My favorite Clean Sheet Co. moments have involved hanging out in parking lots. There’s usually a table with our shirts and scarves scattered across the top. There’s almost always music playing. Sometimes there’s beer. Recently there’s been a flag. There’s definitely some kind of buzzy pre-game energy floating around. But there are two absolute constants: soccer, and you.
I founded Clean Sheet Co. in early 2013, during the long run up to the most recent World Cup. We’ve survived and grown since then, thanks to some solid choices, some good fortune, and an extremely loyal, passionate and expanding group of supporters. I don’t talk about it too much, but the love we get from customers, fans and supporters – on social media, in correspondance, and most of all, in person – is astounding. I still can’t believe it’s real.
I don’t want to get all mushy about this, but it should be said: it’s an honor to meet the folks who stop by our parking lot table (or more likely, our website), get to know us, and end up being our supporters and friends. I didn’t know that was going to happen when I started an apparel company. But it’s become the best part of what we do.
The 2018 World Cup looms, at this point in the cycle four years ago, we were about to launch Clean Sheet Co. Those four years have seen us build a great foundation, and it’s time to raise our game. Here’s where we start:
1. Today, you’ll find a brand new website at cleansheet.co – a version 2.0, if you will. New era, new site. It should look good and present our stuff in an attractive light. I hope you’ll check it out, and tell me what you think.
2. We’re going all-in on the pre-funding model, and building it into nearly all the designs we make. You guys know how this works: if you like a design, commit to it by pre-ordering. If enough folks do the same, we make the shirt and you get it at a great price. If not, you never get charged. In the past, we experimented with this model and called it The Lab. Now it’s just how we work.
3. The States project, dormant for a year or so, is back. Our first new state design, New Mexico, is live now. If you break bad, know the answer to “red or green?”, or just want to believe, go check it out – it’s pre-funding for the next week. More state designs are ready to roll out after this one.
4. The People’s Crest, our project to re-imagine a free, open-source logo system for American soccer, rolls on. Our newest variation is a response to the USMNT’s tough start to World Cup qualifying. We need inspiration, so we’re calling in a big stick: Teddy Roosevelt. Go check out our Rough Rider shirt – it’s also pre-funding now.
5. We’re planning out our Clean Sheet Co. tour schedule for 2017 now. Do you know about a parking lot we need to be at? We want to visit your group, your stadium, your crew, and get inspired. Big, small, on the map or off, let us know if we can come by and hang with you before a match.
6. Our goal is to call you a supporter. It’s the community of people around us that makes this whole thing great. Leave us a message, or show us how and where you’re rocking your Clean Sheet Co. stuff – we’ll proudly show it off. (I love this page.)
7. So many of you have reached out to us, we figured it would be smart to start connecting cool people together. So we host a growing online community folks who like to talk soccer, design, watch live events, make fun of Jürgen Klopp’s antics… and get previews of new Clean Sheet Co. stuff as it’s being dreamed up. We call the Inner Circle, and you can join up here. (Shout out to the Inner Circle members who’ve helped beta-test the new Clean Sheet Co. website – you guys have been great.)
8. We’ve got some more amazing things to fill you in on – starting with the fact that Clean Sheet Co. and the People’s Crest are both featured in EA Sports FIFA 17. Did you know about that? We’ll reveal the full backstory – and what it means for us – very soon.
That’s all for now. Much more to come. Thank you for allowing us to start and continue this endeavor. It really is a dream. I’ll see you at the tailgate.