Both the Seahawks and the Broncos have already been declared Super Bowl champions on tens of thousands of t-shirts, hats, and other merchandise.
That’s how manufacturers fulfil the immediate post-game demand for fan gear — by making it ahead of time, long before knowing which team will come out on top.
So where does all the losing team’s merchandise go?
On Monday morning, the products will be shipped from the National Football League and various retailers to a warehouse in Pennsylvania belonging to World Vision, an international aid group. From there, the merchandise will be sent overseas to impoverished nations and distributed to children and families in need.
Last year, unused San Francisco 49ers gear went to Zambia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Armenia and Romania, according to World Vision. In 2011, after the New Orleans Saints defeated Indianapolis, the Colts gear was sent to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
Here’s a photo of a girl in Nicaragua wearing an NFL t-shirt declaring the New England Patriots the champions of the 2008 Super Bowl, when the Patriots lost to the New York Giants.
Where the merchandise goes this year has yet to be determined, according to World Vision spokeswoman Sheryl Watkins.
“After the goods have been received and inventoried, we will let our offices around the world know what is available,” she said. “Those who have a need in their projects for a particular item — sweatshirts in cold-weather countries, t-shirts in tropical ones — will make their requests, and we will ship them over the next year.”
Among the countries where they may end up are Zambia, Bosnia, Romania, Armenia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mongolia, Uganda, Burundi, Congo, Mali, and Rwanda, she said.
Here’s a little boy wearing Patriots gear in Nicaragua:
Here are children wearing Cardinals gear from the 2009 Super Bowl, when the Cardinals were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers: