The Game, a college sports apparel line, has a mission beyond that of keeping UT students appropriately outfitted for the next big game.
Through their new American Threads collection, the company, which has specialized in collegiate headwear since 1986, aims to accomplish the seemingly impossible – returning the manufacture of American clothing to American soil.
"Typically these days, clothing is manufactured overseas in other countries," said Sarah Hey, spokesperson for the brand. "The Game wanted very much to offer a collection that is made right here in the U.S."
Based in Phenix City, Ala., and manufacturing out of North Carolina, Hey said American Threads is a company that holds their SEC ties near and dear, as evidenced by their slogan: "By the fans, for the fans."
Hey observed that the group's return to home-grown practices could one day directly impact the lives of the college graduates currently sporting The Game gear.
"American manufacturing is an important component for job creation – jobs that college graduates will certainly need," she said. "It's important that companies attempt to bring jobs to the USA. College students will be embarking on a challenging job search upon graduation, and if we don't bring manufacturing back to the U.S. – given the opportunity – we lose a chance to produce more jobs in this country."
Making a commitment to the production of American products will serve to positively impact the nation's farmers as well as factory workers, according to Michael Porter, UT's American Threads brand ambassador.
"The new American Thread collection is 'Field to Field,' meaning they use homegrown American cotton to create clothing that goes on coaches and fans on the field," said Porter, senior in political science. "The cotton to make the product is grown here in the U.S. and sewn in U.S. factories."
Hey said the product itself is of high quality, which is not a common trait among products in stores.
"It's a quality collection with good fan apparel items for college sports fans," Hey said. "It's hard to find a good product these days, and I think students will be very satisfied when they peruse the collection at the UT bookstore."
The American Threads collection includes shorts, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeves tees, knit hats, men's mesh athletic shorts, sweatshirts, hoodies, baseball caps and more.
"The hats are so comfortable," Porter said. "The Game uses exclusive stitching that makes the hats have the perfect fit every time."
Porter also said the line is designed not to use half the food allowance of the average college kid.
"Prices are competitively priced," Porter continued. "Last time I was in the VolShop, a Game hat was $15.99."
The company is also offering students a chance to score swag at this Saturday's football game with a giveaway.
"The Game is doing a special promotion," Porter said. "Buy Game product (hat or apparel) and get a free shirt as a way to get the word out about the American Threads collection."
Both The Game and American Threads apparel can be purchased at the UT bookstore or at Neyland Stadium's Game trailer located between gates 22 and 23.