Wayne Curtis, a Seminoles fan and graduate of Florida State University, dutifully despised the University of Florida Gators coach Steve Spurrier as the leader of FSU's rival school's football team. Curtis decided to make a shirt that poked fun at Spurrier with a quote from Will Rogers. "I never met a man I didn't like," the front read, the back continuing with, "Will Rogers never met Steve Spurrier." Curtis started selling the shirt for fun, knowing next to nothing about the tee shirt industry, but it escalated to the point where he was making more profit from his hobby than he was at his real job. Thus, in 1998, SmackApparel.com was born.
"We create the shirt that people are going to talk about," says Ben Sponsel, account manager. "They're funny, satirical parodies that give sports fans something different that isn't already out there. Our designs definitely grab sports fans' attention." The company has done excellent business since its inception and has updated its website accordingly. The site now features a Quick Response code for customers to access info with their smart phones, icons that link to its social media pages, as well as a Hall of Fame page hosting the most classic of SmackApparel's brash tees. Shirts are organized by sport and by professional teams versus rookies and college level teams. While the website is primarily a retail store, SmackApparel uses it for bulk buyers as a catalogue. "It's something we can easily keep up to date with our newest images for our wholesale buyers," Sponsel points out. "It makes our line much easier to view, and buyers can quickly do so much more than would ever be possible in print."
SmackApparel's most popular shirt right now is a parody of the Dos Equis, "Most Interesting Man in the World," commercial. "I don't often hate, but when I do, I prefer to hate the [team]," the front reads. On the back it says, "Stay victorious, my friends." The shirt has been SmackApparel's top selling shirt from Oklahoma to New York.
Shirts currently in production can be ordered in bulk without a minimum order, but custom designs are negotiated on an individual basis. The wholesale price for sizes small through extra large is $8.50 per shirt, and most shirts retail between $16.99 and $19.99.
For more information:
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Tampa, FL 33609
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