How The Beer Bat Hit an Ecommerce Grand Slam with BigCommerce


From placing out on their first enterprise pitch to promoting out their first launch evening, The Beer Bat is aware of what it’s wish 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 will be an inspiration for companies of any measurement. Maintain studying to be taught extra about how their model bought began, how they landed on BigCommerce and the way they’re getting ready for the season forward.

Pitching the New Concept

Even earlier than The Beer Bat got here to be, Sam McGee and his group at Inexperienced Egg Design already had a foothold within the branded drinkware trade. The group had simply completed a mission in Las Vegas, creating plastic bottles for Onerous Rock Cafe’s out of doors on line casino, Rehab. 

“We have been making these 32-ounce ingesting bottles, and Rehab was serving alcohol in them and promoting them for $40-$50, and so they have 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 go together with Rehab’s theme, in 2018, McGee and his group got here up with the thought to make the bottles into the form of a needle. Assured that the product can be an enormous hit, the group pitched the thought to Rehab — solely to listen to that the product wasn’t what they have been on the lookout for.

Nonetheless, McGee and his group knew they have been onto one thing. So when the Hartford Yard Goats — a minor league baseball group — opened store simply exterior of the group’s Hartford workplace, McGee knew he needed to take one other swing.

Hitting a Grand Slam 

“I did some analysis, and what I realized is that the baseball park seats about 8,000 folks, and everyone is ingesting,” mentioned McGee.

After touchdown a gathering with the group’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 residence video games left within the Yard Goat’s season, the group 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 group for the Yard Goats requested to buy 2,500 extra. However with solely two residence video games left, these bats bought out, too. 

“From then on, different main league baseball groups — I imply, in all places — have been calling the Yard Goats, and so they have been simply transferring the telephone 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 grew to become 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 on the lookout 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 an alternative of merely a ingesting cup.

“Simply take a look at the folks after they have The Beer Bat,” mentioned McGee. “They’re smiling, and a few are usually not even trying 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 group, 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 possibly can truly select which group brand you need.”

Partial proceeds from the sale of the commemorative Beer Bat go to the The Negro League’s Baseball Museum (NLBM) to help this non-profit in its mission of preserving and celebrating the wealthy historical past of African-American baseball and its impression on the social development of America.

On high of that, The Beer Bat now has patents in a few 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 fast development comes the problem of maintaining with rising demand.

“Proper now, it’s about how briskly we are able to develop in our manufacturing, and that’s what we’re doing this yr,” mentioned McGee. “We must always have the ability to get into a minimum of 5% or 10% of our market by the tip of this yr.”

 

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BigCommerce Enters the Sport

Initially on WooCommerce, The Beer Bat discovered that the ecommerce platform merely couldn’t sustain with the enterprise’ rising demand. 

Enter BigCommerce.

“BigCommerce offered 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 help our future development in any route,” mentioned McGee.

But it surely wasn’t simply the platform that knocked it out of the park — it was additionally the folks.

“Issues have been totally different with BigCommerce. In our first interview, you all had some concepts for us, offered the platform and walked us by it. BigCommerce gave us a extra reasonable view for an organization our measurement, realizing that the numbers have been there and we had the potential to develop right into a multi-million-dollar firm slightly shortly,” mentioned McGee.

Take a look at our full case examine on The Beer Bat to be taught extra about why they selected BigCommerce and the way our platform might be a successful transfer for your enterprise, too.

Going into Subsequent Season

With a newly acquired MLB license, The Beer Bat is trying ahead to increasing its B2C efforts by promoting direct to customers, permitting followers to customise their bat with their favourite group brand.

“Our B2B is now going to affect our B2C,” mentioned McGee. “Should you can’t get a bat or they promote out earlier than you get to the sport, you possibly can go browsing and order it … We’re going to have this entire pressure of motion happening between these two enterprise platforms.”

And B2C isn’t the one innovation on the horizon for The Beer Bat. There’s way more within the works for the corporate, comparable to permitting customers to add their very own paintings 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 seeking to get into the B2B house? Schedule a demo for BigCommerce B2B Version, and our ecommerce consultants will likely be pleased to help you within the transition. And for additional insights on all issues B2B, try The State of B2B Ecommerce: 2022 Development Report.

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