The average sports fan tends to buy gear of their favorite team from the organization's official shop or from a brand like Nike or Adidas, but one company has veered left when everyone else is going right.
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Streaker Sports was founded by a few people who were itching for gear that the team shop or a big-name brand couldn't scratch. The so-called "purveyor of sports culture" brand has been capitalizing on fans' nostalgia and offering gear from leagues of the past like the American Basketball Association and the United States Football League just to name a few.
"Three main reasons," Pete Lucchesi, a partner and creative director for Streaker Sports, told FOX Business when asked why get into the nostalgia business.
"First and foremost, we're all huge fans of the aesthetics of vintage sports (1990s and older, from our perspective as guys in our early thirties). Our opinion is that the artwork was generally just better during these periods and thus some incredible team logos and uniforms came from the pre-2000s era in sports. Secondly, many sports fans share this opinion so there’s a huge market for this type of apparel. Thirdly, it's a much easier space for a smaller brand to make waves in because the big guys generally ignore this category. You won't see Nike or Fanatics making throwback USFL T-shirts."
Younger fans browsing the website can quickly find New Jersey Americans, Los Angeles Stars, Chicago Blitz and other gear from defunct teams they didn't necessarily grow up with. But the appeal of the gear resonates more than just rooting for a team, Lucchesi said.
"We see a lot of regional patterns, so a guy who grew up in Pittsburgh sees our 1970 Pittsburgh Condors ABA tee or our 1984 Pittsburgh Maulers USFL tee, and he is brought back to his childhood rooting for these teams. A younger customer who wasn't alive when these teams played may just want to show some Pittsburgh sports pride in a standout way with one of our tees, instead of choosing yet another standard Steelers or Penguins tee."
Lucchesi added: "Another big part of it is we've just filled gaps in the retro sports apparel market and our Miracle on Ice Collection is a perfect example of that. We're the only brand that is licensed to sell Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig and Herb Brooks apparel – and really the only lifestyle brand doing cool Miracle on Ice gear in general. I can't tell you how many people have said, when they have finally come across our brand, that they've always wanted an Eruzione tee. Nobody else thought or bothered to do it – and now Rizzo's tee is one of our most consistent best sellers every month."
Even with a small team, Streaker Sports has found a path into sports fans' hearts.
"We have spent the last 18 months refocusing our resources and refining our strategy which has led to new business opportunities and growth," Cory Fahey, partner and director of operations, told FOX Business. "With a small team, but lots of hustle, we are on track to double our sales year over year."