How to Save on Official NFL Jerseys
It’s football season! For 18 glorious weeks, titans clash on the gridiron for the amusement of the masses. We’ve already taught you how to watch NFL games live after you’ve cut the cord, but today we’re going to bring you even more savings. As the holiday gifting season approaches, we’ll cover how to save on one of the most coveted items for the NFL fans in your life: Officially licensed jerseys.
While official NFL jerseys are a gift that’s sure to please, they’re also incredibly expensive. Let’s get into how to make the purchase hurt your wallet a little bit less.
Find the Jersey Tier that Meets Your Budget
There are tiers to officially licensed NFL jerseys. While none of them could be considered “cheap,” there are options that are less expensive than others. If the person you’re buying for has already explained this tiered system to you, odds are high that they’re someone who would fully appreciate every penny you spend on the most expensive Elite jersey. But your run-of-the-mill fan would likely be psyched to receive any of the below.
Pro Line Jerseys
Pro Line jerseys are the only ones sold by the NFL Shop that count as officially-licensed, but aren’t made by Nike – they’re made by Fanatics. They’re easy to spot as they’re missing the classic Nike swoosh. These are the cheapest-quality NFL Shop jerseys and are made of 100% polyester. You can find them for $129.99 at NFLShop.com or on Fanatic’s website.
Nike NFL Game Jerseys
Game jerseys are the cheapest, officially-licensed option that’s made by Nike. Here are some of the features:
- Mesh side panels.
- Tagless neck.
- Screen-printed graphics.
- Traditional clothing sizes.
- Tailored women’s fits available.
They’re also $129.99 through the NFL shop. (If you buy them through Nike, they’ll cost you a penny more.) So if you want that Nike Swoosh as a status symbol, it won’t necessarily cost you more money. The quality is also a little better than the Pro Line jerseys.
Nike NFL Limited Jerseys
Limited jerseys are the next step up. They’re closer to what your team wears on the field with the following features:
- Made from Dri-FIT chainmail mesh grill
- Tagless neck
- Heat-sealed twill letters and numbers
- Back seam design identical to real game-day jerseys worn on the field
- Traditional clothing sizes
- Tailored women’s fits available
There are technically three different design types, just like there are for the players: Vapor Untouchable, Speed Machine and Classic. Which ones are available depends on what your favorite team wears. Jerseys for active (not-yet-retired) players are $149.99 – $184.99 on NFLShop.com. The selection on Nike is typically very slim, and usually features retired players when there are Limited jerseys at all.
Nike NFL Elite Jerseys
These are the Rolls-Royce of officially-licensed NFL jerseys. They’re the closest you can get to what’s worn on the field, and they also come with the highest price tag: $334.99 – $369.99 via the NFL Shop or Fanatics. Here’s the stats on what you’ll get for your money:
- Made of durable, water-repelling nylon/polyester blend meant for game-day movement
- Tagless neck
- Sewn twill letters and numbers
- Back seam design identical to real game-day jerseys worn on the field
- Numbered sizing system
- Ventilation over the body’s heat zones
Depending on your team you’ll have the choice of the Vapor Untouchable, Speed Machine and Classic designs. You can find a few Elite jerseys on Nike’s website if you dig, but the price is pretty much the same. For example, Nike does currently carry Kyler Murray’s Elite jersey for $350.
Where to Buy Officially Licensed NFL Gear
You already know you can find officially licensed NFL gear on NFLShop.com, Fanatics or through Nike. But there’s a lot of other places you might see jerseys pop up, too! I’ve spotted legit NFL jerseys and more at retailers like:
- Kohl’s: Often marks down inventory as the season goes on, resulting in lower prices. For example, you can get a Patrick Mahomes’ Game jersey for $103.99 at time of writing. That’s 20% off normal pricing.
- JCPenney: Generally the same price as you’ll find on NFL Shop, unless your local store is trying to move their inventory. For example, the CeeDee Lamb Game jersey is currently $129.95.
- Target: Advertises its cheaper jerseys as officially-licensed, but you’ll be able to tell them apart from the coveted, higher-tier versions above by the “NFLPA” label on the lower left-hand corner on the front of the torso. They’re of a lower grade and quality, but they do come at a lower price point. For example, you can get a Jalen Hurts NFLPA jersey for $49.99.
