When the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder met on January 31st of 2015, the Grizzlies stomped a hobbling Thunder squad under the spotlight of one of the franchise's best marketing strategies to date. They brought in Ric Flair and Jerry Lawler for "Wrestling Night", and gave away 3,000 Memphis Grizzlies "Grizzlyweight" World Champion wrestling belts that had fans camping out in front of FedexForum hours before the doors opened.
photo: Getty Images
People really went nuts for these things, and for several reasons:
- It's a really well executed novelty. It's of decent size for adults, and it looks fantastic.
- It represents a huge part of Memphis culture, a culture that the Grizzlies' personality naturally taps into.
- Limited production. 3,000 is nothing when you think about the nearly 20K that sometimes pack into the Grindhouse.
- It's a special season for the Grizzlies. Hope are high. This would be the ultimate collectible from a Championship season.
To date, there have only been 38 of them sold on electronic bay dot com (eBay). The average sale price of a Memphis Grizzlies wrestling belt before shipping is $86.73. (!!!) That's enough to get you and a friend into a Grizz game and have a pretty nice time.
The most recent sale was on March 31st for a high bid of $72.00. The cheapest anyone has snagged one of these was for $55.00 on February 16th during the All-Star break. The most someone has paid was ten days earlier on February 6th for a final bid of $122.50. The market is softening, but a strong Grizzlies playoff showing would push the prices up well over $100 for one of these babies.
I'm sure the Grizzlies probably didn't think they were manufacturing and handing out a potential $250,000+ in merchandise back in January!