CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals' playoff run has been a boon for business at Sports Investments in Montgomery. Sales of some Bengals memorabilia are so good that owner Adam Wolter felt like kicking himself Thursday afternoon.
Wolter received his Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase dual-signed authentic Cincinnati Bengals helmet from Fanatics earlier in the day. Within an hour of removing the autographed helmet from the box, Wolter sold the coveted item for $1,695 with a nice case.
"Now, I'm kicking myself for not purchasing another because they are completely out of stock and there is nothing in the secondary market," Wolter said. "So, the value of that helmet has maybe doubled since the very beginning of the season. The same is true with the Chase and Burrow individual signed photos as well as signed jerseys and footballs."
Sports Investments did not have any signed photos of Chase as of late Thursday afternoon. The store sold a Burrow photo Thursday and had just two left in stock. That is a snapshot of just how much Burrow, the Bengals second-year quarterback, and Chase, the rookie wide receiver, are in demand from a fan and collector perspective.
As the Bengals (10-7) prepare to play at Tennessee (12-5) in an AFC divisional playoff game Saturday afternoon, Burrow and Chase are as electrifying in merchandise and memorabilia sales this month as they are on the field.
"They've got that X factor," Wolter said. "They've got ice in their veins. I think the sky is the limit on both of those guys. Put them together and it's an explosion. This city has been longing for that for quite some time and I think we finally have it."
Wolter said most of his customers who are interested in the Bengals are looking for items of Burrow and Chase, although his store sells plenty of other items related to the team including banners, trading cards, collages and signed items of Bengals from yesteryear.
"They've had a great year," Wolter said. "They've won a playoff game. People are talking about potentially the Super Bowl, so it's affecting the values significantly."
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Wolter said that Burrow's basic rookie cards are now double or triple the value that they were in September. A Burrow signed football is priced at $575 at the store, while a Chase signed football is $395.
"It's all selling extremely well compared to how it's been in the past," Wolter said.
The same could be said for merchandise sales at the Bengals Pro Shop at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals Pro Shop is experiencing a franchise-record year with jersey sales in a season that has produced the team's first playoff win in 31 years.
Burrow and Chase are Nos. 1 and 2 in jersey sales, respectively at the team store. The young stars have been driving forces behind significant customer demand even as supply challenges continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"These are unprecedented times for us," Bengals merchandise manager Monty Montague said. "We're having phenomenal sales. Jerseys are driving our business. We're doing our best to keep up with the demand for Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase jerseys. It's been a struggle at times but we're working at it every single day."
Jersey purchases are so high, Fanatics reported Burrow and Chase's jerseys were among the top sold in the last two weeks of the regular season — surrounded by players like Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. It's not just jerseys, though. T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts and hats have also been very popular with logos and commemorations of the division title and playoff match-ups.
Miami Heights resident Kristie Jung shopped with a basket filled with items that included Bengals jerseys, a sweatshirt and an AFC North champions hat on Thursday morning. Jung lauded Burrow for his performance on the field but also for his personality in postgame press conferences. She said her family cannot wait to watch Saturday's game on a recently-purchased 85-inch TV.
"It's a fun team to watch," Jung said. "They're so positive and energetic. "I think it's just really bringing the city together. There is just so much excitement in the air and in times like these we need something to cheer us up."
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