In our experience, the biggest problem with custom racing apparel is deciding, "What do I actually need for racing apparel?" Answering this question can be complicated and intimidating, as ultimately, it will determine the budget, colors, products, and design of your racing apparel. Usually, how well you can answer this answer is based on your team's experience with custom racing apparel.
Experienced teams who have invested in custom apparel before have a database of what types of products have worked for different situations, environments, and specific needs in the past. They know what team members have liked and disliked and which items worked the best, giving them priceless insight that they can build from. The process can be difficult for new and expanding teams, as there isn't much historical information to base decisions on.
Without direction, some teams look to internet searches to find answers. Unfortunately, this approach can lead you down several rabbit holes. The internet is overflowing with information that may or may not be accurate.
- What is the difference between a water-resistant jacket and a waterproof jacket?
- What do I actually need to decorate my racing apparel?
- Does this company even decorate racing apparel, or does it come blank?
- Is this a fair price?
- What will the final product look like?
These are just some issues when deciding what to buy for the race team. Then, depending on the information you come across, you may not have the apparel you and your team need.
Overcoming Custom Racing Apparel Challenges
There are a few ways to overcome the challenge of selecting custom racing apparel. First, your team members can be a great source of information. In the racing community, many team members have worked on different teams. They can share some things they liked in different situations and recommend products they have used. They can also recommend products they haven't used, helping you to avoid purchasing items the team doesn't need.
Looking at other team photos is another way to get inspiration for racing apparel. You can browse and see what they've worn in the past, especially teams that race in similar climates to yours. You can search for professional team photos in search engines, social media, or online racing magazines, as many professional teams post many of their team photos across the web.
Once you have a better idea of what you're looking for, you can research apparel companies specializing in motorsports. The right apparel company can help you understand all the differences in apparel and what it means. Like your team members, they can share the products they've succeeded with and provide examples of their work with other teams. A considerable advantage is that if you understand the industry, they will most likely understand the series you compete in and know what other teams have used. A good apparel partner won't just leave you to the wolves. As Peggy Choi, the CEO of Lynk, wrote in an article for Forbes, industry expertise from "real experts" within your field is vital when making "fact-based business decisions" that impact your bottom line.
Working with an Outfitting Partner
Working with an outfitting partner with exceptional customer service, apparel, and experience can be a game-changer. With the right partner, you can save time and budget, learn more about growing your product line, and transform your design ideas into a finished product. However, not every outfitting partner is the same. As we advise our clients, some outfitting partners know nothing about auto racing and have more general expertise. While they may understand apparel generally, they will know little about your team's needs.
For example, some decorators, such as Vista Print and Custom Ink, direct you to a catalog and let you search and guess what items might be right for you and your design. Many companies also do not help you determine what type of decoration to use.
This leaves many with questions like:
- Is embroidery better than screen printing?
- What is a heat transfer print, and why is that good?
- How much is this all going to cost?
An experienced outfitting partner can exceed your expectations and educate you on apparel and what you need. This can lessen the learning curve for newer and expanding teams, allowing them to get a great look without the headaches. Even experienced teams benefit from working with an experienced outfitting partner, helping them to choose new products, share the latest trends, and refresh their look if needed.
Your Brand is More than a Logo on a Shirt
Ready to accelerate your custom racing apparel strategy? Stop working with people that don't understand your business. When you partner with a company that understands motorsports, you can establish a long-term, scalable, end-to-end solution for your team apparel and fan merchandise. Ready to learn more? See our one-of-a-kind system!