Esports Apparel Partner vs. Apparel Provider

One of the most common types of inquiries we get at THREADS.GG is in regards to partnerships. With each message revolving around what it takes to become an apparel partner, we’re delighted to answer questions, research each brand, and point them in the right direction. Apparel partnerships are a great way for up and coming esports organizations to generate some early revenue and gain insight into what it takes to survive in the esports space. However, partnerships are a huge commitment and are most often not what the organization truly needs.

We will always be up for extending a hand to esports community members that want to learn more about THREADS.GG. Furthermore, we admire anyone that can cold-email with the level of confidence we’ve seen in the past year. These are real-world skills and character traits that will absolutely benefit you in your career. The problem arises when an esports organization is seeking an apparel partnership, when what they actually need is a go-to apparel provider.

What is an apparel provider?

An esports apparel provider is a business or sole-proprietor with expertise in the procurement of custom, branded apparel. They provide your organization with apparel in a business-to-business transaction. Technically, an apparel partner is also an apparel provider, while an apparel provider is not necessarily your apparel partner. An apparel provider plays a much more limited role than an apparel partner. The apparel provider’s sole responsibility is to take your order and supply you with the products that you want at the level of quality that you deserve. Once the transaction is complete, the relationship effectively ends. No obligations persist – on either side – after the order has been fulfilled & paid for. This may sound like a raw-deal compared to entering into a legally-binding partnership, but it has many perks. The biggest of which is the lack of long-term commitment involved with buying custom gear from an apparel provider.

No long-term commitment

There are not many things worse than being stuck in a relationship with someone that you do not jive with. If an apparel provider does not meet your standards, you have no obligation to stick around. You can kick them to the curb and move on to the next prospect. This is a crucial advantage to have if you’ve never seen an apparel provider’s finished product. You don’t want to learn that you’ve partnered with a bush league apparel provider after you’ve signed your contract. Ordering a small quantity of product – called sampling – to see the level of quality for yourself is a recommended practice in the apparel industry. For you to sample a potential apparel partner, you must first enter into a transactional relationship with them as an apparel provider.

We implore you to think about your esports organization’s position to determine whether or not an apparel provider could meet your short-term needs better than a full-blown partner.

If an apparel provider sounds right for your organization, we would love for you to consider THREADS.GG.

What is an apparel partner?

An esports apparel partner is an apparel provider that enters into an agreement with your organization to consistently operate an apparel line. Be it shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, hats, jerseys, socks, or esports kilts, an apparel partner would (ideally) have the ability to handle the production & sale of various branded products on your organization’s behalf. This sentence fragment is of particular importance:

handle the production & sale of branded products on your organization’s behalf

An apparel partner is a completely separate business entity – a vendor – that operates as an independent unit beside, not under, your organization’s umbrella. They are not part of your esports business, but they do supplement your esports business. Most of the time (with THREADS.GG, all of the time) there is a split of profits between the apparel partner and your organization. In this way, their growth is your growth. The relationship that forms between the two entities is symbiotic, serving both equally.

Separation of responsibilities

You’re working hard to manage your esports organization and its members, let us work hard to handle the apparel operations on your behalf.  Truly, our job is to make sure that the operations of your apparel line are covered from beginning-to-end. If we are doing our job as an apparel partner well, you shouldn’t have to worry yourself with the micromanagement of your organization’s apparel operations. To accomplish this, the apparel partner’s responsibility is two-fold:

  1. Sell branded apparel to your organization’s consumers
  2. Supply your organization with branded apparel

Just like an apparel provider, an apparel partner may supply your organization and its members with branded products in a one-off business-to-business transaction. The difference is that, once this transaction ends, you are still involved in a long-term commitment. If products are selling, this is a good thing! No one will ever be upset over revenue being generated for their business. Our goal is to ensure that revenue keeps flowing for our partners. To manage this, we employ partnerships of our own with world-class designers, reputable manufacturers, and logistics companies that form our supply chain of kick-ass apparel. A great business is simply greater than the sum of its parts. At THREADS.GG, we plan on seizing the opportunity to turn the esports apparel industry on its head with the help of the tremendous esports organizations we partner with.

If you would like to learn more about apparel partnerships with THREADS.GG, we have just the page for you.

Make the right choice for your organization

You know your esports organization better than anyone. At the end of the day, its wellbeing is what you concern yourself with the most. Apparel is a means of expression, esports apparel doubles as a way for fans to support their favorite organizations. To gauge the demand for apparel branded with your esports organization’s insignia, it wouldn’t hurt to first take a sample of the market by commissioning a product from a reputable apparel provider. If your main desire is to outfit your squad with fresh jerseys for your next event, click the link below to place an order through our custom apparel order form.