Gigi Swanson over at Music Business Marketing has written a great article about the role t-shirts play in useful merchandise for touring bands:
As an artist/performer you are selling an experience and fans will buy a souvenir of that experience in the form of a CD, clothing, buttons, posters, etc. As music fans we have all come home with something more tangible than a ticket stub and it’s usually something we can wear….
You can package CDs with a T Âshirt for an “added value” sales incentive such as offering them “half off” with a CD purchase. You can use them as door prizes or as a thank you for the sound guy or the waitress at the clubs you play. The same applies for coffeehouse, church and house concert gigs. Even when you play for free you can earn money and build goodwill and name recognition….
I prefer 100% cotton heavyweight Tees in the 6.0 oz range for long term durability. Brands such as Gildan, Hanes, and Jerzees have been common favorites for years. Heavier fabric is knitted tighter which enables a better screen print, especially when using detail and four color process. Plus they are typically cut larger and hold up better with multiple washings. But you must think of the tastes of the end user and the image you are trying to promote. That’s where fashion often comes in. Knowing your audience is key…