Don’t Fear Seasonal Products: My Plea for Nike NBA Christmas Uniforms

Posted on December 25, 2018

It’s Christmas! You know what that means? It’s time for one of the timeless, seasonal traditions. That’s right. You’re all thinking it! It’s…

The launch of the NBA’s Christmas jerseys (I promise this article will have a broader point that’s relevant to your e-commerce store)! 

That’s right, the NBA’s Christmas jerseys are both festive and fashionable, and give the sponsor of NBA apparel a chance to really flex some creative muscles. Just look at these:

These jerseys, socks, and shoes launched on Christmas Day of 2015.

The combo of jerseys, socks, and shoes both matched the holiday and look amazing. 

Imagine being the greatest basketball player to ever live, and also looking this fresh.

That’s LeBron looking fly in some Christmas duds, and he looks fantastic.

Tony Parker looks great, but peep the festive t-shirt Davis Bertans is rocking on the bench.

Now, you may have noticed something about all of these jerseys: they’re all Adidas brand jerseys. If you follow basketball, you know that Nike now owns the rights to NBA apparel, so let’s take a look at what they’ve brought to the Christmas table:

That’s right. Nike– the juggernaut of fashion and function– has no planned Christmas jerseys. Nike broke my heart in 2017:

So Nike doesn’t do Christmas jerseys, surely there’s a reason, right? They’ve calculated risk previously, even testing political waters. Surely there’s a motivation behind no Christmas jerseys, right? 

When no Christmas jerseys came in 2017, people were upset, but it was explained away. The logic was that Nike had only just begun serving the NBA, and didn’t have time to get Christmas jerseys down the supply chain. Maybe a seasonal item couldn’t sell well enough to justify the cost. Maybe there is a secret war on Christmas. All of that makes sense… only, they didn’t drop them this year either. 

Nike did announce some special 2018 uniforms that came out on Christmas with their “Earned Edition” jerseys. All teams who made the playoffs in the 2017-18 season would get some new uniforms that were basically just different colored versions of previously released “City Edition” jerseys. Where’s the holiday spirit there? Where are the snowflake socks? How could Nike drop the ball like this?

Here’s the important e-commerce part: I can’t answer why Nike dropped the ball, and it perplexes me to no end. Seasonal items can be an incredible boon to your business. Consider the other major Christmas fashion tradition: the ugly Christmas sweater. These are no longer reserved for blue-haired grandmas or dads who wear socks with sandals. The demand for ugly Christmas sweaters have skyrocketed in recent years, and the demand has only grown more. Don’t believe me? What about Anne Marie Blackman, “a former stay-at-home mom with a computer science background who picked up on the ugly sweater trend back in 2008.” She started selling sweaters on eBay back then, selling them for 50 to 100 dollars a pop. This year she “has sold about 25,000 ugly Christmas sweaters and made over a million dollars in revenue.” That’s insane. Other businesses have done even more– over $70 million in one case. That should dispel with the myth that seasonal gifts aren’t in demand.

As for the supply chain concerns: come on… it’s Nike.

In short, don’t let seasonal products scare you away. If you find a niche in the market with no demands being met, don’t hesitate to fill that niche. As with the above examples, it can be enough to “put her two kids through college and create a full-time, year-round business.”

As for Nike, I beg you: please bring back the Christmas jerseys. I don’t want different colored retreads of “City Edition” jerseys. I want some holly and jolly uniforms to make the season bright, and I think most NBA fans do too, because these plain “Earned” uniforms have me making faces like LeBron:

Enjoy your Christmas, and may next year have holiday jerseys that we may all enjoy!