Josh Allen's Former High School Sold 4,600 Reissued Hoodies, Raised $100K
A few weeks ago, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen wore a hoodie from Firebaugh High School, his alma mater, ahead of a 40-0 Bills victory over the Houston Texans. The hoodie blew up on Bills social media, with fans clamoring for a way to buy one for themselves. That prompted Firebaugh to reissue the out-of-print design, making it available as a limited release.
Here's what we wrote at the time:
The original tweet from Firebaugh announcing the hoodie got 2,000 likes and 450 retweets. The Buffalo Bills also tweeted a link to the pre-sale, adding another 3,000 likes and 500 retweets. If even a small percentage of that social activity translated to hoodie sales, that's a pretty big win for a small high school.
Well, the results from the pre-sale are in, and it was a "pretty big win" indeed. According to WGRZ, an NBC affiliate in Buffalo, Firebaugh sold more than 4,600 hoodies—2,500 in the first day alone—and raised $90,000. Allen threw in $10,000, bringing the total to $100,000.
— Firebaugh Eagles Athletics (@FHSeaglesports) October 13, 2021
"The whole community out here is just buzzing with excitement," Firebaugh Principal Anthony Catalan told KSEE Sunrise, per WGRZ. "There's so much pride in the hometown, and that really embodies what Josh means to us, and the entire family means to us. … We're humbled and thankful for all the support that is shown our way. We can't say enough about the Bills Mafia out there, everybody in the Valley and Firebaugh that has helped support this."
— GreyAnt O.G. A.G. (@Clutchgrey) October 16, 2021
This kind of thing—a viral phenomenon that leads to big branded merchandise sales—isn't really repeatable or predictable, but we see it happen often enough to know that it's not all luck. Firebaugh saw the opportunity and acted quickly, recreating the old design, launching the pre-sale and promoting it heavily on social media in time to capitalize on the buzz.
Now comes the hard part: figuring out how best to spend that fresh $100,000.