It’s a pastime in Europe, too, where Brady has the highest-selling NFL jersey. Though the most popular player in the United Kingdom, based on jersey sales, is a younger, more dynamic player: New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
As the NFL continues to grow throughout Europe, Brady is leading the way. According to the official NFL online store for Europe, Brady was tops among all NFL players in jersey sales at the end of the first week of the regular season. Whatever fatigue fans might have about Brady and the Patriots here, or the negative comments related to deflate-gate and his suspension, it hasn’t bothered his popularity much across the Atlantic Ocean.
However, Brady doesn’t rule every European country. In the United Kingdom, which has been the focus of the NFL’s International Series for years (the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens will play at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, in a game streamed live on Yahoo Sports), Brady was beaten for the top spot by Beckham. Beckham had the top-selling jersey in the UK from April 2017 to August 2017, says the NFL’s Kamran Mumtaz, the director of league communications.
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It’s easy to figure out why: Beckham is a great player, he plays for one of the New York teams, produces a viral video of some crazy catch almost weekly and has the kind of off-field celebrity that’s usually reserved in sports for soccer superstars. Maybe it doesn’t hurt he shares a last name with David Beckham, one of the biggest soccer stars in the world.
Beckham is marketed very well in London, as Yahoo Sports’ Jackie Bamberger wrote last year when the Giants played the Los Angeles Rams there, and it’s smart for the NFL to make him a big part of its international push.
“Odell is a superstar,” Sarah Swanson, head of marketing for NFL UK, told Yahoo last year. “He’s really dynamic and he’s really stylish and entertaining. He’s exactly what you want to help us position to grow globally.”
Beckham also had the top-selling jersey in Sweden and Norway, according to Mumtaz. Brady won Denmark, keeping Beckham from further Scandinavia domination. Brady won most of the European countries, though there were some random results. For some reason, Dan Marino’s jersey is the most popular seller in the Czech Republic. Apparently there’s a big market there for Dolphins legends who haven’t played in almost two decades.
Brady is still the king throughout Europe. Not only is Brady popular in Europe now, he has held the crown for a while. In 2015, Yahoo’s Charles Robinson examined who had the best-selling jersey. It was Brady.
The same player doesn’t always lead a league in jersey sales. Brady is in his 17th season as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, and you’d figure that if you’re a Brady or Patriots fan you’ve had a lot of time to buy his jersey. But he keeps selling. According to NFL Shop in the United States, Brady has the top-selling jersey here too.
In Europe or anywhere else, it seems intuitive that Brady would have the top-selling jersey or close. The Patriots have had far more success than any other NFL team this century. The quarterback is almost always the face of any franchise. Brady arguably has had more success than any other quarterback in NFL history. Throw in some intangibles – Brady is photogenic, and his wife Gisele is a world-famous supermodel, to name two – and he’s a clear winner.
The Patriots’ popularity has been a constant not just for Brady (who likes Europe himself, he spent part of his 2016 suspension there) but the Patriots as a whole. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is second to Brady in jersey sales. For sales including all of Europe, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman ranked fifth, ahead of Beckham and other stars like Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, who are more popular than Edelman in the United States. Edelman and Gronkowski sell more jerseys in Europe than Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best player in the NFL or at least second-best behind Brady.
Brady is still the name to know among European NFL fans. But it seems that Beckham isn’t far behind.
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