By Audrey Wheeler
A-Line jerseys and Petersons gear are a well-known sight to see running across the pitch, but a new all-star is rising that goes by the name of SAVAGE, the Ultimate Apparel Company. Known for sponsoring Team USA and the underdog Team Uganda, SAVAGE is the main jersey provider for MLQ and has gained increasing popularity amongst teams in all regions in the United States.
Founded in a spare bedroom in 2009, SAVAGE was born to supply the needs of Ultimate Frisbee, a college favorite of owner and creator Todd Curran. Since then, it has developed into the official partner for Spikeball, US Flag Touch Football, and College Disc Golf, among others.
“Getting involved with quidditch was a long time coming,” said Curran.
Although previous discussions with IQA had led SAVAGE to have an interest in quidditch, it was not until watching a video of World Cup V that the company decided to get on board and sprinted into the quidditch market. Curran said the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Quidditch and the University of Miami were the first teams that SAVAGE partnered with to garner an interest base. After SAVAGE advertised on the Eighth Man, MLQ Commissioner Amanda Dallas began discussions with the company and quickly signed a three-year kit contract. The SAVAGE website was created that same weekend.
Quidditch is one of SAVAGE’s more recent partnerships, but it was nonetheless an early focus for the business. The company typically finds sports with specific athletic needs and then tailors its work to apply to these niche markets. SAVAGE has been able to quickly invest itself within the market by offering partnerships to a variety of teams.
Steve Minnich, the self-identified “quidditch guy” for SAVAGE, joined the company when he stopped by headquarters to pick up gear for his own team, District of Columbia Quidditch Club (DCQC), and subsequently applied for an open position. Working as a liaison, he brings teams and SAVAGE together to create final products for the field. He was hired during a growth spurt during the fall of 2016, when the company was expanding to encompass new ideas and new products, including bringing full-sublimation to its headquarters.
Working within the rapid progression of quidditch, Curran remains confident in the fact that the tactic of niche markets allows SAVAGE to truly listen to the needs of a community to create and properly develop items for that market.
“MLQ and SAVAGE often bounce ideas off one another and work together to better certain products the quidditch community is familiar with, including, but not limited to, referee jerseys and snitch shorts,” said Dallas.
SAVAGE made the jump overseas when it announced a partnership with the newly-formed Quidditch Premier League (QPL). Jack Lennard, director of QPL, said SAVAGE’s final proposal was what tied the knot for their partnership.
“[SAVAGE] put so much attention to detail in it and really went through every point to make sure I was happy,” Lennard said. “Then we both signed, and it’s going really well so far.”
At this point, SAVAGE has seemingly not gained a ton of traction as a supplier for other quidditch teams. It does still tend to be more expensive than other jersey companies, which run about $35-55 for a sublimated jersey in comparison to a $69 SAVAGE jersey; however, according to Lennard, the quality is well-regarded and worth the price.
Ultimately, SAVAGE’s goal is to support and learn with the sport so it may grow alongside quidditch. At the end of the day, having completed kits sprinting across the field is a beautiful sight for both the teams and the provider.
In Minnich’s words, “look good, feel good, play good – that’s what it’s all about.”