Do you want to start a sports jersey manufacturing business? If YES, here’s a complete guide to starting a sports jersey manufacturing business with NO money and no experience. If you want to start a cloth manufacturing business, one of the niche areas you can settle for is the production of sports jerseys. By sports jerseys, I mean the clothes worn when playing different sports like basketball, soccer/football, swimming, athlete, hockey, hand ball, tennis and a host of others.

You can further narrow the niche by choosing to specialize in the production of just one of the above and it could be basketball or soccer jerseys. As a matter of fact, entrepreneurs who intend starting a sports jersey manufacturing business can start the business from their home on a small scale and service a customized market, and big time investors can as well open a sports jersey manufacturing factory and dominate both the U.S. and international market.

The bottom line is that there is always a ready market for manufacturers of sports jerseys. All a designer needs to do is to ensure that he or she carves a niche for his or her business. The sports jersey manufacturing business thrives on creativity, branding and good business skills. Any aspiring entrepreneur can start a sports jersey manufacturing business, and if they are creative, they can get people to promote their brand. The starting size of this type of business doesn’t really matter as long as the business is built on the right foundation and with the right skills.

The truth is that when you are creative, you will be able to come out with a unique style. In the sports jerseys manufacturing line of business, you signature is your style. Another important factor that counts in this line of business is the brand name and perhaps the logo of your sports jerseys.

If you look at the leaders in the sports jersey manufacturing business, you will realize that they deliberately chose a name and created a logo that best communicates how they want to be seen. Once you are able to secure a good name for your sports jersey manufacturing business, then hire experts to help you create a compelling logo, you can follow the trend in the industry.

You can start your sports jersey manufacturing business from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes an internationally recognized brand competing with major players like Nike and Puma et al.

19 Steps to Starting a Sports Jersey Manufacturing Business In the US

1. Understand the Industry

Sport jersey manufacturing business falls under the Global Ready – Made Garment Manufacturing industry and players in this industry produce men’s, women’s and children’s apparel. The industry includes manufacturers that purchase fabrics and those that manufacture the fabrics themselves and have fixed operational facilities.

If you observe the happenings in the Global Ready-Made Garment Manufacturing industry, you will agree that the industry has benefited from an increasing number of consumers who choose to purchase more garments at lesser price. In few of that, the revenue for this industry is expected rise going forward.

Rising disposable income levels across both developed and emerging economies are expected to be the main driving force behind the industry’s renewed growth. Continually improving global economic conditions are anticipated to benefit the industry over the five years to 2022. Rising per capita disposable income, coupled with the steady upward trend in the global population, will give way to rising demand for ready-made garments.

The Global Ready – Made Garment Manufacturing industry is indeed a major sector of the economy of the world and the industry generates over $696 billion annually from more than 284,571 ready-made garment manufacturing companies scattered all around the world.

The industry is responsible for the employment of over 11.6 million people. Experts project the ready – made garment manufacturing industry to grow at a 4.5 percent annual rate. Please note that there is no single company that can boast of having a lion share of the market in this industry.

Research shows that the hurdles to entry into the Global Ready – Made Garment Manufacturing industry are lower in countries like China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Governments and companies in these countries actively seek foreign investment to develop the industry and exploit the comparative advantage they have over more developed nations. Industry operators in these countries also have greater access to less costly labor.

On the other hand, it can be costly to acquire equipment and machinery to manufacture apparel on a large scale. Companies from developed countries looking to manufacture have to compete with low – cost countries and large multinational companies that have the capability to set up manufacturing operations overseas.

Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to go into the production of sports jerseys is that the industry is still open and you can make profits no matter the part of the United States you choose to start the business.

The sports jersey manufacturing business will continue to blossom because engaging in sporting activities is a big deal not just in the United States of America, but across all countries of the world.

The bottom line is that the sports jersey manufacturing line of business is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you don’t necessarily need to situate your factory in the United States of America if the indices do not favor you. You can take your factory to Bangladesh or elsewhere in Asia or even Africa and South America.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who wear sports jerseys cut across all genders and age groups; hence the demographic composition for sports jerseys manufacturing business is all encompassing.

