Coming Soon to a Digital Sports Network Near You: Custom Apparel to Show Spirit, Support Schools
March 13, 2012News from iHigh.com
Industry leaders GTM Sportswear and iHigh.com announce partnership to offer merchandise online to schools’ fans
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 13, 2012) – A new partnership is changing the school sportswear market and simultaneously raising badly needed educational funds. GTM Sportswear, a leading provider of logoed sports gear, and iHigh.com, the nation’s largest digital television network for high school sports, are joining forces to provide custom apparel to students and fans via the iHigh.com network. More than 7,500 schools and groups nationwide use iHigh.com websites to broadcast sporting events, upload photos, and for other activities to 10 million unique online visitors.
“iHigh.com and our partner schools and groups are excited about this innovative, new partnership,” said iHigh.com CEO Jim Host. “For the first time, students, their families, alumni and fans of our partner schools will be able to purchase high-quality, highly relevant merchandise while they are watching their favorite teams and groups on iHigh.com sites.”
iHigh.com and GTM will work with each iHigh.com partner school and youth organization to create an online store that offers logoed apparel available exclusively through the school’s website. GTM will customize the clothing items using official school colors and mascots, and develop on-trend products for both teenagers and adults. Each school and group will receive royalties on products sold on its site.
“There’s nothing else like this in the marketplace,” said Dave Dreiling, GTM founder and CEO. “The GTM-iHigh.com partnership blends entertainment and shopping for a unique, interactive online experience that has the additional advantage of raising money for schools and youth groups. The continued advancement of technology also offers dramatic growth potential for this concept.”
iHigh.com and GTM plan to launch the online stores in late summer. The stores will offer significant product flexibility and customization options for schools, which could, for example, promote football gear during game halftimes or blackout t-shirts several weeks before an upcoming homecoming spirit week activity, reaching potential buyers when they’re most likely to make purchasing decisions.
A school-assigned “store champion” from each iHigh.com partner will help GTM determine the product offerings at each school’s store. Future plans call for iHigh.com and GTM to enhance the interactive shopping experience in ways that add further value to the school sportswear market.
From February 2011 through January 2012, iHigh.com ran almost 30,000 videos from 48 states on its network. More than 23,000 of those broadcasts were high school events - more than any other provider. iHigh.com expanded its reach beyond high schools in the past year through successful partnerships with the National Junior College Association and other amateur youth groups to produce live events on the iHigh.com network.
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