There is a considerable amount of money spent on playing sports in the UK, with over 2.6 million people playing football on a monthly basis just for a start. The number of people playing golf is 1.1 million, while the number taking part in snow sports is 142,000.
Consumer spending on recreational and sporting services in the UK is £8 billion a year, with £3 billion of that spent on golf, and would you believe £1.2 billion on sea angling? The number of fitness facilities in the UK doubled between 2008 and 2017.
With so many people taking part and all this money being spent, it is no surprise that quite a lot of it goes on customised sports clothing. People want to be noticed as part of a team, or perhaps identified as supporting a team. Take football again: how many people spend astronomical amounts of money on a Manchester United or Arsenal football shirt? This is why football teams change their shirts so regularly, so that their fans will buy the next expensive shirt. That part of the game has nothing to do with sport and everything to do with money. That's not a criticism: if you want to spend your hard-earned on a new football shirt every season that's up to you.
There are all sorts of customised sports clothing that you can see all over the place. For instance, as I write this I am reminded of my own interests. I would not call myself a sportsman in the sense that I take part in anything physically active, but I do have a sweater that has the Bass Angler's Sportfishing Society name on it along with a picture of said fish. I haven't done any sea angling for the last 15 years, but it is still a sport and the sweater is nice and shows no signs of wearing out. I also have a couple of sweaters from a men's club that I belonged to for 20 years, but no longer am a member. All right, belonging to a club where you played snooker and had a drink in the bar is not physical activity either, but snooker is a sport. Well, at least that's my excuse! And our tables were maintained by Steve Davis's brother Keith.
With all the advances in printing technology that we have had over the last few years, any type of clothing can be customised. T-shirt printing is something that quite a number of companies produce, and the quantity of T-shirts that are produced is enormous. There are companies that will happily print one-off T-shirt designs which means that you can have your T-shirt personalised if you wish so that nobody else has got the same one. You can use T-shirts to spread the word about a particular interest or hobby, promote your business (a lot of people do that) or just tell a joke. You also sometimes see T-shirts being worn by protest groups waving placards about whatever it is they are protesting for or against this week.
If you belong to a swimming team or swimming club, you can have your swimming hats printed with the team or club name. Some people who organise swimming contests or sports like the triathlon will have the name of the competition printed on swim caps and issue them to all participants.
Horse racing is another sport where massive amounts of money are spent and if you go to a race meeting you see adverts everywhere. Every race is sponsored by one business or another seeking to promote its' products or services, and the name of the race reflects this. So you see something like the "Jim Smith Two Mile Hurdle" where Jim Smith puts up the prize money for the winner and gets lots of publicity for Jim Smith Builders. The jockeys, too, carry logos and advertising on their breeches. They also get 5% of the prize money if their horse wins.
Almost anything can have a logo or advertising, or anything else, printed on it, including things like golf umbrellas, mouse mats, sports holdalls, hoodies, track suits, baseball caps, towels, water bottles – the list is almost literally endless.