Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
One gripe many fans have had against the NRL for years now is the cost of merchandise, in particular, jerseys.
Even if a jersey design has only gone through a small amount of change between two seasons you can still expect said jersey to demand a price tag similar to the year before.
Replica NRL jerseys cost at least $100 each year, with some products selling for $160.
A constant reminder that a large number of fans are unwilling to fork out for the latest designs and kit is made obvious on every NRL matchday, as it’s often visible to television viewers that half of the supporters at the ground are either opting to wear a piece of merchandise from a previous year or, aren’t even wearing their team colours at all.
This was recently made apparent to the power brokers at the NRL when the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs released a training jersey for $150.
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’Landys has spoken to The Daily Telegraph’s Phil “Buzz” Rothfield about the gross overcharging of this product and how the NRL will look to reduce prices on its merchandise going forwards.
Saint, Sinner, Shoosh: Joey’s big coaching call https://t.co/9VM0Y6ABOv
— BUZZ ROTHFIELD (@BuzzRothfield) February 19, 2022
“I’m not sure it’s an area where we need to be making revenue,” V’landys said.
“In fact, I think we’d generate a lot more revenue if they were cheaper.
“Charging $160 is counter-productive and it’s definitely a problem we need to look at.
“The game is in its best financial position ever so we’ve got to look at all the costs … even the prices at the turnstiles, merchandise and everything else,”
A source has broken down the costs from the NRL jersey manufacturer in Asia to when the product arrives in stores, with larger outlets such as Rebel Sport making up to $50 per jersey, while the NRL and its clubs receive around $20 per jersey.
V’Landys is hopeful that a reduction in the cost of jerseys will generate enough sales for the NRL to be profiting more from merchandise than they are now, and wouldn’t it be great to see a sea of team colours at stadiums on game day.