It’s that time of year when the X-Men get their team order together to submit to Squadra for the 2012 season. I thought I would take a few minutes to explain how and why we do things the way we do. I’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers.
1. Why Squadra? We’ve been with Squadra non-stop since I did the first blue and black striped kit in 1996 (I think). Dan and his colleagues are good friends, and have always gone above and beyond their standard pricing to help a small team out. I think their quality is top shelf, we’ve never had any complaints. What they do for us right now is give us pricing based on much higher quantity orders, which is good for everyone, because it keeps the price down.
2. Why a pre-order? In past years, I have just guessed and placed orders knowing there would be a certain amount of people who would come knocking in the spring looking for a team kit. There have been some years when I have guessed wrong, and spent a lot of money out of pocket to buy a bunch of clothing. In some cases, I didn’t get enough of one size, and too much of another. The truth is, I can’t afford to do that, and have lost out in years past. We don’t make any money off of the clothing, just enough to cover shipping, paypal fees, etc.
3. Why such a rush to get the pre-order in? Squadra’s production schedule is first come, first served. Keep in mind that many teams place their orders before the first of the year, so there are a lot of clubs ahead of us. We’re just trying to get our order in so we get our stuff right about when the snow melts.
4. Is the design going to change? Nope. We have never liked the idea of making last year’s kit obsolete by changing designs or swapping sponsor logos. So if you have team kit from last year, you are good, just order what you need for this year, and it will more or less match.
5. What’s new for 2012? Even though our basic design is the same, Squadra is always making small improvements and enhancements to their products. For example, this year’s PRO ISSUE bibs have a fabric POWER BAND closure on the bottoms of the legs, rather than silicon gripper on the insides. This is a progressive improvement that you see more and more high end manufacturers moving towards.
I hope this helps explain how we do our clothing orders this way. I guess if we had a big sponsor, we could just hedge our bets and buy a whole bunch of team clothing to have on hand when the season starts. If anyone knows where we could find such a sponsor, let me know!