RK Stratman Rides into the Hanes Beefy-T T-shirt Hall of Fame
Hanesbrands, Winston-Salem, N.C., announced that RK Stratman, renowned printer of Harley-Davidson apparel, is the 2012 inductee into the Hanes Beefy-T T-shirt Hall of Fame. RK Stratman founder Ron Stratman was presented with the Hanes Beefy-T Hall of Fame Award at the Tammy Stratman Brown Charities 7th Annual Golf Tournament, which took place just outside of the company's headquarters in Wentzville, Mo. The Hanes Beefy-T T-shirt Hall of Fame, located at the Hanesbrands Imagewear corporate headquarters in Winston-Salem, recognizes screenprinters, distributors and others within the decorated apparel industry for their creativity, business savvy and dedication.
Impassioned by his love of motorcycle racing, in 1969 Ron Stratman took his hobby of selling souvenirs at motorcycle races and made it into a thriving, family screen-printing business. From the very beginning, Stratman selected the Hanes Beefy-T on which to print all of his T-shirts.
"When I first started in this business, nobody knew who I was, but they all had heard of the Hanes Beefy-T," said Stratman. "Quality is our best salesperson. I knew if we didn't put out a quality product, we wouldn't be in business for long."
In 1983 Ron Stratman was granted one of 12 original Harley-Davidson merchandising licenses, and he eventually decided to focus his business solely on Harley-Davidson merchandise. Today, RK Stratman Inc. remains wholly owned and managed by the Stratman family. Nearly every one of Ron's children and grandchildren has, at some point in their lives, spent time printing, packing, stocking or selling shirts. RK Stratman Inc. now employs 280 production and support employees as well as sales reps throughout the country and operates two shifts at the Wentzville, Mo., location.
"RK Stratman's dedication to quality and success in every aspect of their business, as well as their very character, embodies the spirit behind the Hanes Beefy-T Hall of Fame," said John Fryer, general manager for Hanesbrands Imagewear. "Ron took his life's passion of motorcycle racing and with it created an incredibly successful business. With their never-ending determination and commitment, their reputation for perfection and service has sealed their success and continues to drive their growing business."
And while RK Stratman and the Hanes Beefy-T have been partners from the very beginning, in 2002 their connection seemed to follow a Hollywood script when RK Stratman's name was drawn-out of more than 3 million entries-as the winner of the Hanes "Born to Be Worn" sweepstakes with a prize of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
"The 'Born to Be Worn' campaign celebrated the creative, slightly rebellious spirit of our industry," said Fryer. "Ron's love of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Hanes Beefy-T T-shirts made for an incredible story."
The Hanes Beefy-T motorcycle was complete with custom chrome, horn-shaped handlebars and a fiery paint job. "The fact that we are a licensed Harley-Davidson screenprinter made it extra special, indeed," said Stratman. "And it's still the only thing I've won in my life."
Regarding being inducted into the Hanes Beefy-T Hall of Fame, Stratman commented, "It elevates our company to the best of the best. After all, the Hanes Beefy-T is still the premier T-shirt in the world."
For more information, visit Hanesbrand's website.