Your Private-Label Brand – Not an Option Anymore
The world of team-sports uniform and apparel supply is undergoing a tectonic shift. Every major and minor branded uniform supplier, including Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, has pivoted to sell direct to the consumer – and they have pivoted quickly! Secondary brands such as Alleson, Augusta, and Champro have robust direct-to-consumer platforms and a significant and growing presence on Amazon. Where team dealers once aspired to represent those brand names, they are now faced with having them as direct competitors. A Journal of Sport article from early 2019 said it perfectly:
In the realm of team uniform sales, brands like Nike and Adidas often function as the primary marketing company, while dealers function as the brands' sales force. However, to maximize integration between sales and marketing, apparel brands have started to cut out the dealers to minimize inefficiency and increase overall profits.
The conclusion of the Journal of Sport article is definitive: If brands can sell to teams directly – which is becoming ever more viable with the use of modern mobile technology – there is essentially no purpose for the team dealer in their current capacity.
This conclusion should serve as a harsh reality check. Most team dealers are living in the past and trying to justify why what they have always done will somehow work again. The genie is simply not going back in the bottle. This trend is accelerating, and to remain relevant, team dealers, large and small, will need to find an alternative or be cut out as middlemen. Most dealers believe that the advent of technology, builders, online stores, etc. has been a boon to their business, and for many it has – for now! The reality is that you are acting as a data-gathering service for these brands – providing them team, player, and pricing info on most of your customers. That will and is making their transition to direct sales much easier.
A harsh environment for sure, but not an inevitable outcome. The best way to prevent this migration away from you is to start selling your own brand! Historically, this was a monumental task and simply not feasible for most dealers. It involved a multi-year product and sizing development cycle and an enormous investment in inventory and capital equipment. That dynamic has changed completely with the advent and proliferation of made-to-order sublimation – no longer do you need millions of dollars tied up in inventory. With no inventory requirement, no holes in sizing or colors, no limitations on decoration – private-label sublimation is the best solution for team dealers. The leader in private-label sublimation manufacturing is – without question – FSG America. They provide all the tools to allow dealers large and small to succeed.
FSG America offers a complete turnkey bespoke product line whose quality equals or exceeds the quality of virtually all current brands – a true category disruptor.
FSG America helps you succeed with:
- FULL ARTWORK STAFF to assist with your initial branding as well as all future artwork needs.
- CUSTOM RETAIL WEBSITE – A full website showcasing all sublimated offerings, customized with your name, logo, and contact information, with many customizable options to tailor to your business's needs.
- CUSTOM 3D UNIFORM BUILDER – A builder designed with the team dealer and sales rep in mind. Custom branding options, a fully integrated presentation tool, and an approval system provide next-level service for ease of creation and to close your sales.
- WORLDWIDE MANUFACTURING – Two manufacturing plants can accommodate year-round production with no delays for regional holidays, and have allowed FSG America to operate continuously during the current global pandemic. The plant in Mexico (the former Russell Team facility) creates a hedge against tariffs.
- BEST-QUALITY FABRICS AND INK – By maintaining high quality standards and avoiding chasing the bottom dollar, FSG America can continually provide superior quality with more vibrant colors. Every time you sell another brand, they should be sending you a thank-you card – you are building and promoting their brand equity, not yours.
Stay relevant and make these changes now by creating your brand and investing in yourself before the big brands make the decision for you!