There are sports fans, and then there are sports fans. You know the kind; they live and die for the team, and nearly anything is excuse enough to deck out in spirit wear.
“Spirit wear, as well as team wear, is a great market for distributors to break into as it fairs better when the corporate marketplace is tightening their belts,” says Vanessa Keefe, director of marketing for Sharon, Massachusetts-based supplier Charles River Apparel (UPIC: CRA). Keefe explains that consumers—parents and students especially—will cut back on other purchases but continue to cheer on their teams.
So what should distributors know before entering this mega-market? “Don’t just think of spirit wear in terms of outdoor activities,” Keefe says. “There is a great opportunity in spirit wear for indoor sports as well.”
Also, make sure you have something for everyone. “Unisex styles are popular as they can be sold easily to both men and women,” Keefe adds. “A tip is to make sure you have both an adult style and a style for kids. Better yet, if it’s possible, provide one style that is available in both adult and youth sizes.”
An insider tip: Spirit wear is reusable. “Spirit wear allows for greater variety in what a team logo can look like,” Keefe explains. “Distributors can use the school or team’s colors and get away with different names or mascot logos. A simple ‘Go Tigers’ on a sweatshirt can go a long way.”
Ready to sell spirit wear? Click through to check out spirited apparel items, categorized according to your desired spirit level.