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The Chicago Cubs sold five times more merchandise than the average MLB club this year

by Taylor Stanton - June 26, 2019

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As we near the end of October, the World Series is taking center stage. This year's Fall Classic features a matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, two teams seeking to end unbearably long championship droughts. Although only one team will go home the victor, both clubs are winning off the field in merchandise sales. Data from Slice Intelligence shows that the Cubs and Indians placed first and third, respectively, in online merchandise revenue this season. The Cubs were the league leaders going away, with over five times the league average in merchandise revenue for 2016.

So is there a correlation between a club's performance and its ability to sell merchandise? Data from the past year indicates there is. Teams that won more games during the 2016 regular season also tended to move more branded items online. The Indians, for one, have benefited from a late season surge in demand; 62 percent of Cleveland's merchandise sales came in October, as the club inches closer to its first World Series title since 1948.

The Cubs and Indians are on upward trajectories

Both the Cubs and Indians have seen dramatic growth in their online merchandise revenue over the past three seasons. Back in 2014, Chicago ranked 11th in sales league-wide while Cleveland was even farther back at 23rd. In 2015, the Cubs won 24 more games and rose nine spots, while the Indians jumped five. This season, both clubs have a World Series berth and over 100 percent growth in merchandise sales to boot.

Chicago and Cleveland both enjoy a "home field advantage"

The Cubs and Indians both dominate merchandising in their home states. During the 2016 season, the Cubs accounted for 68 percent of merchandise sales in Illinois. Meanwhile, the Indians have owned the online merchandise market in Ohio. Despite the presence of the Reds in Cincinnati, Indians merch has garnered the majority of Ohioans' spend this season.

About this data

With a panel of over 4 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.