ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Michael Sam jerseys are a hot-ticket item, selling more than any other draftee’s except Johnny Manziel.

If those sales are any indication, Sam could bring on some boom times for the Rams.

The Rams expect to issue more than 100 press credentials for today’s draftee introduction. Will the team see a similar bump in ticket sales, should Michael Sam make the roster?

Patrick Rishe, a sports business professor at Webster, sees a boost for the Rams, and he doesn’t see many staying away because the team drafted an openly gay player.

“Part of that perhaps just might be my hope or belief that we’ve come far enough as a society that obviously you’re going to have some people who are uncomfortable, but are you going to be so offended that you’re not going to watch the games, you’re not going to go  to the games?” he says. “I think that’s a stretch.”

Rishe says the Rams selected Sam because they think he can make a contribution.

There’s also the element of geography at play here, close to Mizzou.

“With the Rams having the 29th best attendance of the percentage of capacity, any little thing they can do to hopefully bring some more fans to the Dome is something worthwhile,” he says.

Sam also signed his first endorsement deal with Visa last week in an ad that’s just starting to run.

As for the jerseys, Rishe notes that teams only get a small percentage of merchandise revenue

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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