NFL merchandise withers and co1

The NFL Move Their Merchandise Away from Logo Slapping


Our friend Ted Church at Anthem Branding has been on this buzz for years now, and now one of the worlds largest users of merchandise and apparel the NFL are now following suit - moving away from logo slapping (of course there will always be a time and a place for a simple logo on a garment or merchandise item).

At Withers & Co we share Ted's vision that for corporate merchandise and apparel to be used more than once (wearing the polo shirt at the golf day) you need to do more than just slap your logo on the left chest. You need to design custom pieces that have a retail look and feel while at the same time being representative of your companies brand and culture. This is exactly what the NFL have done.

The NFL’s newest product initiative, led by its director of licensing, Rhiannon Madden, the league has partnered with Fashion Institute of Technology students to redesign the logos of all 32 teams for use on a full range of items, from clocks and travel mugs to beanies and blankets. “We had always wanted to do something where we could look at a new way to reimagine our team logos or our graphics that support those logos. I happen to be an FIT alumni, so I was very familiar with the school and how innovative and technology-, art-, and design-focused it is, so it made perfect sense to work with FIT.”

The results are a kaleidoscopic take on each logo that can be applied to merchandise in a vast variety of ways. On some products, like stretch leggings or a cozy blanket, the graphic pattern is the centerpiece. On others, like New Era’s beanies and caps, the design functions as a flourish that accents the official team logo. “In hindsight, we realized these logos were something that represented these teams so wholly, and for the NFL to allow us to go this far and do something so out there with them would probably not be possible if we were on a job,” said team member Ho, a junior studying graphic design. 

Source: Steff Yotka for Vogue.