"It was always about the customer"

August 16, 2012 1 Comment

 

(Editor’s Note: Sports apparel “Guru” Ray Jannelli, the president of PLA, has some thoughts this week on his days as the former manager, buyer and sales trainer at the "Original" Mitchell & Ness.) 

By Ray Jannelli

In my twenty some odd years in the sporting goods/sports apparel business I am always asked what was it like being the head buyer and retail store manager in the "glory days" at the "Original" Mitchell & Ness?

My reply always: "It was always about the customer.” 

Our customers were part of an inclusive club, sports fans all! We knew all of our customers on a first name basis; even new Mitchell & Ness recruits coming out of school were encouraged to turn a potential customer into a friend, friend into a customer, customer into a loyal-repeat customer.

First name basis.  Club atmosphere. Elite customer service. I am pleased to see my customers finding me at our new sports apparel company Pro League Authentics.

The second question I am always asked is: “What happened to the "Original" Mitchell & Ness"?

My reply: "The 1980s, '90s and early 2000s were truly a magical time at Mitchell & Ness, original products, strong customer base, great employees that had a genuine interest in sports, the products, and the customers.”

Great time, personally.  I must have trained over 50 college graduates in the highly competitive world of sporting goods sales. (Thank you, Brian Tracy and the Sandler Sales Institute.) 

The problem started in the spring of 2004, actually earlier, maybe late 2003 when I saw a distinct paradigm shift of alienation of our core, loyal customers of many years. The Zen Koan certainly applies here, "Look inside for answers- not outside.” 

Take note future MBA's.  When a company looks outside for a level of expertise (consultants) it usually means that company did not look for answers from within. The company's "mind" is the level of expertise of the employees that work for that particular company." It’s academic, though it is a double-bind.

A real world example: At Mitchell &Ness in early summer ’04 we brought on board a company called DMI Partners, a simple SEO firm,  that came off the local Mensa bench (no, they weren't starters).

DMI, which had NO sports apparel business experience, started to interfere in major business decisions, overstepped their bounds so to speak, the Mitchell & Ness execs listened to them, the beginning of the end.

Long, sad story short, Mitchell & Ness had to sell to Reebok.

The lesson: Business students (if you ever own a business) and current business owners - listen from the REAL experts - your employees. Your employees are the boots on the ground, a sounding board, and your customers are your market validation.

That consulting fee could be put to better use.

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Authentic Store Buzz: In Philly, the Super Bowl theme is picking up steam in the shop as more people are grabbing Eagles merchandise every day. Into the store this week; some great fashion fit retro Kelly green Eagles gear from Junk Food for both men and women (pictured above). 

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Authentically Speaking Trivia Time: What team wore this patch?  Answer on Friday.

Wednesday’s answer:  The Seahawks wore gray facemasks in their first season, 1976.  In fact, the team wore gray through the 1982 season, when they then switched to blue facemasks.

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A Reminder: For more news about Pro League Authentics and thoughts on the world of sports uniforms, Like our Facebook page, converse with us @PLAphilly, and visit our YouTube page




1 Response

Jwheels
Jwheels

August 16, 2012

well put and right on the mark!! My heart aches for those days!

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Size Charts

Select your brand and style to read more about how your purchase will fit:

American Needle fitted hats | '47 Brand hats | '47 Brand apparel | Majestic apparel | Majestic jerseys | Red Jacket apparel | Junk Food apparel | Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

 

American Needle Fitted Hats

If you do not know your size, first determine where on your head you want to wear your hat. Usually it is worn about a half-inch to an inch above the eyebrows and/or just above the ears. Have a friend hold the tape measure (cloth, plastic, or download a printable version here) at the point where you want the hat to rest on your head.  Insert the tip of your little finger between the tape and your head.  Record the measurement and find your Fitted Hat size using the chart below.  This should provide you with a comfortable fit.

