The company's Sports Apparel division's retail business operations will get in on the action as well. To provide tournament-specific apparel to thousands of local mass merchant and department stores seeking to stock fanwear for their area's favorite teams, the company will utilize local screen-printers around the country to provide specialized quick-turn service."Onsite at the tournament games and in stores around the country, many fans not only want apparel representing their favorite collegiate team, they also want apparel specifically designed for a regional final, Sweet 16, Elite 8 or Final Four appearance," Fryer said. The March Madness magic for HanesBrands comes from utilizing the scale of its largely self-owned manufacturing - including scores of in-house graphic designers and direct-to-garment printing operations - along with in-market contract screen printers that allow the company to customize, produce, ship and sell apparel within 48 hours as teams advance in the tournament, eventually whittling down the 9.2 quintillion matchup possibilities at the start of the tournament to the certainty of just one at the end. The work begins ahead of Selection Sunday as the more than 50-member graphic design team begins design work as teams automatically qualify for the tournament. Immediately after the regional seedings are announced on Selection Sunday, the team has just two days to create apparel for the tournament's play-in games. More than 100 different pieces of art are produced during and immediately following the announcement of the 68-team field, and every approved design will be on press Monday and delivered in advance of the first-round games. This process is repeated during each round, culminating in the Final Four where HanesBrands has exclusive rights this year to sell licensed fanwear at the Alamodome in San Antonio, along with 15 NCAA sanctioned hotels, the March Madness Music Festival and Fan Fest during the men's tournament, and at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, as well as at six NCAA sanctioned hotels and Tourney Town during the women's tournament.
"The championship shirt adds an extra level of complexity to our process," Fryer said. "We produce shirts for both schools and, as the final buzzer sounds, we begin stocking the shelves. So while close games and buzzer beaters can be exciting for fans, our team typically hopes that they can predict the winner a few minutes ahead of the game's end."The tournament ends in a flourish as excitement builds throughout the month. Approximately 25 percent of all the apparel sold during the tournament is bought at the Final Four semifinal and National Championship games. HanesBrands HanesBrands is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific. The company markets T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear under some of the world's strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Maidenform, DIM, Bali, Playtex, Bonds, JMS/Just My Size, Nur Die/Nur Der, L'eggs, Lovable, Wonderbra, Berlei, Alternative, Bras N Things and Gear for Sports. More information about the company and its award-winning corporate social responsibility initiatives may be found at www.Hanes.com/corporate. Connect with HanesBrands via social media on Twitter ( @HanesBrands) and Facebook ( www.facebook.com/hanesbrandsinc).