An special conversation with Sean Kelly, Leader of Jersey Champs, one of the biggest jersey companies in North America.
Sean, Describe yourself?
I am 21 years old and consider myself skilled in social media advertising, particularly Instagram marketing. I enjoy business, basketball and my bed.
How did you come up with the idea or concept for the company?
I always aspired to design jerseys that were unique and not just based on professional sports teams. The idea came to me while I was at Rutgers University and I decided to pursue it. Looking back, I am pleased that I took this risk.
How much potential market share do you think you can capture in the next 3 years?
Fanatics has completely dominated the jersey market with their partnership with all the major sports leagues, however, we are the largest jersey company that does not sell licensed jerseys. We hope to be acquired by Fanatics in a few years once they recognize the potential of jerseys outside of the sports world.
What was the greatest book or series that you’ve ever read?
Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk was an incredible book that taught me the power of personal branding, a concept I never took seriously until I read it.
What are the most and least wise purchases you’ve ever made?
The best purchase was a Virtual assistant who handles all my emails, customer service, and order fulfillment. The worst purchase was over ordering inventory and being stuck with $50,000 in excess inventory for over a year.
What consumes too much of your time?
Responding to the Instagram direct messages on our Instagram page. We have over one million followers and receive a few hundred direct messages a day. I hope to delegate this task soon.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?
Be prepared to sacrifice either your social life or academic life if you are serious about starting a business. I gave up my social life first, but even that wasn’t enough to succeed in both school and business. I had a 1.7 GPA after my freshman year and I knew I had to take a break from there to focus on the business.
Build a team around you and make sure they are as committed as you are.
You don’t need a lot of money to start. Jersey Champs became a multimillion dollar company in two short years and was started with just $1,000.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
Ninja, the Twitch streamer is completely revolutionizing the streaming and eSports industry. I am extremely excited to see where he goes from here and to see if he can sustain his momentum.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
I am proud of the celebrities Jersey Champs has collaborated with such as 2 Chainz, YBN Nahmir, Young M.A. However, I am most proud of our mission to give away 1,000 free jerseys every week to our customers. We have been doing this for the past few months and we love receiving the photos of our customers with a smile on their face when they receive the jersey.
How can people reach out to you?
Message me through my personal website or on my Instagram. I’ll do my best to get back to everyone.
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