We have seen a number of bat companies rise and fall over the course of covering them extensive. Some, as is the case with Adidas and Mizuno, are massive conglomerates looking to tap into their established distribution lines and sell metal and composite bats. Others have gone the way of all the earth like RIP-IT, Worth Baseball and COMBAT. Some monsters have acquired other monsters like Wilson and Louisville Slugger. Yet, despite all that movement by massive players in the space, new and fresh faces still try their hand. Folks like Rude American, RICO Bats and Dirty South each come offering a new take on the market and, more importantly, a bat.
See our Full Rude American Bat Reviews.
We believe this blog space is as useful as any for these small guys to get their word out among the giants. We took some time to put together, with the help of Staz DeStout, the following Q&A on the progress of Rude American bats since we first covered them in 2015.
Just Bat Reviews: Staz, How is Business?
We actually surpassed our 1st Quarter 2016 numbers in the 3rd week of January and it hasn’t stopped since. We could have never projected that and by early February we were nearly out of all stock. We have increased production to meet the demand and are now beginning to fulfill all of the back orders and have available current stock.
Just Bat Reviews: To what do you this growth?
Really a lot of things such as quality, performance, differentiating ourselves from the competition, grass roots marketing, the internet. Years ago you would have had to have had a much much larger advertising budget to get the word out, but today the internet has changed all that. We spent a lot of time researching the most effective ways to get our message out and worked diligently over the past year developing that strategy. We’re not going to give out our behind the scenes corporate secrets here but I can tell you it’s working and mainly because of our customers. Again there are many reasons for the growth but certainly customer videos are at the core. Our customers are testing our bats against all of the 800 pound gorillas in the bat industry and posting them on facebook. The customer facebook videos are viraling like crazy which is driving the traffic.
JBR What makes the MOAB different than other 800 pound gorilla company bats?
Everything, the bats look different, feel different, sound different; the ball comes off different. We were the first to produce a full graphic wrap around the bat. Our original decal company that produced for most of the major brands told us they had never seen anything like it in all the years they’ve been in the business. We’re the only bat on the market today with a “Ribbed Grip” giving the bat a sweet feel. At a trade show the booth next to us was Lizard Skins and they were passing our bat around saying “man feel this grip” and they’re the grip guys! They’ll not produce a ribbed grip because they are killing it with a flat grip with colors. Our bats also sound different and the ball definitely comes off different.
JBR: Every company we have ever spoken to says their bat is better and that the all comes off different. Why would you also say yours does too?
First we truly understand the performance standards better than the big companies and even have engineers that helped create those standards. Think about this, if you barge in thousands of bats you would have to live in a fear of exceeding the standard and having to eat all of those bats. We have no fear, we understand the performance standards better than the big companies, we are extremely aggressive, we do much smaller production runs right up to the edge of the standard and then we give the player a competitive advantage that exceeds it legally by having a Speed Engineered and a Power Engineered in every size model.
The Speed is moderately balanced and the Power is moderately end loaded, key word is moderate. We do not make a heavily end loaded bat. Hitting is finite. An instructor may make a minor adjustment in a player’s swing that gets dramatic results and that’s what we’re doing with our weight distribution as long as players keep an open mind, it is definitely not lead off swing speed clean up swing power. There is no rhyme or reason, we have a 270 pound D1 player swinging speed and a 100 pound high school player soaking wet that does better with the power and vice versa.
By doing a proper demo with one of our reps or dealers players are picking up a 3 to 5 MPH of increased ball exit speed; gaining a competitive edge over the competition. That’s the feedback we’re getting from players, coaches and instructors every day.
Just Bat Reviews: How important is bat fitting?
The player does become part of the secret sauce as we have lined up the right bat for his/her swing, many times for the first time in their career. That’s why there is not a better bat between our speed and power, there is a better bat for your particular swing and we don’t know which it will be.
Just Bat Reviews: What if a customer goes on line, guesses and buys one or the other?
You can guess and the players is going to get increased ball exit speed over their best bat but if you have a chance to demo it may reveal we just left a couple of MPH on the table. That’s why we love the demo process in the instance where it is possible.
Just Bat Reviews: Is direct the only way you sell? Or are you having any success getting in any big box stores anytime soon?
We are not concerning ourselves with that at this time and believe that will happen on its own in its due time. Our focus is more on local entrepreneurs around the country (and world for that matter) that are blazing the trail with us by investing in stocking our products in their existing Baseball Academy’s; Area rep’s that are taking our Inflatable batting cages direct to the tournaments and doing live demos. We have brick and mortar specialty sports stores too but the guys that create the buzz are definitely the guys doing demos. Those Academy Reps are golden with us and we have a strategy to allow those same entities to be the “Johnny Apple Seed” of Rude American.
The plan compensates them as they play a role in our distribution growth and rightfully so as they are the ones with skin in the game that are helping to blaze the trail with us. It’s a real Win/Win for everybody involved. Ultimately, and we’re starting to see this now. Players are walking into stores asking for the MOAB, that’s typically when the stores come on board many of which are introduced by the local field reps.
Just Bat Reviews: How has the company evolved over the last year?
We’re bringing on key personnel in administration, engineering design and development. We brought on the founder of Post Net and we consider him to be an administrative, accounting, pick pack and ship monster. Our newest engineer, well really inventor, is a big part of not only our quality control today but our new product designs tomorrow and moving into the future.
Just Bat Reviews: What is coming down the pipe and where do you see Rude American in 3 to 5 years? Still in the game? Bought by some big company?
Had you asked me that this time last year I would have told you we hoped to capture a nice niche market of the big bat industry. Today our goals are much more lofty. We are spending our resources on bringing in people and minds that we believe are not only capable of managing our growth but are also capable of developing technology for bats and other related products that will absolutely change the industry.