Alabama is a state full of football fanatics. With just hours to go until the Alabama Crimson Tide takes on the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, Alabama retailers who make and sell team merchandise are rooting for a Bama victory.
“A win would really be a blessing for us. Whatever business you’re in, it’s good for the state when Alabama wins,” said Greg Shafer, owner of American Klassic Designs, or AKD Screenprinting.
The Montgomery/Prattville-based company, an Alabama Retail Association member, specializes in screenprinting, embroidery and other promotional products. AKD supplies stores throughout the state with all kinds of team apparel, including the sought-after game score shirts. One of its customers is Bama Fever Tiger Pride.
“The minute the game is over, assuming Alabama wins, we’ll immediately start printing somewhere between 5,000 to 7,000 shirts,” said Shafer. “We have the machines ready to go. All we need is the score.”
Shafer says AKD has late-night T-shirt printing down to a science. The company has been printing for Bama Fever Tiger Pride stores since the late 1980s.
“The first time we printed National Championship shirts was the ’92-’93 season. But in the run Alabama and Auburn have had since 2009, it’s really been amazing,” he added.
Because this isn’t the first time Alabama has been in the National Championship game, retailers know that a win is a proven sales windfall. According to the most recent statistics from Collegiate Licensing Co., which represents all major colleges, universities, conferences, bowls, etc., the University of Alabama is the top-selling institution in units sold, royalty revenue and sales.
It’s not just retailers who sell apparel who benefit. After shoppers pick up merchandise like T-shirts and hats with the game score, they’ll look for framed prints, jewelry, artwork and other items related to the national championship for gift-giving occasions.
“An Alabama win would be a great way to start the New Year. It’s business we would not have gotten otherwise. People ask me, what happens if Clemson wins? I tell them, ‘I’ll cry.’ It’s really all or nothing for us,” explained Shafer.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together!
Melissa Johnson Warnke | 334.551.0631 | 256.338.0621 (c)