Merriam-Webster defines Athleisure as “casual clothing – like yoga pants, sweat pants and hoodies – that are designed to be worn for both exercising and for doing (almost) everything else,” and they’ve flagged athleisure as a word to watch, and for good reason! With the original trend dating back to as early as the 1970’s, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that it started to stick, and wasn’t until 2016 it really took off. Athleisure wear is comfortable, functional, and here to stay.
Nearly every popular brand has some sort of athleisure or activewear line, and many major retailers include “athleisure” or “activewear” as a category to sort by for online shopping (think Target, Nordstroms, Macy’s, Dillards, etc,). Classic sporting goods brands such as Adidas, Nike and Under Armour are coming out with new retail items every day, and there are a ton of companies that only sell athleisure wear – i.e. lululemon, Fabletics, Athleta, Lucy, etc.
With the increase in popularity of this trend, it’s only natural that companies will want to put their logo on athleisure items. After all, this trend is an acceptable style choice for almost all situations, so organizations from all industries are taking this opportunity to put their logo on athleisure wear and get their brand maximum exposure. Let me explain:
Whether I’m working out, running errands, doing house chores, grabbing dinner with friends, or even getting ready for work, I can grab something in my closet that is appropriate for the occasion and falls into the athleisure category.
THE EVERYDAY COMFY TEE
If I’m going to hit the gym, I tend to go for comfortable athletic leggings paired with a flowy, breathable tank top or t-shirt such as the Ladies Drapey Cross-Back Tee. A great men’s alternative would be the District Made Mens Tri-Blend Pocket Tee – something comfortable, breathable and on trend. The best part about these tops are when they’re not being worn to the gym, they can be matched with a nice pair of jeans and it immediately creates a whole different outfit for a casual dinner with friends, just like that! They’re versatile, comfortable, and best of all, expose your brand in a subtle and trendy way. These make great Spring/Summer customer appreciation gifts, outdoor event giveaways, and a unique Casual Friday piece for your employees.
THE VERSATILE LAYERING PIECE
Another great athleisure staple is the perfect hoodie, pullover or zip-up. There are so many different styles for this category, but they all serve the purpose of layering up. From thick, comfy fleece hoodies, to light and breathable pullovers, to quarter zips with thumb holes, or full zips with a slouchy hood – they can all be layered and worn with almost everything, everywhere from the gym to the office to the grocery store. The Ogio Endurance Origin Jacket is a great piece that is my go-to in my closet, and resembles something you’d find in lululemon, but at a fraction of the cost. It comes in both a men’s and women’s style and is sure to get a lot of wear by the end user. Give these out as high-value holiday gifts or sales awards to make a great impression. We got these a few years ago at Pinnacle and I still wear mine all Fall and Spring!
TWIST ON A CLASSIC
Polos are classic promotional apparel items, but the athleisure trend has caused athletic polos to really take off. Moisture wicking and performance style polos (and t-shirts!) are more and more popular among businesses and organizations. They still provide the same professional polo look, but in a more comfortable material that is durable and trendy. One of the most popular performance style polos is the Nike Golf Dri-FIT Crosshatch Polo. With a ladies’ companion, this shirt easily transitions from the office to the golf course or tennis court.
Athleisure apparel items make great marketing vehicles for many reasons:
- trendy – often, companies like to stay in style, and their promotional gifts and giveaways reflect that.
- versatile – athleisure apparel is useful for many occasions, so companies feel good about giving pieces to their employees and customers
- accessible – varying price points, from budget-friendly to high-quality name brands.
If you’re looking for well known brands such as Nike, Under Armour, or Adidas, we can source multiple styles from these brands, and we are able to decorate them with your logo. These names come at a higher price point, but they are perfect for those who want to get in on the athleisure trend with the higher perceived value and the well-known brand name. For value-driven organizations with a smaller budget, there are plenty of brands that offer comparable pieces and styles at a fraction of the cost. Ogio, Sport-Tek, and Next Level are becoming more and more popular and well known brand names. They offer the same, if not more, options at different price points and in all kinds of styles.
When considering apparel as a promotional item, you want to spend your money on something functional that will give your logo and brand the most exposure, whether it’s for your employees or for your customers. Because athleisure items can be worn in multiple settings and occasions and aren’t pigeonholed into one particular wardrobe box, you’re sure to get the most bang for your buck when branding these pieces. For more ideas, check out our website or contact your account manager!