April 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM ET
The outpouring of support for the victims of last week’s Boston Marathon bombings and their families has sparked a surge in demand for tribute-related apparel along with Boston sports gear.
On Wednesday, Adidas rolled out a T-shirt with the slogan, “Boston stands as one,” saying all profits from the shirt’s sale would be donated to the One Fund Boston, a joint philanthropic effort set up by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to assist people affected by the bombings.
The German company is the official supplier of apparel and athletic gear to the Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the marathon. “They want to support the cause,” said B.A.A. communications manager Marc Davis. “Their sports marketing department brought the idea to us.”
The $26.20 T-shirt — the price is a reference to the length of the race — initially came in blue and yellow. They sold out within a day, Adidas spokeswoman Katja Schreiber said via email. About half of the price of each shirt is profit, which will go to One Fund.
“Due to the overwhelming demand we decided to further extend our support. Our goal is to raise as much money for those in need as possible,” she said. Sales of the shirt (gray is the only color being sold now) already have raised more than $1 million towards the fund.
“They want the shirt and they want to contribute,” Davis said.
Tribute hats also are popular. ’47 Brand, a manufacturer of licensed sports products, produced a baseball cap with the saying “B Strong” that incorporated the Red Sox’s styled “B.” Proceeds from sales of the $20 hats are being donated to One Fund Boston.
“We can’t keep it in stock,” said marketing manager Dan Cohen. “Demand for these is just off the charts.”
The initial production run, which ’47 started selling on Thursday, sold out on the company’s website in just a few hours. The post on the company’s Facebook page announcing the hat was shared more than 840 times. Cohen said demand was coming from all over the United States, and even from fans of Boston’s athletic arch-rival, the New York Yankees.
The company is still tallying up orders from its retail partners, but Cohen said thousands of hats have been sold already. More are on the way, he said, and customers should have them in a couple of weeks.
Cohen said sales of non-tribute Boston sports merchandise were up, too. “We're seeing a strong uptick in other Boston gear,” he said. People were buying “primarily Red Sox gear,” but he said sales of other Boston sports merchandise also were higher than usual.
A Major League Baseball spokesman declined to comment on post-bombing sales of Boston Red Sox gear, but a look through its licensed apparel retail site showed some items sold out in many sizes.