On Monday afternoon when I walked into the Diamondbacks Team Shop at Chase Field I felt like a kid in a toy store. I also felt like I had the entire place to myself minus the few store staff members, AZKodiak, and the person I was there to meet, Mr. Mike Krezwick - Director of Retail since 2015. One of the first things I learned from Krezwick was that The D-backs Team Shop is operated by a subsidiary of Levy Restaurants, Rank + Rally. Our team shop is the third Rank + Rally began operating, since they got into the game just a few years ago.
Another interesting tidbit is that the items in the team shop were all ordered last June, as it is with each new season - product must be ordered way in advance Krezwick explained to me. Despite his beginnings with the Red Sox organization and a 3 year stint in Citizen’s Bank Park, Krezwick stressed loyalty to the Diamondbacks, and a theme quickly emerged: the exclusivity but also inclusiveness of the Chase Field Team Shop.
We gloss quickly over the fact that Goldy was traded and his merch was deeply discounted in order to move the rest of the product. I wanted to know what was NEW at the Team Shop and what had customers excited to shop there this off season, “People get really excited when the new Nike product comes in” Krezwick shared. The fans essentially want the feel of the new fabric and a chance to buy what the players will be wearing for warm ups and on-field drills.
New Era caps are another hot item this off season - and when you get a full and uninterrupted look at the New Era hat wall inside the Team Shop, you quickly understand why. The styles and colors are one of a kind, not found at Just Sports or any other retailers. “New Era is the official on field cap....and our biggest vendor”, Krezwick explains. New Era has caps and other products available in sizes from toddler girls to large-headed adult men such as myself, so there’s something for ALL fans, in the Team Shop setting.
So we know what fans came in to buy this off season, but what did the fans ask for in 2018 that is NOW available? The answer - Tommy Bahama button-up shirts. The mannequins inside the center of the shop had many on display, and the fans are sure to be happy with the styles and the price. Another big request from the fans? Tervis tumbler cups in ALL STYLES! The team shop will be expanding it’s offerings of D-backs branded Tervis cups and other mugs to fill the insatiable appetite for these drinking accessories. Again, the team shop wants to stress the brands it offers have something for everyone’s age or style, from a sippy-cup to a beer mug and everything in between in their setting at the Chase Field Team Shop.
Let’s say drinkware or Hawaiian shirts are not your thing - you’re a D-backs team jersey type of fan. Well, obviously the Diamondbacks team shop is where you want to go for the ultimate jersey selection and experience. The shop offers on-site customization on any of its large selection of sizes and styles of Diamondback's jerseys. As a personal endorsement, I can say that I am 100 % satisfied with each jersey I have purchased and each customization job completed by the Team Shop staff. Thanks to Michelle C (the Brute Squad’s go-to team shop staff member) for a wonderful experience each time we come in.
If you like the old colors Krezwick goes on to say that “we have the Yankees (and D-backs) dueling shirt coming - meaning both logos... It’s awesome and I will just kinda hint that it’s a throwback to the 2001 World Series”. Krezwick suggests we get to the game on April 30th very early for those shirts, as they’re sure to be hot items.
You can find something for any budget as well. If you like cheap, the least expensive item in the team shop is a pencil, but that isn’t the cheap item Krezwick is most excited about. It’s the new stickers, 8 different designs of the D-backs logo on stickers available for $2.99. “We’ve seen the craze of Dutch Bros and people putting them on their cars,” Krezwick says.
At the other end, if money ain’t a thang, and you want exclusive and potentially one of a kind, then what about an authentic Diamondbacks road grey jersey, costing $350.00 blank, and $459.00 if you want customization (stitched) on the back? Worth noting, the team shop does not handle the stitching of the text or numbers with these exclusive jerseys. They are shipped directly from the manufacturer which, as Mike explains, means, “They will make one for Peralta that he will wear on the field, and then they will get yours and make it. It’s literally the same process”. I feel like a cheap bum for not having one....yet.
So what item is the Director of Marketing most excited for this season? Easy, “a replica of our bullpen cart” Made of resin, like the bobbleheads, it’s a heavier play car but still very fun as the wheels move and it’s almost 100% identical to the actual on-field bullpen cart. The best news? The Diamondbacks fans at Fan Fest loved them so much they bought them all.
What else have the fans been wanting? “We’ve expanded our kids and ladies collection. That was something we heard a lot about from the ladies: it’s available for men, so why not ladies?” Krezwick says. That’s fine with the team shop, whose goal is to be packed with items, and be able to sell something for everyone. However, there are things that D-backs fans have asked for that have not come to fruition. “Two come to mind: collectible spoons and snow globes. Those are the two we have heard about over and over again, and we tried. We’ve explored options with MLB vendors”. What about the Haboob Globe that will be a part of this season’s giveaways? Will they be sold in the shop, Mr. Krezwick? “No, they are not licensed, we cannot legally sell them”.
I go on to ask Krezwick about any discounts that fans might not know about. Apparently, if you use your Chase Debit card you receive a discount of 15% at the point of sale. Also, season ticket holders receive a 20% off discount cards. [Before you ask: no, season ticket holders using a Chase card do NOT get 35% off!] But here’s an interesting tidbit. New for the 2019 season, the Team Shop will feature a secret-item menu during home-stands exclusively for season ticket holders...
So have the Diamondbacks ever explored the idea of co-branding a drink with a local brewery or distillery? I was surprised to hear the answer was yes, last year. A budding relationship between the Diamondbacks and Jack Daniels formed over a limited barrel celebrating the D-backs 20th anniversary with the logo engraved on the bottle. These bottles were sold and engraved in the Team Shop for $139.00, with many being sold for Father’s Day and 4th of July. Krezwick tells me the team is trying to acquire more of the 20th anniversary barrel to make available this season but the ball is in Jack Daniel’s court.
All of the same Team Shop kiosks will return next season with the exception of the kiosk outside of section 111, right across from season ticket holder services. That kiosk will change things up and carry ONLY retro/throwback merchandise from they late 90’s and early 2000s. Speaking of retro, apparently Luis Gonzales comes into the Team Shop frequently to shop for polo shirts. “The Gonzo section,” as I will henceforth refer to it, was stacked with D-backs polo shirts.
To summarize my time in the Team Shop spent with Mike Krezwick and his staff, he finishes with this: “We offer anything we are offered, sizes and styles, we know there are different styles out there... we try to know our fan base but know that everyone is unique. So a little splash of Tommy Bahama and then a little splash of kids clothes, with glitter on the front, a little bit for everybody... 85% of the stuff in here, you can only find it here.” Exclusive but inclusive is very much the watchword here. The Team Shop staff listens to the fans and want the merchandise to be appealing to D-backs fans of all tastes and style.
Finally, here’s a short instructional video on the Team Shop’s jersey customization process: Roman does a great job explaining things. Also, thanks to Mike Krezwick and Ben Todd for showing off the Team Shop and answering my questions. Everything looked great - and if you aren’t already stoked for Opening Day, I suggest a quick trip to the Chase Field Team Shop. That should sort you out.