In 2017, Jason Richardson was looking for a more bold golf shirt to buy. He looked out on the marketplace and saw that everything was traditional and boring. He spotted a gap. With zero experience in retail and $20K of his own money, he launched the golf apparel brand Bad Birdie as a side hustle.
In his first year of business, he sold $72K through his website. At the time, he was having the shirts manufactured in Los Angeles. Having them made in the United States allowed him to buy in smaller run sizes.
He spent no money on Facebook or Google ads for the first 6 months. To get the word out about his product, he reached out to golf influencers on social media and sent them his product. These influencers in return posted about his product on their channels for free (good luck getting that to work today).
In 2018 he grew his sales to $412K, and in 2019 he grew his sales to over $1M.
Cost of Goods Sold
When he first started manufacturing these shirts in 2017, it cost him about $40 per shirt. In 2019, he was able to drive his costs down to $25 and at the end of 2019 he got his costs down to $17.
He sells the shirts for $72. So in 2017, his gross margins were 44%, first 3 quarters of 2019, his gross margins were 65%, and at the end of 2019, his gross margins were 76%.
In 2019 Shark Tank reached out to Jason to see if he would be interested in pitching the company on the show (A producer’s husband knew of the brand and liked them).
Before going on the show, Jason researched and found that most companies got a valuation of about half of what they asked for. So Jason went in and asked for $300,000 for 10% of the company (a $3M valuation).
Jason received two offers. The first from Kevin. He offered $300,000 for 30% and a contingency that he could not sell in retail. The second offer was from Robert. He offered $300,000 for 25% (a $1.2M valuation).
Jason’s ultimate goal was to get $300,000 for 20% equity. He accepted Robert’s offer but made a bet with him. They had a 10ft putting green on set. If Robert sank a putt, he would get 25% equity. If he missed, he would get 20% equity. Robert missed.
The Shark Tank Bump
The episode ended up airing in April of 2020. When the show first aired, they broke their monthly record for sales. The episode has been re-aired once so far. The re-air provided about 35% bump of what the first airing did.
Where are sales now?
Between July 24th, 2021, and August 25th, 2021, Bad Birdie received 8,871 orders. That is a daily average of 277 orders per day.
Bad Birdie’s average order size is about $75. This means they are doing just under $21K in daily revenue. And they will do just over $600K in August. I estimated Bad Birdie will do over $7M in yearly revenue in 2021.
How does this compare to others?
G/Fore is a similar concept golf apparel brand started by Mossimo Giannulli (aunt Becky’s Husband or you may know him from the college bribery scandal).
In August, G/Fore is processing 470 orders a day. I will do a full breakdown of G/Fore soon, but as you can see G/Fore has just under twice the order volume that Bad Birdie has.
G/Fore’s average order size is about $100. That gives them about $47,000 in daily revenue. Just under $1.5M in revenue for August and most likely will do north of $10M in 2021 total revenue (through their website).
Bad Birdie’s Advertising
On Facebook, Bad Birdie currently has about 210 active ads. About half of them are video ads.
Here are the top 5 paid keywords for Bad Birdie’s Google ads:
- golf shirts
- bad birdie golf
- golf polos
- bad birdie golf shirts
- mens golf polos
Bad Birdie Email
Jason has spoken about how important customer retention is to their business model. Email is a big focus for them (as it should be with any DTC brand).
This is the welcome email I received after joining their email list:
Subject line: A big ol’ thanks….
Since that email on 7/25/2021 I have received 10 emails from them. Here is another email they sent me on August 18th at 3:07pm (eastern):
Subject Line: One time for the Best Sellers
Their emails have good personality to them. It showcases their fun casual golf attire brand very well.
Another form of retention for Bad Birdie is their Instagram community. They have 86K followers, and in August, they were tagged 220 times. This shows their audience is engaged with their brand and wants to showcase it online. This is a huge asset for Bad Birdie; their consumers help spread the word about the brand.
Here are their audience demographics:
No real surprises in their audience demographics. This is what I would expect to see for a golf apparel brand.
Look out for continued growth
The pandemic caused a surge in interest in golf, and Bad Birdie is riding that wave. In 4 years, they have grown from a side hustle doing $72K in revenue to now doing over $7M in revenue. The consumers resonate with the brand, and they should be positioned for increased growth. There is no reason they cannot be the same size company as G/Fore.