Company Profile: REP Ultimate

by | July 14, 2011, 3:14pm 0

REP Ultimate is the newest entrant into Ultimate team apparel.  At barely one year old, this Wisconsin company appears poised to snap up a large chunk of the market through cost leadership and phenomenal customer service.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you and how did you get involved in Ultimate? What is your Ultimate history?

Drew: My dad had me tossing a disc since I was a child, so it was an easy sport to fall into in high school. I have been doing it ever since.

Alex: I started playing barefoot Ultimate in high school my senior year. When I went to college I wanted to get involved with an organization and travel. I went to some pick up games and I was hooked. Since then I’ve gone to close to 100 tournaments.

Tell us about the inception of your company.  Why did you decide to create your company? Where are you located?  When was it started?

After going through the process of ordering jerseys a few times, we quickly realized that it was a pretty stressful endeavor. Waiting a few weeks just for an email telling me that the jerseys are going to take a couple weeks to get printed. I have worked in printing since I was in high school, so I decided that I could make a company that did things with a much lower level of stress and for a whole lot cheaper. In March 2010 my buddy Alex and I founded REP Ultimate. We are based in Milwaukee, WI.

How has the company grown?

We initially were just doing jerseys for local colleges and club teams, and have since grown to have teams all over the country.  We have now done jerseys for teams all over the competitive spectrum from youth to elite club.

How many employees do you have?

Drew: Alex and I are the only two employees, but we also have 2 or 3 freelance graphic designers that we work with at any given time.

What products do you offer? What are your signature products? What are you most proud of?

We offer any type of product a team would want. Some teams want t-shirts while some want bathrobes. Our signature product is our competition jersey; it is a poly-spandex blend performance fabric shirt. To us, it is exactly what you would want to play Ultimate in.

What makes your company different compared to the other Ultimate apparel companies?

Beside the fact that we sell apparel we couldn’t be more different. Other companies are shifting their focuses towards more expensive products. Our focus is to save people money on jerseys so they can afford to go to do more with their team. A team that orders with us saves an estimated $400-$600  ($20-30 per player). You don’t pay a premium when ordering so that elite level teams can get free jerseys. Everyone pays close to our base price of $50 for the set.

Another thing we do is we go the extra mile if and when we make a mistake. This summer we missed a deadline with a team and had to go to sectionals without their jerseys. We printed them 30 hats, extra jerseys, and paid for their Regional’s bid.

What do you do better than other companies?

We work with teams to create the look that they want. Often times that goes beyond just ordering jerseys and/or trucker hats. We offer a level of personalized service that just isn’t seen with other companies. We never want to say that something can’t be done, if a team needs something we will do our very best to make it happen no matter what. We had a team in Portland who needed jerseys within the week, and we had the jerseys delivered to the fields while they were warming up for their first game.

What do other companies do better than you?

Tournament presence. Some of those companies know how to really bring it. That’s one of the things we will be changing in 2011.

How do you view your competition?  What are you doing to stay competitive?

There’s plenty of competition out there. They all have their own angle to recruit teams and players. As noted above, we offer low prices for a great product and offer above average customer service. All the Ultimate companies out there are doing something great; they are advancing the sport to levels that it has never seen before. In that sense, we are all working towards the same goal of getting this sport the recognition it deserves. We don’t necessarily want to be the biggest most advanced company on the market, the thing that makes us great is that we are just a couple guys who play Ultimate and want to hook up people with nice gear for a price that other companies aren’t willing to give.

Do you believe that the market can support another start-up apparel company?

There’s always room in any market for a company that does something better than the other companies at a better price. Brand power is important but in today’s economy the buck is the bottom line.

How do you view an entrance from one of the “big” sports companies like Nike or Adidas?  Is it inevitable?  How are you planning for this possibility?

We welcome it. Whenever these companies enter the scene it will only help expand the base of Ultimate players. Competition is healthy in business. We’re confident that when this occurs, our product and prices will still be extremely competitive.

What do you see as your role as an apparel producer in the sport of Ultimate and the future of the sport?

We aim to produce whatever teams want at a low price. We hope that the money they save allows them to go to more tournaments and have a better experience in the ultimate community.

What can the Ultimate community expect and look forward to about your company?

They can really expect us to be the most friendly and inexpensive company on the market. The teams that have worked with us know how easy we make it to order jerseys. Now teams don’t have to worry about getting together everyone’s sizes and numbers for their orders, we let each person order and pay individually online if that’s what they want to do.

Look forward to seeing us at more tournaments and bringing some great new specials to the table. We also will have our own line of lifestyle gear coming in the next few months.

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