Talk about a “Hot Market.” Better yet, a “Heat Market.”
Printing machines were working overtime overnight to ready name and number Heat T-shirts for sale today. LeBron James No. 6, Dwyane Wade No. 3 and Chris Bosh No. 1 Tees are available.
Jerseys will take a little bit longer, but you can pre-order at heat.com. And apparently, fans were ordering even before they knew which players would actually land with the Heat, says Andy Montero, Heat senior director of retail operations.
The Heat doesn’t release sales figures, but Montero said the orders placed since James made it official last night he was coming to Miami, were equivalent to a typical two months of sales.
“It’s like getting Elvis,” Montero said. “It’s hot market, it’s code blue, whatever you want to call it. One of the key things it is helping the local economy.”
That’s because printing is taking place in South Florida.
5th & Ocean Clothing of Hialeah, which specializes in women’s merchandise, is making shirts with the names and numbers of the Heat’s big trio on the front. The items are expected to be delivered to the Miami Hoops Gear store at AmericanAirlines Arena this afternoon, said Robert Fonseca, 5th & Ocean director of sales.
The arena store is open today starting at 10 a.m. until at least 4 p.m. Merchandise is also available at the Hoops Gear Store in Dolphin Mall in Miami.
“This is huge and I think it’s going to be for a while,” Fonseca said. “It’s a big thing, the next Michael Jordan. I think it’s good for sports licensed business, it’s good for the league, for the NBA, which has been a little weak as far as sales and attendance and good for the economy.”
When Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Heat in 2004, it was big, but this – this is different.
“You’ve got three of top five players in the league on the same team and then you’ve got the mastermind of Pat Riley putting this deal together, preparing for this for x amount of years.”
So much that the team has sold out of its available season ticket inventory. But fans who want to get in are being encouraged to call 786-777-HOOP to be placed on a waiting list because some tickets should become available “in the near future,” Heat President of Business Operations Eric Woolworth said in a statement.
The Heat won’t release sales figures, but Woolworth said,” the sale of premium seats and season tickets over the last couple of weeks has been extremely brisk, peaking in a new intensity the last couple of days.”
The team has raised prices for any future season ticket sales.