DALLAS — Entrepreneurs selling shirts and other Dallas Mavericks merchandise near the American Airlines Center this week said the NBA Finals haven't been as profitable as other championships.
"I'm from Connecticut, and it was worth it in 2006," said merchandiser Chris Picagli. "It's not worth it this year."
Picagli said he has sold championship merchandise for the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball for almost 13 years.
He buys official NBA-licensed products from a national merchandiser, then purchases a City of Dallas permit to set up two tables of jerseys, T-shirts, hats and NBA lanyards.
For professional basketball, he sees the same trend every year: Women buy merchandise; men don’t.
"This is all I have left for women — three pieces," Picagli said, pointing to just a few items left on a table next to a number of men's items.
"You'd think by now, I'd order more women's than men's," he said. "Every year, I do the same thing."
Unless things change, Picagli said he will lose money on Mavs merchandise this year.
"Right now if it stays like this, yeah," he admitted.
Michael Polk flew in from Atlanta late Monday night to try to sell 65 T-shirts he designed which feature a silhouetted picture of Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki and the slogan "Dirk Happens."
"The [last-minute plane] ticket was $780 round-trip. I paid $5 for the shirt, but I'm selling them for $12. It's worth it. I had to do it," Polk said.
He won't make a profit; he won't even come close.
But between walk-ups and online sales, Polk said his first entrepreneurial experience is worth it.
"If someone buys a shirt here, they might tell their friends, who'll tell their friends, and in the long run it will be worth it," Polk said.
Regardless, Polk and Picagli remain optimistic about this opportunity.