With the 2016-17 NFL season scheduled to start tonight, we thought we’d remind you to do your laundry – make sure your lucky jersey is ready! We asked fans who wear certain clothing to support their team about the type and condition of clothing that they wear.

For those who wear an item to help their team win, the majority wear a team-branded shirt (54%) or jersey (53%), and somewhat under a majority (43%) wear a team-branded hat. As one respondent said, “You have to be sporting the team color or else they won’t feel the love.” As an alternative to team branding, wearing the same colors as the team is important: shirt (20%), jersey (16%), and hat (11%).

The item most likely to be described as “lucky” was socks: 12% wore their lucky socks, edging out the same-colored hat. But, if luck is a lady, that lady can leave: as one fan explained, “I used to have a lucky shirt, then my team went on a losing streak with it.”

We can all breathe more easily knowing that unwashed items are not popular (0-1% per type of clothing), though we’d like to avoid the 1% who must wear their unwashed underwear. And “lucky underwear” (9%) seems like an oxymoron.

Sample comments:

  • “Wearing or not wearing a team jersey.”
  • “My Cubs hat every game – I don’t care if they’re winning or losing. I feel lost if it’s not on during a game.”
  • “I always wear the team I’m rooting for’s hat. I never miss a game I watch without a hat on.”
  • “If I don’t wear my Carolina scarf then I don’t feel right and can’t watch the game.”
  • “Just making sure to wear our team’s gear!”
  • “Wearing certain clothing.”
  • “Wear the colors.”

Only one brand was named specifically (Under Armour). Other items mentioned:

  • “Sweater/Hoodie.”
  • “Sweatshirt.”
  • “Under Armour.”
  • “Earrings.”


This is an excerpt from the free Researchscape white paper, “Sports Superstitions & The Big Game”. Download your own copy now:

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Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.