Sometimes, it’s the last-minute uniform issues that cause sports programs the biggest headaches.
As any high school coach or athletic director knows, uniforms are what sports participants wear proudly to reflect that their team operates as a cohesive group. But when changes or additions to team uniforms are needed at the 11th hour, it can take the major apparel brands months to resolve those issues for high schools.
In one case, a coach turned to the company with just days to turn around an order.
Coach Scott O’Donnell, head football coach with Brookside High School in Sheffield Village, Ohio, said he discovered he needed uniform help just a week before the first game of the 2023 season.
“I needed white pants for our entire team and DistrictWON did a great job with customer service by getting those to us in a timely manner,” O’Donnell said.
The company was not only able to get the 18 pairs of pants to him, but also worked with a local decorator to get the team’s logo added to the pants and still complete the job the day before the game, Chalhoub said.
That ability to get coaches what they need when they need it is what differentiates DistrictWON.
“What sets DistrictWON and our brands apart are the three benefits our brands provide that the major brands can’t: 1) turnaround time, 2) customization without a price increase, and 3) the ability to replace ‘one at a time’ after the initial order,” Chalhoub said. “We pride ourselves on our customer service. Our clients only deal with one DistrictWON representative.”
DistrictWON can solve issues that other major brands may not be able to address, he said, and get high-quality uniforms to teams in less time. For instance, winter teams that find themselves with uniform needs in the fall may see the window of opportunity for them with other companies closing, he said.
“Without giving too much away, our clients still have time to place orders for winter season teams and receive the order before the season starts,” he said. “With the major brands, customers would have to place an order months and months in advance hoping to receive it by the start of the season. In many cases with the bigger brands, unfortunately, they can’t meet the deadline.”
Additionally, DistrictWON can provide a level of customization major brands can’t do, he said. Recently, a varsity football team in Ohio needed a very specific color for their uniforms. DistrictWON was able to help the team find the color it needed, he said.
“The client was very particular about the shade of one of their school colors,” Chalhoub said. “With our brand, we were able to provide three different color swatches of that particular shade so the client could choose the best option to meet his needs. None of the big brands would accommodate this and if they did, the cost would be extremely expensive. We provided the swatches free of charge and there was no additional cost to the specific shade added to the uniform.”
Coaches agree that the customized service provided for their uniform needs saved them during tight spots.
Michael Chiellino, the director of hockey at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio, said his women’s hockey team needed three new jerseys to replace older ones that were ripped. When he went to replace them, the previous uniform supplier had closed, so he turned to DistrictWON. While the typical minimum order is six pieces, he was able to work with his representative to get the three jerseys in time for the season.
“The rep approached us if we had any needs and I asked if this jersey replication was possible,” Chiellino said. “He was so accommodating. First class experience.”
Even larger orders can be turned around quickly, as well.
In the fall of last year at Avon High School in Avon, Ohio, athletic director Erich Frombach said he needed three jerseys for each of the varsity football team’s 20 new team members. Because the uniforms were a few years old, the major brand the school had previously dealt with was unable to accommodate the style it needed. Instead, Frombach turned to DistrictWON. He was able to get the team’s new uniforms in about two weeks.
Chalhoub said DistrictWON is able to work with school teams from just about any sport to provide them with uniforms, as well as warm-up gear, travel gear, practice gear and other needs. Providing uniforms quickly and at an attractive cost gives coaches and athletic directors one less thing to worry about, he said.
“Our clients can essentially eliminate the worry or fear of their order not being delivered on time,” Chalhoub said.