The intersection of sports and fashion has always been a hotbed for trendsetting statements.
Recently, a new fusion has emerged—the collaboration between streetwear brands and sports organizations in the USA.
This alignment is not just about riding the wave of fashion trends, but a strategic move that leverages the “cool factor” of streetwear and the passion of sports fandom.
Teams are tapping into the youth appeal of streetwear to create exclusive, fashion-forward collections that speak to the rising athleisure trend.
It’s no secret that we love sports here at Scrappy Apparel—our founders Grant and Chris both played soccer in college! We also understand the power of streetwear and its ability to unify people with a fashion statement.
Today, we will explore how the combination of streetwear and sports teams drives engagement among fans, athletes, and brands.
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What Makes Streetwear Inherently “Cool?”
Streetwear’s “cool” factor doesn’t just stem from its slick designs and limited-edition drops. It’s about the subculture it represents—a fusion of music, art, and skateboarding ethos, all wrapped in a rebellious urban spirit. This counter-cultural charm is what makes streetwear a fashion movement that resonates so powerfully with the young, hip crowd.
Streetwear brands also create a sense of exclusivity with their garments. This is what streetwear shares with sports fandom, where the love for a team can be as exclusive and personal as the love for a specific brand or design.
In the United States, sports aren’t just pastimes—they’re integral parts of cultural identity. Each team, whether it’s the Boston Red Sox, Dallas Cowboys, or LA Lakers, represents a unique piece of the American tapestry, with their logos and colors reinforcing regional pride. Wearing sports apparel is a way for fans to express their allegiance and feel a sense of belonging.
The rise in athleisure—wearing athletic gear in non-sport settings—has dramatically increased the popularity of sports apparel. Driven by the wellness movement, people wear athletic clothing for comfort, function, and style, even when there’s no intention of breaking a sweat.
Why Sports/Streetwear Crossovers Are a Win-Win
Streetwear collaborations with sports teams represent the perfect intersection of fashion, exclusivity, and fandom. For sports teams, they offer an opportunity to step outside the usual arenas of team merchandise, branching into the edgy, youth-driven world of streetwear. This allows teams to engage with a younger demographic while also keeping their brand fresh and fashion-forward.
On the other hand, streetwear brands benefit from the widespread recognition and passionate fan base surrounding sports teams. Collaborating with a team elevates their brand to new audiences and cements their status as culturally relevant players in the streetwear scene. It’s a relationship that amplifies the reach and impact of both entities.
The exclusivity inherent in both streetwear and sports fandom creates a powerful mix. Limited edition sports-themed streetwear drops become hot-ticket items, fueling the hype and the hunt that streetwear enthusiasts live for. These pieces provide fans with a unique way to support their team, blending their love for sports with their penchant for style.
However, these collaborations aren’t just about aesthetics and exclusivity—they also have the power to reflect cultural moments and movements. They can make statements about social issues, celebrate historical milestones, or simply capture the zeitgeist in a way that resonates with both sports fans and streetwear enthusiasts.
As you can see, this is a game where collaboration truly scores big.
Let’s take a look at some of the standout partnerships that have pushed boundaries and elevated fan engagement for sports organizations and streetwear brands alike.
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LA Galaxy x MENACE
Strategically merging soccer with the pulse of urban fashion, LA Galaxy, a powerhouse in Major League Soccer, and MENACE, an esteemed streetwear brand from Los Angeles, have joined forces. Carefully curated over the span of a year, their partnership is designed to embody the vibrant spirit of LA, a city celebrated for its diverse subcultures and global charm.
The collaboration has seven unique apparel items, from versatile t-shirts to stylish zip-up jackets. These pieces embody both brands’ deep-rooted connections to LA, aiming to resonate with the city’s multifaceted audience.
Read more about the LA Galaxy x MENACE collaboration.
Source: The Rowing Blazers website.
Rowing Blazers x NBA
On a larger scale, the entire NBA joined forces with Rowing Blazers, the streetwear label made popular by its irreverent take on preppy fashion.
Jack Carlson, the brain behind Rowing Blazers, has crafted this unique collection. The college-era fashion sensibilities of his favorite NBA legends inspired the designs. The collection was successful because it fused classic collegiate aesthetics and contemporary sports culture, appealing to both nostalgic sentiments and modern style.
View the Rowing Blazers x NBA lookbook.
Source: The NFL Shop.
NFL x STAPLE
Marking STAPLE’s 25th anniversary, Jeff Staple and the NFL launched a streetwear capsule that blends sportswear with fashion. This collection, showcasing all 32 NFL teams, includes diverse items like t-shirts, hoodies, and even headwear.
The NFL x STAPLE collection includes three themes:
- Core: Merges STAPLE’s branding with team logos
- New Age Throwback: Combines modern and vintage designs
- Fundamentals: Offers quality pieces with subtle detailing for fans preferring a simpler style
There’s something for everyone in this collection—and that’s what makes it so successful.
View the STAPLE Collection on the NFL Shop.
Launch Your Own Bestselling Collection with Scrappy Apparel!
At Scrappy Apparel, we’re your ideal partner in launching a successful clothing line. We offer end-to-end manufacturing and fulfillment services for custom apparel.
Our bulk manufacturing capabilities are second to none. Through a blend of cutting-edge technology and skilled craftsmanship, we deliver high-quality apparel on a large scale. (We’re talking 10,000+ garments at a time.) This ensures your retail brand not only meets industry standards but is also well-equipped for confident expansion.
We offer multiple printing techniques—screen printing, sublimation, and more—to accommodate a variety of custom apparel projects. Our private labeling program allows you to take true ownership of your brand by giving you the ability to customize the labels and hang tags on your garments.
We also offer a unique service called “One Time Drops” for limited edition presales. You can create excitement around your brand with exclusive designs available for a period of 3 to 14 days. Once the presale period is over, we’ll manufacture the items at lightning speed and ship them directly to your customers.
You shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of managing multiple vendor relationships or navigating complex production processes. With Scrappy Apparel, you can trust that your custom apparel will go from idea to delivery—on time, every single time!
With Scrappy Apparel on your team, you can focus on creating cool designs and growing your brand. We’ll take care of the rest!