Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 2 years ago

David Beckerman | Average to Savage EP31

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the thirty-first episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring founder of Starter David Beckerman. Paul Guarino talked with David Beckerman discussing his life growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, how he created Starter, and his high school basketball coaching career! Follow David Beckerman www.instagram.com/CoachBeckerman Powered by PG Sports www.pg-sports.com

This is the average this averagepodcast with balgarina everyone in anyone, athletes, solentsand much more so everybody, I'm back for anotherepisode on Acens Podcast, especial guest. Today's David Beckerman, founderof starter, have how's it going terrific. How you doing good you Yoou.Could you just give us like a brief summary About Yourself? I'm originallyborn in Bredin, Neavin Connecticut went to James Ols High School graduated en fromuniversty an ne Aven started working in the in business after that then started tostart one thousand nine hundred and seventy one left in inety six perect, so yougraduated Fornuna from one thousand nine hundred and ninety six in Ucrastartar in one thousand nine hundred and seventy one. So how have the idea Igraduatedta ihaven in one thousand nine hundred and sixty six an I started,started five years later, yeah. So so what gave you the idea to create start?Wellit was really development of a Nidge during the summertime was a real big fad and I noticed youknow everybody wanted the best equipment and wearing what theprofessionals wer. But there was one item which hapened to be a wingbreakerand all of the winbreakers had an elastic cuff, their rist Ol. The problem was that ifyou're, a big guy that Allacti cuff will cut off your circulation, ifyou're, a small at a small is the year would go through. So I ce just casuallysaid to one of my friends: Why don't they put a Nichcuf Fron it? And no onehad that. So I said you know I'm going to try to do that and I went out bought a couple of samples and thenbought some materials and went to a tailor and niceto take this feature from this example pack, this teature from that sample andmake example, and then we may do the first tirter jacket, which at that temwas ta license. It was just for the institutional trade and the I started t yon to rejas O see. Ifthere was an interest, we ran itto some problems, but those problems. I can always believeyou taking ha negative anturnit into a positive that problem ases, that all ofthe retailers had jackets that had alastic cop. Sohere we would come in with it. I was showing a sample with a knitcuff andconsequently that was a different inventory, so they couldn't mix it.That was the negative. The positive was is is that we, I cuned around and toldhim that they could have an exclusive in the area, so thet ID improve yourgross margins when they sold it ye cal. You Talk to me about a little like howyou came up with the name starter and also the Lo, the name startafer forpeople. In generally. Remember one word: If you start thinking about the greatbrands for or P or cook, or whatever peopletend to remember one word Hin, you know, so it made sense that Iwanted. One word second is started. was I always wanted to be aSAR, not a substitute how'did, you, cop, with the logo, with the sin t from Slerman group Andi collaborated and we came up withthe idea of logo with a star because we wereultimately trying to get to the stars...

...and with the astit combine, both of themtogether, Yeh Tese, yeah, iconic lobal. Right now- and I know you brieflytouched on it before but like what was it like, just figuring out like all themanufacturing stuff and I'm pretty sure, probably back, then it was harder thanit is to well. Oh first, O before that you need Osettl on and how you Lin getthe money develop. The company, as I said it,made one sample, started, show tore jeilers created some interest again:The garment business or the apparelbusiness. You book six months in a cance Wen tores receive their springmerchandise. They book that business in August or September. So themanufacturers, regardless of who they are, what theur manufacturing haveen.Ninety of maybe a hundred twenty days to produce it. So I guvmulatordaughters had them had no manufacturing didn't, have anything but- and I didn't have an money. I wentto the bank, the really weren very supportint AAn. I found a localbusiness Bando who saw the and understood the Divisionand cosigned the note for me atthat time. It was, I don't knowmaybe I could do about twenty Olars, and so I had the money and then thensimply went into the yellow pages and look for sewing contractors and foundsome and went to them and gave him a sample and showed them what I neededand and by Hittin thiss meing. Sometimes the first contractor didn'tdo the quality as well as we wanted eventually found one in he manufactured for US said to TOR aremy location and I begin shipping it laterow as we developed, and we had ourown factories. How long did that proncess take likeyears or months or Megla len well to get the factories initially didn't take along at all? AsI said, I went to the yellow pages that took probably looking back at it now,probably a few months, because there were a few and it was just a questionof selecting the right one after we did after a couple of months of selectedones, and it was a question of buying raw material and IU said again had aline of credits from someone who cosin te note for me in exchange for equity position, and we were offinonic an what was like your Firstbrigbreakfaper started. Lik Yo put it on the Ma, I would probably say to you.The first impact is when we had theexposure on national television, and that was when Gotori was the manager ofthe mets. We had a mutual friend WHO's passed, ONA man by nameIntoniamandola who well, he was in the Trik I'll thank transportation business,but he was a truck driver a and he would come and deliver merchandiseto us and- and we would help him with hischarities in a variety of different things, kind of an interesting story.He ad always said that he knew people in baseball. We didn't really take himseriously. Initially, we found out later on that he take his vacation timeand we're fat aroundic bat that was a wooden that manufacturer ofstate, NewYork and drive to spring training and make bats. That's how we mad Joe An anda variety of other people any event we haddid some favors for him and...

