Tips for creating World Cup merchandise
This year's Football World Cup is certainly going to be different, instead of being held at the height of the British summer, it's taking place in the heat of Qatar and so it's taking place in late Autumn when everyone is getting ready for Christmas. The average temperate for November in Qatar is 25.6°C so whilst the players and those travelling to Qatar will be sweltering in the heat, at home we could be up to our necks in the snow with average temperatures at Wembley stadium being a low of 4°C.
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
If you’re looking for a way to pay tribute to your squad this winter, think about the time of year first. Avoid thin t-shirts and go for warm, cosy, comforting products such as sweatshirts and hoodies. The World Cup final will be held on 18 December, exactly one week before Christmas Day, so if you have ideas for a festive crossover, go for it! A world cup themed Christmas jumper would make an excellent wardrobe addition that can continue to be worn well into the festive season.
We can't print that!
So if you are looking to create some designs that celebrate the tournament ahead, whether you are creating one-off items for personal use or a range of merch you'd like to gift or sell, tread carefully around copyright limitations.
Off-limits: Qatar 2022, FIFA, 3 Lions, England Football
Football is a global industry full of tightly regulated and vigorously protected trademarks (England Football, FIFA and Qatar 2022 for example). No matter how frustrating it may feel, you just can’t put the Three Lions logo or World Cup iconography on your garments.
Essentially, you need to make sure that you couldn’t possibly be accused of ‘passing off’, or fraudulently claiming endorsement. Passing off is where you make a product that could be misinterpreted as official England Football or World Cup merchandise (in other words, avoid knock off and lookalike products). You also can’t suggest that your products have been endorsed by England Football, FIFA or the World Cup in any way.
What we can print
As a rule of thumb, when you’re designing your garments, you can use national flags and generic iconography (footballs, goals, boots and so on).
England’s flag — a simple St George’s Cross (red on white) — is not a copyright-protected design, nor is that of the Welsh flag.
There are also plenty of royalty-free football-themed illustrations that you can use. Goals, footballs, gloves, pitch markings, gloves and boots are all staples for football-themed clothing and accessories. Once again, the golden rule is that you are up-front and honest in how you design your products. There should be no risk of consumers misinterpreting your goods as official England Football merchandise.
So what are you going to create for this spectacular event?
Kick-off is on Sunday 20 November. England play their first match against Iran on Monday 21 Nov at 13:00, followed by Wales playing the USA at 19:00 the same day.
For businesses like yours, it's already the busiest time of the year, and as we write this, Royal Mail Workers have opted to strike for 19 days throughout Autumn. So we are suggesting you think about potential delays and get your products designed and orders in as soon as possible. Design your products today and get them added to your store as soon as possible.