So, if you are thinking of starting your own sport jerseys manufacturing business, then you should look beyond producing and marketing your sports jerseys to just people in your city, but also people across the United States of America and other parts of the world.

3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On

The fact that major players in the sports jersey manufacturing business are known to produce jerseys for various sports, does not mean that there are niche ideas in the sports jerseys production business.

As a matter of fact, if you are coming into the industry as a newbie, it will pay you to choose a niche idea and then craft your trade around it before venturing out or diversifying.

Here are some of the niche ideas you can choose from if you want to venture into the sports jersey manufacturing business;

  • Production of soccer/ football jerseys and track suits
  • Production of basketball jerseys
  • Production of handball jerseys
  • Production of swimming clothes and clothes used for water related sports
  • Production of athlete clothes
  • Production of hockey clothes
  • Production of rugby and American football clothes
  • Production of tennis clothes
  • Production of any other clothes used by players in other sports
The Level of Competition in the Industry

Please note that there are two levels of competition in this line of business, there are competition amongst unknown brands and competition amongst known brands. Besides, the competition that exists in the sports jersey manufacturing business goes beyond competitions amongst companies in your city or country; it is both national and international.

This is so because major sports jerseys production brands in China, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom etc. can be found in sport shops all across the United States of America. So, it will be right to say the competition in the sports jerseys manufacturing business is tough.

The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to churn out quality products and you know how to reach out to your target market.

4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry

You will agree with me that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others due to the fact that their products are highly durable.

Some of these brands have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the leading sports jerseys line manufacturing brands in the United States of America and in the globe;

  • Adidas
  • Nike
  • Puma
  • Reebok
  • Fila
  • Diadora
  • Hummel
  • Lotto
  • Umbro
  • New Balance
  • Le Coq Sportif
  • Joma
  • Kappa
  • Erreà
  • Romai
  • Champion
  • Brooks
  • Admiral
  • Uhlsport
Economic Analysis

The fact that you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, means that you must ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.

If you want to start your sports jerseys manufacturing business, then you should endeavor to carry out detailed economic analysis so as to know the amount to invest in the business, the ideal location to build your factory, the running and overhead cost of owning a sports jersey manufacturing company especially on a large scale, and of course the projection of profits you are expected to generate from the business.

Please note that in order to carry out a thorough economic analysis for your sports jerseys manufacturing business, it will profit you to engage the services of business consultants who are known to come up with tailored economic analysis that will help you to properly structure your business with less issues.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

Unfortunately, you can hardly find the franchise of a sports jerseys manufacturing company to purchase meaning that if you want to own a sports jerseys manufacturing business, you must be ready to start from the scratch.

The truth is that it will pay you to start your sports jerseys manufacturing company from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.

Please note that all the successful sports jersey manufacturing companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own sports jerseys manufacturing brand to become a successful brand with your products distributed all across the United States of America and other countries of the world.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

In business, no matter the industry you choose to operating in, you are going to be confronted with threats and challenges, hence if you decide to start your own sports jerseys manufacturing business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established companies whose products can be found all across the United States and the global market.

Other threats you are likely going to face is economic downturn, unfavorable government policies and the arrival of a new sports jersey manufacturing company in the same location where yours is located.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

If you want to venture into sports jerseys manufacturing business, the legal business entity you choose to build the business on will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.

From a general perspective, you can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your sports jerseys manufacturing company. A sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale/customized sports jersey manufacturing business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital and operating from your home or a small shop.

But if your intention is to grow the business and have your sports jerseys distributed across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company or even general partnership will cut it for you.

Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your sports jerseys manufacturing business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.

If you take your time to study the various legal entities to use for your sports jersey business, you will agree that limited liability company is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.

If you decide to upgrade your sports jerseys manufacturing company to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation you will have the opportunity to grow your sports jerseys manufacturing business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below

The general practice in business is that when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose to call your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents.

If you are considering starting your own sports jerseys manufacturing company, here are some catchy names you can choose from;

  • El Classic® Sports Wears Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Gunners® Sports Jerseys Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Andrew Rooney® Football Jerseys, Inc.
  • The Reds™ Basketball Jerseys Production Company
  • High – Class® Sporting Wears Brand, Inc.
  • World Champ® Sports Jerseys Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Blue Ribbon® Sports Jerseys Production Company
  • Xavier & Xavi™ Sports Jerseys Brand, LLC
  • One Nation® Sports Wears, Inc.
  • James Montana® Sport Jerseys Manufacturing, Inc.

