WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-HanesBrands announces it will design, print, and ship more than a half a million units of clothing, with as little as a 48-hour notice, throughout this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments. Apparel brands include Champion, Alternative Apparel, and Comfort Wash. The company has printed items for March Madness for over 20 years.
On March 17, Selection Sunday, the companies’ graphic design, screen printing, and logistics teams based in Lenexa, Kansas, started the design and print process for T-shirts and other apparel to ensure its availability for this week’s play-in games in Dayton, Ohio, and for all regional games beginning March 19 in nine different locations. The process continued on Selection Monday for the 64-team Division I Women’s national tournament.
“Our 50-plus-member graphic design team gets the ball bouncing by designing some work as teams automatically qualify for the tournaments, then puts on the full-court press as soon as regional seedings are announced on Selection Sunday and Monday,” John Fryer, HanesBrands president, sports and graphic apparel, says. “Hundreds of different pieces of art are produced during and immediately following the field announcements, and every approved design is delivered in advance of the first-round games.”
As the exclusive NCAA supplier of onsite tournament fanwear, the company says it leverages the scale and flexibility of its production capabilities to customize, produce, ship, and sell apparel items to game sites across the country as teams advance in the tournament. For the retail marketplace, the company also uses in-market screen printers to supply local retailers with team-specific tournament fanwear. In-house operations include graphic design and direct-to-garment operations.
“Developing apparel for the tournament is always a challenge that pushes us to continue innovating and improving our supply chain efficiency,” Fryer adds. “Although our streamlined process makes things look easy, there is a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work and complex logistics taking place to ensure we are meeting demand to keep the fans happy.”
The same design, printing, and shipping process are repeated for each round until it comes down to the Final Four where HanesBrands has exclusive rights to sell licensed fanwear at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, along with 15 NCAA sanctioned hotels, and the March Madness Music Festival and Fan Fest during the men’s tournament. Fanwear can also be found at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, six NCAA sanctioned hotels, and Tourney Town during the women’s tournament.
For more information, visit hanesbrands.com