Sports apparel boosts team spirit

September 27, 2010 — by Lillian Chen

“We work ours off to kick yours.”

This was the clever phrase at the bottom of the swim team’s customized sweatshirts from the previous school year. Numerous teams have come up with witty phrases or customized nicknames for sweatshirts or shirts that they wear for team spirit for their particular sport.

Most teams on game days represent their sport with customized apparel such as sweatshirts, sweatpants or just shirts that they order themselves. This year, the school has received a sponsorship from Nike, and as a result, a few perks have been made available to the sports teams.

“Wearing clothes that represent our sport brings the team together especially on team days,” said senior Mary Edman, one of the captains of the varsity tennis team this year. For them, customized apparel is a way to get noticed around school. Unfortunately, the tennis team was not able to take advantage of the perks of the Nike sponsorship since they were told about the sponsorship too late.

“The Nike sponsorship was not very convenient for the tennis team,” said Edman. “We weren’t able to use the 40 percent discount from Nike, and the uniforms we ended up getting were not great.”
Stuck in a situation similar to the tennis team’s, the field hockey girls were not able to make great use of the Nike sponsorship either, since they had already ordered their uniforms from a different company called Harrow before discovering there was a Nike sponsorship that they could take advantage of.

“We usually get our sweatpants and sweatshirts from Nike, but there wasn’t anything we wanted,” said captain Vanessa Block. “We didn’t get to use the sponsorship to our advantage.”

Unlike the tennis and field hockey teams, the boys’ cross country team was able to order new uniforms from Nike. However, their customized team shirts were not ordered from Nike, but rather though a different company and are worn on game days.

“The shirts increase unity and makes everyone feel more like a team,” said captain Kyle Fukui.

The process of getting this apparel was a lengthy one. The team first had to take a vote as to what type of apparel everyone wanted whether it was shirts, jackets, pants or other types of apparel. Then, a week was given for people to submit ideas of designs or slogans. The captains would then take the design and use one of the companies that the coach was in contact with and would submit their design.

For all sports, it’s usually the captains who organize the order placement of the apparel. There is clear evidence pointing to an increase in school spirit just by having customized apparel.

“Having customized apparel really unites the team, and it builds up spirit on game days for all sports,” said Block.

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