How the Name Change Affected Redskins Merch Prices

Redskins mini helmets were a unique opportunity

Redskins Mini Helmet Resells Name Change
News

By RC Staff

Key Points

  • After public pressuring, the Washington Redskins retired their name and sales of related merchandise

  • Redskins mini helmets from Riddell were an officially licensed product discontinued after the name change

  • They retailed for $30, and could resell for $100-$200 during the controversy

Item

Sports
178.3

Profit

This is the difference between the sale price and resell price. It does not take into account any costs associated with reselling. Things like shipping, storage fees, if applicable.

Washington Redskins Riddell Speed Mini Football Helmet

When the Washington Redskins NFL team changed their name to the Washington Commanders, these officially licensed mini football helmets by Riddell skyrocketed in value, with many collectors fearing the permanent discontinuation of Redskins-branded merchandise.

In 2020, the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins would rebrand themselves, and for a time were simply known as the “Washington Football Team”. Eventually, they would settle on the new name of Commanders, but for two whole seasons went more or less nameless.

This period of uncertainty caused a wave of debate across the league, as well as almost all of the Redskins branded merchandise to sell out. Fans of the previous name were desperate to buy up everything they could get their hands on, and a particularly great example were these mini Redskins helmets from Riddell.

Why did the Redskins change their name?

While protests against the Redskins name had persisted against the team for decades, first picking up in the late 90s, it wouldn’t be until 2020 that serious action was taken. Against a backdrop of widespread social unrest and discourse, renewed calls to put the Redskins name to rest gained steam.

The first indication that serious change was coming took place on July 2nd. This was after a group of investors published a series of letters to several major sports companies, including Nike, asking them to put pressure on the Redskins to consider a name change. In response, Nike would remove all Redskins merchandise from their online store the same day.

Following this, the Redskins put out a press release stating they were seriously evaluating their name and the legacy of the team going forward. At this point, speculation about a name change would boil over into a full-blown story, and people from both sides of the debate began sharing their thoughts.

How did the Redskins name change affect merchandise?

Several days of radio silence would follow, during which sales of Redskins branded merch saw a significant uptick. Everything from jerseys to refrigerator magnets would begin to sell out, despite it being unclear what the future would hold, or even if production would be affected.

By the 7th, it was officially announced that the Redskins name would be retired. Additionally, the wording of the announcement revealed some critical information relevant to resellers. As part of the name change, the new name for the Redskins would be a “clean break”. They were not interested in references to any First Nations imagery or symbolism.

This meant that they had no intention of reclaiming the previous name, or its merchandise. It was clear that production of any merchandise with the former name would be immediately and permanently halted, a critical point for resellers.

Both fans and protesters of the mentality behind the name change would join the frenzy to buy up merchandise, and supply would quickly shrivel up. For resellers, this was a great opportunity, but it also meant buying the right merchandise to resell.

Why did the Redskins mini helmets resell?

Even though demand for everything with a Redskins name on it was going through the roof, it didn’t mean everything was a good buy. Jerseys for example, were a no-go. Produced at scale through many different manufacturers, there was no standard, obvious version that people gravitated towards.

Additionally, there was a risk of knock-off versions being produced and sold online after the name change. These illegitimate items would be mostly indistinguishable from other jerseys, and would prevent resellers from controlling supply.

Redskins Jerseys Resell Redskins Mini Helmets

Jerseys were a poor bet to invest in…

Collectibles like trading cards were an attractive option, but these also faced the issue of tight supply, and in many cases, were already in the hands of resellers. Sure, if you already owned a bunch of Redskins cards, you were set up well, but good luck buying them. Serious owners knew exactly what was about to happen and weren’t about to let their cards go for cheap.

The reason these mini helmets were so popular among resellers is that they were the perfect blend of collectable and accessible. They were part of a recognizable and well-established line of collectibles created by Riddell, and officially licensed by the NFL. No other company was producing anything like them, and they had proved popular with fans and collectors.

Retailing at $30 and available directly from Riddell’s website, the Redskins mini helmets were a perfect item for resellers to stock up on, and flip for profit. Immediately after the Redskins announced they were reviewing their name, these mini helmets could resell for around $100.

redskins mini helmets for sale

… But Riddell’s Redskins mini helmets were not

By the time the name change became official, the price had shot up past $200, and it would occasionally spike in the weeks after. Signed versions of helmets could be extremely profitable, scoring $300 or more on a popular auction.

Following the intense demand and debate of 2020, prices on Redskins branded merch would begin to deflate. In 2022, a new name emerged — The Washington Commanders — and prices for most merchandise have settled to below retail. Cards and signed memorabilia can still retain higher prices, but for the most part, things have settled.

Did you try to profit from the name change? If you want to read about more flips like this, check out our other articles. We have everything you need, whether you’re just getting started reselling, or a seasoned pro.

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