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Awesome Sports Logos Interview

Awesome Sports Logos is a premium clothing brand for men featuring a collection of humorous sports logos created in the mind of Gavin Spittle, founder of the brand. Gavin works with a team of sports logo designers to bring life to his fictional teams, and is dedicated to bringing the fun factor back to sports logos. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a few Awesome Sports Logos t-shirts recently, and Gavin was nice enough to fill us in on the making of the brand and what the future holds for Awesome Sports Logos.

TM: When was Awesome Sports Logos founded and what sparked the idea?

Gavin Spittle: We launched our website in January of 2012. I’m a big believer in first impressions so I wanted to create a great website that is easy to navigate. I also wanted to make sure that we launched with a line of logos, not just a few and that took the most time. The idea was sparked out of frustration with the growing trend of non-creative sports logos. Sports Logos are unfortunately becoming a lost art. The pro teams are buying the teams in their minor league system and that is the biggest issue. They want to market their major league product and thus, they are renaming all of their farm systems the same as the parent club.

I don’t blame them for marketing their own product but I also see examples like the Worcester Sharks in hockey. I get it, you are the minor league team of the San Jose Sharks but Sharks are not in Central Massachusetts. They were previously called the Worcester IceCats and had a cool sports logo with history of the area built into that logo. Logos are more than just a drawing, they are an awesome piece of art that should represent things like the history, the geography, the animals or even the weather in that area. So my frustration became a passion and a cause. Why can’t I bring back the fun and creativity to sports logos? Since the teams are all made up, I didn’t have any rules to play by and the creativity just flowed.

TM: What’s been the most awesome part about running the brand?

GS: The customer reaction has been amazing. That’s been so rewarding. We’ll do shows and we will get in some awesome conversations with people about the sports logos they grew up with. We also love it when people name a city and then try to come up with their own logo. The fact that our brand has caused them to brainstorm ideas and many times, thoughts from their childhood is amazing.

I also love when people ask if these are real logos. That is a huge compliment to us and to our design team who share our same passion for sports logos. We’re also really excited about our recent licensing agreement with Bravado. To think that our brand is licensed by the same company that licenses the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Red Hot Chili Peppers is truly surreal.

TM: With the thousands of t-shirt brands on the market what sets Awesome Sports Logos apart from the competitors?

GS: We feel like this t-shirt line is the first of its kind. People have made up a few teams but I don’t believe anyone has ever created a line with unique sports logos. Most importantly, we refuse to allow someone to be unsatisfied with our product. Our packaging is creative, our hang tags tell the story of the logo and I will sacrifice profit for quality. We use the highest quality American Apparel t-shirts. I hate cardboard like t-shirts. You shouldn’t wear a t-shirt once or twice and then it collects dust. The more you wear our gear, the better it gets. It’s important for us to keep the price as low as possible so that you are getting the best quality designer t-shirt at
non designer prices.

We’re with you on the ride from the time you order your t-shirt until it hopefully becomes a favorite in your closet. Our designers currently work or have worked in professional sports and they share the same passion. We tell our customers that if you are not completely satisfied, we’ll take the Awesome out of our name.

TM: How do you go about selecting a city to create a team around? Have you visited each city or plan on doing so?

GS: I’ve visited a lot of the cities but the goal is to get to each one. Sometimes the logo actually comes first and then I match it with the city. Other times, you find cities that you just wonder how that name got through a city planning meeting. Here’s an example of our method to our madness. Intercourse Pennsylvania was just too juicy of a name not to make a t-shirt out of. Intercourse actually has some amazing history and is one of the villages where the Amish live. It’s also where the movie Witness with Harrison Ford which was nominated for 8 Academy Awards was filmed. Therefore, the Intercourse Witnesses were born. Some innuendo, Amish and town history mixed together created a cool t-shirt.

TM: How many teams is the Awesome Sports Logos league made up of now? How often can fans expect new teams and merchandise?

GS: We currently have 36 teams and 43 different sports logo designs. Just like the real thing, some of our teams have alternate sports logos. That way, the customer can choose which one they like better. Part of those 36 teams are five real and unique Panamanian Basketball Logos which we have the rights for. I think it’s important to come out with new products as much as you can. We want to keep our t-shirt line fresh and we want the excitement to continue. We have some great t-shirts coming out this year that I think will catch some eyes.

TM: What are your top 3 favorite teams right now? 2 lists– ASL teams and real professional sports teams.

GS: My favorite ASL teams are the Cocksville Blockers, The Portland Tree Huggers and the Middleton Fingers. As far as real teams, they are now defunct but my favorite name and team was the Macon Whoopie. What an awesome name and to have a stork with a hockey stick as a logo was genius. The Normal Cornbelters have a hilarious sports logo. I love the Montgomery Biscuits. A Biscuit as a sports logo is awesome. The Akron Rubber Ducks is a great logo because Akron is the tire capitol of the US and honorable mention goes to the El Paso Chihuahuas.

TM: Which Awesome Sports Logos teams are the most popular amongst your audience? Does location play any role in that?

GS: Our best seller is the one city that we made up but it was too good to pass up. I tried and tried to find a Cocksville but couldn’t. The Cocksville Blockers is our number one seller. The Portland Tree Huggers comes in second followed by one of our newest logos The Las Vegas Hookers Fishing Club. There are a lot of our customers across the country that want to wear their hometown team but most people buy the t-shirt based on the creativity of the logo. Our best sellers are the t-shirts with some form of innuendo.

TM: What promotional strategies does your brand use to reach your target audience?

GS: We have a very active blog that constantly refreshes with real sports logo reviews and news updates on sports logos. We’ve had some former and current athletes wear our gear and spread the message about our brand. We also love to get our customers involved. When we first launched, we did a contest where a listener got to name the next Awesome Sports Logo. The winner received $1,000 for coming up with the name the Middleton Fingers and it was awesome to see the participation. We also try to get out as much as possible. We displayed our
gear at The Magic Show in Las Vegas and picked up several stores. We also have a You Tube channel where we’ve done some funny videos. We love guerilla marketing and we love being unique.

TM: Without spilling all the beans, what’s the most valuable bit of advice you could share with aspiring brand owners?

GS: I don’t mind spilling the beans at all. I want to pay it forward as much as I can. I don’t want anyone to think I’m saying this because of this article but “Launch a Kick Ass T-shirt Brand” is a great book to reference. The bottom line, it has to be more than a piece of clothing you are selling. It has to be a passion. If you aren’t wearing and embracing your own brand, how do you expect anyone else to? What is the story behind the t-shirt? What is the journey? If your customer knows those aspects, they are likely to pass on those stories. Invest in a website. One of your greatest marketing tools is your own site. Make it stand out and constantly keep it refreshed with content. That’s your biggest store front window to be in front of potential customers.

TM: What can we expect this year from Awesome Sports Logos?

GS: We can’t wait to release some of our new logos. With that, we will do a nationwide contest to find an endorser for our product. Anyone can hire an athlete or celebrity. We don’t want that, we want a regular person to feel what it’s like to have an endorsement. We’re excited to launch that campaign. I wish I could enter. There have been some awesome new sports logos released by teams and it seems as though there is a glimmer of hope. Hopefully our t-shirts will continue to contribute to that glimmer of bringing back the fun and creativity back to sports logos.

There you have it; Gavin Spittle of Awesome Sports Logos. Shop the current collection and see more awesome logos at AwesomeSportsLogos.com.
Posted in MARCH 2014 ISSUE, Spotlight.