Padding, facilities, refs, insurance… the costs of lacrosse can add up quickly. If you can avoid adding uniforms to that list of ever-increasing expenses, it’s a small win. I’ll take them where I can get them. In case you’re wondering how you too can put together a working uniform, for a reasonable price, I’ll key you in on some lessons I’ve learned over the past few years.
It’s a cheap and easy lacrosse jersey case study.
For last year’s box lacrosse season, I went with a simple, all yellow jersey, but this year, I decided to step it up a notch and go yellow with black trim. Why? Because the two-tone jersey was actually cheaper. The first lesson here is, throw last year, perfection, and preference out the window, and pick something that is available, basic, and affordable. Don’t worry, this is only the canvas, with the right paint you can make anything work. Even teal.
First, you go BIG.
I was able to order 20 jerseys from Hockeygiant.com for around $10 per jersey, shipping charges included. Good start! Note: I did not get the jerseys numbered or have a logo put on them before they were shipped to me. It’s too expensive, too slow and the room for error is large. Of course, it’s never that simple. But it does bring us to the next step.
Get to know a local print shop. There aren’t any print shop in your area? Yes, there are. Do you live near a college? There is probably a print shop in town. Do you live near a city, even a small one? There is a print shop. If you live in a truly rural area, you may be in some trouble, but there are more local print shops out there than you may think, so go find yours.
If you truly don’t have a print shop near you, you may want to learn how to screen print. It’s not that hard and, on a smaller, simpler scale, it is also not that expensive. And talk about a quick turnaround time. It’s done as soon as you do it.
If you have a simple, one-color logo, then great! You can take your jerseys to the print shop (or your screen set up), get yourself rolling, and they should be able to work with you on getting logos and numbers on the jerseys.
However, if you have a complex, multi-colored logo, then stop right where you are. More colors = more cost in the printing world. It’s more time, more screens and more set up cost. Stick to one color, make the logo simple and bold and it will look good. More importantly, a one-color logo can save you upwards of $3-7 per jersey. It is not hard to create a really solid one color logo. You can even use google images if you have to.
The reason I say go local is this: I wanted the numbers on my jerseys to be in a unique spot, and while I was at the shop in Brooklyn, we were able to lay them out and try some different locations. It took 2 minutes and resulted in a great finished product.
When it comes to getting details done, do it in person if you can. If you’re don’t care about specific numbers or colors, they may have some in stock they will use at a discount. The in-person visit also helps build up a friendly relationship, and then when you have to ask the fine people at Pete’s Print Shop to rush a print job in 3 days because you are a total bonehead, they still do it for you. People in small print shops tend to be pretty awesome, so I recommend meeting them.
Doing it in person also allows you to make split second decisions, like adding on ten black sweatshirts with your logo printed in yellow at the last minute. 10-of-a-kind sweatshirts for well under $20 each? Yes, please. Jerseys with logos and numbers on the shoulders for under $20 a pop? Yes, please.
If you’re willing to forego numbers, or even a logo, jersey costs drop to almost half of the costs I just laid out above, but my very basic approach gets the job done, and is sure to be something different, that people remember, and enjoy wearing. Expensive jerseys are certainly great, but if you can do what I did for under $20, then it might be worth just a little consideration.