A Guide to Sourcing Merchandise for Sporting Events

Everyone, from the biggest online celebrities to local sports teams, have turned to merchandising as a means to gain extra funding and to connect with their fans and followers. Holding a successful event with a great selection of exclusive merchandise is also a great way to gain the attention of new customers and supporters.

Sporting events are never complete without sellers and buyers. Here, fans of the team or sport can choose from exclusive or even signed merchandise from their favorite players. These items include a broad spectrum of wearable products such as clothing, caps, badges, custom-made silicone wristbands, shoes, hoodies, and more. However, getting these merchandise to the venue of the event takes a lot of coordination and planning. Here’s a handy guide that can help you source your merchandise for your upcoming sports-related event:

Custom Merchandise

Merchandise has been further democratized thanks to a whole host of customizing options made available by several manufacturers. Customized merchandise is what attracts the eye of the consumer, so you must be sure that your merchandise is snazzy enough. To make this a reality, team up with manufacturers with flexible customizing options, or work with specialists such as printers and artists.

Suppliers

The first step is finding the right suppliers from whom you will be getting the merchandise in bulk. Here are a few of the types of suppliers you’ll probably meet during your search:

  • These suppliers sell multiple products with different classifications. They are far removed from manufacturing, so they price their products a little higher in order to make a profit. However, because they prefer bulk orders, they often charge little to no order fees on large amounts of merchandise, and they even provide free shipping on orders that reach a certain amount.
  • You also have the option of getting suppliers from outside the country. Imported goods can be much cheaper. The catch is that you have to be fastidious in doing your research, conducting background checks, organizing all the required paperwork, and considering the factors that can affect shipping costs and speed. Doing these helps you ensure that you’re getting high quality merchandise right when you need it, at the cost that you initially agreed on.
  • Manufacturers. You can also skip the middleman and approach the merchandise manufacturers directly. You can expect them to provide products at much lower prices, but they also often require a staggeringly high minimum order.

Vendors

Even if buying in bulk is not an option for your event, you still have to make a decision as to where your merchandise will come from. There are a few factors you should consider when selecting vendors. You don’t want to compromise the quality of the item you will be selling at your event. The products need to be special and exclusive, something that’s worth the time, money, and effort of the attendees. You want vendors who won’t disappear or cause problems at the last minute. You should also shop around for vendors who can give you the best price for durable and well-made items. Remember that good vendors shouldn’t just offer quality products; they should also provide you and your event attendees with reliable and efficient customer service and delivery.

Storage and Warehousing

Storage may not seem like it’s a priority in sports-related events, but it is when it comes to sales; it actually plays a large part in providing fans and customers with a great experience. Having a warehouse or a storage facility near or at the event venue itself ensures that sales can be managed and inventories can be tracked easily, which can make life easier for both sellers and customers.

Merchandise shouldn’t be an afterthought or be just another way to earn money; it should serve as an extension of the thrill of a recently concluded sports event. The availability of merchandise during an event allows consumers to bask in the afterglow of the joy of watching their favorite sports team. Long after the event has ended, the merchandise you sold will remind fans of the experience of watching their favorite teams play and encourage them to keep showing their support by attending your future events.

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