The Phenix City, Ala., company, supplies approximately 2,500 college bookstores with headwear and other souvenir merchandise.
Started in the early 1980s by two brothers who made a name for themselves in the souvenir business, The Game is now entering the fastpitch market. They’ve already experienced great success in baseball, and now want to reach softball teams with the same quality visors and caps.
“My daughter plays fastpitch softball, and I began to realize the great need for quality headwear when traveling with her team,” said Phil Stillwell, Co-Founder of The Game. “We got into the baseball market in 2002 when San Diego State Head Coach Tony Gwynn called about his team. Since then, we’ve become the on-the-field supplier for more than 230 baseball teams throughout the country.”
The Game’s headwear business first began in 1986 when $600,000 of merchandise was shipped. By 1992, The Game reached the $82 million revenue mark and was the leader in licensed products from 1988 to 1992. The company paid more royalties than any other company in the U.S. during those four years, and gained notoriety by being the first company to put an ID logo on the outside of the cap.
In 1993, the Stillwell brothers sold their company to Russell Athletic. At the same time, they started another headwear business for corporate sales, called Kudzu. Five years later, the Stillwells bought the college market back from Russell and focused almost entirely on bookstores until adding baseball sales in 2002.
“We have several things that make our product unique: (1) the headwear design is fully customizable; (2) you can order as little as 18 pieces; and (3) we have 38 colors you can choose from, including any combination of colors,” Phil Stillwell said. “We also understand collegiate colors since we service college bookstores, and we’re better able to match traditional college colors.
“We have two different visors, and one is made especially for girls and women,” he continued. “Plus, you can get your order in as little as four weeks, which is amazing considering the fact that the visor design is a custom order in graphics and color. If a travel ball team wanted to use pink, purple and lime green, we can make it.”
Costs range between $10 and $16 per visor, depending on quantity, design and delivery time (either four-to-six week program or seven-to-10 week program). In addition, there are no tape and set-up charges.
You also can visit The Game at the NFCA National Convention during the exhibitor show, December 1 and 2.
Visit their Web site by clicking here.