This was an insane year for The 7 Line. April 2012 will be the official 2 year anniversary for the brand and if this year was any indication to our future it's going to be one hell of a fun ride.
2011 saw many highlights for us. Here are some in no particular order: Teaming up with McFaddens and Strawberry's to print their shirts and cross promote our brands, raising almost $3,000 from a charity shirt with On The Black to benefit the Gary Carter Foundation, high fiving random fans at every game who happen to be wearing my t-shirts, the NY Daily News coming to the shop to run a full page story on the brand, Roger Clark from NY1 coming a week or so later to feature The 7 Line live on their morning show, SNY's Mets Weekly also coming to the shop to film a segment, getting ejected from Citi Field (wasn't a highlight but ended up bringing a TON of exposure), Sid Rosenberg, Tracy Burgess and Boomer Esiason all wearing Don't Trade Reyes t-shirts on TV, John Montone from 1010 Wins coming to my apartment twice to run features on CBS radio, building relationships with people at SNY and being on a first name basis with people I've been watching on TV for years, raising close to $8,000 from a charity shirt collaboration with Joe Petruccio to benefit 9/11 Tuesday's Children charity, having R.A. Dickey endorse one of our shirts and also raising money with him for the outreach charity, being in countless newspapers for the Don't Trade Reyes movement, seeing fans all across the world wearing shirts from The 7 Line at away games, our inaugural suite party at Citi Field, throwing two parties at Strawberry's and giving away free beer to all our fans.... and of course how can I forget working with 12 beautiful ladies on our 2012 calendar. I'm sure I am missing something but that's a chock filled year right there. Now we just need the Mets to win!
We support a team that has sub par results as of late but we are trying our best to build a community of fans who try to keep it fun in the good times and bad.
May 12th 2011 NY Daily News. This is what started it all... It went from being busy to INSANITY in one day. I can't thank writer Mark Morales enough for coming to the shop and thinking The 7 Line was an interesting enough story to contact me for an article.
May 13th 2011 John Montone from CBS radio 1010am saw the Daily News article and instantly called saying that he had to come interview me. The paper came out on the morning of the 12th at around 5am and by 9am he was in my living room. It ran all morning the next day on the 13th every 20 minutes or so. Watch the end of this video and you can see how shot I look. Was practically up for 48 hours straight. Orders were pouring in and I realized it was time to hire an employee to help me out.
May 17th 2011, Tracy Burgess rocking her Don't Trade Reyes shirt on the Boomer & Carton show. Tracy is a HUGE supporter of The 7 Line and it was really great getting to know her this past season. We ended up hitting a couple games together at Citi Field and it was a pleasure meeting her and her husband. Tracy has since moved on from the show but we will for sure stay in touch. Thanks for everything Tracy!
May 26th 2011, Roger Clark from NY1 came by the shop to air a live news piece. I ended up having to be there at around 6am for the crew to set up and run their lights and wires. I was nervous as all hell so I am kind of embarrassed by the way I sound. Live TV is pretty tough. We didn't rehearse anything so I was pretty nervous. They ended up editing the footage into a segment that ran all day every half hour or so.
June 3rd, 2011 The Don't Trade Reyes rally at Citi Field. I can't take credit for organizing this one but am happy to be a part of it. I was printing the shirts for a month or so before this and a few other fans made an event invite on Facebook. We all promoted the crap out of it and hundreds of people participated. Here Kevin Burkhardt gives us a shout out on SNY. The Mets lost that night but we really started something special out there on the Shea Bridge. From this day on you'd spot Don't Trade Reyes shirts at every home and away game. The movement was huge and everyone heard it. Sandy was asked about it in a couple press conferences and Terry Collins even had a quote in the paper jokingly saying that nobody is making signs about him.
