The regular season comes to a close this weekend.
32 teams competed in divisions of four. The winner of each division (8 teams) and four wild-cards survive the regular season, advancing to the playoffs. From there, 12 teams will be reduced to 8, then 4, then 2, and then there will be 1 Super Bowl Winner.
Once you get to the 12th or 13th game, you can see who is likely to make the playoffs and who is likely not to make the playoffs.
The buildup to the playoffs creates excitement.
The playoffs are exciting.
More than 100,000,000 people in the United States watch the Super Bowl.
Why not create your own merchandising tournament? If you don't like the football analogy, have a merchandise tournament that coincides with the NCAA basketball tournament. Pick your 64 best items, seed them 1-16 in one of four regions, and have the items compete head-to-head. The items that sells the most during "x" amount of time advances.
Publish the results on your website, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram.
Let your customers fill out brackets. The ones that predict sales the best get some sort of discount - given how much y'all love discounts. Maybe the winner gets to be the honorary merchant for a day and gets to merchandise the website or an email campaign?