It's one of those inevitable occurrences of big-city life: Within a day of some big event going down—the latest storm of the century, the candidacy of Donald Trump, etc.—someone's out in the streets hawking T-shirts to commemorate it. The Super Bowl is no exception, of course, even though the NFL tightly controls its licensed merch, selling through official partners like FansEdge or its own online shop.
But ordering from official vendors takes time, and what if you want that official championship team jersey right away? Heck, what if you want it Sunday night?
This year, two big brands have joined forces to meet that need—and they're pledging to get that shirt onto your back before your Super Bowl party even breaks up.
Big-box retailer Dick's Sporting Goods has partnered with UberRUSH to deliver championship T-shirts to fans in Chicago and New York immediately following the end of Sunday's game. Once the score is final, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos fans can head over to Dick's Rush My Shirt page, place their order for the commemorative tee, and sit tight.
"For many years, Dick's has given hometown fans the opportunity to get championship merchandise in our stores immediately following the end of the game, usually to tremendous demand," vp of brand marketing Ryan Eckel told Adweek. "Through the UberRUSH service, we saw a unique opportunity to extend that same opportunity to fans in two of America's biggest sports cities."
The T-shirts, Eckel added, are the same championship editions the players will be wearing in the locker room after the game.
UberRUSH is a courier version of Uber, the on-demand livery app now valued at $62.5 billion. Uber's cars operate in 375 cities around the world, though UberRUSH is active only in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, and it uses messengers on foot and on bikes, not cars.
Uber's couriers are usually quick but not cheap. The service calculates its delivery cost based on a $3 base fare plus $4 for each mile, with a minimum $7 total. If a customer lives in Queens and the delivery's coming from Manhattan, the tariff is a flat $25.
But for this promotion, Dick's is picking up all delivery costs so you won't have to.
Cleary, the retailer is also betting on high volume: Dick's will send off the shirts inside a two-hour window from the end of the game. Assuming there's any stock left, Dick's said deliveries will resume on Monday morning at 9 a.m.
However long Rush My Shirt lasts, both Dick's and UberRUSH can expect to get marketing mileage out of it, even though Dick's has no brick-and-mortar presence in New York's most populated boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. For its part, Uber clearly sees the promotion as a way to show off what it can do in the emerging delivery segment. In a statement, UberRUSH gm Michael Conti called the Dick's partnership "a great example of creative ways that businesses of all sizes can leverage on demand delivery enabled by UberRUSH."
Meanwhile, if you're thinking of just meandering to that street corner huckster to buy a Super Bowl T-shirt, he might not be around this year. "Operation Team Player," conducted under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, has been cracking down hard on counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise—including T-shirts—having already seized 440,000 items worth an estimated $39 million.
Better to order from Dick's, stay inside and have another beer.