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4 Sure Bets For Super Bowl Spending

Sports apparel
The Census Bureau's Monthly Retail Trade reports don't think much of your team's championship dreams. According to those reports, not only do post-Super Bowl sporting goods store sales tend to be lower than the month before -- usually by $20 million to $80 million within the past decade alone -- but they tend to be the lowest of the year. That said, three strong variables could help turn that around this year, as they did when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and sporting goods store sales in February 2008 outpaced those of a month before by more than $110 million.

First, as reported by the National Sporting Goods Association -- which includes such retailers as Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), The Sports Authority and New York-based Modell's among its members -- sporting goods store sales rose 38% between 2002 and 2007, with market share growing to 28.3% from 21.3% in that same span. Basically, sports fans are shelling out a lot more than they were a decade ago, with last February's $2.5 billion post-Super Bowl haul exceeding 2008's February mark by more than $20 million, 2007's pre-recession February tally by nearly $300 million and 2000's jersey-and-cap cash cow by nearly $700 million.

Secondly, chains such as Foot Locker's (FL - Get Report) Champs Sports, Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV - Get Report) and Sport Chalet (SPCHA) benefit from having the Pittsburgh Steelers still in the playoff picture. The NFLShop ranked the Steelers No. 1 in overall apparel sales from April of last year through the end of the season, with Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu's jersey selling better than any other in the league during the same period.

The third promising development comes courtesy of the Green Bay Packers, whose small-market squad ranked eighth in the NFL in apparel sales and whose quarterback Aaron Rodgers came in seventh in jersey sales. Should they beat the Chicago Bears and make the Super Bowl, expect sporting goods retailers to be very happy; the last time Green Bay won the Super Bowl in 1997, they set a league record with $125 million in Super Bowl merchandise sales.

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