Day two at the National Sporting Goods Association’s Annual Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit started off with a lot of laughter thanks to the bold and honest humor of David Feherty (@fehertwit). Many of the jokes can’t be repeated here, but suffice it to say I had to smile when some of them were shared with me. He was a favorite with all our team members who attended. In addition to all the educational sessions that followed that day, another highlight of the conference was the induction of the 2015 NSGA Hall of Fame members.
Our heartiest congratulations to the two well-deserving recipients– David Beckerman, founder of Starter; and Bill Jackson of Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure. One very interesting thing we learned about David Beckerman during the presentation was that he was the first person to introduce the concept of a commemorative championship cap and T-shirt. According to the event’s program, David dedicated his life’s work to creating authentic apparel that capitalized on the emotional bond fans have to a sport or individual players. Everyone who prints shirts today truly owes him a “thank you” for helping to nurture and develop the concept of fan wear. I also applaud his smart marketing tactic of placing the Starter logo on the back of caps, which got him a lot of press coverage when high profile fans wore their caps fashionably backwards.What are you doing to make your brand get noticed?
This is a great reminder to always tag your custom garments with your logo. When you add your logo somewhere on the garment, the wearer knows who to contact when they want another shirt, or when someone asks them who made their shirt. When David accepted his award, he also emphasized the importance of the support of his wife and family while building his business. I certainly know that to be true myself. And it was truly a family affair when Bill Jackson’s children, their spouses and grandchildren all got on stage to accept the posthumously awarded membership into the NSGA Hall of Fame on behalf of Bill, who passed away in January 2014 at age 98.
Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure is a family owned and family run business that was started by Bill and his wife Harriet in 1946. Long before it was popular, the shop became known for “Teaching What We Sell,” holding Scuba classes, Gun Safety classes, Fly Fishing and more. They built their business on educating customers, especially those who were new to an outdoor activity. His son recalled a favorite story, where a customer asked an employee why he should pay $2 more for a lantern at Bill’s. The employee’s reply, “Because I can show you how to light it!” The customer said, “Fair enough” and bought the lantern. Thank you Bill, for proving over and over again that adding value– whether you do it in the form of customer service, longer hours or education– can help you build a business and maintain customers. Bill Jackson’s Shop is still an outstanding example of an independent sporting goods retailer that is thriving and prospering.