Fan Post Entrepreneurs Keep Plugging Away at Licensing Game
By Doug Carroll
GCU News Bureau
The recent completion of the second annual Canyon Challenge entrepreneurial competition had people wondering: What ever happened to the winner of the first one?
Christopher Kirk is glad that they asked.
Kirk and his team from The Fan Post, which won the inaugural Challenge, didn’t disappear. They’ve been grinding away in the garage of Kirk’s Phoenix home, refining various production details and working to bring their unique sports-memorabilia products to market.
“I had an idea of how hard this would be,” says Kirk, 40, an enrollment counselor in the Military Division who works at Grand Canyon University’s Peoria offices. “But I didn’t know it would take this long.”
Manufacturing has been the least of The Fan Post’s concerns. It’s licensing that requires the lion’s share of the effort and has caused the most headaches. The good news is that The Fan Post’s desktop basketball goals — in three GCU styles, with three versions of each — will go on sale in the next couple of weeks at the Team Shop in the Arena, and there should be a nice supply in time for graduation.
Kirk says he’s also meeting with GCU’s Office of Student Life to see if The Fan Post can have a presence at the upcoming Relay for Life on campus.
“We really want to get involved with the student body,” he says.
Licensing was obtained through Strategic Marketing Affiliates, which is GCU’s licensing organization. Other schools under consideration by The Fan Post through SMA are St. Mary’s College (Calif.) and Loyola Marymount University.
The fledgling company also is negotiating with a different licensing organization, Collegiate Licensing Company, for approval to produce Fan Post mini-hoops and goal posts for Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. Kirk’s business partners are Brandon Hesterman (graphics coordinator), Denis Castro (sales and promotion) and Vincent Kline (manufacturing and licensing).
“Now that we have licensing (through SMA), it will be easier to get more licensing,” Kirk says. “Even the smallest changes in the product have to go through an approval process.”
Fan Post product also can be ordered via the company’s website, which is http://thefanpost.com/.
Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.