Peterson memorabilia being taken off shelves in Twins Cities and beyond
Christian Ponder jerseys are making a comeback in the Twin Cities.
At least, that’s the indication a whisk through the Vikings section at the Maple Grove Dick’s Sporting Goods location might glean. A nearby Target has only generic purple apparel, and the Sports Authority in Roseville — clear on the other side of the Mississippi River — has only youth Teddy Bridgewater and discounted Jared Allen replica tops available.
That’s because more and more stores are pulling Adrian Peterson jerseys and other gear bearing his name and No. 28 off shelves.
And that, according to local sports memorabilia vendors, is just the beginning.
"I think this puts a black cloud and black mark on AP memorabilia right now," Joe Florenzano of Triple Crown Sports Collectibles told FOXSportsNorth.com, "at least until it goes through the due process."
The fallout from Peterson’s alleged beating of his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, or switch, has been swift and decisive. Although the Vikings say their decision to place him on the NFL Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list while the legal process plays out in Houston, where the accusations were made, is strictly internal, the Vikings’ choice came only after pressure from corporate sponsors and fans streamed in during the past 48 hours.
It’s had a direct impact in the memorabilia and merchandise realm of sport, the one that often gets overlooked until scandal arises.
Consequently, the worth of Peterson-signed footballs, trading cards and other paraphernalia is expected to decline. How much, though, remains to be seen.
"Personally, I think it’d be hard to sell anything of Adrian Peterson," Florenzano said. "I think you’re going to be either selling it a lot cheaper or giving it away."
For example, a Peterson autograph on its own was worth about $100 before news of his alleged transgressions broke last weekend, said Tom Frantzen, owner and operator of Tom Frantzen Sports Collectibles in Mounds View. So a $300 authentic Vikings’ helmet bearing Peterson’s autograph could go on the market for at least $450.
"Right now, the question is what are people going to be able to pay for it?" Frantzen said. "We don’t know yet."
Peterson’s rap as a generally good guy who endorses Christian values took a massive hit when news and images of his son’s lacerations emerged last weekend. Typically, athletes’ signed merchandise value drops with their reputation.
"With Adrian Peterson, part of his appeal to collectors wasn’t just performance on the field; it was his perception as a great person who was better than many other players in terms of personal behavior," Frantzen said. "Now, he doesn’t seem like such a hero anymore."
That’s on the more personal level of valuable autographed merchandise. But companies like Nike, who announced it is suspending its endorsement with Peterson, and hotel chain Radisson, which suspended its sponsorship with the Vikings after their original plans to reinstate Peterson, have their own face to save.
So Peterson’s jersey and likeness are gone from the Nike store at the Mall of America. The Star Tribune reported Minneapolis-based Target has pulled all Peterson-related merchandise from its shelves. Mylan, the makers of EpiPens to combat allergic reactions, also cut ties with the six-time Pro Bowl selection and 2012 MVP.
Goldy’s locker room, which has several locations throughout the state — some of which offer Vikings gear — was asked by Nike to remove all Peterson apparel for sale, a store manager told FOXSportsNorth.com.
Vikings Locker Room, the team’s official Mall of America store, will continue selling Peterson jerseys for the time being. But they’re nowhere to be found at national chains like Dick’s and Sports Authority. Reports say both have officially pulled Peterson jerseys from their shelves and websites.
Special Olympics Minnesota announced Tuesday it will no longer partner with Peterson. Even Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called for his suspension after Monday’s news.
NFLShop.com is continuing to sell Peterson merchandise.
Frantzen says he will, too, though he knows he’s not as likely to get much return for it.
"An Adrian Peterson football card is still an Adrian Peterson football card, and if you, the collector, don’t want to buy it, you don’t have to," Frantzen said. "Nike is concerned about their image, in my opinion. They’re in essence precluding people from buying a product that they might want to buy. They’re essentially making the decision for the consumer, and they have the right to make that decision, but whether that’s the right decision, I don’t know."
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