One of the best ways to support your favorite sports team or player is by wearing their jersey.
You can even find jerseys that allow you to customize them to demonstrate just how much love you have for the team or player.
However, when shopping for a jersey, you’ll often find that the prices are quite high.
The average cost of an NFL jersey is $100.
Here are 10 reasons NFL jerseys are so expensive.
Why Are NFL Jerseys So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
One of the main differences between a jersey and a typical shirt is the material it uses.
Most shirts are made of cotton or some mixture of cotton and other materials.
NFL jerseys are made with nylon and polyester.
While polyester is cheaper than cotton, using a lot of it does make a product more expensive.
However, it’s the nylon that adds to the price tag of an NFL jersey.
That’s because nylon is expensive to make.
Several steps are involved in its production, and it takes a bit longer to make than other materials.
Since it’s processed more and takes longer to make, it’s essentially more expensive.
That’s because manufacturers of nylon have to cover their costs and the time in which the product wasn’t making a profit for them.
Since jerseys are made with a lot of polyester and nylon, manufacturers spend a lot on the materials to make their jerseys.
Those costs are then passed on to the consumer who buys the jersey.
Another reason nylon is expensive is that there aren’t that many clothing items made with it.
It’s not needed as much as cotton or polyester, for example.
Because it isn’t used on a grander scale, production levels are quite low.
When demand is high for it, like in the making of jerseys, then factories can sell their material at higher prices.
They know that since not too many other factories produce nylon, they can set a higher price.
Since this forces the jersey makers to spend more money to make their jerseys, they sell their jerseys at higher prices to cover the costs.
One of the benefits of nylon, and NFL jerseys in general, is their ability to breathe.
They allow air to pass through the fibers and reach your skin.
This makes wearing NFL jerseys a lot more comfortable than other types of clothing.
This is especially important when you consider where people generally wear their jerseys the most—at football games.
To support their team and favorite players, fans will wear their NFL jerseys.
The problem with attending a football game is that it’s often hot outside and you’re surrounded by lots of other bodies.
In most cases, you’re going to sweat.
This can make wearing normal clothing uncomfortable, not to mention being generally uncomfortable yourself.
A jersey makes you more comfortable because it’s breathable.
Whenever air passes over your skin, it helps cool down your body.
This alleviates some of the effects of sweat on your skin.
It also acts as a vent in that it releases the hot air trapped inside of the shirt.
If you were wearing cotton, for example, the hot air would become trapped inside of your shirt.
As you grow warmer and warmer, that hot air has nowhere to go.
With a breathable material like nylon, the hot air can escape which makes it easier to stay cooler.
This is a valued benefit of wearing a jersey at a football game or another outdoor social event.
Since you can remain comfortable for longer, you can also stick around for longer before your discomfort drives you back home.
It’s also safer.
There’s less risk of becoming overheated or dehydrated.
These features make wearing an NFL jersey attractive.
It leads to higher demand.
With higher demand comes higher prices.
NFL jerseys are expensive because they’re breathable and increase comfort.
Some of the most expensive types of NFL jerseys have a waterproof feature.
This is a great feature because you never know if it’s going to rain during a football game or not.
The last thing any fan enjoys is sitting in their seat with rain pouring down on them.
Not only can it ruin certain clothes, but it makes the entire experience of watching football extremely uncomfortable.
Those who wear jerseys that aren’t waterproof run the risk of having their clothes ruined.
Those who wear waterproof jerseys are able to enjoy the game a bit more.
The waterproof feature of their jerseys essentially means that the jersey can repel water a lot better than other materials.
This means that water has a harder time soaking into the material.
As a result, you’re able to stay dry longer.
If you’re in a downpour, however, even your waterproof shirt is eventually going to become soaked.
It will just do so at a slower rate.
If it’s a light rain, your waterproof jersey may not even get soaked at all.
This is advantageous because it means other people may be extremely uncomfortable in their wet clothes, but you’ll be mostly dry.
Clearly, there’s a benefit of waterproof jerseys which means demand for them is usually higher than standard jerseys.
Serious fans who want to attend every game no matter what the weather is are more likely to buy waterproof jerseys.
Since this adds to the demand for these specific jerseys, the price is higher.
