Lane Seven Apparel Named Official SXSW T-Shirt Sponsor

A supplier of fashion-forward apparel basics is heading to the Lone Star State this week as a major sponsor of a highly anticipated annual event celebrating the arts and technology.

California-based Lane Seven Apparel (asi/66246) is this year’s official T-Shirt sponsor and mobile Merch Truck sponsor at SXSW, a series of film, media, arts and music festivals and conferences taking place this year from March 8 to 16 in Austin, TX.

Lane Seven SXSW group

Lane Seven Apparel (asi/66246) is offering 20 different T-shirt and fleece styles as official SXSW merch, including the Urban hoodie (LS16001), shown here in pistachio, salmon and peanut butter; Urban sweatpants (LS16006) in pistachio and peanut butter; and heavyweight tee (LS15001) in copper.

As part of the joint sponsorships, Lane Seven T-shirts and fleece will be available for retail purchase at several fixed locations in the Austin Convention Center and online, as well as at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Lane Seven is also outfitting all SXSW staff and volunteers. Meanwhile, during the nine-day event, Lane Seven will operate the official SXSW Merch Truck, which will travel the city offering on-demand garment printing to both event badge holders and the general public.

Meghan Brazzelle, senior sales manager at Lane Seven, has a long-standing professional relationship with SXSW’s current merchandise manager, even helping her contact with a similar type of festival in years past.

“We know how to work with each other,” says Brazzelle. “I started with Lane Seven last May, and I had kept the SXSW conversation going. We signed the contract late last year. This is the second year for the Merch Truck, but the first time they’re offering on-demand printing. People can buy a shirt and then get it online for free add-ons. Merch sells better when there’s engagement.”

The live printing element is courtesy of Milissa Gibson, sales director at Lane Seven – she’s also the president of High Voltage Studios, a print shop in Austin owned by her and her husband, Tim Gibson, which will offer the on-demand printing using Supacolor heat transfers.

The process for being chosen as the official T-Shirt and Merch Truck sponsor was complex, says Gibson. In addition to making sure Lane Seven would have enough inventory on hand, for both fixed retail sales and printing out of the Merch Truck, organizers have high standards for the quality and style of the garments themselves, to match the cachet of the SXSW brand. Lane Seven had to deliver on fashion basics as well as display-worthy “window piece” options – like select garments from its Urban and Vintage lines.

In all, 20 different apparel items from Lane Seven will be available as event merch. “Garments have to be fashionable, soft and breathable,” says Brazzelle. “From TV and film to music, SXSW has so many verticals, so our brand can reach far.”

Brazzelle and Gibson say they’re excited for the next phase of Lane Seven, which recently launched a retail e-commerce site and opened East Coast warehouses in Charlotte and Toronto. SXSW also marks the launch of the L7 Merch Tour – Lane Seven will consider decorators’ artwork submissions and bring the winners to live printing at upcoming trade shows and events this year, like the ASI Show in Chicago in July.

“Our differentiator is that we’re willing to sacrifice quality for the price point, and yet we can still offer garments at a good price,” says Gibson. “We offer the fits, sizes and retail styles customers want. And getting people involved in the merch process with the truck at SXSW shows customers what it takes to produce swag.”

Brazzelle, who has previous experience with HanesBrands (asi/59528), predicts the on-demand printing will be a hit. “I’ve been in this industry for more than 15 years and people will still wait in line for T-shirts and hoodies,” he says. “They’ll grab them right off the dryer.”

By yowuj