What’s in A Shirt

Marketing Executives Know the Power of Shirts

Let’s face it, big, expensive TV and magazine marketing campaigns are not always the answer. Sometimes a simpler, more straightforward marketing effort provides better results.

Not so sure? Go to a bar on a busy night. What do you see? Almost everyone wearing something that has a logo of some sort. How many shirts and caps do you see with brands names like Nike, Bellagio, 1-800-FLOWERS, and other brands seen on TV and billboards? Go to an auto race and you’ll see Edlebrock, Crane Cams, Carrillo Rods, Roush Yates Engines, Wilwood, Waterman, Good Vibrations. Team t-shirts listing their sponsors will be too many to count. Association and track shirts with schedules on the back. You name it, you’ll see it. How about attending a rodeo or an air race or a rock concert? The same thing. Logos that are common to that event. Or the motherload, a convention or trade show? The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Or the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Logo’d brands that are screen printed, embroidered, or dye sublimated on apparel is as far as your eye can see.

T-shirts, dress shirts, polo shirts, jerseys, sweaters, jackets, caps, shorts, dye sublimated shirts, jackets, and apparel. Headbands, skull caps, suspenders, ties, belts, shoes, shoelaces. You name it!


Have you ever been to an event and after a while, you start to notice the same shirt or cap on different people? Happens all the time. In fact, in some cases, promoters hire people to wear the same shirts and walk around a business gathering, convention, or event so attendees see what seems to be dozens of people all sporting the same logo.

Fundraisers frequently hand out logoed wearables with the charity name as well as the sponsor to attract donations. Wearers become walking billboards. Advertising mediums themselves.

But why do this? Easy answer? It’s inexpensive, it works very well, and creates lots of almost fanatical users and company employees who then become brand representatives themselves. It’s a very small expenditure for more business.

In many instances, people will buy these branded goods from you. They pay you for the privilege of wearing your labeled apparel. I do it all the time.


Branded caps and shirts are great conversation starters. For example, say you’re a Yankees fan and you meet someone who is wearing a Red Sox jersey. What do think is going to happen? Right! They start talking baseball right away. That’s the power of logos.

Or how about Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge … you get what I’m saying.


Go into a bar after work, and you see someone sitting there wearing a jacket with the name of a company printed on it that you’re interested in working for or doing business with. It shouldn’t take you long to strike up a conversation to get the information you want.


Whenever you have a chance to get your message out, go for it. Hang your jacket over the back of your chair when you’re in a bar or restaurant so everyone can see your logo or message. You’ll be surprised how many people will notice it. Some will note it and call.

Simply put, if you’re paying attention, every opportunity is an opportunity to market your products or services. Many of the best marketing ideas are inexpensive, simple, and entertaining. So, start wearing your brand. You’ll be glad you did.

Al Heisley is an independent racing apparel sales representative for Stith Printing (stithprinting.com) and Pacific View International (pvicaps.com). Al and his wife, Sally, currently live near Richmond, Virginia. He can be reached at alheisley@gmail.com.