Moneyball: Championing the July Sports Merch Challenge

Nogah Senecky
July 13, 2023

Sports fans barely had a chance to catch their breath after the busy June schedule, and another month packed with sports events is here. Between Tour de France, Wimbledon, UEFA Euro, The Open Championship, and other major events, July promises to be filled with excitement and — let’s be honest — business opportunities. But just like anything else in life and sports, some challenges must be addressed in advance.

Sports Merchandise Is the Real Winner

Sports fans celebrate leading events by attending games, tailgating, hosting watch parties, attending viewing nights at the local pub, and more. As part of the experience, they invest in merchandise of their favorite teams and players. 65% of millennial fans and 50% of Gen Z members will likely buy official team merchandise. 

Their need for a sense of belongingness is even stronger when they don’t physically attend the event and instead watch it from afar. When their hometown team makes it to the finals, the merchandise helps capture the memory and bring a smile to their faces with every laundry load. This is true for amateur sports events, which often carry a personal, sentimental connection. 

For these and other reasons, sporting events in July captivate audiences and provide a lucrative market for retail merchandise, as fans are eager to showcase their support via team jerseys, caps, scarves, and other branded items. According to Kenneth Research, global licensed sports merchandise sales are set to reach $34 billion this year. Another study found that the average US sports fan will spend over $600 on tickets and merchandise combined. 

These stats present a unique chance for textile printing businesses to tap into this demand and boost sales. By producing and offering high-quality merchandise, businesses in our industry can answer the needs of passionate fans and establish themselves as go-to suppliers for sports-related products and the brands representing them.

The Risk of Preparing Stock in Advance

Traditionally, textile printing businesses have prepared merchandise stock in advance, anticipating the teams that might make it to the finals. However, this approach carries significant risks. It is a challenging task to predict with certainty which teams will emerge victorious. In fact, that’s what makes these events so thrilling to watch. Suppliers cannot afford to “bet” on a specific outcome and end up with dead stock if they get it wrong. The risk of financial loss and wasted resources is a real concern.

On the other hand, businesses that fail to print merchandise items to fans or collaborate with global brands offering licensed gear will miss out on a business chance and the relationships that can be formed with such brands, leading to additional opportunities long after the games. 

The Solution: Transitioning to Digital, On-Demand Production

Traditional production simply doesn’t answer today’s market needs, calling for a new approach backed by new technology. Digital, on-demand production allows for flexible and efficient manufacturing, where items are printed and created as orders come in, eliminating the need for excessive stock and the storage space it requires. By adopting this model, businesses can minimize risks and maximize profits.

By harnessing advanced systems, companies can quickly and accurately reproduce logos, designs, and branding elements on various fabric materials. This level of customization ensures that fans receive high-quality merchandise right on time. Adjusting jobs according to the latest results becomes easy, and brands can rely on fulfillers across the supply chain to deliver the most relevant items without skipping a beat. 

July is filled with sports finals that captivate fans worldwide, but businesses should be just as excited and passionate about the upcoming weeks. This is a golden opportunity to capitalize on the demand for retail merchandise. Transitioning to digital, on-demand production allows businesses to minimize risks, adapt to changing market dynamics, and meet the requirements of passionate sports fans, global brands, and everyone in between.