How to Start Your Own Sportswear Brand

Sportswear is still a growing industry with more and more people adopting activewear to form part of their daily wardrobe. With the increasing emphasis on fitness, health, and fashion, starting your own sportswear brand can be an exhilarating venture. However, diving into this competitive arena requires careful planning, market research, and strategic execution to make sure your start-up sportswear brand has the best chances to succeed.

Branding, product design, development and production

Market Research

Before delving into the intricate details of establishing your sportswear brand, it’s crucial to comprehend the market landscape. Conduct thorough research to identify current trends, consumer preferences, and potential gaps in the market. Analise competitors to gain insights into their product offerings, pricing strategies, and marketing tactics and work out why customers would want to buy your brand over these existing sportswear brands. Understanding your target audience and their needs will serve as the foundation for your brand’s identity and positioning.

Developing Your Brand Identity

Crafting a compelling brand identity is paramount in establishing a strong presence in the sportswear industry. Define your brand’s mission, values, and unique selling proposition (USP) to differentiate yourself from competitors. Your brand identity should resonate with your target audience and evoke a sense of authenticity and credibility. Choose a name, logo, and visual elements that reflect the essence of your brand and leave a lasting impression on consumers.

Make sure you create a document to identify your sportswear brands values and mission so you can check you are delivering these as the brand develops and grows.

Designing Sportswear

The cornerstone of any sportswear brand is its products. Invest time and resources in designing high-quality sportswear that combines functionality with style. We suggest you look for a highly qualified designer that can see your designs from concept all the way to bulk production so the sportswear they design fit your requirements in terms of performance, quality and costs.

Many start-ups fail at this early stage by using a freelancer sportswear designer that don’t manage the sourcing, sampling and production, ending up with a great design that won’t deliver your values as no fabrics have been sourced and nominated and the designer cannot confirm the quality or cost of the design as they don’t know where it will be produced.

Consider factors such as fabric selection, performance features, and ergonomic design to ensure superior comfort and performance for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Collaborate with experienced designers and manufacturers before you start the design process and make sure everyone understands the target consumer and price points so the designs are crafted to hit these. Make sure the components, trims and fabrics are all sourced by the designer to align your brand values and target price.

Sourcing Sportswear factories

Finding a reliable sportswear factory is a critical aspect of launching your sportswear brand.

This is one of the hardest aspects any budding activewear brand owner will face as the majority of the good factories are either hidden from the public or won’t work with start-ups.

The quality sportswear factories work with quality sportswear brands and as such, they are not desperate for new business from start-ups and are under contract not to promote they make for their customers. If you find a sportswear supplier that will offer MOQ’s of 50pcs and claim they make for high quality brands, we suggest you run as fast as your legs will take you.

At Blue Associates Sportswear, we have accrued a network of over 50 suppliers we have developed since 1997. This has been a slow process of finding factories through word of mouth or working with blue chip sportswear brands rather than reaching out to factories advertising on Alibaba.

Unfortunately, we get approached by entrepreneurs that have tried to work directly with sportswear suppliers directly through factory search sites, only to be left with bulk production that is totally different to the bulk they approved. This common mistake is caused by unscrupulous factories promising the world by creating samples that their clients approve by using quality trims and fabrics, only to switch these when they produce bulk to similar looking fabrics and trims but a far lower specification.


Once you have designed the product and found a suitable sportswear supplier, share your tech pack with them and make sure they follow this to the letter.

The sportswear tech pack instructs the factory how to produce your sportswear products, where they need to purchase trims, components and fabrics from and what size these need to measure. If you leave any of this to the factory to do, then you are risking the quality of the final bulk production as you have relinquished control of the quality and performance.

When your designer nominates the fabrics and trims, make sure these deliver to your brand values in terms of how the perform, if they are sustainable and where are these produced.


The factory you have selected will produce samples for you to approve. Critique these in fine detail and update the tech pack with any alterations so you have a record of any changes in case you need to place a repeat order in the future.

Fit these samples on your target consumer. We always suggest you sample in a medium and fit these on a perfect medium model. At Blue associates Sportswear, we have a fitting session every 2 weeks with professional fit models that try on our samples for us to evaluate. By using fit models, you guarantee the sizing is accurate and consistent.

You should request prototypes, jumping size sets, PP samples and strike offs for all appliques and detailing that need your approval before bulk starts.

Build a Website

In today’s digital age, establishing a strong online presence is essential for reaching a wider audience and driving sales. Develop a user-friendly website that showcases your products effectively and provides a seamless shopping experience. Leverage social media platforms to engage with your target audience, share compelling content, and build a community around your brand. Implement an omnichannel approach that integrates online and offline channels to maximize your brand’s visibility and accessibility.

Marketing and Brand Promotion

Effective marketing is key to generating awareness and attracting customers to your sportswear brand. Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that encompasses various channels, including social media marketing, influencer partnerships, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). Create engaging content that highlights the unique features and benefits of your products while resonating with your target audience’s interests and aspirations. Collaborate with athletes, fitness influencers, and brand ambassadors to amplify your brand’s reach and credibility.

Providing Exceptional Customer Service

Delivering exceptional customer service is crucial for building long-term relationships and fostering brand loyalty. Prioritize responsiveness, transparency, and professionalism in your interactions with customers. Address inquiries and concerns promptly and strive to exceed expectations at every touchpoint. Implement a hassle-free returns and exchange policy to instil confidence and trust in your brand. Solicit feedback from customers to continuously improve your products and services.

Scaling Your Business

As your sportswear brand gains traction and momentum, explore opportunities for growth and expansion. Expand your product line to cater to diverse customer preferences and market segments. Consider entering new geographical markets or collaborating with complementary brands to broaden your reach and exposure. Invest in technology and automation to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. Stay agile and adaptable to market trends and consumer behaviour to maintain your competitive edge in the dynamic sportswear industry.

Starting a sportswear brand requires passion, dedication, and strategic planning. By understanding the market, developing a compelling brand identity, designing high-quality products, and executing a robust marketing strategy, you can establish a successful and sustainable business in this thriving industry. Embrace innovation, stay true to your values, and continually strive for excellence to propel your sportswear brand to new heights of success.

If you want to launch your own sportswear brand and need advice, please get in touch.

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