 

'47 Brand Hats

 

47 Brand Adjustable Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Adjustable Hats Men's 6 7/8 - 7 5/8 55 - 61
Women's 6 5/8 - 7 1/4 53 - 58
Youth 6 5/8 - 7 1/8 53 - 57

 

47 Brand Fitted Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Fitted Hats XX Small 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
X Small 6 3/4 54
Small 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium 7 - 7 1/8 56 - 57
Large 7 1/4 58
X Large 7 3/8 - 7 5/8 59 - 61
XX Large 7 5/8 - 7 3/4 61 - 62
XXX Large 7 7/8 63
XXXX Large 8 64
XXXXX Large 8 1/8 65

 

47 Brand Stretch Fit Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Stretch Fit Fitted Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
Small / Medium 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium / Large 7 1/8 - 7 3/8 57 - 59
Large / X Large 7 1/2 - 7 5/8 60 - 61
One Size Fits All 7 - 7 1/2 56 - 60

 

47 Brand Knit Hats Size Chart Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Knit Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 3/4 52 - 54
One Size Fits All 6 7/8 - 7 1/2 55 - 60

 

'47 Brand Apparel

 

 
47 Brand Men's Size Chart S M L XL XXL
Neck 14"-14.5" 15"-15.5" 16"-16.5" 17"-17.5" 18"-18.5"
Shoulder 21" 22" 23" 24" 25"
Chest 36"-38" 39"-41" 42"-44" 45"-47" 48"-50"
Waist 28"-30" 31"-33" 34"-36" 37"-39" 40"-42"

 

47 Brand Women's Size Chart S M L XL
Size 2-4 6-8 8-10 10-12
Shoulder 14.25" 15.25" 16.25" 17.25"
Bust 32"-34" 35"-36" 37"-38" 39"-42"
Waist 26"-27" 28"-29" 30"-31" 32"-33"

 

 

Majestic apparel

Men's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 52-52 54-56 58-60
Waist 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54
Hip 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60
Sleeve 32-33 33-34 34-35 35-36 36-36 1/2 36 1/2-37 37-37 1/2
Neck 14-14 1/2 15-15 1/2 16-16 1/2 17-17 1/2 18-18 1/2 19-19 1/2 20-20 1/2

 

Women's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  XS S M L XL 1X 2X
Size 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 16W-18W 20W-22W
Chest 32-33 34-35 36-37 38-40 41 1/2-43 1/2 43-45 47-49
Waist 24-25 26-27 28-29 30-32 33 1/2-35 1/2 36-38 39-41
Hip 34 1/2-35 1/2 36 1/2-37 1/2 38 1/2-39 1/2 40 1/2-42 1/2 44-46 46-48 49-51
Sleeve 29 1/4 30 30 3/4 31 1/2 32 32 1/2 33

 

Youth Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL
Size 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20 20 22
Chest 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38    
Waist 21-23 25-27 29-31 33-35 37-39 40-42

 

 

 

Majestic Jerseys

Adult Men's Replica Jersey Sizing  
Jersey Size Small Medium Large X Large XX Large
Neck (diameter of neck) 6.5 6.75 7 7.25 7.5
Chest (underarm to underarm) 20 1/2 22 1/2 24 1/2 26 1/2 28 1/2
Sleeve (back of inside neck to end of middle sleeve) 8 1/2 8 3/4 9 9 1/4 9 1/2

 

Apparel Sizing Tips:

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

Chest/Bust: With your arms at your sides, measure around the fullest part of your chest, across shoulder blades and under arms.

Waist: To measure your natural waistline, wrap the tape so it intersects your navel. Keep tape flat, but comfortably loose.

Hips: Stand with your heels together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around your body.

Inseam: Stand up straight, and start the tape measure high in your crotch. Straighten the tape down the inside of your leg to the bottom of your ankle.

 

 

Red Jacket apparel

 

 

Junk Food apparel

 

Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

General Size Neck
(in inches)
Chest
(in inches)
Waist
(in inches)
Arm
(in inches)
Small 14-14.5 34-36 28-30 31.5-32
Medium 15-15.5 38-40 32-34 32.5-33
Large 16-16.5 42-44 36-38 33.5-34
X-Large 17-17.5 46-48 40-42 34.5-35
XX-Large 18 – 18.5 50-52 44-46 35.5-36