Every quarter, the NFL players Association releases their top 50 players in merchandise sales through the fiscal year which begins on March 1. Through the third quarter of the year which runs up through the end of November, JuJu Smith-Schuster comes in 10th on the list of merchandise sales.
The NFL's leaders in merchandise sales in 2019 pic.twitter.com/6YuChnzq6J— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 18, 2020
The reason the third quarter number are one of the best results for merchandise sales is it is the only one which occurs strictly through the NFL season. The entire sales for the fiscal year should be released sometime in March.
Smith-Schuster actually fell one place in the rankings going from the number of sales through the second quarter to the third quarter. Ending on the final day of August, the second quarter sales generally show the level of interest in a player going into the season. With Smith-Schuster struggling with his production due to injury and the Steelers quarterback situation, his ranking fell slightly throughout the season but still remains in the top 10. It is the first time in his career he’s reached this level.
During the first quarter of 2019 which runs from March through May, Smith-Schuster came in at 25th on the list. But with the departure of Antonio Brown (who held the eighth spot through the first quarter due to his new sales of jerseys in Oakland before falling to 28th by the third quarter), Smith-Schuster’s sales rocketed over the summer as fans looked to replace their number 84 merchandise.
Other Steelers who finished the third quarter of 2019 in the top 50 were T.J. Watt at 43rd and James Conner at 45th. In their three year in the NFL, both Watt and Conner have been consistently in the 40s each season. Other than Watt being one spot higher higher his second season, he and Conner have held the same position each year.
Since the third quarter numbers are all that are available at the moment, let’s take a look at how they played out at the same point in previous years.
When it comes to a rise in Smith-Schuster’s popularity, it should be noted he was not even in the top 50 at the end of the third-quarter in his rookie year in 2017. Other Steelers players who were on the list at that time were Antonio Brown (7th), Ben Roethlisberger (18th), Alejandro Villanueva (23rd), Le’Veon Bell (24th), T.J. Watt (43rd), and James Conner (45th).
It was the third quarter numbers in 2018 were Smith-Schuster began to see a rise as he finished 27th and was the second highest Steelers’ player on the list. Only Antonio Brown ranked higher in the 8th position. The other Steelers on the list from 2018 were T.J. Watt (42nd), Ben Roethlisberger (43rd), and James Conner (45th).
As you can clearly see, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base supports their players and buy their merchandise. The Steelers are constantly having multiple players in the top 50 each year, but who will it be for the 2020 season? Will Smith-Schuster continue to be the top seller or will other players take on that role? Will Ben Roethlisberger see a resurgence in his sales after he comes back from injury? Will T.J. Watt see a significant increase after his DPOY-candidate season? Or will Minkah Fitzpatrick come into the equation after his All-Pro season? Will 2019 rookie Devin Bush make a push? Or will Steelers’ fans finally see the greatness they have in Cam Hayward and stock up on his apparel?
Make sure you vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Which Steelers’ player will lead the team in merchandise sales in 2020?
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