This is a really pretty fascinating story: How do all those champion shirts and hats get to the winning Super Bowl team so quickly? And what happens to the pre-manufactured gear prepared for the team that loses?
Distribution is a science. Twelve employees from Reebok and the N.F.L. huddle midway through the fourth quarter and handicap the game. If the score is lopsided, they stalk the sideline of the winning team, keeping the boxes out of sight.
But if the game is close, half the group goes to one side and half goes to the other. Each employee is assigned a star player to outfit. If the Colts win, for instance, someone immediately has to get a shirt and cap to quarterback Peyton Manning. If the Bears win, someone has to find linebacker Brian Urlacher.
The other team’s gear is hustled behind locked doors, to be given to a relief organization that sends them overseas, usually to Africa.