function! This has been one of our most requested features and should make it much easier to browse our archives. I've written over 300 Extra Points newsletters, so it can be tricky to find the one you vaguely remember seeing like, nine months ago. I hope this helps.
I'm looking to make a few more tweaks and adjustments to make the website experience better for everybody. We brought the commenting system back, have almost finished tagging our pre-2021 archives, and am working on a few other quality of life changes soon.
Earlier this week, Nike and Fanatics announced a new deal that is very college sports focused. One side effect of this deal, according to one analyst, is to increase their "speed to market."
I tweeted a bit about why that matters earlier this week...the whole thread can be found here. But here's a quick TL;DR:
If a university wants to sell a specific jersey, their apparel partner requires a minimum physical order, generally well into the thousands of units. The school, not the apparel company, then would need to figure out what retail partners will accept that inventory, lest they get stuck with a proverbial garage full of shirts.
If a school wanted to place an order without being responsible for a big ol' physical guarantee they'd need to sacrifice some of their profit margin or licensing fee, something few schools want to do.
T-shirts are pretty cheap to make, and Nike and UA aren't the only firms that can make them. A school might license IP to several different shirt companies, and it's easier for them to make a limited order of shirts to take advantage of a newsworthy event. Jerseys are much more complicated. They're expensive to make, require very specific kinds of threads and dyes, and have long supply chains.
There is some optimism in the industry that technological changes and other future partnerships can make it easier for say, women's basketball or soccer jerseys to hit more of the collegiate market.
But if you don't see any right now, it doesn't mean your school (or Nike) doesn't care about women's basketball. The math behind bespoke, official-quality jerseys just isn't super favorable right this second...and that isn't just a women's jersey issue. That impacts custom jerseys or unique designs for men as well.
I kinda forgot about this given how busy I've been over the last week or so, but Bryan and I just hit our 100th episode of Going For Two. In the podcast world, where shows vanish all the time, that's not for nothing. Thanks for listening!
In this episode, Bryan and spend a little longer than I expected talking about the Big Ten's biggest addition in recent memory...buying the Fogo De Chao that hilariously sits right next door to their headquarters.
Beyond talking about Brazilian steakhouses, we share what we've been hearing about how the Big Ten media contract will end up, why you haven't heard big realignment news over the last few days when you might again, the hidden logistical costs of traveling, and more.
You can listen to the full show above, watch it on YouTube, or subscribe anywhere you get podcasts.
Here's what else we've been working on:
- Our whole team has been hard at work editing industry interviews from NACDA, and creating other original interview content for Collegiate Sports Connect. By the time you're reading this, I should have an interview published with WAC Commissioner Brian Thornton about the league's new plan to seed conference tournaments via NET rating. I'll also have an interview up later today about FloSports and their new media rights deal in the DII space, and more. Anybody can sign up to watch videos at CSC for free, right here.
- I called administrators at four different D-I schools in California, including UCLA, to understand how these programs comply with the state's ban on using public funds to travel to 22 different states...including multiple states in the Big Ten footprint.
- I also shared new research that shows that working a gazillion hours doesn't actually help coaches win more games. So why do they keep doing it?
- I updated our EA Sports College Football Audio Tracker with updates from Eastern Michigan and Virginia Tech, with more updates expected very soon.
- And finally, I built a MAKE YOUR OWN STUPID REALIGNMENT RUMOR tool. If you push that button enough, chances are, you're going to eventually be right!
You can make sure you get access to every single Extra Points newsletter I write, plus access to our hundreds of newsletters in the archives, with a paid subscription. It's just eight bucks a month, and if you're a student, it's only four bucks:
Thanks for reading this week. I'll see y'all after the weekend.
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