Read on to see how to grow your team sportswear printing business.
By Cara Cherry
Today, more dealers offer complete outfits and are becoming full-service providers. In addition to customizing the uniforms, they are increasing their add-on sales by supplying coordinating bags, jackets, sweats and caps. With the advances in full-color digital printing, dealers can also profit with banners, wall graphics, window decals and custom helmet decals. The key to add-on sales is to provide your customers with ideas and solutions designed to help them stand out and get noticed.
Backpacks, tote bags, and travel bags are ideal add-on sale items plus they offer tons of opportunities to personalize. New options in heat transfer vinyl as well as digital transfers created from solvent inks allows decorators to customize virtually any type of bag from woven nylon to polyester. These materials even allow for decoration to run down the straps, around zippers and even over seams.
Showing samples to customers is one of the easiest ways to increase sales. Anytime you sell a piece of apparel such as a jersey, be sure to create additional pieces that demonstrate what you can do. Customers generally aren’t aware of all the products available that their logo (Figure 6) can be applied to or that can be customized for them.
A great example of using samples to increase your add-on sales is to create something extra for the coach or the person who places the order as a thank you. If they ordered little league T-shirts, then include a jacket, duffle bag or cap with the logo heat applied on it for the person who placed the order. If you take the time to find out their size and give them something specifically selected for them then it gives them another product idea and demonstrates your appreciation for the sale. It can also lead to increased opportunities for creating fan wear. Once they wear it to a game, parents and grandparents might like to order one too.
According to Patrick Seward, company representative for New York and New Jersey, knowing what is popular locally is what helps him determine which products are important to show to team dealers. For example, team names, graphics or player numbers on the back window of cars is very popular in New Jersey. He often takes samples into the dealers and suggests they offer them to their customers. It makes for another great add-on sale as well.
Regulations and resources
Knowing what does and doesn’t work on uniforms is a critical element in team decorating. Schools, associations or teams usually dictate the uniform style, colors, materials, and accessories that are worn. The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) both publish rulebooks that contain policies associated with uniform design. In addition, league rules may vary, so it’s important to check with the appropriate organization in terms of logo placement, lettering sizes, or name layout.
The opportunities and options that are available in decorating team uniforms are virtually unlimited. Keep these methods in mind and you’ll find that decorating team uniforms and apparel can equal big profits.
Cara Cherry is a PR manager for Stahls’ ID Direct, manufacturer of heat-applied graphics and equipment. She has a Master of Arts degree in Public Relations and Organizational Communications and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She has written articles for various industry publications.
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