Remember this story from last year? Another year, another NFL receiver, another Reebok “waste of inventory” story.
“He's legally changed his name, so we're willing to recognize that,” [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell said. “There's what I call a more administrative issue that has to be dealt with. There's a large inventory of jerseys that are out there with 85 Johnson. Any player that changes a number or changes his name has to address that so that our licensing is not stuck with a large inventory. That's just something we're dealing with. As far as we're concerned, if he changes his name legally, that's fine with us.”
Maybe it's unfair to blame Reebok — their forecasting system probably doesn't account for name changes. But when you have a diva wide receiver, you should anticipate this kind of thing…. almost. Too bad Chad Ocho Cinco, er Chad Johnson, didn't give more visibility about his name change to Reebok.
My conclusion — cut Reebok a bit of slack… but not too much. A “leaner” supply chain would hold less inventory and there would be less need to dump the “Johnson 85” jerseys. I wonder if Ocho Cinco will buy his way out of this, ala Jerry Porter?
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