From hanging out on their first enterprise pitch to promoting out their first launch night time, The Beer Bat is aware of what it’s prefer to make a mid-game comeback — and it began with a plastic cup and a dream to make a memorable buyer expertise.
The Beer Bat — a branded and customizable drinkware model — should still be thought of a small enterprise, however their success story might be an inspiration for companies of any dimension. Preserve studying to study extra about how their model obtained began, how they landed on BigCommerce and the way they’re getting ready for the season forward.
Pitching the New Thought
Even earlier than The Beer Bat got here to be, Sam McGee and his crew at Inexperienced Egg Design already had a foothold within the branded drinkware trade. The crew had simply completed a undertaking in Las Vegas, creating plastic bottles for Exhausting Rock Cafe’s out of doors on line casino, Rehab.
“We had been making these 32-ounce ingesting bottles, and Rehab was serving alcohol in them and promoting them for $40-$50, and so they had been merely being thrown away. However all of the casinos wished was simply their title on it,” mentioned McGee, president of The Beer Bat.
To create a greater buyer expertise and associate with Rehab’s theme, in 2018, McGee and his crew got here up with the thought to make the bottles into the form of a needle. Assured that the product could be an enormous hit, the crew pitched the thought to Rehab — solely to listen to that the product wasn’t what they had been searching for.
However, McGee and his crew knew they had been onto one thing. So when the Hartford Yard Goats — a minor league baseball crew — opened store simply outdoors of the crew’s Hartford workplace, McGee knew he needed to take one other swing.
Hitting a Grand Slam
“I did some analysis, and what I discovered is that the baseball park seats about 8,000 folks, and everyone is ingesting,” mentioned McGee.
After touchdown a gathering with the crew’s proprietor, McGee pitched 32 ideas for a uniquely formed memento cup, and — you guessed it — the proprietor selected the hollowed-out baseball bat possibility.
To interrupt even, McGee wanted to promote 10,000 bats, however with solely 9 dwelling video games left within the Yard Goat’s season, the crew solely purchased 500 to start with.
Evidently, 500 was nowhere close to sufficient.
With 20-30 followers ready in line at a time, the bats bought out virtually instantly, and inside a pair days, the meals and beverage crew for the Yard Goats requested to buy 2,500 extra. However with solely two dwelling video games left, these bats bought out, too.
“From then on, different main league baseball groups — I imply, in every single place — had been calling the Yard Goats, and so they had been simply transferring the cellphone to me. Prospects would say, ‘Oh, we’d like 1,000,’ or ‘We want 10,000,’” mentioned McGee.
At this level, nevertheless, the patented title for the product was truly The Consuming Vessel. However with so many purchasers nicknaming it “beer bat,” the brand new title ultimately caught — and so turned The Beer Bat, branded drinkware constructed on customization and creativity.
Making a enterprise mannequin is one thing McGee is captivated with — discovering a market and searching for the product that matches that market, or vice versa. That’s precisely what he did with The Beer Bat, making it a memorable expertise for followers, as a substitute of merely a ingesting cup.
“Simply have a look at the folks once they have The Beer Bat,” mentioned McGee. “They’re smiling, and a few aren’t even wanting on the sport! It’s nearly having a beer in a bat.”
Rising the Groups
From there, The Beer Bat skyrocketed.
Beginning with only one minor league baseball crew, the corporate’s buyer base quickly grew to 27 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) groups throughout the nation and the Negro League Baseball Museum (NLBM).
“Our first license was truly with the Negro League,” remarked McGee. “We’re going to be celebrating the Negro League’s baseball historical past all through all the season with our Negro League beer bat, which is, once more, one other customizable bat the place you may truly select which crew brand you need.”
Partial proceeds from the sale of the commemorative Beer Bat go to the The Negro League’s Baseball Museum (NLBM) to assist this non-profit in its mission of preserving and celebrating the wealthy historical past of African-American baseball and its affect on the social development of America.
On prime of that, The Beer Bat now has patents in a number of the largest baseball markets, such because the U.S., Canada, Japan and South Korea, in addition to a rising market in Mexico.
However with speedy development comes the problem of maintaining with rising demand.
“Proper now, it’s about how briskly we will develop in our manufacturing, and that’s what we’re doing this 12 months,” mentioned McGee. “We should always be capable of get into no less than 5% or 10% of our market by the tip of this 12 months.”
BigCommerce Enters the Sport
Initially on WooCommerce, The Beer Bat discovered that the ecommerce platform merely couldn’t sustain with the enterprise’ growing demand.
“BigCommerce supplied us with a simple and well-documented setup expertise to allow us to soft-launch in lower than two months, in addition to the options wanted to assist our future development in any route,” mentioned McGee.
However it wasn’t simply the platform that knocked it out of the park — it was additionally the folks.
“Issues had been completely different with BigCommerce. In our first interview, you all had some concepts for us, offered the platform and walked us by way of it. BigCommerce gave us a extra real looking view for an organization our dimension, understanding that the numbers had been there and we had the potential to develop right into a multi-million-dollar firm slightly rapidly,” mentioned McGee.
Take a look at our full case examine on The Beer Bat to study extra about why they selected BigCommerce and the way our platform may very well be a profitable transfer for what you are promoting, too.
Going into Subsequent Season
With a newly acquired MLB license, The Beer Bat is wanting ahead to increasing its B2C efforts by promoting direct to shoppers, permitting followers to customise their bat with their favourite crew brand.
“Our B2B is now going to affect our B2C,” mentioned McGee. “If you happen to can’t get a bat or they promote out earlier than you get to the sport, you may log on and order it … We’re going to have this entire pressure of motion occurring between these two enterprise platforms.”
And B2C isn’t the one innovation on the horizon for The Beer Bat. There’s rather more within the works for the corporate, equivalent to permitting shoppers to add their very own art work or add customized textual content on any Beer Bat — and BigCommerce can’t wait to see what’s subsequent.
The Last Phrase
Are you a direct-to-consumer (DTC) enterprise trying to get into the B2B area? Schedule a demo for BigCommerce B2B Version, and our ecommerce specialists will likely be joyful to help you within the transition. And for further insights on all issues B2B, try The State of B2B Ecommerce: 2022 Pattern Report.