Do you ever wonder how a team manages to print winning Super Bowl champions shirts for all the players the second the game ends?
Well, they don't. In fact, shirts are pre-printed declaring each team the winner, but only the actual winners and their fans will end up donning the coveted merch.
No, this isn't where the factually untrue shirts go to feel sorry for themselves. Instead, the shirts serve an important purpose. Read on for the details.
So, what happens to the pre-printed champions shirts for the losing Super Bowl team?
The good news is that the shirts that declare a false champion at the Super Bowl get donated to charity and will live on to serve a good purpose, despite not getting to be worn by the players or over-the-moon fans.
Sadly, the merch used to get destroyed, perhaps by bitter team employees who just saw their dream of being Super Bowl champions destroyed before their very eyes. But, this isn't the case as of 1996, per an NFL blog post written in 2015.
Now, the many thousands of shirts, hats, and more are donated via an organization called Good360, and those never-worn duds are distributed to people in need.
"It's a huge amount of stuff," Good360 CEO Cindy Hallberlin confirmed when the partnership kicked off. "It's a fantastic opportunity and the start of a great relationship where we could do a lot of good for people through the teams that don't win."
In a January 2024 blog post, Good360 shared that the losing team's hoodies and hats end up in other countries like Europe, Africa, or Asia — but fans aren't going to see the shirts or merchandise anywhere in the U.S.
Interestingly, the process of putting the merchandise in the right hands is more fraught with potential problems than you might think. It turns out that some groups may seek to profit off of the shirts by reselling them, which is something that Good360 guards against.
Ultimately, as the post notes, "For the losing Super Bowl team, it’s a bittersweet consolation prize knowing that their loss is helping to support people in need and preventing waste."
You can already buy Super Bowl champion shirts for either team.
It's the official NFL apparel that gets donated, since obviously anyone can create a shirt declaring one team the winner. If only it were that easy to help the team you are rooting for get that Super Bowl ring.