The Stubby Club: Schoolmates’ Love of Sports Grows into a $2.3 Million Idea

Three Victorian classmates have turned their love of sports into a successful business generating $2.3 million in revenue.

Dean, Dylan, and Jon, friends for 12 years after meeting at the Mornington Soccer Club, already had a business together and were fortunate enough to run a Hudson Coffees franchise.

The Stubby Club: Schoolmates' Love of Sports Grows into a $2.3 Million Idea

But the trio noticed a gap in the market among other sports fans making their stubby holder dispensers with their team’s logo on them.

Camera Icon Friends Dean, Dylan, and Jon, for 12 years, have turned their passion for sports into a company that generates $2.3 million in revenue. Delivered Credit: Delivered

“A lot of people make homemade blunt-holder dispensers and stick their team’s stickers on them,” says Dean.

“So we had this idea that if we could buy the right vinyl printer, pack them professionally, and try to get the licenses from places like the AFL and NRL, we could see where we could potentially take it.”

From that light bulb moment, the Stubby Club was born, with the friends taking over a company that produced stubby holder dispensers.

The company has grown tremendously since then, from $130,000 to $2.3 million in just three years.

The partners have obtained licensing rights from some of the largest sports organizations in Australia and worldwide, including the NRL, AFL, Cricket Australia, A-league, NFL, and the English Premier League.

Dean said they had no idea how far it would go.

“Iy started as a little idea while running our cafe that we are all involved in as well,” he said.

“I don’t think we ever expected so many opportunities in the market.

“It’s fun enough to be your own business, but to add to that, being involved in sports… being in that industry is just the icing on the cake.”

Camera IconA stubby holder dispenser with the Richmond brand. Delivered Credit: Delivered

He admitted it was “difficult” to approach some of the country’s sporting heavyweights with their idea, but after they got their foot in the door at the A-League, there was a “snowball effect”.

“We were lucky enough to get them (the A-league) first and get a little sales data, so when we approached the NRL, they could see that we’d already made some sales and knew what the license agreements were were, said Dean.

“They (the AFL) didn’t initially think the product was that great and would sell that well, so it was good to have that sales data.

“We could say, ‘No, look, we’ve sold this number of units and are doing this amount of revenue; it will go well.'”

The company has branched into other sports licensing products, such as custom beer pong tables, mini ping pong tables, and cornhole boards.

Camera iconic example of the Stubby Club beer pong tables. Delivered Credit: Delivered

Constantly trying to find holes in a crowded market, the three friends have a simple concept for coming up with their next big hit.

“Whenever we have to think about which licensed products to bring to market or whether a product will be a success, we think, ‘Would I want to get that as a gift?’ That’s about it,’ says Dean.

“If we want to receive it, if we like it as a gift, let’s do it because I’m sure there are hundreds of other people who feel the same.”

The Stubby Club has launched a $1.5 million Equitise crowdfunding campaign to bring these new products and a range of NRL and NFL pet items to market for Father’s Day and Christmas.

But Dean said they still have a “long way” to go and have even more plans for the future.

“We’re just at the beginning of what we want to do,” he said.

“We love what we’re doing, but we know there’s so much more opportunity to go down and more products.

“We already love it, so I know we will continue to love it in the future.”

Lori J. Kile
I love to write and create. I love photography, design, travel and art. I am a full time freelance writer and photographer.I am very excited to be creating new content and opportunities for my readers.