Sabrina Ionescu went first in the 2020 WNBA Draft to the New York Liberty as expected, but if you wanted to order her jersey before the draft ended, you’d be out of luck. That’s because her brand-new jersey sold out from the WNBA merchandise site within an hour.
That’s right: The demand for Sabrina Ionescu merch is so high that the WNBA didn’t even have enough jerseys to last through her first night in the league.
The jersey (which you can hopefully buy here in the near future) is part of the New York Liberty’s new seafoam and black uniforms, which were unveiled a few days before the draft.
A look at our 2020 threads. #BrooklynLoud pic.twitter.com/7On79YTQSL— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) April 14, 2020
Selling out of your new WNBA jersey before even playing a game is a pretty big deal, but it’s not even the first time Ionescu has done it. When Nike finally started to make her Oregon Ducks jersey in November 2019, they sold out of their first batch within two hours.
In fact, Ionescu’s impressive jersey sales have raised questions about how much money NCAA athletes could earn if they received any of the profits. Although these jerseys bring in thousands of dollars in profits, Ionescu (and all of her peers in the NCAA) don’t make a cent from them. For players as popular as Ionescu, that’s a potentially very substantial amount of money to miss out on.
Clearly, manufacturers of women’s basketball merchandise need to learn not to underestimate the power of Ionescu and her many fans. They should learn it soon, because she’s just getting started in the WNBA.