Karthik Shanadi Income Report




Clothing, Sporting Goods, Apparel

Revenue Models

E-commerce, Marketplace, Physical Products, Print on Demand

Karthik Shanadi's Athlete's Thread Soars to Seven Figures Crafting Custom College Sports Merchandise

The Entrepreneurial Journey of Karthik Shanadi and Threadly

Hey there, have you heard of Karthik Shanadi? He’s this innovative CEO who co-founded Threadly, a merchandising platform that’s making waves in the apparel industry. They’ve got four brands under their umbrella, and here’s the kicker: they’re tapping into a market that could be worth between $45 million to $450 million! And all this thanks to around 450,000 college athletes across Divisions 1, 2, and 3 sports. Mind-blowing numbers, right?

The Origin Story

You see, back when Karthik and his buddy Luke McGurrin were just college kids at the University of Florida (Go Gators!), they started their first brand in 2013 called Greek House. It was all about custom apparel for frats and sororities. Fast forward a bit – they graduate, ditch their day jobs, and boom – along come two more brands: College Thread and later on Threadly.

The Game Changer: Athlete’s Thread

Come July 2021 with new NIL legislation in place – hello opportunity! The dynamic duo birthed their fourth brand – Athlete’s Thread. This isn’t just any old brand; it’s a gold mine that makes gear co-branded with colleges and athletes themselves. Guess what? It’s already outperforming its siblings with six figures in sales its first year and seven figures the next!

  • Nearly a decade of experience? Check.
  • Solid relationships with college campuses? You bet.
  • Tech to scale an apparel empire? Absolutely.

Alice asked Bob how much an athlete could make from all this? Well Alice, let me tell you – these student-athletes can start rolling out personal merch without dropping a dime upfront. If they hit it big on sales goals, they can even design their own stuff! And yes Bob – we’re talking over half-a-million bucks paid out to them so far!

Redefining Industry Boundaries

Karthik is no stranger to identifying opportunities well before anyone else catches on. He keeps his ear to the ground by yapping away with former teammates and current athletes while binge-reading industry news. Genuine curiosity is his secret sauce – critical for any entrepreneur looking for the next big thing.

If All Was Lost…

If he had to start over again right now? Simple – he’d look at underserved industries ripe for tech disruption; find passionate markets; pinpoint problems; concoct solutions – basically what he’s doing now but possibly diversifying into other areas crying out for innovation like women’s sports or lower division athletics.

“Entrepreneurship,” Karthik muses, “is about taking risks and finding creative ways to solve problems.” Spot-on!

How it Works: Launching a Custom Merchandise Brand

Step 1: Market Analysis and Opportunity Identification

Begin by assessing the market to identify potential opportunities. Analyze sectors with substantial customer bases and a need for personalized merchandise. Consider industries where technology has not yet fully addressed market demands.

Step 2: Idea Validation

Validate your business idea by asking critical questions:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • Where is there a significant market opportunity?
  • What problem needs solving?
  • How can my solution stand out?

Step 3: Building Your Platform

Create a user-friendly platform that enables easy sign-up and interaction. Invest in technology that allows for efficient management and scaling of your apparel brand.

Step 4: Licensing and Compliance

Navigate through legal requirements, obtaining necessary licenses. Stay informed on changing regulations to ensure compliance at all times.

Step 5: Crafting Your Product Catalogue

Prioritize versatility by offering customized merchandise for various client groups, including but not limited to organizations, businesses, non-profits, or specific niches like athletes.

Step 6: Revenue Models

Incorporate multiple revenue streams such as direct sales, royalties from co-branded items, and affiliate commissions based on product endorsements or referrals.

Step 7: Community Engagement and Support

  • Foster relationships with customers by supporting their goals.

To generate continuous growth:

  • Diversify your product offerings based on customer feedback.
  • Maintain a team that values every client segment equally to build an inclusive merchandise program.


  • Financial Potential: Launching into this business model can tap into a substantial market, with the possibility of reaching multi-million dollar revenues as demand escalates.
  • Royalty & Affiliate Earnings: Participants can earn through various revenue streams such as royalties and affiliate commissions, benefiting from ongoing sales without continuous effort.
  • Scalability Benefits: With proper infrastructure, such as established technology platforms, the business model offers scalability to accommodate a growing number of participants and product offerings.
  • Lifestyle Flexibility: This opportunity provides individuals with the convenience to manage their business remotely, offering a balance between their personal life and entrepreneurial aspirations.
  • Inclusivity & Equity: By focusing on supporting a wide range of participants, including those in less prominent sports or divisions, this model promotes an equitable approach to merchandise profits.


