Let’s say you’re a big New England Patriots fan (I know, I’m very sorry). Everyone you know has a Tom Brady jersey or a Gronk jersey or a Danny Amendola jersey. That would be fine, but you’re an iconoclast. You’re a free thinker. You can something unique. So, you decided to invest in a Jimmy Garoppolo jersey. You like what you’ve seen from the guy. He seems like he might be the future of the franchise. You plunked down your $99 knowing that buying a Garoppolo Patriots jersey was an investment in a better future.
And right about then is when the Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. Ah, crap.
So now you’re left with a dilemma. You can burn the jersey and put the video on YouTube in some strange form of protest. You can put tape over Garoppolo and write the name of some other Patriots player. You can keep wearing the Garoppolo jersey as-is and explain to everyone that you mean it in an ironic hipster kind of way.
Finally, however, Fanatics has another solution for you. Per Mr. Brands himself, Darren Rovell, the largest seller of pro and college jerseys in the U.S. has announced that they will allow fans the ability to exchange the jersey of their favorite player if said player is traded. If your love for the player transcends team affiliation, they’ll swap your jersey for a version on the player’s current team. However, if you’re loyal to the team, they’ll simply provide you with a different player jersey from the same squad.
There are some caveats. You have to have bought the jersey within three months before the player is traded. And then, you have two weeks after the trade to request the exchange. So, no, you can’t trade-in that jersey you bought ten years ago that’s falling apart now. American Express customers have the luxury of being able to exchange the jersey if they purchased it within a year before the player is traded. Fanatics covers all shipping on the exchange as well.
Remember, the player in question has to be traded. If your favorite player retires, gets suspended, gets injured, or gets cut, that’s not grounds for a free jersey exchange. They also don’t offer exchanges if a team changes their jersey or if the player’s number or position changes.
Fanatics actually soft-launched the program back in November. The first major case of exchanges came about when the New Orleans Saints traded Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals. According to Fanatics, most Saints fans who participated in the exchange asked for new Saints jerseys rather than a Cardinals one with Peterson on the back.
According to Rovell, the program is in part in reaction to the launch of Rep The Squad, a company that allows you to rent a jersey for $20 a month. Who knew there were still innovations left to be made in the jersey industry?