Souvenirs a winner for Esks

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

The Edmonton Oilers will always hold top spot on the merchandise charts in this city, but the Eskimos are enjoying an incredible growth in sales.

In the past two football seasons, souvenir sales have jumped 41%.

"The Eskimo business is into the seven figures (per year)," said Wayne Cuillerier, president of Game On Sports, the merchandise supplier of the club.

While many believe winning the Grey Cup provided a major boost to 2005 sales, in reality, the impact will be felt more this year.

"The Grey Cup was a small boost (last year)," said Cuillerier.

"A (championship win) really carries over to the start of the new season. We have seen (sales) increases in January and February. There's that excitement about the upcoming season."

A solid product on the field and new souvenir options, like the gold third jersey, are the main reasons behind the increases.

Ironically, sales would have been even higher, but the team only donned the new jersey once after losing to Calgary in September.

Game On Sports and the Eskimos split sales, with the club reporting nearly a $200,000 merchandise profit at yesterday's annual meeting.


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