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Click Here to Visit Their WebsiteThe Warm-up has come of Age
…..They’re not just for practice anymore!

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By James Preste

We’re not talking a warm-up routine, we’re talking apparel. For years Warm-ups have been available in sweatshirt fleece, a non flattering fabric, noisy/cold nylon and basic polyester from uniform companies, who sell their clothing through mail order catalogs or in some cases have local reps. The problem, there is nothing new and exciting to separate your Cheer /Dance team or studio and coaches have seen it all and tried it all.

Lately there is a lot of talk about offering “custom” Warm-ups, but what does that mean? To some companies it’s that you can change the color of the stripe for example, to others it’s pulling a stock warm-up from the back room, putting your teams name (logo) on it and calling it custom. But what if you don’t want stripes at all, and swooshy nylon is not your cup of tea? So who’s really custom….neither? Coaches have been frustrated with buying something that is not exactly what they wanted in a Warm-up for years, but have to because that’s all the companies have to offer.

Does your Warm-up company start with a clean sheet of paper each time a design is created? Do you interface with an in-house fashion designer, or is it a customer service person you work with, who can take an order, but knows nothing about fashion or fabrication? What options if any, are included and if you want the design in another fabric can you get it? Not likely. Are you assured your design won’t be discontinued next year, catalog companies are notorious for discontinuing lines every couple of years. And how many times can the youth market be overlooked for those All-star teams that want the entire squad to look uniform?

The trend is and will continue to center on uniqueness and choices. Choices, in fabrics for both indoor /outdoor performances, and cold/warm weather climates, and with moisture wicking properties. Color choices will and need to expand from the normal 4-8 colors to 40 and beyond, even the ability to dye fabric to create your own color/shade. The days of the Unisex warm-up with the baggy legs are numbered and Fit/Style will dominate where body proportion and movement will lead. Consider pant leg inseams for example, do you have to fit your team into pants that are too long or too short, that’s where a true custom company shines. Garment personalization will take on a whole new dimension as well, with use of more metallic and neon colors even pastels and twill will follow using more metallic, sport flock, sports felt even some formed vinyl. For on going garment care make sure the fabrics are machine washable, not dry clean only or your team will have a hidden expense just to continue to stay clean.

Warm-ups have normally been used for a variety of sports, but Cheer and Dance Teams have taken the lead, being innovative on how they are used. Most teams have used them for practice, but now presenting their team all buttoned up, they are used as Walk-ons, or as a Traveling team identifier. Dance coaches have found new versatility in designing a Warm-up as performance apparel, to be used in a Hip-Hop routine for example, and All-Star Cheer Coaches want that distinctive “look” like no one else’s. Cheer coaches want that feeling of pride and a subtle confidence builder, when their team walks on the floor at State or Nationals. What better way to show your teams superiority, than in a Warm-up that turns the heads of your competitors and the judges, because you had a hand in its creation and you’re commanding the floor presence you desire.

Be careful, Manufacture’s and sales reps. need to be asked serious questions about what they perceive a custom Warm-up to be. Otherwise you and your team will end up with the same old stripe ridden warm-up “look-alikes” from years gone past.

Look for a Warm-up company who’s Core Business is Warm-ups, not a uniform company who offers Warm-ups just to round out it’s line. Can the company deliver ON-Time not just talk about it, and one that’s been created around the requirements of a Coach who take’s competing and looking good seriously!

All Warm-up companies are not created equal, check out there references, look at the designs they have created do they differentiate the team, get testimonials, talk with the coach and team members who wear them. Check the quality, there is no better indicator than a satisfied coach. True custom Warm-ups are here to stay.

So this season be different and make a statement. It’s the first thing anyone sees when you get off the plane, bus or walk into the arena, before your team performs. So if your performance will be, “first place” shouldn’t your Warm-up say the same?

By James F. Preste
Director of Marketing
Cheer Factor Inc.

Jim brings over 30 years experience in Marketing/Public Relations to the U.S. based Cheer Factor team, including a staff of in-house fashion designers, decorators, design consultants, sewers and textile experts. Cheer Factor only business is One-of-a-kind true custom Warm-ups. They serve Competition Teams in Dance, Cheerleading, Gymnastics and Volleyball across the USA and abroad, from their facility in Minneapolis MN.

Cheer Factor Inc.-The Warm-up Co.
2524 151st Court West
Rosemount, MN 55068
1-866-94-CHEER or 651-322-8100


The Cheer Factor® name and symbol are Registered Trademarks of Cheer Factor Inc. - The Warm-up Company. All rights reserved 2005