Last week I wrote the first part of this series about Teamwear Printing Strategies, where we went over the different ways you can heat print team numbers when decorating teamwear. We did receive a comment from Greg Peirce at Cadworxlive.com, who said: “If you are cutting your own names or numbers, Cadworxlive.com offers the ultimate team wear design tool in Easy Teams. Sign up for a free trial account and save tons of time with Easy Teams.” I will go into the specifics on Easy Teams in another post, but this is definitely something you need to look into if you are serious about printing for teams. There is nothing else like it available in terms of helping you create individual player names and numbers to output to your cutter. Right now, let’s take a look at some of your options for adding player names to jerseys.
The same heat applied options available for numbering are available for lettering as well. You can order pre-cut lettering in packs or kits, cut them yourself, or order pre-spaced team or player names. Pre-cuts are available with different textures and adhesives that make it possible to decorate any type of garment, including mesh jerseys and nylon or other specialty materials such as Lycra® or Spandex®. They are also available in reflective materials. Another lettering option is screen printed heat transfer lettering, which are essentially sheets of letters printed as transfer, using plastisol inks. Just peel what you need off the sheets and heat press on your garment.
What to Stock
A standard player name uses 2” athletic Pro Block or Varsity style lettering. If you are going to stock up on lettering kits, choose either black or white for your inventory. If a customer requests an unusual color, style or size, you can order what you need or cut it yourself with a cutter and heat transfer materials.
What to Charge
There are many businesses that offer the service of player names as a “free add-on” when the customer purchases the jersey from them. This generates excellent word-of-mouth advertising and is perceived as a true value by the customer. If you have the ability to do lettering, give this powerful promotional tool a try. If you plan to charge for the service (if you don’t sell garments, or if the customer brings you the garments), the average retail charge for a player name these days varies from $3.00-5.00, depending on your area. It’s usually easier on everyone to charge by the name, rather than by the letter.
Don’t forget the easiest way to double your profit on a lettering job is to upsell your customer to a 2-color look. You can order entire kits of background letters in white, for example, and use them on any color foreground lettering you may have. Or you can easily order 2 color lettering as a pre-spaced service as well. Make sure you show your customers samples of both one and two color lettering.