Does your club have a merchandise manager?
The role of the merchandise manager at local clubs is often underrated or ignored. It is often left vacant meaning club apparel is not consistent with the club brand, stock is poorly managed and often the club loses money instead of it being an extra fundraiser.
This role does not need to be hard or time consuming but it needs to be managed properly and rules set in place. If you don't have a merchandise manager make sure you appoint one, somebody who has basic business and accounting knowledge. Stop making excuses and appoint somebody. Yes it is another role for the committee to manage, but it will make your lives easier. They will be asked to do the following:
- Prior to the season prepare a report for the committee on proposed items for the year ahead
- Contact potential (or current suppliers) to assist with pricing and designs
- Check out the competition, what they are paying and what they are wearing
- Decide on whether orders are going to be pre-ordered or you will hold stock Is merchandise available throughout the year or only on a certain day (rego day) or certain time in the season (first month). What happens for new players/staff?
- Ensure garments are consistent with the club brand (logos, pantone colours, etc) and delivered on time (will need to liaise with suppliers) Set pricing (with committees approval) – remembering it is not how much you pay per garment it needs to be an overall cost (delivery, setup, holding costs, wastage/give aways, etc)
- Have a payments platform for members to make purchases - whether that be in person or online (try using team app for payments and building a quick and cheap store)
- Ensure garments are clearly displayed at the clubrooms, on the website, at the canteen/bar, part of the newsletter, on social media, etc
- Manage stock
- Look for opportunities to use merchandise as a fundraiser (premiership reunions, promotional items, charity days, etc)
- Gain feedback from club members
- Maintain relationship with suppliers