In the NFL there was a Cincinnati player named Chad Johnson. Just prior to the season he changed his name to Chad Ocho Cinco. The NFL has the gall to say that he cannot wear his new name on his jersey since the name change came too late. Reebok had already generated 100,000 Johnson jerseys and the NFL says he can only were his new name if he shells out about $4 million to Reebok for the unsold jerseys.
Set aside that this highly skilled athlete has a huge ego and is one of the most narcissistic athletes in the nation. NFL has needs to get a life for its unjust and hypocritical posture. What if Johnson was traded to a new team two weeks ago? Would the NFL say the trade could not take place until one of the teams buys up the unused jerseys? No. If he died in an automobile accident, would the NFL or Reebok sue the estate for the cost of the unsold jerseys? If they did they would be a laughed out of court and told that lost was the cost of doing business.
Would the NFL say to a team that wants change jersey designs that they cannot do so unless they buy up the old jerseys first? Of course not. There are professional teams that change uniform designs every five to seven years. They know full well that once they change uniform designs that their sportswear sales spike up for two years as fans quickly buy up the new items.
The jerseys which cost 30 to $40 to manufacture retail for three times that cost. Regardless of what name goes on his jersey, who is going to pay $100 for a jersey with the former name knowing that he has changed names and next season there will be jerseys with the new name? If Reebok thought they could sell 100,000 jerseys this season, they would likely sell double that with new name as fans who bought jerseys over the past two or three years snap up ones with the new name. If 220,000 of the new jerseys sold, would Reebok or the NFL give Ohco Cinco the lion share of the profits to him? Of course not! They would gleefully keep all their profits.
The NFL needs to get a life and act more justly. So he has changed his name. So what if Reebok has a useless supply of jerseys? It is part of the cost of doing business. Lets also remember that though Reebok made 100,000 jerseys they were already expecting to eat or deeply discount around a significant portion. That said, are they really out that much money? I doubt it. They could easily discount and sell what they can for $40. Reebok can manufacture and sell a limited supply of jerseys (say 30,000) with the new name at a premium price of 150 to $180. There will be a host of people who will pay the premium price to be one of the few to have the new name. Reebok also needs to keep some (about 10,000) in storage for two decades in case the player goes to the hall of fame. If he goes into the hall, mint official jerseys with is old name will be costly collector’s item.