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Iowa was one of Game Bibs’ first big markets.

Game Bibs Not Likely to Wear Out Their Welcome
’70s Retro Look a Big Hit on College Campuses
December 26, 2006

If you’re a true sports trivia nut, you might recall a short-lived fad in the 1970s for striped bib overalls featuring the colors of select college teams. Joshua Coenen has fond memories of those times—and they continue to live on today in Game Bibs, the company he founded three years ago with Luke and Brian Helbing.

“My mom bought a couple pair of those bibs in red and white for my dads, and I eventually adopted them,” Coenen says. “We lived in Wisconsin, so I wore them to Badger games. People would literally offer me money for the bib off my back.”

Excited Florida fans show off their Game Bibs and bucket hats.

That reaction ultimately convinced Coenen and Helbing brothers to go into business together. Game Bibs was born in November of 2003, and the three have been busy building their market share ever since. They started with a tent outside Lambeau Field and Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium. A few years later, the trio branched out to all schools in the Big Ten, and hit the road up and down the East and West Coasts. Now, says Coenen, Game Bibs is set to take off.

“The big news is we’re in the final process of a blanket license for nearly 200 schools,” he explains. “We’re also working on a huge distribution deal. We exhibited at the Sports Licensing & Entertainment Marketplace and Tailgate • Picnic Show and made a lot of great contacts.”

Students at Wabash College in their Game Bibs.

Game Bibs is launching several new product lines too. In addition to their traditional bibs, the company carries women’s skirts, cargo pants and shorts and hats. For 2007, Game Bibs is introducing a checkered racing line, St. Patrick’s Day apparel and red, white and blue Freedom Wear.

“All of our designs are patented,” says Coenen. “Retail prices range from $45 to $65, and our margins are excellent.”

 

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