World Cup 2014 in Brazil this year has seen Thailand’s garment industry to the forefront as top class football players of more than 10 countries competing in the world tournaments are wearing team uniforms made in Thailand.
Not only the World Cup has stimulated many business sectors in Thailand, the Thai textile industry has become a part of this world class game.
Manufacturers said orders for football teams, training uniforms and fan shirts around the globe have been growing by about US$50 million or around 1.4 billion baht from normal sales.
Additionally, a number of huge international companies such as Nike and Adidas commissioned Thai companies to make the uniforms for players from ten different teams, on top of national shirts to be for sale at the games and replicas of the national uniforms for sale to fans worldwide.
One-third of Thailand’s overall garment exports are sports apparel, and the upcoming World Cup is expected to boost overall exports of garments by 5%, which will push the value to around 3.5 billion US dollars.
The four companies asked to supply sports garments for the World Cup are Hi-Tech Group, Nice Group, Hong Seng Group, and Liberty Group.
Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) director-general Mrs Atchaka Sribunruang said during the World Cup, the sales of sport shirts have been increasing as each country was trying to promote their country’s team shirts and to help bring colours to any locations they are in, when cheering on for their teams in competitions.
She said more than 10 popular brands have been ordering for the production of their football team shirts and uniforms from Thai factories.
These customers are confident in Thailand’s expertise and skill, as well as an innovation of sewing machines with lasers that created seamless textile pieces, she said.
Meanwhile an executive of a garment manufacturer Hong Seng Textile Co Mr Sukit Kongpiyajarn also said his factory did not only produce clothes for the World Cup, but also make clothes for every football season whether it is the Premier League and La Liga, or the football teams in England, Italy, Spain.
This has pushed up domestic sales to keep pace to the World Cup trend and also other sports competitions.
Textile market has also seen an increase in sales, as Thai athletes have been bringing back fame at the country, making many team uniforms to become more popular among Thais and lifting the values of such type of clothes to become more of a fashion sensation.
It is expected that the Thai textile industry would see better sales in major markets, such as the United States, Japan, and Germany; increasing exports to almost US$ 3 billion from last year’s US$ 2.8 billion.