When to Buy Officially Licensed NFL Gear
NFL jerseys aren’t as seasonal as you might think. If you’re shopping directly through the NFL or Nike, the prices tend to stay pretty stable through the year, with a few exceptions like Black Friday. If you’re shopping at a retailer, though, there can be ways to schedule your purchase for maximum savings.
Mid-October Through Black Friday
If you shop somewhere like Kohl’s, you’ll be able to find discounts starting a few weeks into the season. You can expect these discounts to get bigger leading up to Black Friday, when even the NFL Shop has a big sale.
If there’s a specific player’s jersey that you want to buy, you likely won’t want to wait until December, though. All those sales leave inventory picked over, and retailers are less likely to restock the further into the season you go. The NFL Shop runs out of stock less often as jerseys are its business year round, but sale prices don’t go down throughout the season like they would at a retailer — you’ll have to rely on sale holidays and promo codes to get a discount.
During the Off-Season
If you’re not picky on which player you get, you’ll see rock bottom prices on last year’s jerseys during the off-season. This is really only if you’re buying through a retailer that happens to have some stock that survived past the Super Bowl.
When a Player Leaves Your Team
Whether it’s a trade or retirement, the price on a player’s jersey goes down by up to 60% when they leave the team. For example, Dalvin Cook’s Limited jersey for the Minnesota Vikings is only $69.99 in the NFL Shop — 60% off the original $174.99 price.
There are exceptions to the rule, though. You’re not going to get a good deal on Tom Brady’s Patriots jersey. That’s still going to full price even though Brady has moved on, first to the Bucs and then to retirement.
Through the NFLShop’s Jersey Assurance program, you can get a free replacement jersey if the active pro player you purchased switches teams within 90 days of your purchase.
Additional Ways to Save Officially Licensed NFL Gear
Don’t stop your shopping strategy there! There are more ways to score a deal when you’re purchasing officially-licensed NFL gear.
Sign Up For Emails and get Save 10% off at NFLShop.com
As a new customer, you can get 10% off at the NFL Shop just by providing them with your email address. If you already have an account, you can try signing up with another email account to see if they’ll issue you the new coupon.
Claim The Military Discount at the NFL Shop
If you’re active duty, a veteran or a first responder, you qualify for 15% off your NFL Shop order. (You also qualify as a spouse or dependent.) To claim your military discount, first fill up your cart. Then, at checkout click the ‘First Responder ID’ or ‘Troop ID’ button before entering your payment information. The NFL Shop’s military discount is run through ID.me, so you’ll be asked to create an account if you don’t already have one.
Once you’ve signed in, your 15% discount will be applied to your order.
Check NFLShop.com’s Promo Code Page
When the NFL Shop has coupon codes, you’ll find them listed on their promo code page. At the time of writing, there are deals for free shipping and $10 off orders of $49+. This page will be your best friend during Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, as this is when the NFL Shop runs some of its best sales of the year.
Nike excludes NFL jerseys from most of its sales and coupon codes, so even if they have a great promo code listed don’t assume it will apply to your order.
Optimize Your Kohl’s Cash
Not only does Kohl’s mark its jerseys down as the season wears on, but it also gives you the opportunity to earn and spend Kohl’s Cash. There are two different periods: An earning period and a redemption period.
For example, there was an earning period from November 10 through November 16. During this time, you earned $10 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spent. Printed on that Kohl’s cash was the redemption period: November 17 through November 22.
Let’s say you spent $100 on the 15th. You’d then receive $20 in “free” money via Kohl’s cash, which you redeemed on your jersey purchase on the 18th, bringing your total down from the sale price of $103.99 to just $83.99. That’s 35% off the original list price of $129.99 on a Limited jersey.
Purchase Your NFLPA Jersey with Your RedCard
While Target’s NFLPA jerseys aren’t the most coveted on this list, there are ways to save on the already cheap price if you’re going to buy one. For example, you save 5% on every purchase you make with your RedCard. Using it to purchase your jersey could save you $2.50 on your purchase, bringing the price down from $49.99 to $47.49.
Pittsburgh-based writer Brynne Conroy is the founder of the Femme Frugality blog and the author of “The Feminist Financial Handbook.” She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder. The Penny Hoarder staff also contributed to this post.