How the sports community has infiltrated the fashion world
Over the past few years you may have noticed a significant spike in people sporting the jerseys of their favorite athletes.
Sports jerseys weren’t always as present as they are today. According to a Sports Illustrated article by Tim Layden, the first appearance of the selling of sports jerseys and merchandise was in an advertisement section of The Sporting News, a weekly newspaper. The ad read: “custom order your choice of jersey number, personalize jerseys with your name on the back, pro-style. Priced from $10.50 up … send your address to: SCORE-LINEUP Co. Spokane, Wash.” Before this time, it was very rare to see people casually wearing jerseys or merchandise from their favorite sports teams. Throughout the early 1970s and 80s, there was no official sales of jerseys by the professional sports organizations (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) themselves. So, many people relied on local stores or street vendors who would sell replica jerseys.
In the 1990s and early 2000s these sports organizations began to partner with exclusive brands in order to limit the amount of replica, or “fake”, jerseys being sold on the streets. Soon, these officially licensed jerseys were being sold in official team stores and eventually the internet. Eventually it became as easy as clicking a button to purchase the exact same jersey that the professional players wear on game day.
Another contributing factor to the massive growth in people wearing sports jerseys is the large number of celebrities, mostly rappers, who sport this very unique style. Nowadays it is very common to see an artist wearing the jersey of their favorite team or player on stage or in their music videos.
Presence in Today’s Fashion World
In today’s society, social media has a say in virtually everything and the popularity and sales of sports jerseys is no different. Nowadays, these powerhouse sports organizations use every form of social media to promote their merchandise. From Instagram to Twitter, there are accounts solely dedicated to selling the most popular jerseys from every professional sports teams.
Wearing jerseys is particular popular for men in high school and college. Many of these sports fans don’t even rep their favorite teams or players, they simply wear the jersey because it “looks cool” or because “it’s rare.” Throwback jerseys are very fashionable these days as the retro 1980s and 90s looks are coming back into the fashion world.
“I own a Raptors Kawhi Leonard jersey that I got last year,” Cal Poly first-year student Fady Tawfik said. “Now that he’s not on the Raptors it’s a more rare jersey and I like wearing it to show that I liked him before he joined the Clippers.”
Like it or not, sports jerseys and merchandise are here to stay in the fashion world. From NBA jerseys to throwback MLB hats, expect to see a lot more to come.
Follow World of Sports on Twitter!