With NFL’s top-selling jersey, Josh Allen’s popularity reaches next level

Buffalo Bills star quarterback moves up to top spot from No. 10 sold jersey in 2021

Tom Brady’s got nothing on Josh Allen.

According to the NFL, Allen had the top-selling jersey of the 2022 season, bouncing Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady from the top spot the year prior.

It is the latest example of how Allen’s popularity has reached new heights, and his stardom is not just confined to Western New York. Allen has also been seen throughout the season on TV commercials for national brands such as Gillette.

Allen had held the top spot for most jersey sales since the beginning of training camp, according to the NFL. The jersey sale numbers are compiled by NFLShop.com, the league’s official online store.

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) leads the team in the tunnel before the AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. 

He beat out six other quarterbacks for the top spot and some of the game’s other big stars.

Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons finished second, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was third and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, whose team just beat Allen in the playoffs, finished fourth. The other quarterbacks in the top 10 were Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles, Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears and Brady.

Allen moved up from the No. 10 spot in jersey sales in 2021 and finished 13th in the league after the 2020 season was over.

That’s no surprise, considering how game-changing the fifth-year quarterback has been for the Bills franchise with his big arm and his ability to run past, by and over tacklers and charismatic personality.

Off the field, Allen, 26, has taken advantage of the opportunities presented from local and national brands that come with stardom.

Allen, who cashed in on a six-year, $258 million contract before the 2021 season, has become one of the most marketable players and hottest pitchmen in the NFL.

He could be regularly seen on commercials this fall, sporting a clean-shaven look on Gillette commercials and as a would-be broadcaster inside the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse on a Frito-Lay commercial.

Locally, he’s joined legendary Bills special teamer Steve Tasker in commercials for West Herr Auto Group and has been the face of the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, as a wing opened in honor of his late grandmother Patricia Allen after more than $1 million was raised in her name.

Allen is ranked fifth by Forbes among earners in the NFL and sponsored by at least 10 brands. He was listed as the highest-paid athlete in the world under 25 in the spring by Forbes. He’ll turn 27 in May.

He’s also been featured in Nike’s “Stronger than One” campaign, Pepsi’s “Stirring it up on Sunday” making recipes at home commercial and was joined by Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in a Buffalo Wild Wings spot.

Allen, along with receiver Stefon Diggs, also made the NFL Players Association’s latest Top 50 players sales list, released last year.

Allen was ranked No. 3, while Diggs was 37th. 

The rankings are based on the sale of players’ officially licensed NFL player products and merchandise, sold from online and traditional retail outlets as reported by more than 85 NFLPA licensees such as Fanatics, Outerstuff, Nike, Fathead, FOCO and Funko.

Licensed product categories include trading cards, men’s, women’s and youth game jerseys, T-shirts and hoodies, backpacks, wall decals, pennants, collectible figurines, matted and framed photos, bobbleheads, plush, drinkware and pet products.

A new list should be released in February.

Speaking of jerseys…

Damar Hamlin’s No. 3 quickly became the hottest-selling jersey in the league after the devastating injury he suffered on Jan. 2, according to Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin.

After the Bills second-year safety suffered cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field, wearing his jersey became another way to support him. Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation also received $8.7 million in donations.

About 10,000 No. 3 Hamlin jerseys were sold in the first four days after the incident. 

The NFL and NFLPA had agreed to contribute their royalties, and Fanatics had said it would contribute its profits from the sales.

Fanatics could not be reached for further comment.

Sabres hiring in corporate partnership area

As Pegula Sports & Entertainment continues to try to sell corporate sponsors on opportunities and initiatives with the Buffalo Sabres, it is hiring a new manager of partnership activation with the franchise’s business development team.

The managerial position is also responsible for handling and enhancing the Sabres corporate partnership portfolios and assisting in leading the activation of corporate partnerships with the Buffalo Bandits and LECOM Harborcenter.

PSE recently hired John Roth as the new leader of the Sabres business department, so this should be one of his first hires.

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to health care to startups. Read more at BuffaloNext.com.


Catch up on the latest news from the Buffalo Niagara economy:

A Cleveland auto dealer’s plans for a car lot across for the Tesla plant in Buffalo are being scaled back a little.

Two state Legislators are criticizing tax breaks granted to a pair of fast-food restaurant projects in Niagara Falls.

A new solar farm is in the works for Amherst.

The Bethune Lofts condo conversion project in Buffalo has begun.

A new townhouse development is in the works for Springville.

A top Buffalo Sabres executive has departed after the hiring of a new chief operating officer.

A Buffalo laboratory won approval from the state to perform cannabis testing.

22nd Century Group is buying a cannabis business in the United Kingdom.

Tesla provided the latest update on its solar energy business and its Buffalo factory.

Hilbert College is buying a small, career-focused college with campuses in West Virginia and Ohio.

Want to buy an elementary school? The City of Tonawanda school district is selling two of them.

Amherst snack maker Mister Snacks is being acquired by a Pennsylvania company that is shutting down its local operations.

TopSeedz and Linita Design are each in line for $750,000 in low-interest loans from an affiliate of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.

If it wasn’t bad enough that a suspicious fire caused extensive damage to the former Buffalo Grand Hotel more than a year ago, now water damage caused during the blizzard is making things worse.

Evergreen Health is planning to expand in East Buffalo.

The Village of Lancaster is getting $4.5 million in state funds for downtown revitalization efforts.

The details are starting to come out about a new Buffalo Bills stadium deal.

1. The baxter plant in Medina is a linchpin of the Orleans County economy, with 270 employees making tens of thousands of medical pumps each year.

2. Niagara University grows food marketing program with ‘who’s who’ of industry leaders: Western New York has some 1,200 companies involved in food manufacturing, distribution, retailing and/or warehousing, putting it in the top five markets for the industry nationally, according to Niagara’s Food Marketing Center of Excellence.

3. Why Buffalo Niagara’s labor shortage is still the biggest factor behind sluggish hiring: The Labor Department reported the region added 1,800 jobs during December – a tepid increase that, if it continued, would mean it will be another 14 months before the region regains all its lost jobs.

4. How a Buffalo nurse built lasting bonds with Tops employees after mass shooting: Trinetta Alston, a licensed practical nurse with Community Health Center of Buffalo, has been working with Tops employees since May 16, just two days after the mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue store.

5. Damar Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation isn’t so little anymore: With donations flowing in since the Buffalo Bills safety suffered cardiac arrest during a Jan. 2 game, the foundation now needs to make fundamental changes to manage and distribute its assets and to ensure the proper oversight, experts said.

The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips to buffalonext@buffnews.com or reach Buffalo Next  Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

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Michael J. Petro is a business reporter for The Buffalo News. The Buffalo State College graduate is a former sports writer who previously served as the editor of both The Sun and Buffalo Law Journal.


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