Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 25

to provide lettered jerseys to a local pro team.
" Th e jersey-lettering side started to grow
pretty quickly, and I felt the pull to come
home and make the family business my career, "
McFarland Jr. recalls. " Truthfully, neither
my dad nor myself had any idea that this
would become a full-time, sustainable business.
Taking the Next Step
A lot has changed since 1972, a year that
saw Major League Baseball teams roll out
bright-colored polyester jerseys, which would
soon become the norm for professional and
Little League players. A gallon of gas cost 36
cents. Atari had just released Pong, a crude,
electronic tennis game.
Ultimately, market demands led Sportshaven
to focus on teamwear and varsity jackets.
Local teams were desperate for quick turnaround
times on soft goods. However, ordering
custom jerseys from a manufacturer required
long lead times and the decorating component could extend wait
times up to 50%. Th e McFarlands began decorating in-house, which
greatly reduced delivery times on team and school varsity jackets.
Eventually, this led to bringing chenille and chain-stitch work inhouse
alongside tackle twill.
McFarland Jr. says high-quality heat transfers and precut materials,
such as letters and numbers, have helped the business the most
and made embellishing with quality graphics easier. He also says the
ability to get large quantities of numbers in multiple fonts - in short
timeframes - from companies like Stahls' has been a game changer.
Bringing in an embroidery machine to support in-house jacket
orders also was a big time-saver. Mixing media like twill and
CAD-CUT rolled goods off ers the ability to provide diff erent
looks and multiple price points.
Customer Camaraderie
Identifying new opportunities has long been a hallmark of Sportshaven's
success. McFarland Jr. says the easiest way to identify new
trends is directly from his customers.
" By having the customers in your shop and talking face to face,
you have a chance to see what products and styles the customer is
wearing, " he explains. " Student athletes often drive styles and trends,
so having youth-sports teams buying teamwear helps us keep connected
to current trends. "
While Sportshaven has thrived for nearly 50 years, there has been
plenty of competition from big-box retailers, home-based businesses
and online stores, the latter of which provides the most competition
- especially those operating overseas. McFarland Jr. acknowledges
that low-priced products from overseas suppliers have hurt the
business, but he refuses to compete on price alone.
" If the customer's only criteria is price, and they will accept a
poor-quality garment with sub-par decoration, that is a customer
you probably would not have reached in the fi rst place, " McFarland
Jr. says.
Such Internet bargain shoppers often show up at Sportshaven
looking for an add-on or trying to replace a misprinted product.
When asked why they didn't contact the online shop from which
they bought the product, many complain about how long ordering
A Supplement to impr ession s
Sportshaven's biggest sellers remain varsity
jackets and personalized teamwear and
uniforms. Photo courtesy of
Transfer Express.
replacements takes - usually a minimum of six weeks - or that
the website has disappeared into thin air.
" Th e customer that takes the time, weighs all the factors - not
just price - will be much happier, " McFarland Jr. says. " Local shops
often allow you to use sizing samples, allow you to do add-ons, and
give you the opportunity to see the quality of garment and decoration
materials. Shops that decorate in-house are often also able to quickly
huddle reorders or mistakes because they did the work on-site. "
Sportshaven takes great pride in its customer service and quality
work. Also, McFarland Jr. doesn't accept jobs he doesn't think he
can deliver successfully. Th e shop's biggest-selling items are varsity
jackets, along with personalized teamwear and team uniforms. In
the future, McFarland Jr. is considering expanding the wholesale
lettering end of the business.
A Challenging Year
COVID-19 adversely impacted business during the past year. Sportshaven
relies heavily on orders from school and youth sports programs.
Because they were unable to operate, they had little need
for product.
Suppliers also have been aff ected, either unable to provide products
or experiencing signifi cant delivery delays. As the economy
reboots, the supply chain will be critical to decorators' ability to
quickly, safely and securely deliver goods.
In a sense, the pandemic has underscored Sportshaven's dedication
to customer care and workmanship. McFarland Jr. plans on
resuming normal operations as soon as it's safe and demand ramps
up again. He still believes in providing a face-to-face shopping experience
when possible. Multiple generations of customers agree
with him, as evidenced by their continued patronage.
" We have a large number of grandchildren of our original customers
coming in to buy varsity jackets and have jerseys done, " McFarland
Jr. says. " We even have a few great-grandchildren as well. " 
Chelan David is a freelance writer based in Kansas City. His work has appeared
in such publications as Smart Business, Entrepreneur, The Seattle Times,
Writer's Digest, and Apparel. In his spare time, he enjoys running, watching
sporting events, and traveling.
Summer 2021 * 25

Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021

Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - Cover1
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - Cover2
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 1
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 2
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 3
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 4
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 5
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Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 19
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Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 25
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 26
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 27
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - 28
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - Cover3
Impressions - Team & Activewear Summer 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/20211011
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/DigitalDecorator_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/20210809
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/teamactivewear_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/imp_0421_digital
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nxtbook_bhtest/impwessons
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2020fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20200607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20190607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2018fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20170607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20160607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20150607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20140607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sportsfanretailer_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20131011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20130607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20121011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20120809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20120607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20111011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20110809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2011fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20110607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2011spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sourcebook2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20101112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20100910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2010fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20100708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2010winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_eco_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20091112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sourcebook_200906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201001
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com