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When the Patriots Lose it's Good for America

Geoff Wood

In a lecture on supply chain last week, we had two guest presenters from the Adidas-Reebok's Sports Licensing Division.

I wasn't aware of the role that Indianapolis plays in outfitting NFL players and fans but apparently we are the epicenter of activity.

The NFL has given Reebok (purchased by Adidas two years ago) an exclusive license for all official NFL team apparel. That apparel all runs through the Sports Licensing Division which is based here in Indianapolis(1).

The lecture was outstanding, one of the best so far in the MBA program.

One thing that I found quite interesting is the fact he said that before an event like the Super Bowl they take "If, Then" orders. Basically, these are orders for apparel that depend on the outcome of the game. The orders are processed locally in Indy as well as in two of three outsourced/temporary sites in the Arizona (game location) and Boston or New York.

In describing the "If, Then" orders for this event, we were told that there were actually 75% more orders if the Giants were to win the game than if the Patriots were to win. They didn't give detailed specifics but did say that between all sites they were looking to produce 300,000 shirts within 24 hours of the end of the game alone.

They were obviously hoping for a Giants win but what they failed to discuss was that a Giants win was actually the better outcome for America. In an economy racked with consumer spending fears, a 75% increase in frivolous t-shirt expenditures has to be good.

(1) Surprisingly, they have five off-site facilities and one is back home in Cedar Rapids