  • Financial Investment: Starting a business in the custom apparel industry often requires a significant upfront financial investment to cover production costs, licensing fees, and marketing efforts.
  • Market Saturation: The market for custom merchandise is competitive, with many brands vying for attention. Distinguishing one’s brand can be challenging and may require unique strategies.
  • Legal and Regulatory Navigation: The ever-changing landscape of state laws and university policies can complicate operations, necessitating continuous legal oversight and adaptability.
  • Dependency on External Factors: Sales can be influenced by external factors such as sports seasons and team popularity, which may result in inconsistent revenue streams.
  • Scaling Difficulties: Expanding an apparel business demands careful balancing of inventory levels with demand forecasting to avoid overproduction or stockouts, challenging scalability.

Income-Generating Platforms Used by Karthik Shanadi

Direct Income Platforms

Based on the article, Karthik Shanadi and his business partner use several platforms to generate income:

  1. Greek House: A custom apparel brand for fraternities and sororities, launched by the duo during their time at the University of Florida.
  2. College Thread: Introduced later, it creates custom merchandise specifically for college organizations.
  3. Athlete’s Thread: The most recent and lucrative platform which allows college athletes to launch personal merch stores. In its first full year, it achieved six figures in sales, then moved on to seven figures in the following year with expectations of reaching eight figures by the end of 2024.

Athlete’s Thread: A Closer Look

You might be wondering how athletes benefit directly from Athlete’s Thread?

  • Athletes can create a merch store at no cost.
  • The platform provides two income streams for student-athletes: royalties from sales and affiliate commissions.

In fact, more than $500,000 has been paid out to student-athletes already, with projections exceeding $1.5 million by the end of 2024!

Indirect Income Generators

Beyond direct profits from platform sales, these brands provide Shanadi an expansive network and technological base that may facilitate further income opportunities influenced by sports market dynamics.

Revenue Model and Industry Overview

When diving into the custom apparel sector, particularly focusing on merchandise for college athletes and organizations, one discovers a vibrant market with significant revenue potential. The business model pivots on personalization and tapping into community spirit through customized products.

Key Revenue Streams

  • Royalties: A portion of sales is paid to athletes or organizations.
  • Affiliate Commissions: Earnings from directing customers to the platform.
  • Sales of Custom Merchandise: Profits from branded items, including those co-created with clients.

Venture Initial Investment Estimate

To launch a similar venture into the personalized merchandising field requires several critical upfront investments:

  • Licensing agreements with colleges or entities for brand use
  • Development of an e-commerce platform capable of managing a large product catalog and customer orders
  • Design team capable of creating custom merchandise options
  • A marketing budget to attract both organizations and individual customers onto the platform
  • An inventory system, either on-hand or drop-shipping agreements, for product fulfillment
  • Funds to cover legal compliance in diverse states and organizational regulationsA conservative ballpark figure might start at $200,000 – $500k depending on factors like scale, location, partnerships established at outset.

    Making It Work: The How-To’s

    In this space where customization reigns supreme, here’s how you crack it:

    A solid technical foundation: Your website isn’t just a shop window; it’s the engine room!

    • Keeping an eye on what’s trending: Stay engaged with sports news – when the industry zigs, you zag. Creating equity in your brand by offering services that honor every athlete. Using social media smartly: Engage directly with your audience; they’re not just buyers but partners in creation. Embracing change as your BFF. When laws shift or trends turn – pivot quickly.

Essential Tools and Services for Launching a Custom Merchandise Brand

Digital Platforms

  • E-commerce Platform: to manage online sales and athlete profiles.
  • Content Management System (CMS): for website design and updates.
  • Customer Relation Management (CRM) Software: to maintain customer relationships and track interactions.

Design and Production Resources

  • Graphic Design Software: such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW for merchandise designs.
  • Vetting and Compliance Tools: for adherence to state laws, university guidelines, and NCAA rules.
  • Catalog Creation Tool: to build out product offerings for each athlete or organization.
  • Sourcing Networks: connections with suppliers and manufacturers for production.

Sales and Marketing Services

Raising awareness is key. Catch those eyeballs with these tools:

Lets reel them in!- If you’ve got the charm of social media influencers, use it. Platforms like Instagram can showcase your killer merch. – Email marketing software because sometimes old school is just the ticket. – Analytics tools are your new BFFs. They tell you what’s hot—or not.

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Revenue Type

Retail Business, Online Business


Threadly, Athlete’s Thread


Full Time

Last Updated