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Football sport beads from IMC in purple and gold.

Innovative Marketing Consultants Finds Success with Sport Beads
April 21, 2010

The trading card boom of the 1980s gave birth to most than one aspiring entrepreneur, including Shane Erickson. The President of Innovative Marketing Consultants, Erickson started collecting and selling baseball cards in junior high school. From there began a career that has elevated him to one of the leaders in the promotional products marketplace.

“I eventually opened a few sports cards stores,” says Erickson. “When Beanie Babies became big, I moved into promotional products. I brought them to the retail environment and continued to expand. IMC was founded in 1999.”

Today, IMC’s bestseller is its line of sport beads. They cater to virtually every sport and come in more than a dozen colors. “We found that licensing complicated out business,” says Erickson, “so we now serve as a supplier to licensees. We also do a lot of customized work for professional teams.”

No one outfits the hardcore sports fan better than IMC.

Along with sport beads, IMC offers wigs, face paint, drink holders, and a host of other items for the hardcore fan. Erickson feels that IMC makes rooting for a team fun—for fans and retailers. According to Erickson, IMC plans to keep developing fun, innovative products, including a sports blanket.

“My advice is to retailers is to think outside the box,” he says. “Residual novelties can do good business. Nice margins can be built in. For example, we hear from retailers all the time who talk about how well out sport beads sell. A consumer will come into a store and grab 10 or 20 sets for a party. That shows you that there’s no reason to stick with the same old products.”




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