A while back I posted about the extremely comfortable and uber-patriotic Miracle shorts by Streakers Sports. I had the chance to interview Grant Hewit, the man behind Streaker Sports and am pleased to bring you the following Brand Profile. Keep an eye on the blog as well as Grant and I are cooking up an exciting contest for later this month.
What did you do before you started Streaker Sports?
Prior to being where I am now with Streaker Sports I began my career in finance, working on the trading floor at boutique investment firm Oppenheimer & Company here in New York City. Streaker Sports was incepted while still working in finance, and the intention was to continue it as a side project. After the economic downturn, I found myself in a bit of a bitter-sweet situation. I felt very fortunate to still have a job in the industry, yet it became increasingly apparent that my passion wasn’t in trading securities. I found myself working on Streaker Sports late into the nights, sacrificing sleep to grow what began as a side gig and though it was a significant risk, I made the decision to leave my position in finance and focus on something I was whole heartedly behind: Streaker Sports. My days are longer, and my lifestyle far less comfortable, but I’m doing something I love, and I couldn’t be happier.
Why did you start Streaker Sports?
It’s funny, and I guess typical for many start ups, the Streaker Sports that was originally created is somewhat different than it exists now. Streaker Sports was started as a bit of a hobby. From high school straight through until after college, I was constantly designing shirts and shorts for teams I was on. What originally was just me and some buddies lending creative ideas and designs to friends and team uniforms started to take on a bit of a formula. We noticed, all our designs had some inspiration from sports teams/players of the past and we aimed to make them the most comfortable apparel so they’ll be worn again after a game or tournament was over. Over time we found our designs we’re being requested to be reproduced over and over, so, as it’s said, we had a light bulb moment and began offering products to individuals online looking for that old school feel, with a story behind it.
The inspiration for all our products is derived from iconic moments, teams or players in sports history. We aim to have our items “tell a story” through their authenticity, be it in a design that’s inspired by a legendary player’s nickname or a revival of an old style that hasn’t been seen in a while. Especially in the case of our newer “Old meets new” shorts; we try to retain that authentic look of the shorts, but couple it with the cut, feel and fabrics that are demanded from today’s wearer. Recently, we were contacted by an alum from an iconic college team in the 80s (we’ll keep it a surprise) to remake their original team issued shorts in a manner that Streaker Sports has come to be known for. As a huge sports fan, it was really awesome to have him send his actual shorts to us, and have a piece of sports history in our hands for a few weeks to finish our manufacturing process. They should be available in a few weeks; I hope that we’re able to deliver the authenticity he’s looking for. (Update: The shorts Grant is referring to are the 1985 Wildcat shorts and are available for purchase.)
You produce your products in limited runs. What led you to give your products an exclusive nature?
Our products appeal to a specific fan, that guy or gal looking to both pay respect to their team, all the while sticking out a bit from the masses (usually wearing oversized replica jerseys.) We choose to produce limited runs to make sure that if you’re someone who wants to stand out a bit from the crowd, you can do that with our products. Our items don’t sell out, rather they “retire” and end up in our “Rafters” section, where fans can either vote them back (ala Brett Favre) or they remain retired. It’s just another way that we hope our customers feel part of what we’re doing.
Your solo cup coozie is ingenious and a perfect way to differentiate your cup from others at a party. I mean why should coozies just be limited to cans and bottles?
Where do bottles and cans come off thinking they can have all the fun? They shouldn’t! That’s exactly how we feel, which is where the solo cup koozie came from. We make products for the fans that are as passionate about the game between the whistles, as they are the game before the whistle, aka the Tailgate. Keg beer and Bloody Marys are great, but I think we’ve all been there with a few sips left in your solo cup, your beverage of choice is starting to get a bit luke warm. We hope that by offering solo cup koozies, all tailgaters are able to keep their hands warm, and drinks cold, regardless if it’s coming from can, bottle, or red and white plastic cup.
What can we expect in the future?
In addition to our apparel line, we run a number of events including a couple based in our hometown: NYC Wingfest (www.NYCWingfest.com) and the Big Apple Pond Hockey Classic (www.BigApplePondHockey.com) we’re already in the process of expanding our events to other locations up and down the East Coast. We’re excited to bring both the events and our apparel to places that Streaker Sports has yet to tread. Many of these opportunities have been introduced to us via our new, but growing crew of Campus Reps. We feel that the Streaker Sports is a brand we want our customers to feel a part of, and the best way to do that is offer them not only uber comfortable, impeccably designed apparel, but also offer them an afternoon (or evening) enjoying an event we helped put together!
You donate some of the proceeds from each sale to support the growth of athletics and sports in underserved communities. Specifically, what are some of the causes you’ve donated to and why is this a cornerstone of the brand?
7. There’s a quote I heard a many years ago that’s really stuck with me over the years. It’s from Nelson Mandela and reads like this: “Sport has the ability to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else can.” In line with that quote, to us, sports represent more than exercise or a source of entertainment. Sports are a community and fans are members of that community. The community could be a small local high school, or an entire nation vying for Gold at the Olympics. With Streaker Sports, we aim to help make that fan experience better through our apparel and events, and do good in the mean time, by using a portion of the proceeds to offer children the opportunity to join the community of sports. To date, we’ve supported The Herb Brooks Foundation in Minneapolis, MN, GoodSports based in Boston and Chicago as well as New York City organizations, America SCORES NY and CitySquash. As we grow, we’re eager to learn of more organizations that are helping kids “Be part of the game.” If there’s any out there your readers would like to introduce, please contact us.
Wrigleyville Tradition T
1972 Bruins Shorts