Yoin to a show in New York, and you know at that timehe was the manager and it was. We were a little just a little little company. He wasappreciative that I had helped h Tony and also help make some donations to at that time. It was a few Toni is o Jurk, which you endedup being Yo torys sister, who was a nun? Well, that's crazy! Well, you know inbusiness today or just in relationships. One of the things that you never do. IsYou never burn a bridge and ecause you dever know who can help you here was.The fellow was worked very hard, but was the labor in you wouldn't thinkthat he' have those connections that he did din. He Bout to her BSREMEMBER, you askingyou know, is herwas appreciated. What could he do and all I said was justwear some coats, you know a and he put his host taff an in the mess with thefirst team that oprofessionally the warhe the jackets and, if you remember, Jo,as just part of his Jener, would cross his arms and put hisfoot on the first step and we got exposure on television and once thathappened that Wase, probably our first break thesthat's an awesome sore rightthere. I was reading like previous articles about, like you guys gettinglicenses and stuff like that, and I read the story about you going to likeNFL Tis. Like thirty three times. I think it was eight years foryer yeahyea, so so you got all of them fairly easy. Besides Eno one right, lasfirst al. You have to understandthat with all of these things, come financial commitments with minimums me,for example, or first license, which was wit baseball, was through an agentco license corporation of America. I work with a man by the name of well twopeople, Jo grand who ran the operation and Ralph Hereis Ari. My first contractwas, I believe, twenty five and dollars and a royal danach piece, but if wesold one DASE, we had a GAM o twenty five ousn regardless, so was huge risk at the time, but we help it was worthan ovicin. At the end of the day, it was so it's you know it's it's acombination of of having the product and e quality,having the distribution and having a financial wherewithal UN willing to take the riskyeah. So when you got the NFL on, did that take starte to like a new level. Henfl clearly was a CAALISTNFL has ahuge advantage at he, the retail level, not because of its sport. It's becauseof its timing, if you think about retail in general, most of theretailers, a Siigificate aballanter volume in sone in the fourth quarter.Well, the fourth quarter is when football is. You know, on the rise and att peakcombine with the thing called Christmas, so it was from all different S. point othe La interest in an value, something that do that. No other sport really had...

...baseball world seriems was just aboutover in October, hockey was just starting, so basketball did start ti later so thfootball really between and forus theweather began to change, so the fourth quarter was really a Harea for us soand football captain. We becam one stop shopping, so the rediler good by any ofthe Sports Wat, the sports of US and in the early you guys became like thenumber one sports brand. So how do you pull that off? Harork et'? Take it how about it? A SON!Ninety two FIL IH offered to buy you out, and you said no, what happened like you te time to filnated come toour office. Quit frantly unannounced was incredibly flattering. I did go outto visit h facilities, which was amazing.He was very cordial at the time. It was very clear to me that, while itwouldn't from a financial point of view would be winfall, O people would loseall an the connecticut operation with clothes that would be falln peoplewithout jobs that they want me to move to Oregon and at the time I just felt that that's not what I want to do. I had toomany people that Weren' oil and had to passion- and I respected that- and I didn't want to- I just didn't- want O so had nothing todo with it: money, Hes certainlyhe's, only the dowrs were there. So wasn't aquestion offinances ws beyond that, and then he said you left the companyin one thousand nine hundred and ninety six. So what happened there? What youmean? I retired, O you are you, so you retired from thsandninee N Nty, six eleft the business. So so was there a reason why well yeahthere's a couple reasons why Ama fu? From a financial point of view, I wasputting in huge sumbs of money, banks wer not being cooperative, especially the Bankof Boston, which was really an making our lives verydifficult. Not Understanding business itself and they were under their own had theirown issues. So you know I laughed and then the business was sold. Athen result Nike on did an Iki thin,just sold it again to ACOL. I believe it is yeah. So what would you say was your mostmembeable moment and Startlik Ong running starter, my most memorablemoment he well Da IV had a lot of themone. I always felt had dreek pleasure in seeing theemployees grow and their families and, and that kind of thing, from a sportstandpoint we did some clinics across the countrywould bobe Nahe with coachk with Jim Calbo. You know a variety of of people, meeting wars of Stilly Amatrosty, the bestcohol fame, meeting Hem, you know, coaches and people of thatilk was always o. You know something that Icherished.

