Custom bicycle jerseys (or “kits”) can be an effective way for bike shops to turn customer enthusiasm into brand advocacy. But buying an inventory of jerseys, shorts and other items can be an expensive proposition.
That was the major reason Kristin’s husband, Steve the Bike Guy, had held off on purchasing custom kits. Since opening his business in 2005, he and Kristin had found low volume options for those looking for kits. But with the growing success of the Velo Studio opened in 2014, and the expansion of the shop’s cyclocross race team, the time had come to make the investment.
Having selected Hincapie Sportswear to produce the new kits, including long sleeve jerseys and skin suits, our task was to create a design that was modern (but wouldn’t “age” too quickly, requiring redesign), eye-catching, and worked for both men and women. We started by looking at past kits created for the Velo Studio – including the most recent which were using a dark blue that didn’t appear in Steve’s brand palette – as well as other favorite brands and designs.
Working with Hincapie’s Design team, our rough sketches were created into production proofs which allowed us to see how our design would translate into each piece.
With the designs approved, we created signage for use in the Studio, promoting the new kits and encouraging pre-orders.
Six weeks after placing our final order, we received the kits, and while we were a little nervous that they would be “too blue,” they came out great.
By custom printing the kits using Steve’s Pantone colors, we were assured a perfect match to the Velo Studio’s other marketing materials.
Designing a custom kit also allowed us to include little touches, including the phrase #YayBikes, in the collar of each jersey.
Steve’s customers agree with our assessment of the new kits – the first order of jerseys sold out in less than 2 months!