Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 38
saw what the Internet revolution was doing to our retailers from the big [companies] down to the mom-and-pop shops,"
Teamwork Athletic researched the reasons
behind the online shift. "Our customers
were being challenged because consumers want a lot of choices at low
prices and they want it now," he adds.
In addition to evolving its manufacturing process to more quickly produce high-quality goods, the
company developed its "Tsunami
Technology," a tool that enables it to greatly accelerate product development.
"[Tsunami] is capable
of developing 150,000
new products per day at
a rate of pennies per
SKU, where typically
it can take months
and cost thousands
of dollars per product," Caserta says.
One of Teamwork
Athletic's retailers, Sportswear
than 12 million new
ProSphere products online in the past year on
its website as well as on
Amazon and Walmart.
com as a result of this
software is integrated into the websites of
Sportswear Unlimited and many of its other
retail partners. This allows consumers to personalize products and place orders that are
received directly by Teamwork Athletic, which
then manufactures and drop-ships the order directly to the consumer.
"We provide full turnkey services that allow
retailers to focus on sales and marketing, which
is what they do best, instead of supply
chain, product development, manufacturing and order fulfillment," Caserta
says. The company, through its Rapidthreads.com brand, also offers contract manufac38
We don't have any
inventory, so we can
take risks and do
things that you can't
find anywhere else.
turing services to other brands, businesses and labels using
its patented technology.
The company's new technology and production capabilities led it to seek out licensee opportunities four years
ago, Product Development Manager Chris Kollmeyer explains.
Teamwork Athletic now has licensing
partnerships with more than 600 colleges
ranging from well-known Division I
schools to smaller institutions. "We've
created a disruption in not only how
collegiate wear is sold and manufactured, but the product itself," he adds.
"We looked at the marketplace and saw a lot
of gray t-shirts with only the school's name on
them. We're able to use sublimation to create shirts
with all-over prints and in different colors, and have
made that a part of our value proposition."
In addition to offering shirts and hooded sweatshirts, the company can produce apparel such as
aprons, dresses, shoes and socks. "We can take the
t-shirt and hoodie market and turn it upside down,"
Kollmeyer says. "We don't have any inventory, so we
can take risks and do different things that you can't
find anywhere else."
As an example, the company in September 2016
introduced "ugly holiday sweater"-inspired designs
for its college licensors. "If there's something popular in today's pop- culture, we can have a product
that captures it available to the marketplace within
a day," Caserta says.
Teamwork Athletic developed 50,000 ugly
sweater-related designs that were available in online marketplaces serving customers globally. "Because of the great team and fantastic technology
we have here, when someone comes up with an