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Competitor Honig’s Helps Us Out in a Pickle

 
One of the best feel good stories you haven’t heard about within the officiating sporting goods industry took place in March of this year.
 
The background: We (Ump-Attire.com) had just secured the rights to provide uniforms to Minor League Baseball. The uniform was chosen by PBUC (Professional Baseball Umpires Corp) who oversees MiLB umpiring.
 
They were to include Smitty shirts, Smitty jackets and Ump-Attire poly-wool pants.
 
In the process of ordering our supply of these items for all 220 umpires, the manufacturer (O.E.M.) for the pants got behind schedule after providing almost one-third of the pants. Two weeks prior to the drop-dead delivery date, the company of almost 30 years closed its doors. Yes, closed. Not just early for the weekend. For good. No more pants were to be delivered.
 
Now what? We did have some stock of poly-wool pants, which are all but required at the professional levels, from previous years. But this stock added to the stock that was newly manufactured was not nearly enough to cover all umpires.
 
So, here we were, a company who is known for providing great service. We had just proudly stepped out of our comfort zone just a bit to score a contract with Minor League Baseball. THE Minor League Baseball. And after stepping up to the plate as a rookie in perhaps our biggest game ever, we were about to show the world how well we could strike out.
 
We scrambled for over a week trying to find a solution. Spring meetings for umpires - where we were to hand out uniforms - were less than one week away! No solution was available to have additional pants in our hands in that time frame.
 
Or was there?
 
The final solution involved contacting our retail competitor Honig’s. Honig’s is the largest and longest standing officiating sporting goods company in our industry. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Honigs not only provides uniforms to the NFL and the NCAA but they also provide poly-wool pants for Major League Baseball.
 
Would Honig’s assist us with a supply of pants despite being a competitor and despite having the MiLB contract prior to us?
 
Their answer? “Yesâ€.
 
And a few days later, I drove to Ann Arbor (about 6 hours from Louisville) to pick up pants in order for us to have in time for the meetings.
 
2013-03-18+15.36.57.jpg

Some say we showed a lot of class in swallowing our pride and going the extra mile to make this happen. But I think Honig’s showed the class. They didn’t have to do that. Contractually, we did.
 
Where we agreed is we wanted to make sure that a set of umpires were taken care of no matter the circumstances. What I took away from this experience most is just how much companies, like us, Honig's, etc, who specialize in sporting goods for sports officials, truly care about the profession of officiating and those in it.
 
THEY COULD TAKEN A BETTER PICTURE OF THE BOX!

 

 

http://umpattire.blogspot.com/2013/11/competitor-honigs-helps-us-out-in-pickle.html

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Competitor Honig’s Helps Us Out in a Pickle   One of the best feel good stories you haven’t heard about within the officiating sporting goods industry took place in March of this year.   The bac

Gerry Davis says             =)

  • 2 weeks later...

So, with the manufacturer (I have to assume that means Hardwicks) out of business, where are our future pants going to come from, once the Honig's stock is gone?

I worry about this as well. I thought I heard that Hardwicks signed a exclusivity deal "with a competitor" and that is why UA couldnt provide the pants.

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So, with the manufacturer (I have to assume that means Hardwicks) out of business, where are our future pants going to come from, once the Honig's stock is gone?

 

Gerry Davis says  :wave:           =)

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I think @JimKirk meant a different company. Hardwicks is way more than 30 years old. I believe UA switched manufacturers due to an exclusivity agreement between Hardwicks and Honigs.

 

The Hardwicks bankruptcy game much later in the year and is unrelated I believe.

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