Monday, August 18, 2008

5 Questions With Fathead



Do you remember those commercials a few years back with Ben Roethlisberger’s giant head filling the television screen? Now gracing the walls of sports fans everywhere, Fathead has expanded their line to include many more sports and other famous figures. I caught up with one of the folks at Fathead and asked them five questions:

1. How did Fathead start? What inspired the idea and the name? Why so darn big? What is your target demographic?

Fathead began with one entrepreneur’s dream of creating life-size wall graphics of his favorite NFL players. Amongst Fathead team members there is still some dispute over who that entrepreneur actually was…what we do know for sure is that Dan Gilbert and Camelot Ventures bought him out. (You may have heard of Dan Gilbert as the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Quicken Loans, ePrize and a bazillion other proftibable ventures?) Camelot immediately began building a company around the idea of selling licensed life-size wall graphics. They hired CEO Brock Weatherup, VP of Licensing Linda Castillon among other marketing and website development personnel and soon Fathead.com was born. This site is a labor of love we work on every day – adding new Fathead products, features, functionality and basically doing everything we can to keep the Fathead brand and appeal REAL.BIG. in the eyes of sports and entertainment fans.

Ever the movie “Leatherheads?” Me either. But those helmets the players wear in the movie (or on the movie poster) were colloquially referred to as “fatheads” because they offered no protection and a single hit could result in a swollen noggin. Consequently, anyone willing to risk concussion to play had to be damn passionate about football. Like our fans. Fathead (the company) lives by that passion too. Our products give physical form to the passion of fans in every sport and for quite a few entertainment properties too.

Why so darn big? Why not? Seriously, the people represented by Fathead wall graphics may only be flesh and blood…but they’re also heroes. They’re larger than life in the eyes of their fans and the general public. You might say their size is a visual metaphor for their hero status. Or you could just dig the fact that, no matter where you have a Fathead, they’re big enough to ALWAYS be the center of attention.

Target demographic? Fans of professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, action sports, boxing, NASCAR, WWE, the Dark Knight, Hannah Montana, Pirates of the Caribbean, The World of Cars, High School Musical, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Star Wars, Spider-Man, Superman, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, X-Men and, of course, fire-breathing Kodiak bears.

2. What sorts of characters other than sports figures are Fatheads?

See above.

3. How does Fathead choose athletes to highlight? What happens when they are no longer popular?

To become a Fathead and have your face on thousands of walls across the country, you must be considered “Fathead-worthy.” No amount of Boy Scout merit badges can earn you this honor. You can’t buy your way into Fathead-dom – lobbying firms have tried and been summarily rejected. You must actually be a hero. Of course, there are different kinds of heroes: sports heroes like Brett Favre and Derek Jeter; super heroes like the Dark Knight and Super Man; secret heroes like Homer Simpson (who, I think, is the secret hero of every man). Of course, having a passionate fan base helps too.

As for being unpopular - I don’t know. It hasn’t happened yet.

4. When did the Fathead blog start? What type of things do you try to cover? What's on the horizon?

Unofficially, a few weeks ago. Currently, our blog resides on MySpace here and the WordPress version is here. We hope to address a wide variety of topics. We’re working with a handful of extremely talented bloggers to cover their favorite teams, major events in sports and exceptionally newsworthy items like the story of one man’s agonizing over where to stick his favorite NHL player Fathead. We’ve also had cause to include informational posts on decorating with Fathead and, my personal favorite, how to talk your parents into buying you a Fathead. On the horizon? The sun. A few clouds. And some REAL.BIG. sports writing by passionate fans.

5. What else can we expect from Fathead in the future?

We’re holding the Presidential election early this year on Fathead.com. We are actually debuting two new products: a Barack Obama Fathead and a John McCain Fathead. In anticipation of this, we’re preempting the November election and allowing everyone a vote - registered voters, unregistered voters, kids, foreign nationals - if your dog has an email address, he’s got the franchise. Of course, unless your pooch has a credit card, he won’t be able to enjoy the 10% off he’ll get for casting his ballot.

2 comments:

Lindsay said...

I can see why lots of kids would go nuts over these. I always plastered my walls with stuff through high school and my brother always had big posters of sports stars.

Kinda funny how Brett Favre and Hannah Montana are both included in this.

Apryl DeLancey said...

I know - who would think the two belonged in the same sentence?