I'm Selling Athletic Wear?
I am NOT a sports girl. Show-tune belter, movie maven, music diva? YES. But when you have kids who are natural athletes, and for years you're toting balls and bats rolling around in the hatch of your SUV, and you become an expert at avoiding the dreaded "bleacher butt" and working the snack stand game, after game, after game, you become one.
Then I was hired 16 years ago at a sportswear company. (Ahhhh ... a girly girl who lands a job playing with CLOTHES for a living. Nirvana!) Then 10 years later, we begin carrying die-hard sportswear. Not just tees and fleece, mind you, I mean real athletic sportswear. Warm up suits and basketball jerseys and performance garments. Adding lines like Badger and Adidas, and this year, powerhouse athletic brands like A4 and New Balance. In preparing our web copy this year, my team is describing things like practice pinnies, compression wear and even football girdles.
When once athletic wear was confined to the sporting goods dealer, we are finding we apparel logo folks have to become experts in the world of authentic athletic wear and accessories in order to sell it and compete.
After all, it IS a lucrative business.
First of all, people of all ages are dedicating themselves to becoming more fit. And paying more for performance wear.
Second, athletic wear is COOL, HIP, no matter what age you are. (Hey, my stepdaughter just had twins. Technically, I'm a new granny. And I bought a new running suit recently and was told by my 23-years-young son I looked "cool." 'Nuff said.)
Third, athletic wear is one of the only niches that was constant even during the recession. Parents did NOT pull their kids from rec leagues or travel soccer or from school athletic programs because things were tight. Athletes played on. And so did uniform sales.