Sales of Houston Astros’ merchandise is close to four times more than the franchise’s previous record, the team said.
However, plenty of “pop-up vendors” are cashing in on street corners, too.
“Crush City” swag has its price. KHOU 11 News found official Astros World Champions hats for $35, jerseys for $150 and everything in between.
“We either go online and buy (our merchandise or we come (to the team store at Minute Maid Park),” said Roger Allen, an Astros fan.
So the team is cashing in. Though there is competition on street corners around Houston.
KHOU 11 News approached a man selling orange and blue championship gear at Highway 6 and Westheimer. He did want to speak on camera. However, he sold t-shirts for $10. None said “Astros” or “World Series.” Several used Astros’ players names and faces.
On Facebook, there are photos of other roadside “pop-up vendors," some who thought they had official Astros’ gear complained in posts.
“Dude was selling shirts (that) said 'Astros Word Champs' talking (about) five dollars off for the misprint,” one man wrote.
A mother in Spring posted a photo of her son in a shirt she purchased for $5. The word “league” was misspelled, and instead of saying “Houston Strong” the tee had the words “Houston Srong.”
“We had some folks that came up and were trying to sell product out of duffel bags to customers that were coming into the team store,” said Tom Jennings, Vice President of Astros Merchandising and Retail Operations.
Jennings is hardly surprised. With record sales, crowded stores and people still wanting more Astros’ championship gear, there is plenty of money to be made.
“Some of these roadside pop-ups that you’re seeing, the quality is just not going to be there,” he said. “And those guys are going to be gone in a week. So if you have issues, there’s nowhere to go.”
Major League Baseball chases down copyright violators as best they can, Jennings said. However, those clever enough to avoid arrest or using trademarked logos are still out there.
The team urges fans to be cautious and only buy gear with official trademarks from reputable vendors.