Football fanatics have been hopping the merchandise stores to get jerseys of their favourite team playing in FIFA World Cup. The sales have seen a increasing trend as the finals approach. Germany and Brazil have been the kings of merchandise sales as they have managed to win many hearts by winning the quarter-final matches.
“The merchandise of Germany team has ruled the sales. As soon as the stock fills up, it is sold out. The two pre-order stocks have already been sold out,” said Ravinder Pal Singh, Adidas store manager, Sector 17. Merchandise sales of Spain dipped as soon as the team crashed out of the tournament in the first round. “The response for Spain’s merchandise has been pretty poor. It was slow since the start and after their ouster, there are hardly any takers,” added Singh.
However, Portugal team merchandise has not met the same fate as Spain’s, thanks to the popularity of the sultan of the step-over Cristiano Ronaldo. Many fans would have loved to see Cristiano Ronaldo winning the prestigious cup for his team which was not to be so but the craze for his jerseys hasn’t been affected by Portugal’s under-performance.
“Portugal may have been knocked out of the tournament but people are still craving for Portugal jerseys. Most of them want those with Ronaldo’s name,” said Rakesh Kumar, Nike store manager, Sector 17. Neymar and Messi are the other two most sought-after names.
Barclays Premier League may be the most followed football league in India. You can see a lot of young fanatics adorning jerseys of top English football clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal but England team jerseys are not preferred much by the fans.
“I am not much of a supporter of England though I follow Manchester United. I knew that they don’t have it in them to go past the first round itself. Brazil is getting the cup this time,” said Sukhpreet Singh, an ardent football fan.
Netherlands, runners-up of last World Cup with their 5-1 thrashing of Spain was one of the best performances of 2014. However, it did not make a lot difference for Chandigarh Football Fans. “Of the five big teams whose jerseys we are officially selling, Netherlands has the least sales. Brazil jersey sales have been consistent throughout and have gradually increased after their Round of 16 win,” said Kumar.
The price of jerseys of Brazil, France, Portugal and other Nike sponsored teams is Rs 3,595 and that of Germany, Spain and Argentina is Rs 3499. Adidas Brazuca, the official World Cup ball, has sold pretty well too. “The ball is priced at Rs 7,500 and we had got 8 limited pieces out of which just 2 are left and most probably will be sold before the cup gets over,” added Ravinder Pal Singh.
City pubs and bars are also on a high. “The pub was jampacked during the quarter-final matches. In the first quarter-final, majority was rooting for Germany. I wonder what is going to happen on July 9 when Germany and Brazil will be playing. It definitely is going to be a big day for us,” said Rohan from Underdoggs Sports Bar and Grill, Chandigarh.