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Web entrepreneurs profit from Obama mania

November 12, 2008 | 10:17 am

Obama shirt Lots of people are happy that Barack Obama won the presidential election last week -- especially those who are raking in the dough selling shirts, pins, wine bottles and other knickknacks with Obama's face on them, as an L.A. Times story details today.

Presidents have always inspired such capitalism. But marketing experts say the historic nature of this election and the strong brand that the Illinois senator's campaign cultivated have sparked incredible demand for all things Obama.

Thanks to the Web, it's not just that guy selling shirts on the street corner who is profiting.

John Champion, for example, has been able to sell his press-on Obama tattoos all over the country through his Obama tattoos website. He sold a few thousand sheets of the tattoos before the election, but said that "the response picked up immediately after the election."

Sites such as CafePress and Zazzle, which allow people to design and sell their own shirts and other gear, are also profiting. CafePress alone has 2.8 million Obama items. Tampa, Fla., resident Jennifer Funderburk has made a five-figure salary this year from selling Obama and other campaign-related stuff. "The election and the day after were comparable to the biggest days I've seen," she said.

Of course, not all the online sales are for the gloating "The One that Won" T-shirts or "Change Comes" coffee mugs. Politics continues after the election, after all, explaining the "Nobama" and "Don't Blame Me, I Voted McCain" shirts for sale as well.

That's America for you: freedom to write whatever snarky slogan you desire on a T-shirt and then make money selling it online.

-- Alana Semuels

Photo: Even Second Life avatars have Obama T-shirts. Credit: Metaweb20 via Flickr

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