Turns out Cubs fans won’t be able to get their hands on an authentic Theo Epstein jersey after all.
RedEye (a free publication offered by the Chicago Tribune) reporter Tracy Swartz is reporting that Sports World will no longer be selling the Epstein jerseys. The store had been offering jerseys and shirseys bearing Epstein’s name and the no. 12 for a couple of weeks.
So why are they pulling what could have been a popular (if not unconventional) product from the shelves?
“Majestic Athletic, which creates officially licensed Major League Baseball apparel, won’t produce the Epstein jersey because No. 12 is Cubs left-fielder Alfonso Soriano’s number.
“We will only produce No. 12 Cubs jerseys with Soriano’s name or personalized with a buyer’s name,” Michael Johnson, vice president of marketing for VF Licensed Sports Group, which owns Majestic, said in an e-mail.”
Give SportsWorld credit for thinking outside the box on this one. As we pointed out earlier, it’s the first time that we know of that a team has tried marketing a front office executive in this fashion. Also, given Theo’s popularity in Chicago right now, it’s easy to speculate that the jerseys would have been a hot seller around the ballpark.
While SportsWorld will not be able to sell Epstein jerseys, they are still selling at least one t-shirt using Theo’s name. Other stores around Wrigley Field told me last week that they were planning on following suit by offering similar products.