Jun 22, 2022 - Sports

Exclusive: NWSL partners with rapid-production apparel company

Illustration of woman in jersey with upwards arrow on her back.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The National Women's Soccer League and BreakingT, a rapid-production apparel company, have agreed to a licensed apparel deal.

Why it matters: This is BreakingT's first major pro league license and will enable the NWSL to celebrate and commercialize its most exciting teams, players and moments.

How it works: BreakingT tracks sports trends and fan sentiment in real-time, then capitalizes on viral moments by quickly producing merchandise that's sold online and in brick-and-mortar retail nationwide.

  • If Thorns wunderkind Olivia Moultrie scores a hat trick next month, there will almost certainly be a shirt to commemorate the moment.
  • If the league-leading San Diego Wave make a playoff run in their inaugural season, you better believe BreakingT will spin up shirts so fans can show their support.

What they're saying: "Investment in women's sports means more than just cash infusion at ownership and sponsorship levels — it also means improving the fan experience. And that includes merch," BreakingT president Jamie Mottram tells Axios.

The big picture: Fantasy sports have been baked into men's sports for decades; now they're coming to women's sports, too. Merchandise deals like this one are another way to improve, and monetize, fan engagement.

  • It also makes good business sense: Two of BreakingT's three best-selling shirts ever are the USWNT's "4 Stars Only" and the WNBA's "Bet On Women."
  • The same is true at the college level, where a "Jocelyn Alo: Home Run Queen" shirt recently became the best-seller of the NIL era.
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