If you’re serious about supporting the Oakland Raiders, then you’ll want to show up for tailgating dressed head to toe in silver and black – certainly not red and gold (the colors of that other NFL team in the Bay Area).
So, what’s the best way to go about assembling an ensemble that seriously displays your Raider Nation pride? We went shopping for official men’s and women’s gear that would make the late Al Davis proud.
- Jersey (Note: Running back Darren McFadden’s jersey is among the 20 best-selling NFL jerseys. But it may not be for a lot longer, as trade talk is swirling around McFadden. Quarterback Carson Palmer’s jersey is a hot seller, too.)
- Flannel pants
- NFL Hall of Fame commemorative jacket
- Retro ball cap
- Boxer shorts
- Nike tennis shoes
- Tube socks
- Long-sleeve T-shirt
- Visor beanie
- Leg warmers
- Knee socks
- Synthetic suede and faux fur boots
- Denim jeans
- Polar puffer vest
- Quilted tote bag
- Crystal necklace
- Crystal earrings
- Nail tattoos
Men’s and women’s gear
In the early part of the last decade, licensed Raiders apparel topped the NFL sales charts for three years in a row. The Raiders’ “Davis was the first to realize the importance of branding, that the players are what drove fan attachment,” Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp, which tracks team valuations, told Forbes in 2006. But merchandise sales fell 25 percent in 2005, Forbes magazine reported. And they haven’t rebounded since.
Sales statistics really don’t matter to diehard Raiders fans, though. By the way, TheBusinessofSports.com did note this year that the Raiders “are one of the best organizations when it comes to driving merchandise sales…”
If you don’t want to sport traditional Raiders merchandise, you might try apparel developed by The Black Hole LLC, an Oakland company founded in 2001 by some of the Raiders’ “most notorious” fans. In 2009, The Black Hole hired GameChanger Products LLC, a marketing agency, to launch the first-ever line of fan-developed NFL merchandise.
The Black Hole fan club was formed in 1995. Its members, who sit in the end zone at the Coliseum, are known for their colorful costumes, including chains, skeleton masks and spiked shoulder pads.
“The Black Hole is the first of its kind – a true game-changing idea,” Larry Popelka, CEO of Alameda-based GameChanger, said in 2009. “It’s the first NFL trademark created by the fans, for the fans and about the fans. And they are perhaps the most extreme fans in all of sports.”
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
John Egan is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on Examiner.com.