You know. As I said he was. It was a great opportunty, a wonderfulrun. You know. Probably one of the highlights is whatI meat coach Wood en alliy admired for what he stood for and that's that what else? What about? Howdo you? How do you feel about people are still wearing starter today? Well,you got to define that I know. There's been a renissance on the the vintage Biian Nice to a point wherethey're paying two three four five times what we sold it for kind of interesting and Goe, the show that we had an iconicbrand and have that and that it's tood for something. We always said that itwas a symbol of American sports. When we tied everything in together and thequality, was there an Ey, it's a little bit different. The quality is not thesame. The distribution is that to say yeah, so yeah yeah. I was kind ofsaying from like a celebrity standpoint like I's seen like a lot of even like,like had current athletes and like celebrties today like wearing it somone like how. How do you feel aboutthat so? Well, I whether be a celebrity about any TAM. We saw a product orperson wearing our product. Obviously, we always go appregative and o people buying the product,because when they purchase something you buy t because you believe it's something that youlike, obviously or as you would buy it, and you believe that it's the qualitylevel that you adhere to and that I always respectit. So I was alwayspleased to see that happening. So do you ever just like today like walkaround and you see somebody just wearing like a starter, jacketer welldo know. I do see some of those godifferent things when I see the oldones or the vintage one that w the old inagone. You know I can recall hen, we made it and or what is tood for as far as the new ones concerned. As Isaid, it's a different marketplace: different distribution, differentquality level, but some of the things you know you have to understand that wewere energators totally different than some of the other businesses yeah forsure. So so my eye, you could tell if it was a it's a ventad stuff or the newstuff, Lik inperson o. So that's awesome. So did you see that thealliance of America football, like the new league, is actually going to bestarted? Earle? I saw that yes, how you feel about that. Wel Got a question ofhow I feel, because I don't know the particulars I don't know you know howmuch exposure they're going to get. I don't know about the DV contracts. Idon't know whatwhat, there's a difference between them, making aingestment in a startup which has its advantage because thooretically it'sshould be cheaper and that compan in a company is gambling on that plus thefected trying to link live the past tradition of professional sports apresent but I' the same token. If it fails ityou know it's not really a positivekind of reinforcement, but I have no opinion on Wan on the new leaguebecause I don't know much about it at this point, yea there's a lot of newweeks coming up. I don't know h w. all of them will succeed or not succeed,but who'll, say agais. So, let's jump into Youryour Basketball, coaching Caere where's, your passion for basketballcome from well, I started as playing basketball. Is a Jewishcommunity tetter AER and...

