THREADX plays ball with major league merchandisers

December 19, 2018
Panel discussion at THREADX 19 calls on the White Sox, Astros, Dodgers and Wilson Sporting Goods to talk about changes in purchasing and promotional trends in sports Panel discussion at THREADX 19 calls on the White Sox, Astros, Dodgers and Wilson Sporting Goods to talk about changes in purchasing and promotional trends in sports

There’s nothing quite like the passion of a diehard sports fan, but even so, teams in the social and millennial era are starting to value individual expression over traditional messages and basic logo design.

To explore the effects of this shift on the apparel industry, the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is bringing together a panel featuring three Major League Baseball teams and Wilson Sporting Goods in “Fashion Over Fandom: Design & Style Driving Sales,” at THREADX 19 (San Diego, February 17–19).

THREADX is a unique gathering for the garment decoration community. Designed by SGIA’s Garment Decorators Committee, the conference focuses on the business and cultural drivers changing the industry.

“Nothing ties us together like sports. It’s culture, fashion, branding, individuality and performance all wrapped up in one,” said Lon R. Winters, President, GraphicElephants, who chairs SGIA’s Garment Decorators Committee. “This panel will take a look at the cultural shift of fashion over fandom and the impact of pop culture and design on consumption.”

The panelists are creative leaders in professional sports design and marketing:

  • Gareth Breunlin, Director of Advertising and Design, Chicago White Sox
  • Chris David Garcia, Creative Director, Houston Astros
  • Ross Yoshida, Director of Graphic Design, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Mike Zulla, Global Art Director, Wilson Sporting Goods

“Marketing trends for 2019 are pointing toward more and more collaborations between brands. Fans are looking for ways to connect the teams they love with the other passions in their lives (fashion, entertainment, culture). From pop-culture icons to college affiliations to lifestyle brands, there are more and more ways to make deeper connections to our fans by embedding ourselves into the fabric of their lives,” said Zulla.

“THREADX is for garment decorators who want to make those connections with their businesses,” said committee member Brett Bowden, Owner, Printed Threads.

“Since we create merchandise every day, it is great to know the creators of the designs, what they are thinking, what is influencing their processes. What they do and the creative that they deliver goes on to influence your local teams and the athletic apparel that you are decorating every day,” Bowden said.

“Fashion Over Fandom” is just one session in the powerful THREADX 19 agenda. Other speakers include Aaron Draplin, Owner and Founder, Draplin Design Co.; streetwear designer Benny Gold, Owner and Founder, Benny Gold; and Charles Ohiaeri, Chief Fulfillment Officer, Zazzle.

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