WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--There’s nothing like the magic of a March Madness buzzer beater. For global apparel leader HanesBrands (NYSE: HBI), beating the shot clock has been a March tradition for more than 20 years.
HanesBrands, a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic apparel, again will design, print and ship more than a half a million units of clothing – with as little as 48-hour notice – throughout the duration of this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments. Apparel brands include Champion, Alternative and Comfort Wash.
On Selection Sunday, HanesBrands’ graphic design, screen-printing and logistics teams based in Lenexa, Kansas, began designing and printing T-shirts and other apparel to ensure its availability for this week’s play-in games in Dayton, Ohio, and for all regional games beginning today in nine other locations. The process was repeated on Selection Monday when the 64 teams for the Division I Women’s national tournament were announced.
“Our 50-plus-member graphic design team gets the ball bouncing by designing some work as teams automatically qualify for the tournaments, then puts on the full-court press as soon as regional seedings are announced on Selection Sunday and Monday,” said John Fryer, HanesBrands president, sports and graphic apparel. “Hundreds of different pieces of art are produced during and immediately following the field announcements, and every approved design is delivered in advance of the first-round games.”
As the exclusive NCAA supplier of onsite tournament fanwear, the company leverages the scale and flexibility of its production capabilities – including its team of in-house graphic designers and direct-to-garment printing operations – to customize, produce, ship and sell apparel to game sites across the country as teams advance in the tournament. For the retail marketplace, the company also uses in-market screen-printers to supply local retailers with team-specific tournament fanwear.
“Developing apparel for the tournament is always a challenge that pushes us to continue innovating and improving our supply chain efficiency,” Fryer said. “Although our streamlined process makes things look easy, there is a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work and complex logistics taking place to ensure we are meeting demand to keep the fans happy.”
This design, printing and shipping process is repeated each round, culminating in the Final Four where HanesBrands has exclusive rights to sell licensed fanwear at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, along with 15 NCAA sanctioned hotels, and the March Madness Music Festival and Fan Fest during the men’s tournament, and at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, six NCAA sanctioned hotels, and Tourney Town during the women’s tournament.
More than 150 items are available at each stage of the events, with T-shirts and hats accounting for about 80 percent of sales. The cold temperatures that likely come with a Minneapolis-based Final Four may mean a greater mix of Champion sweatshirts, both hoodies and crews. New to the mix this year are tournament-specific eco-offerings from Alternative Apparel, which was acquired by HanesBrands in 2017.
HanesBrands’ Event 1 business, part of the company’s licensed sports apparel business, has served as the NCAA’s onsite apparel concessionaire for the national tournaments since 1998. The company will operate multiple sales concessions at the 14 different game locations for the men’s tournament and 21 game locations for the women’s tournament.
For this year’s Final Four, HanesBrands will have a special retail presence at Target stores throughout the Minneapolis area and host a retail space in the Mall of America. About 25 percent of all apparel sold during the tournament is bought at the Final Four semifinal and National Championship games.
HanesBrands is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific. The company markets T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Bonds, Maidenform, DIM, Bali, Playtex, Bras N Things, Nur Die/Nur Der, Alternative, L’eggs, JMS/Just My Size, Lovable, Wonderbra, Berlei, and Gear for Sports. More information about the company and its award-winning corporate social responsibility initiatives may be found at www.Hanes.com/corporate. Visit our newsroom at https://newsroom.hanesbrands.com/. Connect with the company via social media: Twitter (@hanesbrands), Facebook (www.facebook.com/hanesbrandsinc), Instagram (@hanesbrands_careers), and LinkedIn (@Hanesbrandsinc).