June 5th 2011, The ejection. Two days after the Don't Trade Reyes rally I went back to the Sunday Night Baseball game against the Braves. I decided to bring the same exact sign with me that I had on Friday night for the rally. It boldly said DON'T TRADE REYES and had my website address underneath. This game was nationally televised on ESPN and I ended up scoring awesome seats behind the Mets dugout. When Reyes was up to bat I told the fans around me that we were going to start a Don't Trade Reyes chant and I'd stand with the sign. They were all about it and that's just what we did. It was clearly seen on ESPN and Bobby V mentioned it in the booth. My phone started to BLOW UP so I knew that it was without a doubt getting some air time. A minute or so later a supervisor said that I couldn't have the sign up while the ball was in play. The thing was huge and it was definitely obstructing some fans view. I don't wanna be that guy so I of course agreed. I put it up again in between innings and a supervisor came down and said I couldn't show the sign anymore since it had my website address on it. I understood and agreed that I wouldn't show it anymore. I was getting national advertisement for free and it worked. I folded the sign up between innings and decided to walk around back to the Shea Bridge. On my way a few fans asked how they could contact me so I handed them some business cards.... that was it... the main supervisor said I was now soliciting on their property and I had to go. It was a power trip and the end to a long weekend so I guess that was his breaking point. I tried to calmly reason with the guy but he wasn't having it. They had a few police escort me out and I instantly tweeted pretty much everyone in the media. Some could see that as a publicity stunt but I would never intentionally do something to get kicked out of a game. I don't start trouble and wouldn't do something to jeopardize my fan career at Citi Field. I just felt that they went a little overboard and it was a good chance to let other people know what happened to me. The next morning Al Dukes, the producer from the Boomer and Carton show tracked me down and got me on the phone....
June 22nd 2011, Boomer Esiason wearing his Don't Trade Reyes shirt. Pretty awesome that an NFL legend was supporting the cause. Both Boomer and Carton have been great to me this year. I really can't thank them enough. I'm obviously not a sponsor of the show but they still wear my stuff at least a few times a month. Carton not so much but maybe that will change in 2012... he's just gotta get off that "Mets fans for Yankees" crap.
July 3rd 2011, Mets Weekly hit me up about doing a piece on the brand back in mid June. I was a little skeptical at first since the show airs on SNY and SNY is owned by the Mets. I have no ties with MLB or the Mets and they generally aren't fans of what I got going on over here. Most of my shirts aren't considered family friendly and after the ejection at Citi Field I couldn't see them wanting to run a piece on me. I brought this up to the producer before they came out but she said they got full clearance from the network and things were a go. I actually hit up Matt Cerrone to ask what his advice would be on this. I got paranoid for a second thinking the Mets were putting a sting out on me.
September 10th 2011, meeting up with R.A. Dickey at Citi Field. At the end of the summer I got an e-mail from some people at the MLBPA asking me to take down a few of my t-shirt designs. I never use the word METS or licensed logos on anything but I guess some of the shirts were implying too much about particular players so those had to come down. I talked to my lawyer and I would have won in court but it wasn't worth paying the litigation fees to fight over. If you noticed a few shirts that went missing from the webstore that is why. A few days later I got an e-mail from Dickeys agent Bo McKinnis saying that they heard from the MLBPA about the t-shirts asking what they wanted to do. Dickey then told Bo that they wanted nothing to do with any kind of action against me and brought up the idea of actually teaming up. I was SHOCKED. That really says something huge about R.A. and his character. A millionaire ball player sees The 7 Line as something cool for the fans and he'd rather team up with us than try to shut it down. They gave me full permission to use anything with his name and likeness and we met up at Citi Field to shoot this quick video. A portion of each shirt sold goes towards the Kilimanjaro climb charity that he is raising money for.
October 22-23 2011, The Calendar shoots. Now this was a tough one to organize! I really went in to this blind but the end result is amazing. We searched for the hottest Mets fans we could find. 33 girls tried out and and we set up an online poll to pick the top 12. Photographer Bryan Dewitt was a pleasure to work with and we are completely confident saying this is THE BEST Mets inspired calendar you'll ever see. Half the time you buy one of the licensed calendars these days the players represented in the months aren't even on the team anymore. The girls all look great and from April-October the games are shaded orange for home and blue for away. "The 12 Months of Orange and Blue" was a huge step up for the brand. It was a serious investment, but in the end it will help bring us to the next level. If you haven't seen it yet you can pick one up for just $10 HERE.
I guess those are the best highlights of our 2011. I can't thank you fans enough for your support! More fun things to come in 2012!!!!!! Let's make some more memories together!
Pre-order your Tailgate Empanadas! Freddy P is a Mets fan with a local business that we'd love to shine a spotlight on. What started as a simple chicken empanada tray for a holiday dinner turned in to a hustle around the 5 boroughs.
Tailgate with us on Saturday September 16th at Citi Field! Kick the night off with us in the Marina Lot! The Mets take on the Reds at 7:10pm so we expect fans to start showing up around 3pm. If you can't swing that early, just get there when ya get there.