We approach our business like a traditional general manager of a pro sports team would. Each product launch is treated as if its a new season. We study the moves we made in the past, take stock of the current market at hand, and then make informed decisions on how to assemble the best mix of gear for each new phase ahead.
Bill Parcells, a former NFL head coach, General Manager, and President of Football Operations, said the following, upon his exit as coach of the New England Patriots in 1997:
“If they want you to cook the dinner, then at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.”Here’s more on that quote
Parcells was legendary; and is known as one of the best football coaches and front office officials of all time. He’s one of the rare individuals, not just in NFL history, but in all of sports history, to successfully pull off dual roles as Head Coach and GM all at once. Normally, pro sports teams don’t even attempt to entrust one individual with so much responsibility, and when they do, history usually tells us that it’s typically not a wise choice.
At FANCHEST, we’re subscribers to the theory that “teamwork makes the dream work” – we don’t handle the cooking per sé, but we take great pride shopping for the groceries.
What do we mean by that?
Manufacturing product is not our specialty – curation and perfect packaging of those items is. Our aim is to find the perfect mix of licensed products that, when bonded together, turn into a greater value for passionate sports fans than the individual sum of parts; similar to the way a traditional general manager sets out to achieve when assembling a team.
The ultimate goal is to deliver more than just a mix of products – it’s to provide an experience by bringing the most out of the sports fan in you.
How do we do this?
While we aren’t the ones cooking up a storm like Bill Parcells used to, much of our success hinges on the talent we find to supply that cooking. Prior to our most recent launch of FANCHEST 2.0, we rigorously scouted and reviewed hundreds of top chefs who specialize in licensed pro-sport and college consumer products; and ultimately landed four titans of the industry:
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be stepping into our kitchen, if you will, to get you more acclimated with the brands and products that have helped us whip together the new FANCHEST.
Today, we focus our attention on Great American, and the product they cooked up for us – the 24oz Double Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler.
A few weeks back, we sat down to learn more about Great American, and the Tumbler they produced for us, from their Director of Marketing and Sales, Bryan Oyler.
Here’s what we learned about the brand, its history and the product itself:
Great American was established in 1971 and is currently based in New Braunfels, Texas (a town just outside of San Antonio). In their early years, Great American was a mail-order catalogue, specializing in the manufacturing and distribution of motorcyclist-centric product lines (i.e. metal-casted belt buckles, biker chain wallets, etc.). At this point in time, they were pretty far removed from the world of licensed sporting goods. That changed in the late 1980s when they acquired a magnet company, which came along with official licenses in the sports space.
These licenses proved quite valuable for Great American over time. In the early stages of this new development, Great American cut its teeth in the licensed pro sport and college products arena by producing and manufacturing keychains, magnets, belt buckles and other keepsakes. In 1989, Great American began to produce licensed pro-sport and college drinkware products, which set the stage for their drastic evolution over time.
Fast-forward 30 years later, and licensed drinkware products account for 90% of Great American’s annual revenue. To say they’ve mastered the art of the licensed drinkware game would be an understatement; their current catalogue paints that picture quite well.
What separates Great American from its crowded world of competitors is a high level of uniqueness, variety and quality. They offer products ranging from $5 to $35 in retail price, and the 24oz Double Insulated Tumbler that we feature in the new FANCHEST is of the highest quality (retailing for $35).
The Tumbler we opted to go with for FANCHEST 2.0 was designed and finished in the U.S., and features a durable powder coated finish with laser-etched team logos. Thanks to its vacuum insulated 18/8 kitchen grade stainless steel, drinks can be kept cold for as long as 24 hours and hot for 8-12 hours – kind of astounding when you think about it. The silicone grip really rounds out the sleek styling of this drinkware product, and makes it easy to hold regardless of content temperatures inside. Spillage is also never a concern, thanks to a resistant lid with a smooth-sliding enclosure. And not that we think you’ll ever need it, but Great American also offers a lifetime warranty on all of the products they produce.
All of a sudden, we’re in the mood for some hot coffee – so we’ll be signing off for now, and returning soon to better acclimate you with the other brands we that helped us bring the new FANCHEST to life.
Before we head for our morning brew, though, we’d like to leave you with a parting gift in honor of the fine folks we work with at Great American…
Here’s a promo code for $10 off the next FANCHEST you purchase:
Only one use per customer, but feel free to share the code with others!
We’ll be back soon to indulge you with Part II of IV of our brand partner journey, stay tuned, and in the meantime, enjoy this little unboxing GIF of the new FANCHEST…