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Thursday, June 13, 2024

BreakingT: Breaking the Sports Memorabilia Mold

If BreakingT sounds like breaking news, there may be a specific reason.

“That’s pretty much what we’re doing here at BreakingT,” said company president Jamie Mottram, who is urging all rabid sports fans to #WearTheMoment. “We’re the For The Win (popular sports blog) for apparel. It’s all timely, trending, following the big storyline and based on whatever is in the zeitgeist at the time.”

BreakingT is a sports apparel company dedicated to making teams, players, and great sports moments relevant in fun and clever ways, giving fans a unique method to celebrate their favorite moments from the game.

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Actually, Mottram’s involvement in the company came about rather serendipitously. With a strong background in digital media and content marketing, Mottram is a veteran in the sports media industry. As the creator of For The Win, FanHouse, and many other popular sports blogs, Mottram emphasized that he, “has always been in content. Now, it’s just bringing that content generation to the commerce side…”

Mottram is focused on using his previous experience to “disrupt the multi-billion dollar sports merchandise industry with a social data-driven, real-time approach…operating like a newsroom.”

The innovative sports apparel company is redefining the industry by consistently churning out new, topical t-shirts almost instantaneously. The company is able to do this faster and more effectively than others because of licenses with MLB Players Association, NBA Players Association, and others.

“They’ve been great partners,” Mottram said. “They see the tees as adding to the marketing of the game, adding shelf life to sports biggest moments.”

That successful marketing and injection of unique sports moments into the conversation is precisely what happens in what Mottram described as the ideal scenario for BreakingT.

“The ultimate goal, as a brand, is to create something that fans like, the players and teams that inspired the design want to wear … and suddenly our tees become part of the cultural conversation and moment.”

Take one look at its website, and you’ll see that BreakingT has been able to do this, as players like Justin Verlander, Jose Altuve, and the entire San Francisco Giants roster have been shown in the news rocking their designs. That, in turn, gets covered by the media, and gives the sports moment and story a much longer tail.

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While BreakingT emphasizes creating timely, topical designs, Mottram did mention that they have to walk a fine line. “Yes, we focus on the moment, but also ‘how will this wear over time?’ Our shirts aren’t designed to be a one-time, immediately outdated purchase; we want our shirts to become closet staples, a fan’s favorite tee memorializing a great memory.”

It’s that dedication to producing something meaningful and lasting that is behind BreakingT’s product quality, vintage designs, and well-thought-out styling. Yes, most of the company’s sales happen in the first 24-48 hours, but unlike the deluge of more basic, novelty tees that pop up outside the stadium or card-tables virally, BreakingT products are built to last.

“There are lots of knock-offs out there; that’s what makes us different. Our shirts are inspired by what’s happening and you’re interested in that moment, but are also stylishly designed and made to be high-quality and enduring,” Mottram said.

Most of BreakingT’s shirts are sold DTC (direct-to-consumer) online, although Mottram was eager to mention a few of the new partnerships with teams and the leagues that are consistently rolling out. Some, like the Giants, Astros, and Nationals have ordered the shirts in bulk, and actually carry them in the stadium with the other standard team and player souvenirs.

One of the more interesting, innovative ideas Mottram mentioned is how BreakingT intends to capitalize on its relationship with the Nationals this year (Capitals…Nationals…do I sense a D.C. theme?).

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The company has a pre-existing relationship with the team, and launched its first-ever official BreakingT storefront in the stadium. Nationals Park will also be playing host to MLB’s All-Star Game and Home Run Derby this year, which has provided Mottram and the BreakingT’s team with a unique opportunity to plan an in-stadium, event-based activation where the company will have the ability to create and produce shirts in real time based on the action that day.

“Say Bryce Harper has a great play…or somebody hits an amazing homer…feasibly, we’ll be able to design, print, and sell a tee based on that moment to the very fans at the stadium attending the game.”

Now you’ll be able to get clever, fun souvenirs that encapsulate your favorite, specific memories just as quickly as the next day’s paper. Only, unlike the news, these tees aren’t fake and definitely last.

One of the most important things about the company that Mottram emphasized is that, “Yes, what we do may seem fun and frivolous, but we’re also very serious and passionate.”

Just like the sports they commemorate.

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