One win. That’s all it took for rookie New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to go from alleged draft day blunder to one of the NFL’s new merchandising stars.
With the 22-year old quarterback leading the Giants to a 32-31 come-from-behind win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, sales of Jones’ No. 8 jersey have gone through the roof.
Jones boasted the top-selling NFL player jersey both Sunday and Monday at online apparel retailer Fanatics, said company spokesman Brandon Williams.
The No. 6 overall pick out of Duke University sold more merchandise in a two-hour period Sunday than all but one NFL player for the entire day. The exception? The league’s reigning MVP, quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who ranked No. 2 behind Jones on Sunday.
Over the last two days, the 1-2 Giants have ranked as Fanatics’ best-selling team, behind only the 3-0 Dallas Cowboys. On Sunday, Giants merchandise sales rose 70% from the previous Sunday, according to Fanatics.
Sales momentum has been building for Jones ever since Giants coach Pat Shurmur announced early last week he was taking the baton from Eli Manning after an 0-2 start.
Since the announcement, sales of Jones’ jersey rose 500% at Fanatics, according to the New York Post.
Giants fans have already coined a nickname for Jones: “Danny Dimes.” However, two New Yorkers with no ties to Jones or the Giants filed trademark claims on the moniker, according to the North Jersey Record.
Still, the Giants have not wasted time marketing the young QB. At the top of the team’s website Monday was an ad inviting fans to win tickets for Jones’ home debut vs. the NFC East rival Washington Redskins on September 29.
There are legit reasons for Jones jersey-mania, say sports business experts.
Since beating Tom Brady’s New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, the struggling Giants have made the NFL Playoffs only once in the past seven seasons.
They traded arguably the league’s most exciting player, Odell Beckham Jr., to the Cleveland Browns during the off-season.
Manning, the team’s starting QB since 2004, is still popular due to his two Super Bowl MVP’s. But the Giants have not made the playoffs since 2016, and Peyton Manning’s younger brother has struggled mightily in recent seasons.
The result? New York sports fans are jonesing, pardon the pun, for a new football hero.
If Jones continues to win, he “has no ceiling” when it comes to potential marketing/merchandising deals, said consultant LeslieAnne Wade of Wade Media Management.
Marketing consultant Allen Adamson of Metaforce agreed.
“New York is so desperate for a winning football team that anything close to a white knight can name their price,” said Adamson, who also serves as an adjunct professor at the NYU Stern School of Business. “Any ray of hope is going to sell like hotcakes.”
It’s easy to forget only five months ago, the Giants were jeered for taking Jones in the first round of the NFL’s 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville. But Jones’ impressive performance Sunday, including two TD passes and two TD runs, made sports TV opinionists eat crow.
ESPN’s NFL Live studio show ran a clip the day after the game featuring some of the network’s top analysts getting the Jones pick wrong.
Pronouncing Daniel Jones like he was swallowing a sour lemon, Max Kellerman called his selection a “terrible blunder.” Todd McShay joked the Giants “read the wrong name” by mistake.
Bomani Jones was mystified: “Not one time during football season did I ever hear anybody talk about this dude.”
Now, Jones and the Giants are seemingly having the last laugh.
During ESPN’s Get Up flagship morning show Monday, ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan told host Mike Greenberg he’d rather have the rookie Jones than Jets sophomore starter Sam Darnold. On Tuesday’s show, Marcus Spears did Ryan one better by saying Jones is actually better than Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Giants fans have been here before: young quarterbacks like Dave Brown, Danny Kanell and Kent Graham came and went in between the reigns of franchise QB’s Phil Simms and Eli Manning.
But with running back Saquon Barkley now on the disabled list and the New York Jets at 0-3, Daniel Jones has the New York football spotlight solely on him.