2019 Team Sales Report

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 5 of 23

6 | THE TEAM SALES REPORT 2019 educational institutes for sports apparel jobs, the digital world unlocks a much broader market. Schools, colleges, booster clubs, or even farm teams in other cities are now fair game. KEEPING UP Some looks have changed over time, but sources agree that shops should keep some staples in mind so that they're pre- pared to serve customers when they come through the door. More decorative fills have become a favorite look for team numbers, as have camouflage, additions of mascots, and shock colors. Other looks like distress effects and patterns have grown in popularity as well. Embroidery, screen printing, and heat transfers all continue to see popularity depending on the sport and garment type. Heat-printed numbers remain a viable option for easily-cus- tomizable sports jersey names and numbers, particularly for schools who change player rosters every year. Hiler points to sublimation as a reliable avenue for tackling some of the newer design approaches like effects and shock colors. "Sublimation has progressed where decorators can buy printers with sublima- tion ink, buy sublimation paper and print designs for simple heat application on white uniforms that, in the past, would have required expensive screen printing," he notes. Sue Wilcosky, Transfer Express, recommends shops frequent- ly touch base with their suppliers to get a better idea of what they're seeing fluctuate in demand as well, rather than trying to monitor everything on their own. "It is amazing how trends sell and staying up to date on what is hot can make or break your business," Wilcosky states. Most decoration suppliers have a direct line to manufacturers and can give shops a clearer picture of what's coming down the pipeline, she explains. With trending designs, a producer can consult with their dealers as many develop customizable templates to speed up the ordering and production process. These templates, Wilcosky says, "can be used by small shops for their team wear with just a team name edit and team colors." Staying unique, regardless of which pattern, discipline, or color you use, says Jim Heiser, Bullseye Activewear, will be vital to retaining clients. "Team sports want to have something that catches the eyes of others," Heiser adds. Different placement locations, as well as mix- ing mediums like screen printing and embroidery on the same item are all common approaches, he suggests. Combining decoration mediums also helps add to the value proposition, so decorators can consider charging more for an intricate, detailed design. Polyester garments continue to be a major part of this market segment, which can be challenging, particularly for heat transfers. Thankfully, many manufacturers now offer transfers that apply at lower temperatures, so deco- rators can avoid scorching the garments. Similarly, in the screen-printing realm, various inks now come in a low- cure form, which also helps reduce the risk of scorching clothes on the dryer. THE TEAM SPORTS MARKET text continued on page 10 Right: Producers can consult with team coaches and sports organi- zation presidents on what kind of patterns best represent their team. (Image courtesy Dalco Athletic) Inset: Detail-filled team letters and numbers are a popular item in today's sports apparel market. (Im- age courtesy Dalco Athletic) Left: Offering name and number customization is still a relatively simple way shops can decorate sports jerseys. (Image courtesy Bullseye Activewear) Right: Shops with high-vol- ume capabilities can tap into the lucrative market of professional sports. (Image courtesy Bullseye Activewear)

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