DMNews talks with Chad Hartvigson, CEO of Prep Sportswear

Chad Hartvigson, CEO of customizable sports gear company Prep Sportswear, talks about how a strategic online partnership helped broaden the company’s consumer base quickly.

Q: Why did you decide to partner with Active Network?

A: Active Network built a good platform in sporting goods with its Web hosting property, Teams can upload communications such as schedules and maps to games, as well as exchange e-mails. After building a technology [where] stores [can] take their database and load it onto our platform, we part­nered with them in September 2007 as their official gear partner.

Q: Why did you think this would be a successful partnership?

A: Before, we mostly had schools on our site. We wanted to get into the team sport marketplace, and Eteamz did a really great job of aggregating that market over the years. We thought it would be fitting for Eteamz to add a commerce sec­tion with our platform.

Q: How did you use e-mail market­ing as part of the campaign?

A: Eteamz has a strong database of users on their side. One of the key objectives of partnership was com­municating the program, so they sent out e-mail newsletters present­ing each team with their logo on cus­tomized products. The Web today has so much information and so many features and services that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. I felt we had a really strong and unique offering and we communicated it very well to their base.

Q: How has the partnership grown since its inception?

A: When we launched, Eteamz had 300,000 teams, so we instantly had that many additional stores. Since then, we’ve added another 200,000, so today, there’s 500,000 total stores just with Eteamz. Active Networks was also able to provide a value-added service to their user base and we were able to jump into new space and on day one have a very strong ROI.

Q: Why do you think this partner­ship was so successful?

A: Our technology allowed us to target individual users based on their preferences. A lot of companies are building large distribution on the Internet, but not targeting people based on preferences. When you get a basic understanding what people like doing, it’s easier to target prod­ucts to them. You need to be able to target at the right moment to the right person.

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