This Company Upcycles Old NBA Jerseys Into New Team Merchandise
NBA jerseys are big business these days, but what happens when a player, either through free agency or a trade, switches teams or decides to hang up his sneakers? And what happens if the league makes a sponsorship change or alters its logo? The answers are that the jerseys take on new value as collector’s items, and that the NBA elects not to sell them anymore. What, then, can a franchise do when it parts with a player? Calling Scott Hamlin sounds like a great start, as his company, Looptworks, upcycles the goods as branded merch, with the company’s Portland geography being particularly kind to the Trail Blazers.
It can be rough, in an era where players often seek enormous contracts from the highest bidders and where ownership can quickly grow tired of a team’s makeup, to say farewell to favorite players, but Hamlin and his hires have reincarnation on their minds through their initiative. Having secured agreements with the league’s 30 clubs, Looptworks is enjoying its role as a waste reducer, and fans are proving the beneficiaries, as the company has thus far upcycled NBA jerseys to give the public such Trail Blazers-branded products as toiletry, duffel and sling bags, scarves, backpacks, hip packs and pillows. Because the Oregon-based team, like many of its NBA brethren, frequently adjusts its roster, many jerseys have lost their marketability, granting Looptworks its shot at helping the organization sell the new items through its website and team store.
Here’s a great way to support the @trailblazers and our environment. These bags, ties, hip packs, pillows are all made out of used Blazer jerseys. Portland company @looptworks is upcycling the jerseys of all 30 NBA teams. And right now business is good! pic.twitter.com/vWI6Qrl9fa
— Keely Chalmers (@KeelyChalmers) April 24, 2019
The Trail Blazers have long won regard as a champion of sustainability, so this partnership with a fellow Oregon entity makes great business sense. Upcycling has made our news cycle a few times, with mostly positive results. In this case, we cannot see how anyone could balk about the specifics of the partnership, as the would-be useless NBA jerseys are helping teams’ supporters show branded love for their hardwood heroes in a different, yet commendable way. Since the Trail Blazers and other clubs have made the upcycled items available via their branded team stores and online shops, we're wondering if any will take the plunge and distribute them as promotional giveaways.
Given his other contacts in the upcycling world, Hamlin is obviously a busy man, but it would be worthwhile for him and the league to consider transforming the NBA jerseys into something that need not include the pursuit of cash. After all, fans will have already paid once for the shirts, so perhaps the Trail Blazers could serve as the logical starting point for the league to orchestrate a promotional night that talks about the larger benefits of upcycling. If so, we would love to see if Looptworks comes up with a unique giveaway that it could somehow seek to modify for other franchises.