Northern Express Hockey Club is a prominent hockey program in Illinois, coaching players aged 5-18. The club features a robust travel program and nearly 200 players.
For almost nine years, Mike has handled online operations and apparel and uniform sales for Northern Express Hockey Club. As a customer of SportsEngine HQ, he already had a more simplified process for collecting registrations, but he wanted to see if he could also streamline the apparel purchasing and delivery process.
Selling apparel was nothing new to Mike, but players had to go directly to him to submit an order and the merchandise often took 4-6 weeks to arrive. On top of that, there weren’t quite enough options available that fit every players’ preferences and price points. With order minimums, the club could only work with a few brands and offer a small number of items. Plus, Northern Express had a complicated logo that can be tough to include on gear without a bit of help.
Northern Express Hockey Club needed to simplify apparel sales and generate more fundraising opportunities. They came to SportsEngine Gear, powered by SquadLocker to make it happen.
More options = more growth
Mike wanted more items to sell and with brands like Under Armour, CCM, Champro, and Adidas, the options were plentiful. After creating a SportsEngine Gear apparel store, he was able to sell merchandise at different pricing tiers to help fit every family’s budget. Players who had been left out before now had options that worked for them. “People buy different brands. Having more options allowed everyone to buy more,” Mike says.
The interface was also simple to use, allowing him to add and remove merchandise based on how well they were selling and create discounts and deals around the holidays. These changes proved to be incredibly successful, boosting total sales to $38,000 since 2019.
Designs that shine
Northern Express had a tough logo to work with due to its high level of detail. To help make it come through in merchandise, Mike enlisted the help of SquadLocker’s free design team. The team tweaked his logo in a way that didn’t alter the branding but allowed it to be more readable during printing. Now the teams have great-looking gear that truly stands out.
One of the most significant benefits of switching to SportsEngine Gear proved to be the convenience factor. Now, players can shop in an online store that stays open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Apparel is shipped directly to each athlete, allowing Mike to focus more on creating an outstanding online presence for the teams and less on sorting through boxes of gear.
Players also benefited from SportsEngine Gear’s convenient player packs. At the beginning of each season, they were able to purchase a hat, sweatshirt, shorts, and a t-shirt in one bundle. With everyone suited up, the players felt more team spirit and togetherness.
Wrapping it all up
By using SportsEngine Gear’s features, Northern Express Hockey Club got a winning apparel experience that boosted fundraising dollars and brought a whole new level of excitement to the players. The winning designs are still bringing team spirit everywhere, both on and off the ice.
“When I first joined SportsEngine Gear, I wanted a better way to start selling apparel online. I can keep the store open year-round, and I no longer have to worry about sizing issues or taking orders one by one,” Mike says.
“At the end of the day, families truly enjoyed it, and I’d say that’s a win in my book.”