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Olympics-U.S. snowboarding golds spark jacket sales

From Reuters - February 14, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Sports e-commerce company Fanatics said that sales of a $300 Nike Inc Team USA jacket have spiked following United States Chloe Kim and Shaun White winning gold medals, making jackets its highest grossing Olympics category.

While the Winter Games does not have the global scale of the Summer Games as it features fewer countries, sponsors and companies connected to the event can still see a boost from selling apparel and merchandise.

Kim blew away the competition to win the womens snowboard halfpipe gold on Tuesday. The following day White delivered a stunning routine on the final run of a gripping halfpipe final to win his third Winter Olympic gold and a landmark 100th for his country.

Fanatics, which handles merchandising for the United States Olympic Committee, said it sold thousands of Team USA jackets since the Olympics started, but it picked up insanely after Kim and White competed.

The spacesuit inspired $800 Burton jackets similar to uniforms that the U.S. snowboard team competed in are also out of stock for both men and women on the Burton website.

As soon as Whites performance happened on the half pipe, we saw the immediate demand come in for snowboarding, Jack Boyle, co-president of Fanatics direct-to-consumer business, told Reuters.

It is seeing an 80 percent boost in sales of Olympic gear compared to the last winter Games in Sochi in 2014, which it credits to carrying a bigger selection of official items approved by the USOC, ranging from a $45.99 cowbell to a Swatch watch that sells for $119.99.

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