We are so proud of our partners at Fanatics, the global leader in fan gear and licensed sports merchandise, known by avid sports fans and sports memorabilia collectors everywhere. Like other great retail branded gift cards available at eGifter.com, Fanatics.com checks every proverbial box when it comes to quality, selection, creativity and service. Their loyal base of dedicated players and spectators (plus those that love them!) is deeply engaged with the Fanatics brand as only fanatical sports fans can be! We always love serving Fanatics customers and we’re delighted to offer a limited time special promotion with deep savings while Fanatics gift card supplies last. Through 4/24/20, get a $50 Fanatics Gift Card for just $42.50 (promo Code: FANS420. But our ability to offer great deals and savings to Fanatics gift card customers is not what makes us proud at this particular moment. In our opinion, it takes more than great products, services, gift card distribution, customer service and engineering innovation for a business to transform from great to truly legendary, like Fanatics. To that end, Michael Rubin and the entire Fanatics team get kudos for demonstrating the manufacturing prowess and heart for which America has always been known. American pride, indeed.
Manufacturing Ingenuity: A Heroic Response
A Clear Gap Becomes Apparent
As the nation and the world watched the vertical climb of statistical rates of infection, hospitalizations and mortality, one of the most reported shortfalls in our ability to respond became clear. Healthcare workers were becoming dramatically limited in their ability to perform front line jobs due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). As we watched news footage and read news articles, the PPE deficit occurred as insurmountable.
Enter Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, who began to lose sleep along with the rest of us, wondering how to make a difference in the fight against the COVID-19 virus pandemic that continues to rock the world. On March 17, he heard about the shortages of tests, respirators and everyday supplies that created severe challenges for health-care workers. In the uniquely powerful position of running a massive fabric-based production operation in the U.S., Rubin would soon realize an opportunity in the making.
Pause on Jersey Production. Pivot to Masks & Gowns.
Like other countless numbers of manufacturing facilities forced to the sidelines due to restrictions imposed by social distancing, health concerns, governmental restrictions, supply chain limitations, depressed demand and more, Fanatics’ manufacturing operations were halted. Bottom line, no baseball season meant no production. From there, it did not take long for Rubin to realize that a million yards of fabric intended to manufacture baseball uniforms were lying dormant at the company’s manufacturing facility in Easton, PA.
One Million Masks and Gowns, Coming Right Up.
Said Rubin in a telephone interview, ““When the country is in need the way it is, it’s our privilege and opportunity to try to chip in in a small way. If we can save even one life, that’s better than making baseball uniforms and jerseys.” And so began the collaboration between Major League Baseball and its official jersey manufacturer, Fanatics, to address the shortage of protective masks and gowns for hospital workers. There are now about 100 employees working “extra distanced and in a very clean and safe environment” to make one million masks and gowns to donate to hospitals in Pennsylvania, with the hopes of eventually extending this to New Jersey and New York.” Fanatics and MLB are taking on the cost of production.
We Salute the Leaders and Innovators Among Us
There is no shortage of lessons to be learned from sharp and committed business leaders like Michael Rubin, CEO of our retail gift card partner, Fanatics. With an unprecedented need for solutions dictated by our very survival, we’re convinced that goodness and innovation will emerge, mirroring the bold initiatives taken by Rubin and those on his team.
It will take a set of complex business, manufacturing and human mandates, simply stated below, to lead the way forward.