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The Neo, in Maryland colors.

A Passion for Fashion
Sportiqe Making Inroads in Licensed Apparel
January 26, 2012

Jason Franklin, the co-founder of Sportiqe, still remembers the inspiration to start his company. He and his friends loved going to sporting events, but they always walked right by the team shops because nothing caught their attention. "I saw a void in the licensed marketplace for fans concerned about fashion," says Franklin. "I decided to give them apparel they could understand."

Seven years later, Sportiqe is authoring a true David & Goliath story. Competing against the big boys in the licensed apparel industry, the company has made a powerful statement with its collection of t-shirts, v-necks, thermals, hoodies and track jackets for men and women. Sportiqe's licenses include the NBA, NCAA, USTA, World Series of Poker and ESPN.

The Belgian Zip, with the ESPN logo.

The company has found a home with retailers like Bloomingdale's and Urban Outfitters, plus smaller boutiques and specialty stores. Franklin is eager to expand further. "We can sell anywhere, especially as consumers become more educated about the fashion options we offer," he says.

Among the new styles available in 2012 from Sportiqe are a new t-shirt called the Neo and a thermal known as the Belgian Zip. "With the Neo, we created a new fabric with a worn look that consumers love," says Franklin. "The Belgian Zip is a lightweight thermal suitable for year-round use."

Both pieces will help Sportiqe as it continues to grow its niche in the licensed marketplace. Franklin expects 2012 to be a good year—which got off to a good start with the company's appearance at the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show. "We're looking at all opportunities in licensing," says Franklin. "People are realizing that we can take fashion farther. Where we can go is endless."




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