Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun let down an entire fan base after admitting this week to using performance-enhancing drugs and accepting a suspension for the rest of the season. But despite losing an endorsement deal and $3.8 million in salary, Braun is still generating revenue through merchandise sales.
According to Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger, there has been an increase in the sales of Braun merchandise since the suspension was announced on Monday.
“We will continue to offer Ryan Braun’s merchandise for sale at our team stores at Miller Park,” Schlesinger told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday. “Ryan is a Milwaukee Brewer. It is within each fan’s right to decide whether to purchase his merchandise or not. While it has only been a few days since the announcement of Ryan’s suspension, we actually have experienced an increase in sales of Ryan Braun merchandise. We are not speculating as to the reason for this increase, but it’s the reality.”
As of now, the Brewers are planning to hold onto Braun. He is under contract with the team through 2020, so pulling his merchandise from the shelves would make no sense. The team probably won’t be putting out any advertisements that encourage fans to snatch up No. 8 jerseys, but discontinuing them is not an option.
The increase in sales could be a coincidence, or it could be a similar situation to Aaron Hernandez jerseys selling for big bucks on eBay and other sites. Relax, I’m not comparing Braun to an alleged murderer — I’m simply saying there are some people who may wonder if Braun will ever play for the Brewers again and might consider his Milwaukee gear to be a collector’s item.
It’s also possible that fans are buying Braun shirts to do what this fan did with hers. One thing we do know is that sports fans forgive quickly. If Braun serves his suspension and comes back the same player (and drug-free), plenty of fans will be willing to embrace him again.
H/T Big League StewGoogle+