Swagga Suit: The Story


Jon Brockman was approached with a large purple onesie sweater suit, also known as, “Swagga Suit”. Even though it was a large, he put it on and proceeded to throw down dunk after dunk.  Pictures were taken and it went viral.

ESPN, Yahoo, NBC Sports, Seattle PI, and SBN Nation are a few that picked up the story. Kevin Calabro mentioned it on the air, and things went crazy for the founders/creators of Swagga Suit.

Sales were pouring in for the suit, more than they even currently owned. They had to manufacture more. They started to get

negative attention

haters. They began to get calls from other schools, get emails and tweets from NBA teams about bringing to concept to their team, and that is the tip of the iceberg.

But first let’s rewind, how did this all happen?

It started with two friends and classmates in an entrepreneur class at the University of Washington, Josh Brewer and Gillian Pennington who had been talking about starting a business together ever since they met. However, when that exact assignment was cast to their class, a future reality became a current reality.

That is when three others joined their force in Elaina Tursi, Ryan Mayo, and Matt Miller. Together they began to brainstorm what it would take to get a good grade on this project. Brainstorm a undergrad student run business.

“There were moments when we thought we would fail the class.” Pennington said. “Things weren’t coming together at first.”

The team in an effort to pass the class got together to brainstorm and plan. Swaggasuits.com describes the event as a little blurry:

"“After sitting in a locked room for a total of 13.5 hours we not only became good friends but we decided to produce jumpsuits…The sequence of events behind this decision is a little blurred but let’s just say things got weird and in the end here we are and here is our awesome product.”"

They came out of that meeting with the initial idea of thermal wear for UW fans. However, over the next few days after calling manufacturers, embroiders, and back and forth through the five of them, Swagga Suits was born.

The initial suit arrived and Brewer and Pennington were impressed. Pennington’s mind started running wild with ideas and how big this could actually be.

Brewer put on the suit and together they headed to the Husky Spring Game.

“We are trying to wear it everywhere to everything.” Brewer told Husky Haul about his initial marketing strategy.

“We were selling them to tailgaters, we said, ‘hey would you like to buy a suit like this?’ and a guy would buy one and then pressure his friends to buy one.”  Pennington said.

The suits started to sell. And it wasn’t only  young students that understand “swag” that were purchasing the suit, alumni were just as excited about owning a purple jumpsuit.

The spring game was the start of what has the makings to be an incredible journey. At this point, only a class and a handful of tailgaters even knew what Swagga Suits were.

However, a phone call to a friend changed that. Pennington called a close friend of Brockman and the next thing you know, he is wearing the suit, dunking basketball after basketball. Darnell Gant then donned the suit and did the same.

This is when things got out of control, and fast. The story hit the internet and their phones were blowing up. Sales were still low but the site’s analytics showed a huge peak in traffic. It wasn’t until it really hit the Seattle press when sales started to go through the roof. The Seattle PI, this site, and a handful of others ran a positive story and sales came pouring in.

Not all the attention was positive attention. In fact, many sites ran negative things about the suits and about Brockman. Many poked fun at UW, Brockman, and the Swagga Suit.

I asked Pennington if that crushed them a little bit. “No the negative attention didn’t bother us. We understand that ideas like this bring haters; Uggs, Crocs, Toms all were deemed ‘ugly’ and ‘stupid’ but everyone is wearing them.”

Those companies are making millions off of what other people deemed ‘ugly’ ideas. The reality is, whether you think the suit is ugly or not, it is loud, and sports fans love to wear loud outfits. The “Cameron Crazies” dress like idiots to attend their Duke basketball games.

Swagga Suits are marketed to these exact type of fans; the tailgaters, the fans that travel for their team, that yell at the refs, that start chants in stadiums, that stand in line for hours to get a ticket, and stand/yell the entire game. The die-hard crazies are the ones that will buy Swagga Suits, not the fair-weather fans.

“We did worry that Brockman may be affected by the negative attention…his reply was, ‘I am a goofy guy, I do goofy things, don’t worry about it.” Pennington said.

Long story short, sales are coming in and so the detractors don’t have the Swagga Suit folks worried or hurt. In fact, for the haters from other schools, be ready to wear a Swagga Suit with your school’s logo on it very soon.

“Our eventual plan is to get this all over…short term to a few more schools in the Pac-12.” Brewer said about their goals with Swagga Suits. They actually already have interest from a few fanbases and athletes that would like to rep it for their school.

This is all happening without football or basketball in season, and leads me to believe that Swagga Suits has a shot to be the next big thing in fan apparel.

If you would like to purchase your own Swagga Suit, click here.