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An Oklahoma Grill Topper
Cooking Up a Winner
Designcast Specialties Hits It Big with the Grill Topper
August 12, 2009

One of the best success stories from last January’s Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show was that of Designcast Specialties. The company arrived in Las Vegas eager to debut the Grill Topper, a cooking accessory that sears team logos into meats of all kinds. According to Jory Dyvig, the industry response was phenomenal.

“The show was really the launching pad for us,” he says. “It changed everything. We met a lot of key buyers. Heading into 2010, we’ve doubled our booth size.”

A steak cooked with a Wisconsin Grill Topper

And Designcast Specialties will have a lot more product on display in its new exhibit. The Grill Glove was the first extension of the brand. Due out next are a grill cover, tool set and apron. The company is also looking into expanding its licensing arm.

“We know the power of licensing,” says Dyvig. “Initially, the collegiate market was our best route. We have some 40 schools under contract, and we plan to add more. We also recently signed a deal with Ford. Eventually, we’ll explore NASCAR, NFL, and other leagues.”

As Dyvig points out, the timing for the Grill Topper rollout could not have been better. While the sagging economy has hurt many business sectors, it has actually created opportunity for Designcast Specialties. “More people are entertaining at home,” he says. “This plays to our advantage. We’ve seen excellent sell-through.”

A Florida Grill Glove

Designcast Specialties originally targeted college bookstores and fan shops at retail. But soon the company found that the Grill Topper had a much broader appeal. Indeed, the product has sold equally well in gift shops and hardware stores. “Our demographic is tailgaters,” he says, “but we’ve found that we crossover all sorts of retail lines.”

Key to the Grill Topper’s popularity has been its hands-on allure. “The product needs to be in front of people,” says Dyvig.

To that end, Designcast Specialties has completely revamped the Grill Topper website, which includes an engaging demonstration video and an interactive blog. The company has also embraced a philosophy of working with buyers of any size. “No one likes to sit on inventory,” says Dyvig. “We make sure that doesn’t happen.”




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