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Inside a Pro Sports "Hot Market Production"

October 2018

When professional sports teams are in the playoffs and win championships, primary license holders like Majestic, Adidas, Nike and New Era recruit established printing companies to assist in printing and shipping fan merchandise. In the printing industry this is referred to as “Hot Market Production”.

Bullseye Activewear has been an approved printer of hot market productions over the recent years. Local professional teams, Cleveland Cavaliers and Indians have had a lot of post season success and Bullseye has printed fan apparel for both. On certain occasions Bullseye has been selected to print for sports teams outside of the local area to meet product demand in hot market situations.

How It Works

The process of a printing company being selected to participate in a hot market production is very involved. The steps include an interview, facility inspection, print quality review and a full evaluation of production capabilities. Once a printing company is approved to participate, a contract is signed that guarantees the company will help print pro sports championship merchandise when needed.

License holders create artwork for each team involved in the post-season. The teams choose which artwork they will use if they achieve post-season milestones. The approved art files and specifications are sent to the hot market printers along with shirts, boxes and hologram stickers. The printers then image screens and print a pre-production sample for quality control purposes. The licensee reviews the sample to assure all hot market participants are printing consistent ink colors and densities. All the apparel being sold must look the same, regardless of what company prints it.

Getting precise color is the most important part of printing branded apparel. Dependent on the garment color and artwork, the printer may have to adjust the PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors specified by the licensee to achieve the proper presentation on the final product.

Bullseye Activewear printed and shipped this Boston Red Sox World Series T-Shirt the day after they won the ALCS. Shirts like this will be sold online at stores like Fanatics and MLB.com.

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