CHICAGO — As Chicago Sky fans celebrate the team’s WNBA championship, many are frustrated by the scarcity of championship memorabilia.
The demand for Sky gear is high after the team’s 80-74 win Sunday night secured the franchise’s first WNBA championship. Yet spokespeople for the organization told WGN that a Nike supply chain issue appears to be keeping fans from donning championship gear, much to the disappointment of loyal enthusiasts.
“There should be T-shirts,” said Sky fan Claire Fallon. “There’s T-shirts when the [Blackhawks] won a few years ago.”
Sky fan Stacy Charnay agreed, saying that “whether win or lose, it seems like you should be able to get your hands on gear to represent your team.”
Toby Sanders is among the frustrated Chicago Sky fans left wondering about the lack of Sky championship apparel.
“I want my gear,” she said. “Is it an issue because there’s a shipping problem that everyone seems to be facing? Or is it a gender issue?”
The official Chicago Sky online store asked fans to be patient, warning that fans could expect delays on web orders due to high demand.
More telling, retailers like Clark Street Sports still feature Sox divisional championship T-shirts from nearly a month ago. No Sky gear is available, however. The same for Sportsworld in Wrigleyville.
Locals attribute the discrepancy to the team’s unexpected championship run.
“Same thing with Loyola. It’s the same story,” said Stephanie Ganal, who works at Grandstand in Bridgeport.
Nobody expected Loyola’s basketball team to be cutting down regional championships nets on their way to the 2018 Final Four. And not many analysts predicted a Chicago WNBA title as well.
“It’s hard for retailers,” Ganal said. “Especially coming out of the pandemic to keep that stuff in stock.”