The cost of making waterproof jerseys is also higher.
Manufacturers have to invest in higher quality materials to make them waterproof.
Since it costs them more money to make the jersey, they also sell them at higher prices.
NFL jerseys are expensive when they’re made of waterproofing material.
4. Little Competition
Another reason NFL jerseys are expensive is the fact that they usually only use one producer for their jerseys.
This becomes problematic because it usually means there is going to be a high price on that product.
Most NFL teams sign on with only one producer for their jerseys because they usually get some sort of deal out of it.
It might be a discount on the team’s jerseys, for example.
It might mean that they get a share of the profit.
Whatever the deal might be, since they’re only working with one producer, that means the producer can set whatever price they want.
While there are other producers out there who are likely making copies of the jerseys, they’re not officially licensed by the NFL team.
This usually means it doesn’t have some sort of signature or identifying mark that it’s an official jersey.
For serious fans, this isn’t acceptable.
They want that official signature since it gives them status.
The main reason that having only one official producer leads to high prices has to do with competition.
In a normal economic market, several brands offer the same or similar products.
To attract customers to their stores instead of their competitors, the brand will lower its prices.
To counteract, the other brand will lower its prices even further.
This continues until both brands have lowered their prices as much as they can while still generating an acceptable profit.
This leads to low prices for customers.
In an economic market that doesn’t have competition, the brand has no reason to lower its prices.
It knows that its customers are going to buy from it no matter what because they can’t get that product anywhere else.
This allows the brand to set high prices.
Customers have no choice but to pay the high price if they want the product badly enough.
NFL jerseys are expensive because they only use one producer for their official jerseys.
5. Authentic Jerseys
As any NFL fan will know, there are different types of jerseys.
Each type even has its own name.
One of the most expensive types of jerseys is an authentic one.
An authentic jersey uses a mid-tier level of quality for its material.
This makes it a bit more affordable than one other type of jersey, but it’s still very expensive.
An authentic jersey will have a tailored fit to its design.
This means it’s designed to hug your body and accentuate certain parts that show off your physique.
They also have authentic lettering, logos, and designs that you can find on the player’s real jerseys.
Since this type of jersey is one level below on-field jerseys, you can find them in standard apparel sizes.
The reason this type of jersey is expensive is that its quality is just one step below the type of quality that the players wear.
That means a lot of expense goes into the making of this type of jersey.
Since it’s so expensive to make, the manufacturers have to sell them at higher prices to cover those costs.
There’s also an element of status that goes into the jersey.
Since these jerseys usually have some sort of signature indicating their quality, those wearing them have a lot of status in the sports fandom.
It’s essentially proving you’re the team’s biggest fan since you spent that much money on their jersey.
Authentic jerseys are like a luxury version of a standard jersey.
That comes with a luxury price tag.
NFL jerseys are expensive if they’re authentic.
6. On-Field Jerseys
The most expensive type of NFL jersey is an on-field jersey.
This is the same jersey that the players wear on the field.
Because it’s the same jersey, you can expect it to have additional features like moisture-wicking and durability.
After all, if you see a player having their jersey torn off, then it likely wasn’t made with high-quality materials.
On-field jerseys contain a lot of expensive materials to make them professional-grade.
Since football is a contact sport, the jerseys have to last through each game.
While each player likely has a few spare jerseys, the goal is to limit how many they need.
Manufacturers also know that if their jerseys rip on live television, there’s a good chance that they’ll never work in the business again.
Their reputation rests on the durability of their jerseys.
Since they invest a lot of money in durability, they need to cover those expenses with higher prices.
On-field jerseys also have twill lettering and numbers.
This means that each jersey usually has someone sewing the letters and numbers onto it by hand.
That increases the price since manual labor is always more expensive than machine labor.
There’s also a difference in sizing.
Even though authentic jerseys have a tailored fit, they suffer from using standard apparel sizes.
On-field jerseys need something a bit more exact.
While most producers likely make their jerseys specifically for each player, they also make the same jersey available to the public.
They use numbers for sizing instead of traditional apparel sizes because it’s more professional.
It also helps everyone narrow down what jersey fits them best.
Since they’re also able to produce jerseys in a bunch of different sizes, this also means that fans can find a jersey that fits them perfectly and makes them look great.