9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

The fact that you want to start your business legally in the United States of America means that can’t operate the business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from.

So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your sports jerseys manufacturing business.

Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own sports jerseys manufacturing business in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Payment protection insurance

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If there are businesses that require intellectual property protection, then sports jerseys manufacturing business should be one of them. The truth is that your label, design and your style need to be protected or else anybody can successfully fake or create similar products and go free making money off your brand name.

So all you have to do is to ensure that you file for intellectual property protection. In the United States of America, if you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

Even though you do not need any special professional certification before you can successfully start your own sports jerseys manufacturing business, but you will do yourself a whole lot of favor if you study clothe designing or related course before starting this type of business. It will afford you the opportunity to truly maximize the business.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own sports jerseys manufacturing company in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Employee Handbook
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Consulting contract documents
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

When it comes to starting an on-demand sports jersey manufacturing production business, trust me, it can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale making customized sports jerseys based on demand.

Securing a standard and production facility and purchasing industrial sewing machines are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale sports jerseys manufacturing production company.

When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your sports jerseys manufacturing production business;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for loan from your bank
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

When it comes to choosing a location for your sports jerseys manufacturing business, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such product and easy access to labor and raw materials in the location you so desire to start the business. Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your sports jerseys manufacturing business, it will enable you cut the cost of transporting your raw materials and finished products to and from your production facility and warehouse.

It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to open your sports jersey business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location.

If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your sports jerseys manufacturing business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential distributors and customers.

It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing / renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your company, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your company.

Before choosing a location for your sports jerseys manufacturing company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your sports jerseys manufacturing company;

  • The demography of the location
  • The purchasing power of the residence of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The numbers of sports jerseys manufacturing companies in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community
  • Traffic, parking and security  

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

If you are considering setting up a sports jersey manufacturing company, then you should be prepared to purchase equipment and machines like industrial sewing, cutting and ironing machines amongst others. If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used machines but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a long life span.

As regards leasing or outright purchase of a production or warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard sports jerseys manufacturing company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Sport Jersey Designers, Tailors, Quality Control Officer, Accountant, Distribution/Delivery Van Drivers and Client Services Executive. On the average, you will need a minimum of 10 to 15 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard sports jerseys manufacturing business.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

When it comes to the manufacturing of sports jerseys, the first step to take is to come up with a design and then have the design approved by the board. The next step is to determine the quantity and type (colors and sizes et al) of the sports jerseys to be produced.

Other steps involved in the process are cutting the materials, sewing the materials, and then trimming and putting finishing touches. The next step is to pass the jerseys through quality control before properly packaging, labeling and branding the products for sale.

It is important to state that a sports jersey manufacturing company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated business process is not cast on stone.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies

The fact that you want to compete with other players in this line of business means that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a sports jerseys manufacturing business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the industry.

Your marketing strategy should center on quality, pricing, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers order your sports jerseys, they will get quality products and excellent service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.

Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services or products. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort should be directed to internet users.

These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your sports jerseys manufacturing business;

  • Introduce your sports jersey manufacturing company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to sports clubs, sporting shops and other retailers and key stakeholders in and around the location of your factory.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products
  • Engage in road shows in targeted communities and sports ground from time to time to sell your sports jerseys
  • Provide discount days and promo such as buy one get one free et al for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)

17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

The quality and uniqueness of your sport jerseys, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry. If wholesale distributors are making profits from selling your products, they will be more than willing to push your products.

Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust distribution cum business network. The truth is that if you are able to seal a deal with a major sports club, you will be able to generate enough revenue and retail your sports jerseys to their fan base.

18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.

If you can continue to improve on the quality of your sport jerseys and your customer service delivery, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers.

Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.

With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).

19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.

If your intention of starting a sports jerseys manufacturing company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your sports jerseys manufacturing company;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and sports magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
  • Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to retail your sport jersyers
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List your sports jerseys manufacturing company in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your sports jerseys manufacturing company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks are branded with your company logo.
Ajaero Tony Martins