NHL merchandise sales is a huge industry. Fans flock in mass numbers to purchase their favorite team's gear from team stores, department stores, and other outlets. In 1994, merchandise sales surpassed $1.35 billion, league-wide (Jenish, 1994). This was attributed to growth in youth street hockey and appealing logos of new teams and modified team signatures.
In Colorado, the Avalanche saw 12,000 fans lined up to view the Stanley Cup at local malls. Hundreds of purchases resulted. In 1996, the Detroit Red Wings earned almost $48 million in merchandise sales. Substantials portions of team earnings are a result of merchandise sales (Narvaes, 1996).
NHL merchandise is a booming entity that has enormous growth potential, partly due to the influx of European players into the league. This opens a whole new market of European consumers. European sales seem especially profitable due to the star status of European players, such as Dominik Hasek, Jaromir Jagr, Petr Forsberg, and others.
Apparel ranges from jerseys to hats to other collective memorabilia. Prices vary, and the average fan is not averse to spending money for a t-shirt or jacket. But when entering a hockey arena, most fans are wearing jerseys and hats, as shown below.