By Barry Janoff
October 9, 2013: Colin Kaepernick is in his third NFL season as quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, which last year reached the Super Bowl and this year are predicted to again go deep into the playoffs.
Add to that a new $1.4 billion Levi's Stadium, scheduled to open for the 2014 campaign and which has been designated as host venue for the NFL's historic Super Bowl L in 2016, plus highly visible ad campaigns for McDonald's and EA Sports, and you get a lot of national exposure for Kaepernick.
It is not too surprising, then, that Kaepernick has had since April the top-selling jersey among all NFL players, according to NFLShop.com.
IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, this week signed Kaepernick for exclusive marketing, sponsorships and endorsements. Kaepernick will continue to be represented by XAM Sports and Entertainment for his on-field representation.
"We are extremely pleased to have Colin as a client," Sandy Montag, IMG senior corporate vp and managing director-IMG Clients Division, said in a statement. "He's an incredibly talented and athletic quarterback and has quickly become one of the game’s most exciting players. We believe he will be of great interest to companies that want to be associated with excellence,"
Kaepernick's No. 7 Nike jersey replaced Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins at the top of the list and beat out Peyton Manning's No. 18 Denver Broncos' jersey for the top spot. Manning moved up from fifth on the to second in the latest list released by NFLShop.com, which covered April-September 2013.
RG3 had the best-selling jersey in any fiscal year since 2001, when the league began to compile and release such data, from March 2012-April 2013.
No sales figures were disclosed.
Eight of the top ten best selling jerseys belong to quarterbacks. In addition to Kaepernick, Manning, and RG3, they are Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks), Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins), Tom Brady (New England Patriots), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) and Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints).
Eli Manning's New York Giants jersey was No. 12.
The other two jerseys belong to NFL MVP and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans. Watt and Brees were not among the Top Ten in the previous list, but replaced Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, respectively, both of whom retired from active play.
In a separate list, NFLShop.com listed the Top Ten most searched for team merchandise on its Web site. That list included: Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos.
NFL Best-Selling Jerseys (Previous Rank)
1. (3) Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers
2. (5) Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
3. (2) Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks
4. (4) Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
5. (1) Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins
6. (6) Ryan Tannehill Miami Dolphins
7. (7) Tom Brady New England Patriots
8. (9) Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
9. J.J. Watt Houston Texans
10. Drew Brees New Orleans Saints