Everything Else Sports — 17 April 2012
The NFL Draft Shop: Popping Up In NYC Through April Only

Blog: NFL Draft Shop

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Casting a shadow over Bryant Park, the first ever NFL pop-up store has opened for the month of April, leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft emanating from Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night, April 26th. The store is a literal celebration of the annual event which sees collegiate superstars selected to join the rank and file of the professional league amid weeks and months of speculating and mock drafting about which players will be selected by which teams. In what used to be strictly Saturday afternoon appointment viewing, the league stretched round one of the draft to Thursday night, creating a prime time special each year that draws tremendous ratings and curiosity from its vociferous fans.

The store, which opened on April 2nd and runs through April 30th at 41st Street and Avenue of the Americas, is primarily a month long hype machine for the league’s most anticipated day of spring. But it also gives fans the chance to pick up some new swag from their favorite teams simply not offered elsewhere. The store’s most sought after apparel are without question, the new league jerseys by Nike, which obtained the licensing for the first time from Reebok in 2012. Aside from the Seattle Seahawks, the jerseys are aesthetically similar to last year’s models, but they have a bit of a snugger fit to them. The NFL Shop at Draft store has player jerseys from all 32 teams on display, but they won’t be available for purchase until April 26th. Pre-orders are available now, however.

If you’re more of a hat wearer, the NFL has dozens of display shelves showing off new styles for each team, including the 2012 draft caps which each team’s rookie selections will surely be rocking on draft night.  The space also has displays for each of its brand partnerships from the aforementioned Nike, Under Armour, ’47 Brand, New Era and more.  Much of the merchandise is Jets and Giants oriented but we’d expect nothing less in Manhattan. That said, every team is represented in some fashion and you might be surprised by what you find- from bar stools and tables to gear for your baby and girlfriend, to a display of authentic NFL footballs, there’s plenty to take in here.  And that’s without even including the interactive displays on site.

We were fortunate to have caught a glimpse of the Vince Lombardi Trophy on display through this past Saturday, but no reason to feel like you missed out- starting April 19th, fans are able to pick up some customized Wilson authentic  game balls for the very first time. Additionally, the shop has a special Draft podium set up for you to have your picture taken as a top draft choice for your favorite team.

If you can’t attend the draft live, then this is the next best thing. For all of the info on special guest appearances, player signings, and new merchandise available, follow the shop on Twitter @OfficialNFLShop or just drop by and check out the store for yourself.


- Jane Van Arsdale

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