Heckler Creative Services
As a professional athlete, you’re not just a name and number on the back of a uniform. You’re a brand. We can help you take charge of shaping the expression of that brand through unique merchandise and apparel based on what makes you different from all the other athletes out there.
Maybe it’s your personality.
Or perhaps it’s a signature technique, like the one we helped popularize for Bears cornerback -- and 2013 NFL Man of the Year -- Charles “Peanut” Tillman. Since he came into the league in 2003, Tillman forced fumbles with his signature punch of the football. Up until 2012, this move didn’t have a name. We felt it needed one, so we coined the phrase Peanut Punch and designed a line of merchandise for Tillman.
Within a week of launching the shirt, it went viral and there was an entire segment of Monday Night Countdown dedicated to the Peanut Punch. We’ve worked with Tillman and his Cornerstone Foundation ever since. In addition to helping craft his brand, we’ve raised more than $25,000 for a great cause.
It all starts with the right ideas. If your merchandise doesn’t ring true to who you are, then it probably won’t connect with fans. And it certainly won’t help you define your image.
Strategy: We work with you to figure out what makes the most sense to focus on from a strategic standpoint. Is it toughness? Your nickname? A specific color scheme?
Concept & Design: This is the fun part. We take all the ideas and insights and start cranking out cool designs. Shirts, hats, coffee mugs – whatever aligns best with your brand. We’ll present you with multiple options and then together we’ll decide which idea(s) to produce. Browse more than 100 Heckler designs to see the creativity we bring to the table.
Marketing & Distribution: If you have your own website with ecommerce capabilities, merchandise can be sold through your store. Typically, we handle the fulfillment end of things through TheHecklerStore.com. As for marketing, The Heckler has a strong social media presence, but we will lean heavily on your efforts as well. It’s amazing how far a few Tweets can go in terms of getting your merchandise out there in the public eye.
We’re sports fans, first and foremost. If there’s a game on TV, the odds are good one of us is watching it. We’re also a collection of writers, designers, creatives and developers that produce editorial content and merchandise.
Brad Zibung, Principal
Brad is tall enough to be a professional basketball player. He just isn’t one. But he does oversee the business development side of The Heckler, while also contributing to the company’s creative direction. Brad has a wealth of experience in journalism, marketing and communications. A University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh alum, Brad began his career in corporate affairs at Leo Burnett and also helped grow a well-known startup that was eventually bought by one of the world's largest Internet retailers.
George Ellis, Principal
A Chicago Cubs fan, George knows the price that must be paid for loyalty. In fact, he even wrote a Barnes & Noble sports bestseller about it: The Cubs Fan’s Guide To Happiness. As creative director, George oversees The Heckler’s content and product development. His background is in advertising, and he’s written commercials for brands big and small, including McDonald’s, Allstate, Shiner Beer and Baylor University. He can beat Brad in ping-pong any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
If you’re interested in working with us, feel free to get in touch and we can talk process, ideas and of course, money.