Lenexa company has market cornered to print, sell thousands of NCAA Tournament t-shirts

LENEXA, Kan. - March Madness takes on a different meaning for Pete Leodler at Gear for Sports in Lenexa.

“My wife gives me the silent treatment for about three weeks straight,” Leodler said. “It’s fantastic.”

For the 20th straight year, Gear for Sports has the license to sell all of the NCAA on-site apparel for the both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

It means the company's 850 employees will crank out 500,000 shirts, hats and other assorted items for each round and at every location of the big dance.

Watch the video above to see just a few of the potential t-shirt mock-ups the company has already made.

“We spent the last week setting up probably 200 art files for teams that didn’t even make it into the tournament,” Leodler said. “We were hoping they would make it in. Their fans were hoping they’d make it in. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way.”

Gear for Sports is owned by Hanesbrands Inc. and operates 18 presses at its Lenexa location 24 hours a day, six day a week.

“Well, what’s funny is that some of the shirts end up in frames in people’s basements 20 years from now,” Leodler said.