...we lived in a Y H. I played toughDaborhood Bun, it was mixd ebhoodand. The center was the place where we wentand we play Boll and from there I we played at the center, and so I had thatpassion I played Tig Scoolat, Ettio high school and then freshman ball. Southern and Theni witreally was a coaching and I coached the JCC in ineeens. Actually looking backat it, its been really a lot of fun. I coashi JCC doing national the onlynational championship they ever had and then I got a high school job. I was building a company, an pepcolcall Hamd at all, were we want Eigt New England Championship six consecutivelym trying to Thi t? I don't remember exactly what we won. Tieventi was therefor eleven years. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. When I retired I went to Florida, NTWOUSAND and for and Osin as free and ended up YOcooking. Another pepscool called pinecrest ad, never won any district oror even qualified for the State Championships and we won. We went tothe state final four. Six years at a rol one, three state championships toofhmwith Solyomaas playing the NBA now brandon night and ended up put in Ha little over right on fivehundred over five hundred games and only losing about Hundre and twentyyears Ol, but it Tois a passion. I lov Wor, O kids and I love the game ow.What, as your whats, the key to successove winning all these tropiesand championships, good players, good players get coating eoat, how goodcoach you don have God layervery hard to win. Buti, think that is acombination Toif we had. I, the coaching was a combinationof a business direction where I made parents and players sign a contract,written cottrectlessly prior to the season, to the Dannes of the rules andalso n understanding and building a relationship with the players that theydo you cared and you would try to teach them and being a help. It supportid ofthem and it worked out. As I said, Tamal was a wonderfulexperience. Pine Chris, the kids were terrific and IAS. Those schools werehigh academic schools and Os trrific wwas it like coachingBrandon night he's sit. Is a great player, we have some other great players. I canonly tell you I'll tell you one story about Brandon and it probably tells youwhat it's like we were playing. I believe it was his Awornot for your, I believe, yeah. Ithink it was O for a junior year and we were playing in the regional, fireof, Sebi finals of theRegon, and if you lose the seasons over, you Wen you, you go on to the StateFinal Four. So it was the regional final and we're planng to call U Sou ata netural court to Florida, we were down eleven point with two an halfminutes to go, and I had done everything that Ithought that I knew cald every trick that I could try to motivate the kidsas bessal we could, but we were down...

...and the kids, no, that if they lost theend of the season, was over and I cold time out and Bridon looked at me and Ilooked at him and so to gave them that look, you know Nou of time and in thehobdle he it said. Til Me in crent of all the kids coach. They call me CoachdCotai. What time is practice tomorrow and the kids looked up at him. Knowingtheire eleven points down, I said brand at four o'clock. Se there he went out,we went out in Theare, he stole into trees in Arow, got a J was created a gorge, and thisis Hesport. Fifty two points for the game and we ended up winning by free of all the players I ever had.Obviously, Din Henba was athletically the best player, but thething about him. It was true and this work etic E. I seen this couple f tilesthat he asked if he cound use, tha, shooting machine and come in and anddoing have some extra practice ort. He would an was an honest D, an thiss, akid tat, Caus goin anyplace. I remember bringinghim up to see Cook James Jones said Yale. I mean he could have Gong to HailMane, but obviously let the Kentucky Andand. I know you have not one but twoathletic centers named after you, so weere oase feelings like getting those Welli O as very nice. Itsyou Jos, have an obligation, regardless of our financial werewithall,is to get back into share within the community that has raised you andespecially people who live bin supportive and in both the case of the the Jewer Ceternaming its building or at the reccenter at gn age or him at all. althose threebuildings was our family wanting to LE and Cin di, besupportive of the community, and it was great hat Wa. Well now you justcontribute throughout, like Connecticut and DA, like like said before, like getup and Likele Yo couldhave just sold it, but you like stayd everything inConnecticut, because that's your home, yeah and last one. What advice wouldyou give today to young onttanoers? Oh, I give you a couple things I mean. I certainly would tell you the proberbthat they said about Edison, which is ninety nine percentperspiration, one percent inspiration maining. You got to work hard and youdo build relationships. His generation is tends to be quick and in personal I see it so often, even in our ownfamily, our grandchildren, you know they'll pet people or send an email topeople. Sus Getting on the phone and calling somebody versus getting in acar and going meeting them face to face the texing may be quick and it may becurrent, but it's start away that you build a real strong relationshipsas strong relationships are built Eghteye, so the ise the face of the people you'rtalking to those are the kinds of things that really make more sense, and that's a solittle advice. You got O work hard. You got Ta Work Hard, you got a work hard and you got to build relationship and-and I don't know any other way of...

...building relationships other than faceto face. We were one of the very very few companies, for example, that didn'thave a showon in New York or some other place. Your rooms are set up in the customer,comes to the sowroom. I always believe inputting the product in the back and going and flying to meet the customerin his or their environments. N. That's theway you filt strong relationships. You sow M you care enough yeah. Definitelyactually that's what I've been doing recently just meeting up with morepeople. Instead of talking to them on the phone and like you said just thisis like a different impact and they have a different respect for so Iappreciate you coming on.

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