Phillies Quick Win Help Retailers Get a Jump on Sales

The earliest ending of a clinching World Series game means quick big bucks for retailers that play in the hot market merchandise game.

World Series 2008
AP
World Series 2008

Only three innings needed to be played for the Philadelphia Phillies to be declared champions tonight. It took one hour and 21 minutes, with the game ending at 9:58 ET. It's one of the earliest conclusions to a championship game in the four major sports in decades.

"The fact that Phillies fans can go out right after the game and get their championship gear at our stores at a reasonable hour is an added bonus," said Jeff Hennion, chief marketing officer of Dick's Sporting Goods.

The massive Pittsburgh, Pa.-chain is keeping 15 of its stores in Phillies territory open tonight, with managers at the stores being told to keep the doors open until traffic slows down. Each of those stores will open again at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning so that fans can pick up their gear on the way to work.

Hennion said the pent up demand for the items helps, as Phillies fans waited two nights to see the rain suspended game come to an end. That's saying nothing of the 28 years it has been since they've last been called champions.

Meanwhile, the folks at MLB.com were pretty quick to the buttons tonight. The offer to buy Phillies championship gear appeared on the Web site two minutes and 12 seconds after Phillies reliever Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske for the final out.

Here's a list of the last seven World Series clinching games and the times that they ended:

Year Game Ended (ET)
2008 9:58 p.m.
2007 12:05 a.m.
2006 11:26 p.m.
2005 12:01 a.m.
2004 11:40 p.m.
2003 10:57 p.m.
2002 11:16 p.m.

Update: Loyal reader Erik Schuman makes a sound point about using all East Coast times for the end of the game. For the merchandise market, it's the local market that matters. So in 2002, Schuman points out the game actually ended at 8:16 local time, which means it ended well before last night's game.

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