Printwear

February '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Fan wear is inspired by athletics but allows for more freedom in design and trendy details. (Images courtesy Holloway Sportswear) with a rhinestone "mom" decal added to it. The same holds true in sport-specific decorations, where a baseball or hockey puck and stick is incorporated in the graphic. These decorations not only add the pop parents and grandparents are looking for in their team apparel, but also add instant value and upsell capabilities. The most important consideration in decorated fan wear is to take the basic team design and step it up a notch, says Wilcosky. "Fan wear typically takes the traditional mascot used for team uniforms and incorporates it into a more trendy design." With edgier, more creative graphics, fan wear also allows for playing with placement. Schward suggests moving names or player numbers to sleeves or sides for a uniquely fan wear flair. Beyond graphics, decorators can push the envelope with decorating methods as well. Use heat applied graphics or rhinestones for T-shirts, gym bag decals or car decals, suggests Teresa Griffin, Myrhinestonetransfers.com. Or, experiment with laser etching, all-over prints, digital precision prints, and discharge printing, as Holloway's Nixon advises. These techniques and unique placements not only give tried-and-true fans new options each season but also create an impressive-yet-affordable niche for decorators in the competitive sports market. The ultimate fan Beyond traditional sports such as baseball, basketball, volleyball and hockey, the cheer market is an anomaly in itself. "The cheer and spirit market differs from traditional sports in the sense that it is more of a moth- er-daughter sport," states Griffin. These athletes and fans also follow the mantras of bigger is better, and bring on the bling. "This client loves as much sparkle as possible," she adds. As such, the female-driven sport goes all out with decorations. Nixon suggests to play up all-over printing, neons, glitter transfers and, of course, rhinestones. And, since cheer and dance fans are more willing to go all out, this market offers plenty of unique opportunities not typically found in male-dominated sports. Among the unique offerings for cheer and dance market are boots and hair ribbons. Worn for warm-ups and in competition, respectively, the same items are popular with cheer moms and sisters as well. These items can easily be decorated with rhinestones in the team's colors, or embossed with each cheerleader's name. However cheer packages are built, know that this market is willing to take risks and go big. Pre-game prep Whether a traditional sport or a new athletic venture, worn by mother, father, sibling or friend, there are a few extra details that will make offering fan wear a sure success. "When going after fans, start early," urges Griffin. If attempting to capture the market two or three games into the season, sales 2013 February Printwear PW_FEB13.indd 83 | 83 1/18/13 11:07 AM

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