StubHub’s Second Annual 2018 NFL Preview

Published August 23, 2018

StubHub’s Second Annual NFL Preview: Cowboys Remain “Americas Team”; Eagles Fans Drive London Game to New Heights

New this year, eBay merchandise sales shows trending teams and players with running backs Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott taking the lead

See Past NFL Preview: 2017

Summer is winding down and fall is in the air. Football fans are ironing their jerseys, buying new face paint and dusting off their tailgating materials. You can almost taste the brats and hamburgers as music plays and cornhole bags fly through the air. We are only two weeks away from NFL’s 2018 season kickoff on September 6. To prepare for the upcoming season, StubHub’s event experts crunched the numbers to find the hottest selling teams, matchups, fan gear and rivalry games of the year in our latest NFL preview. New this year, StubHub worked with eBay data analysts to find the top-trending fantasy players, demonstrating which players are generating the most fan gear sales.

Top highlights include:

  • Dallas Cowboys continue to wear the crown as “America’s Team,” taking the top spot as StubHub’s most in-demand team for the fifth straight year.
  • Philadelphia Eagles fans catapult an NFL London game to a number one position, the first time an international series game has appeared in StubHub’s top ten most in-demand games.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers see the largest demand growth compared to last season and the Los Angeles Rams see the biggest boost since 2014.
  • Before even stepping on the field, rookie New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley took the #1 spot in eBay sales and searches for the last six months among the NFL’s top ranked fantasy players, followed closely by Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott at #2.

2018 marks the first season that StubHub is the “NFL Authorized Ticket Resale Marketplace” meaning StubHub is directly integrated with all 32 NFL teams, providing an official, safe and seamless way for fans to buy and sell tickets. Tickets are available now for the 2018 NFL regular season on StubHub.

More in-depth highlights can be found in StubHub’s comprehensive preview below. All data is current at time of publishing.

TOP 10 LIST: COWBOYS CAN’T BE DETHRONED

  • Not only are the Dallas Cowboys StubHub’s most in-demand team for the fifth season in a row but they are also the biggest draw on the road.
    • StubHub sees an increase of nearly 300% in sales over the average when the Cowboys are the visiting team.
  • Four new teams move into StubHub’s top 10 after missing last year – the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and Los Angeles Rams.
  • After their Super Bowl victory, Philadelphia Eagles are the only new team to crack StubHub’s top five compared to last year.
  • Some of the biggest jumps on this list come from the 49ers who move thirteen spots into position #6 from spot #19 last year, the Rams who move up eleven spots to #10 from the #21 position last year, and the Panthers who move up seven spots to #8 from spot 15.

“The Cowboys are an iconic franchise with a reputation that continues to draw a crowd season after season,” said Scott Jablonski, StubHub’s General Manager of NFL, NBA & NHL.


v2-ebays-most-in-demand-nfl-players-2018 (6)TOP FIVE FOR FAN GEAR: SAQUON BARKLEY’S ROOKIE SEASON MAKES AN IMPACT
eBay examined merchandise searches and sales for the NFL’s top ranked fantasy players to determine who is driving the most excitement ahead of the season’s kickoff:

  • Running Backs Rule: When looking at eBay Sales from the past six months, four of the top five players were running backs, led by Giants Rookie Saquon Barkley.  
    • Barkley’s teammate Odell Beckham Jr. rounded out the top-five.
  • Despite being ranked outside of the top 20 in fantasy value, Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski cracked the top 10 in eBay sales, further cementing his status as one of the most popular and productive players in the NFL.

“NFL fans are eager to show their support for top rookies, regardless of the demand the team may be driving,” said Sam Bright, Vice President of Soft Goods, North America at eBay. “Even though the Giants didn’t break the top ten in StubHub’s rankings, the excitement for Saquon Barkley is undeniable as we’ve seen remarkably strong demand since he was drafted in the first round by the Giants in April.”

For more data around eBay sales, including a full 32-team power ranking, visit eBayInc.com.


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RIDING SUPER BOWL VICTORY, EAGLES FANS SEE LONDON CALLING
The NFL London game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars is StubHub’s number one most in-demand game heading into the season.

  • This is the first time an international game has landed on StubHub’s most in-demand game list.
  • 37% of sales for the matchup is coming from the state of Pennsylvania – the highest amount of sales from a U.S. state for an NFL London game that StubHub has ever seen.
  • The Eagles-Jaguars matchup is driving 10% more sales than Cowboys at Panthers, the second most in-demand game.

NFL GROWS ABROAD

  • Demand for the NFL London series is up 40% from this time last year with one less game being played
  • Over the last five years, demand is up 333%
  • Buyers from 35 different countries have purchased tickets for the three games so far.

“Eagles fans have always been passionate but their Super Bowl win has truly ignited the fan base to unprecedented levels,” said Jablonski. We’re seeing Eagles fans willing to travel long distances to watch their team play, including internationally for their game in London.”


Trending teams are based on a five-year analysis of ticket sales at season start since 2014.

TRENDING TEAMS: LA EMBRACES RAMS; JAGS, 49ERS, AND EAGLES SEE BOOST IN DEMAND

  • Rams have seen a larger jump in demand on StubHub than any other NFL team over the last four seasons, putting an end to an up-and-down start in LA.
  • Jaguars see the largest jump in demand on StubHub compared to last season, coming off a surprising 2017 run.
  • The Eagles see a “Super Bowl Bump” and the 49ers enjoy the “Jimmy G Effect” as both teams see substantial growth in demand compared to last season.

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BEST-SELLING SEASON OPENER: COWBOYS V PANTHERS

  • Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers is the most in-demand season opener, outselling the next highest opener, Falcons at Eagles, by 6%.
  • The Falcons-Eagles opener owns StubHub’s number two spot as the first regular season game at home after their Super Bowl victory.
  • The rare opening week rivalry matchup in Green Bay vs. Chicago brings the game in strong at #3.

For more information and commentary on NFL or any other event – please reach out to PR@StubHub.com.

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