BreakingT President Jamie Mottram Addresses ‘Bunch of Jerks’ T-shirt Partnership with NHL’s Hurricanes
As the president of BreakingT, Jamie Mottram revels in helping the public don sports apparel that reflects undying allegiance to a team, with 25 franchises across the athletic world relying on him and his company to stoke their fan bases. One such rabid set of devotees calls Raleigh home and roots religiously for the Carolina Hurricanes, especially now that they have become the darlings of the NHL for their victory celebrations. Having already collaborated with the organization on a shirt that commemorates the hockey hoopla, BreakingT served as the catalyst behind another runaway apparel hit, the “Bunch of Jerks” top that the Hurricanes have used not only to retaliate against an announcer’s scorn for the team's jubilation, but also as a means to put more butts in seats as they vie for a playoff spot.
“It’s been incredibly fun to watch this take off so far,” the BreakingT leader said to Promo Marketing. “We pride ourselves on being able to help teams to celebrate big moments, and so far, thanks to what [Don] Cherry said, this is proving to be one such monumental occasion so far.”
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 18, 2019
For those out of the hockey loop, Don Cherry has honed a tenured career as a broadcaster and has resonated as arguably one of the most outspoken figures in the game’s history. The Hurricanes last week drew the ire of the 85-year-old Cherry for orchestrating elaborate displays of creativity following each home-ice triumph, with Cherry last Saturday dubbing them a “bunch of jerks.”
“The team had already been in the spotlight because of their success," Mottram said. "But when they became aware of that comment, they went right to work to immortalize it."
So, too, did BreakingT, quickly tending to a team request to place that description on T-shirts, a feat that not even Monday’s federal holiday could hinder. Proving Mottram’s enthusiasm for not seeking “to leave anybody wanting,” BreakingT put together a few hundred T-shirts, which Mottram thought would be sufficient ahead of Tuesday’s home tilt against the New York Rangers. Fan excitement being what it is, though, that estimate proved way off, leading the company to produce many more shirts, with Mottram commenting yesterday that the sold-out goodies will soon be available for sale.
He also noted that, through his company’s social media monitoring, which has proven a huge help in giving BreakingT a micro-moment-commemoration edge, he has become aware that the tops are popular not only among Hurricanes fans but also among those who think Cherry is the pits for condemning the celebrations.
“Our expectations went up 10 times after the initial show of support for the ‘Bunch of Jerks’ shirt," Mottram said. "And it’s an item that we think will continue to be a decent mover since the Hurricanes don’t figure to go away as teams look toward the [Stanley Cup] playoffs."
So far, the Hurricanes are BreakingT’s lone NHL ally, but it stands to reason that hockey could end up giving the business a bit more, well, business, since it’s essentially crunch time for every club that wants the sort of branding clout that the playoffs can ensure.
Mottram noted that since Cherry has gained polarizing status and because the Hurricanes have no real rival, the NHL’s overall fan base can sort of rally behind the team to show appreciation for the team via the shirts.
“The celebrations, by themselves, had already stirred up and increased the size of the Hurricanes’ fan base, so when they received this sort of gift out of the mouth of Cherry, we were eager to help them,” Mottram said. “There’s been a lot of positive sentiment surrounding it all.”
— Ottawa Citizen (@OttawaCitizen) February 20, 2019
Cherry has stated that he does not mind that the Hurricanes have found a way to critique his critique, but that he will not be changing his take on their antics. As far as Mottram is concerned, that is quite alright, as the more that people consult Cherry and the more that the Hurricanes keep winning, the “bunch of jerks” figure to bring his company the sort of popularity that no apparel provider could even think to refuse.
When asked if he intends to send Cherry a thank-you card for "gifting him" this business opportunity, Mottram laughed.
“I don’t plan to do that,” Mottram said. “However, it’s great that he proved that it really benefits you to respond quickly to requests, if you can, to enhance a team’s standing among its fans, or anyone’s place among people who like your products and services.”