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Cotton: North America's White Gold
Eye on the Industry
Written by Sherrie Rohde   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:58

Cotton

If you haven't noticed price increases everywhere around you, then you've probably been living under a rock—or playing your Xbox a bit too much. Just yesterday, the New York Times released an article regarding commodity cost jumps in nearly every industry. Companies, us included, have worked hard to absorb these increases without increasing retail costs during a recession, but the cost pressures are increasing. Large brand names such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Hanes Brands and the Jones Group are all reluctantly raising prices this year due to unavoidable costs. As this effects a large part of what we do here at Minerva, I’ve been following this topic for a while now, reading several news articles and blogs.

Booming, Inc. claims, "Cotton has officially earned its nickname as North America's 'white gold'." This isn't surprising. Think about it. How many t-shirts do you own from various activities you've been involved in? It took me my entire college career to wear out my t-shirt collection from high school and four years later I’m still wearing my college tees to the gym. We sometimes go crazy over t-shirts, and they're only a fraction of our total cotton use.

Unfortunately, if you reflect over the past decade, cotton prices are nearly at their peak. While the original cause is likely related to severe weather conditions in both China and Pakistan, the world's two large cotton producing countries, other factors include increased demand and increased labor costs. The Wall Street Journal labels Chinese hoarders as one of the biggest concerns. Several Chinese farmers began to stockpile cotton on their homes, some as much as 7,700 pounds, hoping for an even larger return down the road. Terry Townsened, executive director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee, notes that it's difficult to even know exactly what the situation is as several large players in the cotton industry do not publish data on their stock which leads to an endless source of rumors and speculation.

On a more positive note, this fabric of our lives is anticipated by some to stabilize around September of this year. Either way, we want to let you know that we're doing all we can to give you the best competitive edge and keep your costs low. Bear with us!

 
Season Ticket T-Shirts
Eye on the Industry
Written by Sherrie Rohde   
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 14:47

Season Ticket T-Shirt Hey booster clubs—we know you rock your school's socks off with fundraising through spirit wear and concessions but in order for those to really add up you need your bleachers full! How do you help raise attendance at school athletic events? Simple. Try using season ticket t-shirts.

 

Season ticket t-shirts are a newer trend that we've seen start to pick up in local area schools. It's quite simple, really. Design a spirit wear t-shirt exclusive to your season ticket holders and build into the cost of the shirt what you'd like to raise per attendee. Obviously you're going to want to lower it enough for it to be enticing but still high enough to fund your teams. Not only does this help raise attendance, but it also puts even more of your fans in school colors as they'll need to wear their shirt to get in!

 

Details to use season ticket t-shirts vary depending on the school. Some schools only allow students to purchase the shirts, similar to student pricing on tickets. You may want to offer a season ticket t-shirt for non-students as well. Another idea we've seen take place is to let your season ticket t-shirt holders know that occasionally, as a thank you to their dedication and support, they will also have opportunities for free pizza or prizes. Be creative and get your fans in the game!

 
How To: Order School Spirit Apparel
Eye on the Industry
Written by Sherrie Rohde   
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 14:18

The new school year is just around the corner and booster clubs everywhere are organizing their 2010-11 school spirit gear. If you're newly appointed to organizing school spirit apparel, it can be a little intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Here are five simple ideas to help you get started in the right direction:

 

  1. 1. Choose your colors. Short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, crewneck sweatshirts and hooded sweatshirts can all utilize the same artwork to help cut down on screen and setup fees. The best way to accomplish this is to choose the two colors that your fans best identify with but are both either dark or light.
    For example, maybe your colors are Maroon and Gold—you'll probably want to choose either gold and sport grey or maroon and black. The gold and white can be used as accent colors in both cases but you'll only need one set of screens. Ask your printer for help if you're unclear on the best option for you.
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  3. 2. Keep it simple. You don't want to overwhelm your fans with options. The most successful orders we've seen have had minimal choices available. Choose your t-shirt and sweatshirt basics and then consider your demographic. Do moisture management performance materials matter? Are they going to want to lounge around in sweatpants or shorts? Will anyone want to dress it up with a sport shirt or windshirt? You know your audience best.
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  5. 3. Order methods. Are you going to utilize a standard order form or are you going to move forward into new technology and offer your fans the ability to order online? While some people are more comfortable with order forms, the web store will eliminate the hassle of collecting paper order forms and checks as the printer will tally your orders for you and collect payment via secure checkout.
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  7. 4. Get started now. You definitely don't want to feel rushed as the school year launches in and you realize your fans are not properly fashioned. Find a printer today and get started selecting your items and setting up your order methods. Why not have everything available at registration?
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  9. 5. Promote, promote, promote. No matter how much school spirit your fans have, they can't order your items if they don't know how! Make sure you are spreading the word at registration and anywhere else you can make your voice heard.
 
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