The Next Step for RU: American Sin Bin
This weekend, as the clock struck midnight, Ranger Up launched our new Rugby brand, American Sin Bin. It’s an idea that sprung up as early as January 2008, when then LTC Kelly Crigger invested in a fledgling Ranger Up. At the time, there was frankly no way in hell that we could handle the idea. We were a small apparel company focused on existing.
I was working a corporate job during the day and Ranger Up every night until about 2AM. Tommy was living in the spare bedroom of my old house and getting paid in high-fives and attaboys and whatever we could spare after the bills were paid.
Nearly four years later, we find ourselves with an amazing operations team, an incredibly talented design team, and frankly, all of you – an Army of incredible support (and candid criticism when we deserve it) and we’re about to take on an incredible challenge – we’re going to set the conditions to bring home a Rugby World Cup Championship.
To people in the Rugby community, this may seem like an absurd notion, but that’s how we like to roll. The same month Crigger decided to invest in our idea the first article was written about RU in the Fayetteville Observer. They asked me when I decided to start an apparel company. I answered the same way that I do now: “Ranger Up isn’t an apparel company. We’re a force created to make a difference in the veteran and military community.” I went on to say that they’d see us making some serious inroads in the non-profit community and eventually have the ability to affect change in government.
A lot of people wrote in online and scoffed at the idea. One in particular, pissed me off: “Give me a break. These guys make funny t-shirts. It takes a lot more than that to make a difference. They need to get over themselves.” I keep that quote on the Desktop of my computer.
I don’t really care what people think about me or our company. I never have. I revel in some people hating us, to be honest. But I am a patriot and I look often to our nation’s past. I find people who aggressively try to stamp out the efforts of others to be the lowest form of human parasite. Not only do they not do for themselves and chase their own dreams, but they attempt to dissuade others from conquering their own. This country was founded on the principle that one man can make a difference. We are a land of opportunity – a land of frontiersmen cutting our current world out of the wilderness. We are the world’s immigrants, arriving by sea, land and air, hoping and fighting for something more. We can do anything, so long as we don’t quit, so long as we don’t allow ourselves excuses, so long as we don’t allow pessimism and self-hatred to stamp out the passion for something better.
Fast forward to present day. Ranger Up is a multi-million dollar company that has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparel and cash to military charities, I have been honored to be elected to the Board of Advisors for Soldiers’ Angels, we’re working on developing a Veteran Housing Program as well as an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Vets, and we’re ready to take on the next challenge.
With that in mind, I am thrilled to announce that we’ve successfully lured New York Times Bestselling Author Kelly Crigger away from the public relations world and he has accepted a fulltime role as President of American Sin Bin. If you’re a Rugger, know that this means we are guaranteed success because the man may be more of a workaholic than I am and twice as talented. If you aren’t a rugger and find this American Sin Bin stuff to be a nuisance, know that RU has 100% of my attention and we’re going to keep pushing in some amazing directions in the next 365.
If you’re asking “Why are you sharing this?” it’s for the same reason that Tom and I personally answer every message sent our way on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. As I said in 2008, Ranger Up isn’t a t-shirt company. It’s the idea that motivated patriots can make a difference. And this very important idea doesn’t work
without you. We believe Ranger Up is your company too. And I always want you to know what is going on in your company and why we are doing it.
Thank you, as always, for your support (and criticism).