Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 39
ment. In September, Teamwork Athletic gained the rights
to manufacture apparel for each active roster player in the
Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).
Apparel is already available for 30 players; the MLBPA
is currently reviewing product designs for the rest of the
league. The full range of MLBPA-licensed merchandise is
expected to be available before the holiday season.
In addition to having the ability to produce products for
700 professional baseball players, the company will also be
able to print apparel for more than 2,000 minor league players. "Most stores will just stock shirts for the Top 20 most
popular players in the league; we can have 100 different
products for every single player in the league, because there
is no inventory risk," Caserta says.
Teamwork Athletic succeeds in part because of
its focus on customers and its understanding of
the retail industry.
idea, we can get it on the market within hours," he adds.
"[The sweaters] were a space we didn't even know we would
be in previously, and it became our best-selling product that
The company's ability to quickly produce a wide range of
products recently earned it a high-profile licensing agree-
Teamwork Athletic is celebrating its 30th
anniversary this year. Founders Chuck and
Nancy Lehrer started the business in 1987
when they decided to try their hand at manufacturing following the departure of a supplier to their previous business, a manufacturer's representative sales firm
focused on sporting goods.
Caserta credits the company's
continued success in part to its focus on its customers and its understanding of the retail industry. "We
definitely believe in the getting out
of our building and learning what
consumers want, as well as helping
retailers understand consumers
better," he says.
The company's management
team takes a highly agile approach
to decision-making. "We have
a similar mentality to a startup
company," Caserta says. "Every
day we're looking at new opportunities, measuring our progress and pivoting by choice."
Teamwork Athletic is pursuing additional licensing partnerships with
more than 100 licensors ranging from
the sports to the entertainment worlds.
"There's not much in our way because
we already have the technology; it's just
a matter of which direction we choose to
take it," he adds. "In the next few years,
we plan to develop more than 500
million licensed products." O