Miami merchandise selling big with football team undefeated

The Miami Hurricanes are undefeated, and their 10-0 record is helping fuel sales of their gear, especially that of the "Turnover Chain."

A spokesman for Fanatics, the largest online sports retailer in the world, said sales of Miami merchandise is up 580 percent this year over a year ago, and sales over the past two weeks were double the entire month of November last year.

And the demand for the merchandise keep growing.

Former Hurricanes linebacker D.J. Williams, founder of Dyme Lyfe, a clothing retailer that licenses only Miami gear, said he used to feel his phone buzz every time a sale went through on his website.

"I had to shut that off a long time ago," he said.

In October, Williams' two-year-old brand had its biggest sales month: $208,000.

"We did $150,000 in sales during Miami-Notre Dame Week (11/11)," Williams said.

Williams was the first to sell a Turnover Chain T-shirt. Now there are five companies making them, including Miami's official shoe and apparel provider, Adidas.

"The 'Turnover Chain' item is by far the best-selling item we've had in 15 years," said Howard Taylor, group vice president of Follett, which owns the main campus bookstore and long-time merchandise store All Canes.

Taylor said that in November, sales at both stores were up about 300 percent versus last November, and that accounts for there being one more home game this season.

"What really makes the business thrive is the bandwagon fan," Harry Rothwell, general manager of All Canes, said. "I see people in the store who I haven't seen in 15 years, since our national championship here. They say they moved or were busy, but they're here because it feels good again for them."

Williams is the only one selling an actual Turnover Chain. He sold all 700 chains -- made from an aircraft aluminum alloy -- he had manufactured, and he said he has more than 1,000 people on a waiting list to buy the chains.

All of the chains come with his autograph on the back of the Miami logo.

"Last year, I would get 8,000 visitors to my site in a month," Williams said. "I can easily get 8,000 visitors a day now."