3Q Sports is a family run business with over 35 employees all buying into the 3Q family beliefs and values.
3Q Sports have 22 years’ experience within the teamwear industry operating out of our custom-fitted premises based in Ely, Cambridgeshire. We became one of the fastest-growing teamwear providers and are now cemented amongst the top teamwear providers in the country.
Below is a brief history of our journey over the last 20+ years from humble beginnings to one of the UK s leading teamwear suppliers.
1999-2001 - The Early Years
3Q Sports was formed in 1999 by two best friends who both had ambitions of running their own business and both heavily involved in football, they soon became business partners and set up the company on a part-time basis as both had full-time jobs. Initially selling all sportswear mainly from a market stall they decided to target towns by hiring local halls located in or around town centres which became very popular as one-off daily sales events and allowed them to generate funds to reinvest in stock until they had enough capital to take the next step.
2001-2003 - The High Street
The next significant step was to open a retail sports shop in Ely, Cambridgeshire and to take the calculated risk of both partners giving up their jobs and working full-time in the shop which they did, and quickly obtained a commercial building in a prime location in Ely city centre. In the days before online shopping 3Q Sports became extremely popular locally with many regular customers purchasing all types of sports and fashion wear. Although the shop was holding its own in a very competitive market the partners also started to explore the option of football teamwear, equipment and trophies to local teams which they soon realised was going to be the future of the company. They soon launched their first very basic website which became very popular up and down the country and they began to target clubs outside of the area. They started to build a good customers database of clubs and organisations of which some have stayed loyal to this day. In 2002 3Q opened its first teamwear trading account with Stanno and second soon followed with Diamond Football, both of which are still suppliers to the company.
2003-2013 - The Lightbulb Moment
A chance visit from a Nike Sales Rep on a cold and wet November afternoon, who was in the area visiting another customer and decided to drop in to say hello, was a gamechanger for 3Q and especially the retail side of the business. After a couple of hours explaining our business model and our plans for the future, he asked us why we don’t rebrand the shop as a ‘Football Specialist’ and Nike would back us by opening an account with access to all their replica products as well as football boots, footballs and accessories. Nike also allowed us to open a separate teamwear account to enable us to get a better foothold in this market with Nike as our flagship brand. The partners soon rebranded the shop and invested in football only products, they also invested in a large tv screen in the shop with Sky Sports. The main feature, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Retail sales soon trebled, and the shop became extremely popular not just locally but customers travelling from out of town for football boots and shirts. One of the key advantages of the shop was the product knowledge and service of the staff who could advise on all products available.
2013 - New Beginnings
As the teamwear side of the business became a higher percentage of sales than retail it was decided in 2013, after 10 successful years in the retail market, to close the shop. The company would then be able to focus and invest solely on the ever-expanding teamwear side of the business as well as adding embroidery to the other customisation options we have for our customers. With no need to be located on the high street due to the retail shop closing, we quickly identified a new bigger, better, and more accessible location to expand our business on a nearby retail park.
2013 - Relocation
In early 2013 3Q Sports relocated to a business retail park in Chettisham on the outskirts of Ely, Cambridgeshire with ample space to grow the business. We acquired a two-story unit as well as a separate office facility for our Sales and Marketing departments as well as a showroom for our customers. The main unit accommodates our custom printing, design, embroidery, production, despatch, as well as a large storage warehouse. 3Q Sports also changed its trading name in 2013 to 3Q Sports Teamwear Ltd.
2013 - From Strength to Strength
With the new premises and the extra space, it opened many opportunities for the company and we soon went from strength to strength and rapidly became established as one of the UK’s fastest-growing Football Teamwear Specialist supplying our customers the length and breadth of the country with high-quality products.
The new premises allowed the company to quickly expand, and we invested heavily in the embroidery side of the business. Over a few years, we went from a single 4-head machine to 50+ head machines giving us more flexibility, efficiency, and capacity to venture into the school and workwear industry which has become a major part of the companies’ sales. We have also invested heavily into the print and design part of the business with 10+ heat presses and also the ability to design all artwork and logos onsite giving our customers the best service.
The 3Q team have grown over the years and from just 6 staff in 2013 relocating to the new premises and by 2020 we had 40 full-time staff and 4 part-time staff. We have also increased our capacity by acquiring 3 additional units on the same site as the company expanded.
Why Use 3Q Sport?
We have direct accounts with all the leading football manufacturers in the UK including Nike, adidas, Joma, Puma, and many more, as well as being a member of the UK & Ireland's biggest buying groups which gives us the option to offer our customers the best options for their teamwear requirements.
We can accommodate clubs who have a limited budget and advise to the best possible deals available to them, as well as larger clubs with a bigger budget offering bulk discounts based on order value. The discounts that we offer are as competitive as you will find in the UK and with our in-house printing and embroidery service, we can accommodate most budgets.
If you have a club account with us, we assign a dedicated account manager who will deal with all aspects of your requirements from enquiries, orders, expediting as well as offering you the latest offers. The 3Q account manager will offer you our best customer service and make the order process as smooth as possible.
We now offer a superb embroidery service that gives customers a long-lasting product that is done at a very competitive price and exceptionally high quality. We do all our designs and digitisation for your logos onsite and will only embroider your logo once you have approved it after receiving a copy of the stitched-out artwork. If it’s not embroidery you require then we offer a wide selection of custom printing for club badges, sponsor logos, numbers, and more. With our in-house and expertly trained design team, we can accommodate our customers' requirements for the customisation of their orders. We also offer bespoke mugs, water bottles, and coasters as well as many other items that we can customise with your logo or personal details.
A lot of our business, like most growing companies, is done via the internet and e-commerce due to the location of our customers and their ability to shop and obtain quotations online. Although the internet is the future, we always endeavour to make personal contact with our customers to ensure they are happy with all aspects of their orders. Our website allows our customers to obtain an instant online quotation 24/7, 365 days of the year from the comfort of their own homes; all online quotes submitted through our website will be followed up by an email to arrange an appropriate time to make contact to go through your order.
We do not get the chance to meet a lot of our online customers, but we would always welcome you to visit us to view samples, try products on for sizing and more importantly have a one to one with one of our dedicated Sales Team. Remember if you’re in the area pop in or book an appointment and we will make sure we have the coffee and biscuits ready!
Although our core business is football teamwear we have already expanded into other business sectors such as schoolwear, corporate wear, workwear, and other sports. The introduction and investment in embroidery give us more opportunities to offer our excellent services to a broader spectrum and with accounts with the UK's major suppliers, we will be able to offer quality products at competitive prices.
We pride ourselves on Quality Service, Quality Products & Quality Prices, hence the name "3Q Sports". We strongly believe these are the three requirements needed to build a good reputation and a happy customer base, combined with honesty this is the perfect combination for a successful business. Our dedication to customer care is paramount and our number one objective.
We are very confident that if you give 3Q Sports a chance to quote/supply your club, you will certainly not be disappointed. One thing is certain, we are not just here to make a quick sale, we want to secure your business for the future.
We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your first order.