Warsaw Company Launches New Product, Name
By Gerry Dick | Inside INdiana Business
A Warsaw-based company that made its name by selling college and professional sports-branded "Sportulas" is making a change to that name and also launching a new product. The former IDNA Brands is now known as YouTheFan, a move President David Bazzoni says better reflects the company's business model and culture. "We're fans and we're super passionate," said Bazzoni in an interview on Inside Indiana Business Television. "When you match that passion of the fan, which is our focus at YouTheFan, with the passion of the people putting the products together, we meet in the middle and it's pretty awesome."
YouTheFan's newest offering is StadiumViews, laser-manufactured 3-D replicas of college and professional sports stadiums and arenas. The product is designed, manufactured and distributed out of Warsaw.
The business plan for what would become YouTheFan was scratched out on an 11x17 piece of paper in 2009. Bazzoni, then a sales manager at Warsaw-based Wildman Business Group, came up with the idea for the Sportula, a college and pro sports-branded spatula, following a suggestion from one of his customers, the University of Notre Dame. "They challenged us to come up with some original ideas for a gift basket for their NBC contacts and they were adamant that they did not want any more sweatshirts, pens and koozies," said Bazzoni. "It made me think, why can't we make something ourselves?"
Thus, the Sportula, and the roots for YouTheFan, were born.
Since 2010, Bazzoni says the company has sold nearly 6 million Sportulas and lots of coasters (called Boasters), BBQ sets, Grill-A-Tongs and Grill Brushes.
But the success of YouTheFan is not limited to the grill.
In 2015, the company landed a licensing deal with the National Football League for a search and find book and related products. Joe Journeyman is the story of the only player in history to play for all 32 NFL teams.
Inside INdiana Business produced a two-part feature on the creation and launch of Joe Journeyman, which centered on the emotional and unlikely reunion of Bazzoni and childhood friend and artist Jed Bruce. See Part One of the feature here and Part Two here.
The Joe Journeyman books, puzzles and related products feature meticulously detailed illustrations built around each NFL franchise.
Ten percent of the company's net profits from Joe Journeyman support a non-profit organization called Joe's Kids, a clinic for children with special needs that provides Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy.