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Managing your Brand through Custom Apparel

August 5, 2020

Marianne

You could simply order a big inventory of uniforms or various types of spirit wear, then hand them out with colored markers and let your community custom-decorate their own. You might get some pretty amusing results. But branding for schools and youth sports organizations is no laughing matter. And since custom apparel is one of your biggest marketing tools, you can’t afford to leave the branding to chance.

Really, your brand is a composite of factors that give your organization its unique personality and reputation. But your logo is the visual representation of all that -- artwork that bestows instant recognition and serves as an emotional rallying point.

 

That’s why custom apparel is so important for branding

It carries your visual message for all to see, on:

  • Sports uniforms
  • Practice gear
  • Dress uniforms for school
  • Club team wear
  • Spirit wear
  • Casual wear for team travel or field trips

 

So what are you showing the world? Because custom apparel is your most universal messaging opportunity, it has to be exactly right. Every time. Unfortunately, apparel decoration can quickly run amok, if it isn’t well-controlled. If it doesn’t deliver a consistent look and feel, it can create confusion and render your branding efforts powerless.

 

Controlling your brand across the board

Brand management can be a tough assignment indeed for schools and YSOs that comprise multiple internal sub-groups. You need to outfit different age groups and myriad sports and other types of teams. It’s complex, even for small operations, and the more folks you serve the more your potential problems will be compounded.

Everyone wants their own look. They’re not the football team, they’re the field hockey team. They’re mathletes, not athletes. Or they’re the grandparents club. In effect, you have brands within your brand. That’s a good thing, because it underscores and supports a sense of inclusivity among all programs. However, left to their own devices, these groups will “fix up” your brand artwork to create their own look, in ways that don’t meet your standards.

Good news, though – partnering with SquadLocker makes it easy to control your branding and give everyone just what they want.

  • We offer a wide range of reliably high-quality apparel options for your online store, in the latest styles and with the performance traits you want.
  • We offer printing, sublimation and embroidery imprinting options to ensure your branding decoration always meets professional standards.
  • Our graphic design team says, “Logos for all? Let’s do it!” We’ll work with you (for free) to ensure your logo always looks just right for the decorating project you have in mind. And if you need customized variations to provide all your teams with their own identity, we’ll create those designs for you (also free). You get exclusivity and inclusivity, at the same time, with guaranteed brand-within-a-brand consistency throughout your entire operation.

 

Just ask the folks at Pinewood Prep. They serve 700 students in preschool through grade 12, including 35 sports teams plus 30 academic and special interest teams. For them, we created no less than 194 logos and related visual assets! Athletic Director Andy Morgan says it’s a true partnership. [SquadLocker] wants our gear to look good and be successful as much as we do.”

 

Our custom apparel can make you a branding hero, too

As administrator, president, board member, or athletic director, your ultimate goal is growth. You need to:

  • Attract participants or students to grow your program, and that takes awareness.
  • Motivate kids, parents, grandparents and the community to take pride in their team.
  • Build a rewarding, lasting relationship with sponsors.
  • Inspire major donors and ongoing fundraising support, and that takes credibility.

 

Branding can do all that. But, in order to accomplish your goals, you must be able to control and manage your brand effectively. It has to be used consistently according to the standards you have created, and it has to be reproduced with consistently professional quality in order to reflect well on your school or YSO. Anything less won’t do.

Done right, though, custom apparel reinforces your brand, building goodwill and energizing players, families and the community.


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