Packers Pro Shop has things you didn't know you wanted
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers organization and its fans sometimes take themselves pretty seriously. But a stroll through the Packers Pro Shop reveals that even whimsy and eccentricity can find a place at venerable Lambeau Field.
If you're looking for Clay Matthews jerseys, Packers jackets or a once-in-a-lifetime photo of Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, they've got that.
But they've also got cheerleader outfits for the family dog, Packers garden hoses, gnomes, moose ornaments, Santa Clauses, spice grinders and knives, most sporting the Packers "G" and iconic green and gold coloring. Even Darth Vader makes an appearance. And hats with little blinking lights.
There are certain things the Packers will not countenance. Ashtrays, for one. Or toilet paper, even if it carries the Bears logo. They've had requests.
On the other hand, if you wanted a football-shaped toaster that brands a G into your slice of honey wheat, they've got it. But you better hurry, because the toasters were discontinued.
Another item on its way out the door, literally and figuratively, is an adult onesie, somewhat gaudy and complete with feet. They were nearly sold out of those on Wednesday, but still had a number of three-piece Packers suits that bring to mind nothing less than Riddler of Batman fame.
"We've seen people wear these," Pro Shop manager Derek Dimmer said with total sincerity. He was wearing one himself when he said it, though, to be honest, because he was asked to.
Choosing items to sell in the Pro Shop, online or in the store, is a team effort. That way no one person has to take the blame for the creepy-looking baby ornaments.
"Sometimes something sells well and we don't expect it to," Dimmer said. "Other times we think it can't miss and it doesn't sell."
No-brainers include things like NFC North championship hats. The first 144 sold out by noon on Monday and the next shipment of 600 probably won't last the weekend.
And Cheeseheads. Cheeseheads sell. Cheesehead can-cozies sell even better.
"We sell through Cheeseheads every game day like we did in the 2000s," Dimmer said.
Portable stadium seats are big sellers, too. Anyone who's parked themselves on a metal bench in Lambeau Field when it's 5 degrees outside knows why. Also it doesn't hurt that people tend to forget them when they leave the stadium.
Stadium seats, by the way, do not carry a Packers logo. They have Lambeau Field branding instead. It's a matter of marketing. Smart marketing.
"Opposing teams' fans might be reluctant to buy a Packers seat, but will buy a Lambeau Field seat because Lambeau is on everyone's bucket list," Dimmer said.
Also, a good seller is whatever Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff wear on the sidelines.
"I want what Mike McCarthy was wearing" is heard often in the Pro Shop.
Now, if they could just get McCarthy to wear that suit.
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