There is a new champion in the AFC, and soon there will be a new "retail king" in the NFL.
The NFL Players Association said Monday sales of officially licensed NFL player-identified merchandise from March 1-Nov. 30 show Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the list of top-selling players.
"Mahomes is now in position to become this season's new pro football retail king when the final NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales list is released in April. (Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady has finished each of the past two seasons as the top player on the list, and currently sits at No. 2," the NFLPA wrote one its website.
After winning the NFL's Most Valuable Player award last year in his first season as a starter for the Chiefs, Mahomes became a star who was recognized across the country. He appeared in national advertising campaigns for Head and Shoulders, State Farm, Madden 20 and Hunt's Ketchup, among others.
Steve Scebelo, the Vice President of Licensing and Business Development for the NFL Players Inc., told CNBC of Mahomes: "He comes across as somebody fans can root for. Starring in the State Farms ads, you can see some of the personality come through, and he's just someone fans feel they can connect with and they want to root for."
Mahomes helped the Chiefs defeat the Tennessee Titans 35-24 on Sunday and advance to Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2 in Miami. Playing on the biggest national stage should only help to raise Mahomes' profile nationally and locally.
In Kansas City, fans have come out in droves for Super Bowl shirts, hats and more.
Six hours of sales on Monday, the day after the AFC championship win, nearly matched sales the day after the Royals won the World Series in 2015, Rally House CEO Aaron Liebert told The Star.
"I've never seen anything like it. We sold out in less than an hour on Sunday night and had lines in every store from open to close all day Monday," Liebert said. "We had our entire corporate office working in the stores — from accounting to H.R. to marketing. Mahomes product has been a best seller all season and we have more product coming in at the end of the week."
Liebert said Mahomes items have been in big demand all season.
"Last year when Mahomes was really coming out, most stores didn't have a lot," Liebert said. "We just thought he would be good so we were able to stay ahead of it. He's a genuine good guy so fans are lining up."
Academy Sports + Outdoors, which is a privately held company, wouldn't provide a comment on sales for this story. However, it said Mahomes jerseys has been its top Chiefs seller this season.
The NFLPA's list of top-selling player merchandise includes Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce at No. 35. Brady is No. 2, followed by the Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliot and Browns' Baker Mayfield.