Every weekend, raceteams of all sizes get down and dirty at racetracks across the country. From weekly Street Stockers to the NASCAR stars and every type of racing in between, racers and their crews put their blood, sweat and tears into their craft, while each racer has a dedicated group of family and fans in the grandstands cheering their favorite driver to victory.
On the NASCAR level, recognizing one team as just that – a team – is easy due to the bright colors and brilliant logos that adorn the crew’s shirts, hats and other apparel. The grandstands are a rainbow of colors, with every fan sporting the logos and designs of their favorite driver and team.
While those luxuries of having crew and fan apparel may seemingly be something that only those NASCAR teams can afford, one company that services that level of the sport is also bringing their custom designs for team apparel to the short track level, as well.
nline Apparel, based in Concord, North Carolina, is a custom apparel supplier for teams and businesses of all sizes. From corporate wear to sublimated crew shirts, nline can produce apparel and headwear for any need. While most companies in the printing and embroidery business have minimum-quantity totals, forcing smaller teams to purchase more items than they really need, nline prides itself on not having any minimum order, making their service perfect for the short track team and business.
“We understand that smaller businesses and/or teams often can't plan and budget as well as larger companies,” said Rich Woodland, co-owner of nline Apparel. “With small teams, for instance, you may not know who your sponsor is until a couple of weeks before the race as opposed to larger teams who sign contracts four months before the season starts. We have no minimums at nline and can turn embroidered products around in just a couple days if we need to. We keep our prices down on small orders because in the end it benefits us. If a team is successful and we're part of that success because they didn't have to overspend their apparel and promotional budget, then most likely that team or business will continue to let us supply them as they grow.”
nline specializes in apparel that race teams can wear at the track, but the same shirts that the pit crew wears can also be available for the team’s fans. While shirts and crew-type shirts are popular, hats, duffel bags, backpacks and promotional items are also available through nline to further enhance a team’s visibility at the track and in the grandstands.
“We really offer too much to try and even list on our website. On the apparel side alone we have thousands of options from button-down corporate wear to Dickies work pants to Tommy Bahama camp shirts. Our headwear offerings range from Flex-Fit hats to visors to pre-decorated theme hats. Some of our promotional products that we supply to teams include lanyards, floor mats, pens and Sharpies and drink insulators. There is much more, including OGIO gear bags, Victorinox travel gear and even Bell helmets and safety equipment.
“We've imported tens of thousands of hats for large teams and we've produced just one or two jackets for smaller businesses and race teams. We've recently expanded into promotional products since most of our customers are looking for new ways to promote their products in this harsh economic environment.”
In addition to the no-minimum and affordable pricing structure for their products, nline also prides itself on being racer-friendly, as the co-owners of the company, Woodland and John Slusher, are racers themselves. Slusher was introduced into the motorsports business when he worked for K&K insurance selling to racetracks in the Southeast. He eventually moved into the apparel and merchandise business when he ran the at-track souvenir and merchandise program for numerous businesses and race teams in the highest NASCAR levels. He later started his own hat importing and marketing business which was basically the beginning stages of nline while also training the pit crew for Robby Gordon on two separate occasions and went over the wall as the catchcan man.
Woodland owned and drove for his own team for several years. He ran mainly in the NASCAR Camping World West Series and ARCA Re-Max series for several seasons and also has starts in the Camping World Truck Series and Sprint Cup Series as well. He partnered with Slusher to form nline LLC in 2005 and the company has experienced tremendous growth in the years since. He has also been employed the last few years by Roush Fenway Racing and Yates Racing as a spotter for several drivers including Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Erik Darnell and David Gilliland.
nline Apparel is located in the heart of racing country, Concord, North Carolina, with its headquarters directly behind turn-two of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. A full product lineup and more information can be downloaded from their website, www.nlineapparel.com, or if you are in the area, stop by their showroom at 5243 Morehead Road in Concord, NC. They can also be reached by phone at (704) 455-8811.