Brett Favre, as you've come to know over the last 24 hours or so, holds many records. But, to me, a sports business reporter, the most important one is all-time jersey king.
This year, the NFL announced that the Green Bay Packers quarterback had the league's all-time best-selling jersey. What does that mean? It's the greatest measure of popularity that there is in sports. And it's better than a poll. Why? Because fans vote with their wallets when they buy a jersey.
What's so amazing about Favre is that he plays in the league's smallest market (by a longshot) and there's nothing really special about that Packers jersey, which hasn't changed in his 16 years with the team.
Neither has his number, of course, which makes it hard to believe that year after year, Favre ranked among the league's best sellers. At some point, the entire world who wanted to own a Brett Favre jersey had one, didn't they? Well, obviously not.
Since April 2005, more than 51,000 Favre jerseys have been sold at the Packers Pro Shop at Lambeau Field, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Don Walker. That total represents about half the population of Green Bay.
Since the NFL is the most popular league in terms of licensed apparel, it's logical to think that Favre has the best-selling jersey of all time, in all sports. By my rough calculations, Tom Brady has a shot to beat Favre -- but it's going to take a long time.
On Tuesday afternoon, The Packers Pro Shop Web site wasn't too helpful in paying tribute to Favre -- or helping Brady's cause, for that matter. Medium, large and extra-large replica jerseys at $74.95 were all sold out and listed on back-order. And it wasn't just the cheap stuff: Not one of the six sizes of authentic Favre jerseys, which run $100 more than the replicas, were available.
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