Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig prepares to take batting practice at Dodger… (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)
Yasiel Puig is not only breaking records on the field, but also in the team store.
The Dodgers sold more Puig-related merchandise from Thursday to Sunday than they had ever sold of any player over a four-day period -- more than even Manny Ramirez, Fernando Valenzuela or Hideo Nomo, according to a team spokesperson.
The team sold approximately 3,000 units of Puig-related merchandise in that four-day window, including 1,600 t-shirts ($28), 400 “Viva Puig” t-shirts ($28) and 600 jerseys ($225 for the authentic version, $110 for the replica ones).
“He’s a real exciting player that drives merchandise,” said Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ chief marketing officer. “He’s a good-looking guy, great personality. What he does in the batter’s box, what he does on the field, he’s a five-tool player. He energizes the crowd.”
While the Dodgers have already filmed a television commercial that features Puig and Adrian Gonzalez, Rosen said the team hasn’t made any plans to make a Puig bobblehead doll or create a marketing campaign centered around him.
“We’re not going to throw everything at him at once because that puts a lot of pressure on him,” Rosen said. “We want him to have fun playing, keep working hard, learn to deal with the media.”
Asked if he was worried if this might be too much too soon for the 22-year-old Cuban defector, Rosen replied, “For him? He seems to know how to handle it. He’s a mature kid. And the players on this team are really helping him, teaching him, which is really important.”
In particular, Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Luis Cruz are helping Puig acclimate to life in the major leagues, according to Rosen.
“We’ve got some players that have been through all this stuff,” Rosen said. “They’re really doing a good job with it.”