D’IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Stores prepare well in advance of big sporting events in order for fans to snatch up merchandise immediately after big wins. Saints fans would have been able to get their hands on some NFC Championship merchandise if the Rams hadn’t beaten the team in overtime.
Typically, most people get their gear at the start of the season, but since the Saints have been a force to be reckoned with this year, fans were buying hats, jerseys and shirts like they were going out of style.
“Of course last year, out after the divisional round and into the NFC Championship this year, so we’re getting that extra week at least of shoppers,” said Kevin Harris, the sales manager of Academy Sports in D’Iberville.
Hours before the game, almost every piece of Saints inventory was on the racks.
"There's not a lot left," said Felia Georges, a shopper.
If you asked an employee to check for more items in the back, they could, but they couldn’t sell you what was back there unless the had Saints won.
“I’m excited to have the shirts back there. Of course you can’t see them,” said Harris.
You could not even get a sneak peak. The shirts were locked away and under heavy supervision.
"Whatever the team is wearing in the locker room after the game, that's the shirt that we will be selling," Harris said.
It was expected to be a mad dash if a victory is secured, but the store manager said no one should have to fight for a shirt or feel left out.
“I think they will go well. There’s a lot of shirts back there, and we want to make sure we are able to take care of all of our customers,” Harris said.
Some of the younger fans in the store weren’t around for the 2009 Superbowl victory, so they were just getting a taste of how great it feels to see the team get so far, win or lose.
Some of the older fans are still hanging on to their Saints NFC championship gear from a decade ago, but were hoping to update their collection after Sunday.