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    A - Z Guide To Buying Club Kits




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    A – Z Guide To Buying Club Kits

    The Game Set and Match, A – Z Guide to Buying Club Kits includes top tips of things to consider when choosing your team wear for your Hockey or Cricket team.

    If you are newly responsible for organising Club Kit or are looking to change your Club Kit supplier this A – Z Guide is a good place to start, to help you get the best results for your Club.

    1) Off The Shelf Products

    There is a large range of standard off the shelf products available, from a range of suppliers, to match most Clubs’ individual colour requirements.

    Using standard stock items means your players orders can be fulfilled quickly, easily and at no extra cost to your Club. Irregular or small orders are no issue to fulfil, as out of stock situations are rare. This is a key consideration especially for slower selling items or in off season periods of low demand or when you want to change your Kit design.

    For most Clubs and particularly for those with smaller memberships, Game Set and Match recommend the off the shelf route. It gives you greater flexibility and minimises costs. And you still get a great finished product which team members will be proud to wear.

    2) Custom Made Products

    In comparison to off the shelf product, custom made kit can be used to produce a unique kit design. You can create a really individual ‘WOW’ factor for your teams kit.

    And custom made kit is available from many of the top brand names including Adidas, TK and Canterbury.

    However, the biggest challenge of custom made kit is effective stock management and order fulfilment.

    Custom kit is made to order. There is a minimum order which can be either per item or each size of each item. And no stock is held by the supplier. This means there are two key implications to consider;

    a) Your Club may have to commit cash up front for a minimum order to ensure all your player orders can be supplied. This is a particular challenge for slower sellers and at the end of a season where orders are irregular.

    b) There is a long lead time for the production and delivery of stock. The order needs to be scheduled, produced and normally imported from the Far East. This means you can expect to wait between 6 – 10 weeks for replacement stock.

    Custom made clothing is often the option chosen by the bigger clubs, who play at the highest level in National Leagues. For example, Reading Hockey Club. It allows you to present a unique image.

    3) Direct or Via a Specialist Third Party?

    There are two basic ways to get your Club Kit requirements fulfilled;

    a) Go direct to the supplier, normally the big sportswear brands or

    b) Via a specialist third party, usually a local retailer, like Game Set and Match

    Game Set and Match have supplied Club Kit for 20 years. And based on our own and customers experiences strongly recommend you chose a specialist third party supplier. Why?

    • Choice – You get to choose the best kit from the whole market, rather than the limited range that a Branded supplier has available. You need to think about what kit wears well, are the sizes generous, what is the fit like and do they represent good value for money…..?
    • Specialist Advice – To get the best results you need good advice. Not only on what kit is good to wear but what items produce the most impact once embroidered or printed. And which suppliers have a good reputation for product quality and reliability and those who don’t…. A specialist third party can give you an unbiased and informed opinion.
    • Core Business – Club Kit supply is a core part of their business. It’s in the retailers own interest to provide you with great products and great service. They cannot afford to sell you hollow promises on stock availability, actual colours and short delivery times which are unfortunately, all too common elsewhere. And for most big brands, supplying personalised local Club Kit is a tiny and unimportant part of their business. You may not get the standard of service you deserve and are promised.
    • Value for Money - The cheapest quote is not always the best way to get real Value for Money for your Club and membership. Big Brands often offer the cheapest price when quoting for contracts against specialist local retailers. But make sure you consider all aspects of the proposal. For example; Are prices based on a guaranteed minimum volume of sales? Have you seen finished samples of items? Are they in the colour you wanted? Are delivery dates promised realistic? If things go wrong how much time can you spare to sort it out? 

    4) Do You Like Them?

    Make sure you meet or at least contact the people you could be dealing with on a week to week basis. Do you like them? Are they interested in you and your Club? Do they seem efficient and professional? Are they easy to get hold off? Do they know the market? Are they a decision maker?

    Remember, if you experience problems during your relationship, you need to be confident they can resolve any issues quickly and satisfactorily.

    With local specialist retailers you can speak to the decision makers and quickly get any issues resolved.

    5) Embroidery or Printing?

    It's a common requirement to have items of Club Kit customised with your Club’s Name, Club Crest and if relevant a Sponsors logo.

    To get the best results, discuss your design ideas with your supplier. They should be able to advise you on the best technique to use to get the best result for you. But please note the more designs you want and the more positions can significantly increase the unit price of each item.

    Embroidery and Printing are the most common kit customisation techniques. Each technique is used for different jobs.

    Embroidery can produce a high quality finish. For the best results, the maximum embroidered area is a 9 cm diameter circle. It’s great for Club Crests and Players Initials. Any larger and even on the heaviest material, the stitches gather in the garment. This causes the item to lose its shape and makes it very uncomfortable for you to wear.

    You can have embroidery on more than one part of your clothes. For example, on a Polo shirt, the left breast and the right sleeve.

    You simply need to provide a JPEG file of your Club logo. This is converted into an embroidery template by your supplier. The template is set up on the embroidering machines to produce your design. There is normally a one off cost per design to set up an embroidery template.

    Alternatively, printing is ideal where a large design or lettering is needed. And printing is best for lighter materials like T-Shirts, which don’t take embroidery stitches well.

    You can have printing on more than one part of your clothes. For example, on a sweat shirt, the left breast and the right sleeve.

    Simply provide your design as a JPEG file(s). Your supplier will use this to produce either a heat transfers of your design or a print screen.

    For simple one colour and one position print designs this is normally a free service. Complex print jobs may incur a set up charge from your supplier.

    6) Additional Personalisation

    In addition to your Club’s Name, Club Crest and if relevant a Sponsors logo, it is possible to add extra kit personalisation. For example, popular extras include players names, players initials and squad numbers.

    You need to decide what, if any, additional kit personalisation your Club guidelines allow. These options can be then be offered to players if required. The key question is does your supplier have the flexibility to offer this level of Personalisation Service?

    From our own experience in supplying Team Kit, these personalisation 'add ons' are exceptionally popular with Club members. And people are prepared to pay a bit extra to get this customisation.

    7) Order Method

    You also need to consider the best method of fulfilling player’s orders. Do you want to place one central order and distribute the items yourself? Or would you prefer if players placed their own orders with the supplier, normally via the internet? Does your supplier offer the facility to order online? Members can also choose to have their Kit delivered or to pick it up from the store.

    8) Draw Up A List of Your Requirements

    Before you meet with potential suppliers make sure you are prepared.

    You should have a general idea of what you need as a basis for a constructive discussion with suppliers;

    a) Product range you want to offer

    b) Any preferred brand name

    c) Historic or forecast volumes for each line

    d) Customisation – Club Crest, Sponsors logo etc

    e) Do you allow additional personalisation - Players names?

    f) Target cost per item

    g) Any special requirements – Club visits, Online ordering, single order drop to your Club etc

    9) Draw up a list of Suppliers

    A quick Google search can provide a list of Local retailers and big brand name companies who supply Club Kits.

    Then it's up to you to make some initial calls to filter out providers. And set up appointments with your preferred suppliers.

    Good luck.

    And remember, if you have any questions or need some impartial advice speak to the Club Kit experts at Game Set and Match. Call Becca or Ben on (01243) 538800 or go here to Contact Us - Game Set and Match


     


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