College athletes are among the most promising young people on the planet. They have the grit and skills every champion needs to win every game. Unfortunately, they are also one of the least supported groups, which is why Athlete’s Thread hopes to give every college athlete a way to monetize their name, image, and likeness.
Athlete’s Thread is an emerging company that looks to change the merch and apparel market for sports fans and athletes. It enables athletes to quickly and easily launch their own personalized merch through online stores using fully licensed designs. For each athlete and College Sports program, each launch includes a microsite with eight to twelve products.
Athlete’s Thread can launch with any college athlete within three days of signing on with a sports club. The company has been rapidly growing, launching with over 2,000 athletes from twelve colleges to date. With the website’s customization tools, Athlete’s Thread simplifies the process and makes it easy for students to create customized merchandise. Luke McGurrin and Karthik Shaadi, the co-founders of Athlete’s Thread, have taken this experience to a new level and started working with many of the biggest names in sports, including the NCAA.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) implemented a new policy in 2021 that allowed college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. With the change in legislation, many companies have jumped to provide a platform for athletes to take advantage of the policy changes. Following the implementation of the new policy, two founders quickly identified a problem: companies were only working with the top athletes at each school.
Knowing that their technology could solve this problem, McGurrin and Shanadi founded Athlete’s Thread to make it simple for every athlete on campus to profit from their name, image, and likeness, regardless of team, gender, or social following.
What distinguishes Athlete’s Thread from its competitors is its emphasis on allowing every NCAA athlete to monetize their name, image, and likeness, as well as allowing each athlete to tell their story. They have established a reputation for prioritizing athletes over profits. “The best part is being able to tell the unique story of each student athlete,” cofounder McGurrin stated. “We believe that if you’re a student-athlete, even if ESPN is not telling your story, you are already a hometown hero with a huge community supporting you.”
When it comes to the industry of college apparel, McGurrin and Shanadi are no amateurs. Their journey began when they established Greek House in 2013, a platform that serves greek life at more than 500 colleges and makes ordering custom apparel simple and easy. They broadened their service to include all student organizations and college departments when College Thread came along shortly after. Then came Threadly, which enabled them to go beyond the college market and offer personalized clothing for any organization, including businesses, 5ks, creators, and churches.
Athlete’s Thread continues to envision itself assisting an increasing number of students in realizing how much they have accomplished and serving as the impetus for not only sharing their stories but also assisting them in succeeding.
Beyond just selling goods and clothing, Athlete’s Thread also wants to sell water bottles, coffee mugs, coffee posters, and coffee stickers. Their objective is to dominate the sports merchandise market. They are growing into collegiate retail merchandise and professional sports with their licensed apparel for college athletes.