Merchants strike gold (and black) on all things Saints

With the New Orleans Saints making their first-ever appearance Sunday in the Super Bowl, local businesses are striking gold (and black).

“Anything to do with the Saints is flying off the shelves,” said Jason Mamaril, manager for Sports & Co. “Whatever people can get their hands on, we are selling it.”

Sarah Canfield, 39, said that after three consecutive losses to close the regular NFL season, she didn’t believe the Saints would make it to the big game.

But she and her daughter, Anna, were lured to Sports & Co. to buy jerseys after New Orleans dispatched Arizona in the NFC Conference Championship and punched their ticket to the Super Bowl.

“We’ve gotten into the whole spirit of the game and buying a jersey just shows our support for our Saints,” said Sarah Canfield.

Managers of businesses that sell Saints apparel and goods said they are expecting many more fans like the Canfields to spend money right up until game time on Sunday afternoon.

“Being this close to New Orleans, Saints stuff is a hot item,” Mamaril said.  “We’re trying to keep our inventories up but it’s tricky, because you don’t want to have too much on hand after Sunday.”

Academy Sports and Outdoors has seen a lot of traffic, with fans of both the Saints and Colts flocking in to buy a plethora of items, including jerseys, hats and car flags, said a store assistant manager who declined to be identified.

“Right now, our stock is dwindling down,” he said on Thursday.  “If it’s got the Saints logo on it, it’s selling.  But we also have people coming in the store looking for Colts gear as well.”

Dick’s Sporting Goods in Flowood doesn’t carry Saints team jerseys, according to store manager Rick Powell, but they do have t-shirts.

“Corporate thinks we are too close to the Superdome to carry the jerseys but we have plenty of Super Bowl-related merchandise,” said Powell.  “However, if the Saints win the game, we are planning to have plenty of Super Bowl champion items available like hats and t-shirts.

“We’ve already had requests for those.”

There are other local businesses that are getting caught up in Saints mania.

For instance, specialty cake orders for Super Bowl parties are brisk, said Angela Logan, assistant manager for That Special Touch Cakes in Pearl.

“We’ve never done so many cakes with the Saints logo or the ‘Who Dat’ wording on the cake,” she said.  “Probably over half of the cakes ordered in the past ten days have been Saints cakes.”

Logan added that the bakery has also “done a few Colts cakes.”

At Campbell Bakery in Jackson’s Fondren district, owner Sedrick Lilly said he’s had no requests for Black-and-Gold cakes.

But Campbell’s distinctive cookies with the Saints fleur de lis logo are a huge seller and he’s expecting more orders as the game approaches.

“Believe it or not, we’ve also been doing some Colts cookies in the shape of a horseshoe,” he said.  “Not very many, but some.  We also offer petit fours that have the Saints emblem on them.”

If the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV, one Jackson business expects sales to rise dramatically.

“Nobody’s come in yet, but we’ve been flooded with phone calls,” said Debra Baughman, co-owner of Squench’s Tattoos.  “We’re all predicting a lot of people will be coming in here to get a Saints tattoo.  If they win, that is.”

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