With NBA action heating up and the finals now less than two months away, the scramble is on for avid fans to secure merchandise before the start of the Playoffs. Shopping for NBA gear can actually be a pretty daunting process, however. There seems to be no shortage of websites offering everything from commemorative jerseys to special photographs, and the prices offered at each site can vary widely. When shopping for this kind of gear, though, there are a few simple rules to follow that can land customers a great deal, an officially licensed piece of merchandise, and a collector’s item that will grow in value over time rather than depreciate with each passing season.
Before choosing any site to shop with in pursuit of this year’s hottest merchandise and memorabilia, be sure to follow a few simple rules and guidelines. This checklist will serve as a way to deliver great values, authentic deals, and memorable purchases that last a lifetime.
Make Sure that Merchandise is Licensed by the National Basketball Association
The rise of Internet has, not surprisingly, coincided with a rise in popularity of unlicensed NBA merchandise. This is because companies all around the world can now access team logos and photo prints, replicate them, and sell them at prices that far undercut the price of licensed merchandise at today’s biggest retailers. While that initial price might be tempting, it comes with a number of key drawbacks.
First and foremost, unlicensed merchandise is hard to resell to collectors. That means its value actually depreciates over time, even as the player it memorializes gains popularity and builds a legendary career. Collectors simply aren’t interested in purchasing merchandise that might be fake, counterfeit, or constructed with lower-quality materials. Furthermore, true fans aren’t looking to hold onto such merchandise after purchase.
Official NBA merchandise is sold at a slight premium because it uses the latest technologies and the highest-quality materials. Every piece of licensed merch is sold with the approval of the not only the league, but also the respective team. It’s a long-term investment that can lead to great things after a player has been traded or retires.
Think Outside the Box When Shopping for NBA Gear
It is perhaps not surprising that the most popular NBA gear purchases involve jerseys, t-shirts, hats, jackets, and other clothing items. After all, how else would a true NBA fan represent their team on game day? While jerseys and other apparel items are a great way to get started with NBA gear, they’re not the only game in town when it comes to representing a team, being a fan of a given player, or collecting merchandise for the ages.
Officially licensed NBA gear spans the gamut from traditional jerseys to things like watches, commemorative lamps, bedding, and more. Perhaps the best way to maximize the uniqueness and long-term value of a purchase is to think outside the box and purchase something a bit more unique. How many neighbors have a Los Angeles Lakers watch? How many friends brag about their Chicago Bulls saltshaker? The ability to become the most unique fan on the block is real, and with the growing number of merchandise options at leading retailers, it’s increasingly easy to do.
Don’t Forget Young Fans or Future Fans
The typical NBA gear purchase is made for the adult fan who has been following a given team or player for several years or perhaps even several decades. That’s a great way to pay tribute to a team over the long-term, but growing families have an even better opportunity: To purchase NBA gear that caters specifically to young children and even infants who should be taught early which team is the “right” team. After all, as many NBA fans will argue, there is only one team worth rooting for and it’s a lifestyle, not a hobby.
Officially licensed NBA merchandise is available for kids of all ages, and that means that “super fan” parents can start their kids early when it comes to rooting for the home team. Everything from baby blankets to kids’ t-shirts and jerseys is available through major NBA retailers, typically at a discount when compared to full-sized adult apparel items. Parents will even find a full selection of team practice gear, including baby-sized sweat suits and team outfits.
Take it Outside: Car Accessories are a Great New Purchase
Finally, it’s worth noting that today’s hottest NBA merchandise often takes the team spirit outside of the living room and to places like the car or SUV that makes a daily commute to the office. From team license plate frames to bumper stickers and more, fans will find everything they need to show their pride on the highway at all hours of the day. Of course, those fans who live close to a rival team’s market might want to think twice before they make their car the target of other fans’ contempt — especially in traffic.
Even so, car accessory purchases are one of the newest ways to show team spirit outside of the living room and on every non-game day of the year. Their understated approach blends with virtually any paint color body style, giving fans a refined way to create an all-NBA experience that follows them wherever they happen to be going.
Great Opportunities for an All-NBA Lifestyle All the Time
In recent years, the number of merchandise options for dedicated sports fans has increased dynamically. That fact is due in no small part to the Internet, which has enabled larger virtual storefronts and a far greater product selection for each team and each player in the league. The key to getting the best deal on each of these new NBA gear items, of course, is careful shopping and an eye for licensed merchandise.
With an “outside the box” shopping approach and a careful eye for detail, dedicated NBA fans will be able to find everything they need online to create an exciting, enjoyable game day experience at home in their own living rooms, cars, and more.