Made in the US is certainly more expensive to manufacture than made overseas
Teamwork Athletic Apparel is a leading manufacturer of in-stock and custom athletic uniforms, as well as licensed and unlicensed athletic, spirit and leisurewear. Teamwork carries over 30,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) and 700 different styles of team uniforms in inventory in the United States. Company CEO Dave Caserta speaks candidly about manufacturing in the US and the latest in products and expansion plans in a talk with Fibre2Fashion.
What makes Teamwork Athletic apparel so unique?
Teamwork Athletic stands out for several reasons. Our products and services go beyond what a typical competitor does in our market. We not only offer the fastest custom product manufacturing speed in the industry, but also no minimums or set-up fees. In addition, we can provide e-commerce-enabling technologies for our distributors, giving them an edge in their local markets. For example, we offer custom product builder applications for our customers to easily add to their websites. This makes them capable of offering the fastest custom order turnaround with no minimums and a turnkey-manufactured product that is shipped to their customers. We call this our Rapid Threads value offering and it is free to qualified dealers.
How big is the market for athletic wear in the US? At what rate is it growing?
The athletic uniform market is over $1 billion annually. For the most part, sports participation is flat year over year.
How many orders do you receive on an average every week? How big are these orders?
I can only say that we sell millions of products each year. Sublimation printing uses heat sensitive inks to dye fabric. Unlike traditional inks, sublimation ink penetrates into fabrics and bonds directly with the material.
You seem to have a vast dealer network as well as online sales. How does it function? How many dealers do you have in the United States? Is manufacturing in the United States expensive than outsourcing?
Teamwork sells through more than 20,000 authorized dealers. These dealers range from small screen print shops to large national distributors. Nearly 70 percent of all orders are placed online through Teamwork's websites.
Manufacturing in the United States is certainly more expensive than overseas. The main difference comes from labor costs. Since speed and service are our most important values, we need to be able to manufacture the same products internationally and in the United States.
Which major teams and schools and universities do you cater to? What is the size of this market?
The US team uniform market is over $1 billion strong. We currently own licensing rights to over 500 tier-I and tier-II universities, and over 10,000 non-licensed universities, community colleges and high schools. Our clientele also includes thousands of private and recreational leagues and teams. We recently acquired the license to produce garments for the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the Major League Hall of Fame (MLHOF).
Who are your competitors?
In the team uniform space, our chief competitors include Augusta, Allison, Badger, Nike and Under Armour.
Where do you source your raw material from?
We source raw materials from within the United States and from Central America and Asia.
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