Cubs dominate online merchandise sales

November 4, 2016 12:18 PM

Consumers like winners, and the Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball on the field and on the e-commerce front this year.

Data from e-commerce analytics provider Slice Intelligence finds that the now-world champion Cubs sold more than eight times the Major League Baseball average in merchandise, by revenue, this year, by far the highest of any team in the league. The data is through Oct. 31 and does not include sales generated during Games 6 and 7 of the World Series, which were played Nov. 1-2.

Slice, which bases its estimates by tracking receipts shoppers receive via email, did not quantify a dollar figure for the online merchandise sales. Slice data shows how Cubs fans shopped online with vigor as the Cubs got closer to the championship. The vendor previously published a blog post with online sales data through Oct. 21, which showed Cubs merchandise had sold at a level five times greater than the Major League Average. Ten days later, it was eight times greater.

The Cubs far outscored their World Series opponents, the Cleveland Indians, in online merchandise sales. Web sales of Indians merchandise was just more than double the league average, tied with the Boston Red Sox.

“Teams that won more games during the 2016 regular season also tended to move more branded items online,” Slice writes. The Cubs had the best regular-season record in baseball (103-58) and beat the Indians Nov. 2 in an extra-inning Game 7 to win the championship for the first time since 1908. The Red Sox (93-69) and the Indians (94-67) had division-leading records in the American League.

An October push proved to be hugely beneficial for the Cubs and the Indians as they progressed toward the Series—58.4% of all Cubs gear was sold in October, compared with 65.6% of all Indians merchandise, Slice finds.

Oct. 23, the day the Cubs clinched the National League Championship Series, generated the biggest day for Cubs merchandise sales online, accounting for 14.5% of the season's e-commerce sales of Cubs gear, Slice says.

The Cubs’ and the Indians’ stellar performances on and off the field mark a major improvement from years past. Slice’s data shows Cubs’ online merchandise sales grew 236% year over year in 2015 when the team made its first playoff appearance this decade, and those sales jumped 169% this year. The Indians, by comparison, generated a 38% increase in online merchandise sales in 2015 and a 320% jump this year.




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