Tuesday 18 December 2012

Getting Shirty

Merchandising is an important part of the wrestling business these days. It’s something that WWE is known for doing very well. While the market leader has perfected their craft (in that area at least) competitors Ring of Honor and TNA could be doing a lot more when it comes to general merchandising. T-shirts in particular are an area that both promotions should be focusing on.
The positives for offering a wide variety of T-shirts to fans are obvious. They can make the company money and help to indicate rises and falls in popularity. With companies such as One Hour Tees offering a create-a-T-shirt service to fans it's not as though production costs are what's stopping ROH from this move. TNA should be able to scrape together the funds to use a slightly more expensive outfit.
ROH has offered a number of very well designed clothing options in the past. The Kings of Wrestling had a number of shirts on offer before they left for WWE. I was particularly impressed by the "In Roderick We Trust" shirt and the John Cena-inspired Steen shirts are a thing of beauty. Going back further there have been some rather fetching ROH logo shirts available in the past too.

TNA’s track record is a little spottier. Their range of shirts are little more than collections of swirls and colours, and their obsession with diamante is embarrassing. The current line of TNA clobber fails to capture anything about the men and women it is supposed to represent.
How about a T-shirt for Kyle O'Reilly or Adam Cole? What about one for Eric Young? How about one for C&C? If these men aren't portrayed as stars they won't be viewed as stars. Slap a catchphrase or suitable logo on the front and-or back and see if these guys are popular enough to sell some merch. If they are then they should be rewarded with a better spot in the company.

Get this guy a T-shirt!
In the case of Ring of Honor, the lack of shirts isn’t solely the fault of the company. The wrestlers themselves could and should take matters into their own hands. They don't only work for ROH: wouldn't it be prudent to have a collection of T-shirts to sell wherever they wrestle? It would raise their standing and make them money. Perhaps they could submit some designs to ROH and suggest splitting costs. That last suggestion goes for TNA talent too.
This is an area of the business that leagues other than WWE need to exploit. It wouldn't cost much money or take much time. I really don't see why it's not happened yet.

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