Sorry for waiting three days for a post. You know how the weekends get… not to mention daylight savings messed up my ‘Schedule’ option so that’s just nonsense. On to business.
Recently, while I was volunteering at a Wollongong Hawks game I got into a conversation with another volunteer about Hawks merchandise. She has been a volunteer for a couple years and mentioned that last season, the team had ugly hats. Maybe that’s a bit harsh… but they only had the regular ball caps which, if you know anything about youth, went out of style back in 2004. She suggested they get the flat brim caps (New Era and I have a pretty serious relationship) and this season, they did. They’re selling like mad. (By the way, I am salivating over the AFL’s new ones!)
I do not understand team merchandise in Australia. It’s as if they don’t know they’re customer. They seem to offer products that no one (at least no one in their right mind) would purchase and omit things that would be obvious sales. I’ve come up with some things I think are obvious additions to their merchandise options.
Women’s Apparel – I follow a ton of amazing women on Twitter who are massive fans, so that certainly can’t be the case. So why is it that there are so few options for women when it comes to sports merchandise? Does it not sell? (if anyone from a pro team is reading this and you know something about it – email me, I’d love to know) Take the Sydney Swans, for instance who only have 3 items for women. The GWS Giants only have 4 (one of which is socks and that doesn’t count, does it?). Sure, women can buy men’s or children’s items, but cute stuff sells. I mean… the Victoria Secret line for colleges football and their line for NFL teams? That’s GOLD. I want to go to all those schools and support all those teams if it means I can wear that stuff. C’mon Australia – partner with CottonOn (ooh, ooh, COTTON ON BODY!) and get some cute stuff for us girls.
Undergarments – I know this is a bit out there… but I think it’d sell. I was actually looking for North Melbourne underwear for my boyfriend for Christmas, and couldn’t find any – anywhere. And I would totally rock a purple bikini with a gold crown on it for the Sydney Kings or something. I’m also sort of in love with the Boston Celtics underwear. Put it this way – on days that reppin’ your club merch isn’t appropriate (like when I was at a hen’s party during the AFL semis) it’s a stealth way to support your team.
Game Day Stuff – GWS has a good array of things, but other teams desperately need some help in this area. While you can buy some things at the game, making them available online, especially during the off-/pre-season when people are getting hyped up for the first game, is a great selling point. Inflatable hands, flags, signs or other things to bring to the stadium on game day are perfect products. The Hawks, I’ve noticed, don’t have many of these and neither do the Blue Sox. I think they’d be great additions for next season.
Subtle Products – I am going to go out on a limb and say that all products should be subtle. No one wants to look like a walking advertisement. I’m all for logos and plastering my club’s name across my chest. But sometimes, if I’m not at an actual stadium, which most of the time, we’re not, I’d like something a bit classier. Which is why the Victoria’s Secret football apparel I mentioned earlier is such a big hit. It’s a way of supporting your team, and making it known, without looking like the club’s mascot. Even on a weekend, no one wants that. Examples? Anything that looks a bit retro (kudos to the Blue Sox, who have something like this!), or something small I can rock without being obnoxious, or anything that’s not ridiculously graphic. (this Adam Goodes shirt is just too much – I love you, Adam, but no)
Shoes – Maybe this is just me but for 3 years at college I rocked a pair of Boston Celtics house slippers. The only reason I don’t still have them is because I literally wore them to death (I wore them outside during Massachusetts winter – I am a fool). I really wanted a pair of AFL ones, but couldn’t find them anywhere. The NBL and ABL would be great candidates for this since the AFL isn’t doing it – set yourselves apart, guys! A good option for the AFL would be to go the road of the NBA and team up with an athletic company for a limited edition of sport shoes – remember those? I always regretted not getting a Spurs pair (enter sigh of regret here). The AFL has enough of a presence around Australia that I KNOW these shoes would sell. Fast. They don’t need to be ridiculous, but even thongs would be better than nothing.
Jewelry – This is a combination of Women’s Apparel and Subtle Products… but I don’t care. I WANT A SWANS PENDANT. I would want a GWS bracelet… but a Giant doesn’t exactly lend itself to jewelry. Maybe try and get fancy with the letters? The Blue Sox, on the other hand have the perfect mascot to do this, as do the Hawks and the Kings (what female do you know that wouldn’t rock a crown necklace/bracelet/earrings?). This is a gold mine. Literally. Get me some jewelry. (Can you tell I haven’t been shopping in a while?)
Beach Supplies – THIS IS AUSTRALIA. ALL TEAMS SHOULD BE SELLING BEACH SUPPLIES. Bikinis, towels, umbrellas, eskys – sell them all.
I am now considering a second part to this called: Merchandise That Should Not Be Sold. Or something like that. As well as a post on possible partnerships for merchandise (like how I mentioned Cotton On). Thoughts?
Are there things you wish these Sydney clubs sold? Are there things they sell that you just don’t understand? What club merchandise do you wear most often?