All these features add to the cost of making these high-quality jerseys.
That makes on-field jerseys expensive.
7. Custom Jerseys
While you can get exact replicas of jerseys of your favorite player, you can also get custom ones.
These jerseys usually depict the same color as your favorite team, but you can decide on the logo, number, and lettering.
For example, many fans like to make family jerseys.
They’ll get a jersey for each member of the family and put their name on the shirt.
Some will even assign a specific number to them.
The family can then wear their jerseys when out together at a game or even just at a social function.
Others might get a jersey with their own name and number on it.
These jerseys can make them feel as though they’re part of the team.
The ability to customize a jersey is a big selling factor.
While there’s a huge market for authentic and on-field jerseys, there’s just as big of a market for custom jerseys.
Being able to make your NFL jersey your own is a lot of fun for fans.
It’s also just another way to express your love for the game or team.
However, when you customize anything, you can expect expensive prices to follow.
That’s because buying a custom item means that the producer has to make that specifically for you.
It takes time and materials, and if they have a lot of demand for their products, then both of those things are in short supply.
That means the producer will put a high price on their goods.
The more customized your jersey is, the more expensive it’s going to be since that means it’s going to spend even more time on the assembly line.
If you’re getting something that’s handcrafted, you’re going to pay a premium price.
Handcrafting and customization take a long time and when the producer has a high demand for their products, they’re going to be selling at high prices.
Teams change their jerseys over time.
It may feature a new design, a modernized logo, or a new cut. Anything can change on it.
This means that their older jerseys are part of NFL history.
When it comes to NFL history, physical items can become collectible and valuable.
The type of NFL jersey you have could also be collectible and valuable.
For example, those who buy on-field jerseys are essentially owning the same jersey that a player wore.
If they were to hold onto that jersey long enough, it could have value over the years.
It’s not unlike if someone had an on-field jersey of a team from the 1950s or 1940s.
Because it’s old, it has value.
Jerseys become even more collectible when the fan can get them signed by players.
It’s easy to put a jersey behind some glass and put it on display.
If the jersey can get some signatures on it from popular players, its value is even higher.
Sports collectors know this, which is why they like to buy on-field jerseys.
They know that in a few years their collection might be worth something.
That adds to the demand for NFL jerseys which only makes the price higher.
9. High Demand
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons behind high NFL jersey prices is the demand for them.
There’s a significant amount of demand for NFL jerseys because fans want to support their teams and players.
It’s one of the easiest ways that fans can support their favorite teams and players.
Not only does it support them financially, but wearing a jersey to a game is essentially like waving a flag.
It’s a physical means of showing support.
It also shows others what team you support.
When your favorite team is playing, but you’re unable to attend the game, you can still show your support to other people by wearing a jersey.
In many ways, wearing a jersey is also a form of status among NFL fans.
The more expensive your jersey is, the more devoted a fan you are.
This makes the price of a jersey expensive because it means there are tons of people wanting to get their hands on a jersey.
Since producers can only release a certain number of jerseys each day, it’s difficult for them to meet the kind of rabid demand that sports fans have for their jerseys.
This means that they’re able to set higher prices to help bring down demand a little.
10. Team Or Player Popularity
A final reason NFL jerseys are expensive is when the jersey depicts a popular player or team.
These jerseys are expensive because they’re the most in-demand.
A player can have several fans even if the fan doesn’t necessarily support the player’s team.
Even passive fans are more likely to get a jersey of a famous or favorite player because they enjoy them.
NFL jerseys are expensive when they depict a popular player because more people want to get their hands on them.
Even if the player ends up going to a different team, their fans are likely to buy new jerseys depicting the player with the new team.
If the player joins a team that isn’t as popular, the jerseys for that specific player will likely be more expensive than the rest of the team’s jerseys.
It’s simply because there’s more demand for more popular players and teams.
Popular teams also have expensive jerseys because there’s more demand for their jerseys than a team that isn’t as popular.
If you want to support your favorite team or player, you can expect to pay an expensive price for a jersey.
Depending on the type of jersey that you want, you could be paying an even higher price.
Certain jerseys are more expensive than others, too, if it depicts a popular team or player.