Blue Chip Athletic was founded in May of 2001 by wrestlers Gonz Medina and Jason Heslop.
We provide custom screenprinted, embroidered, and sublimated apparel for sports teams, groups, and clubs. Wrestling is a big part of our DNA, and we carry a full line of Wrestling Singlets, Wrestling Gear, and apparel through our retail website Blue Chip Wrestling.
Blue Chip Vision
Our vision includes our Purpose, Core Values, and Current Mission. These elements provide the framework for day to day decision making. If you visit our headquarters in North Kansas City, you can’t miss them – they are posted throughout our office and in our workspaces to remind us that we’re working for you – the customer.
Blue Chip Purpose
To empower you through apparel.
Blue Chip Core Values
- We provide an awesome customer experience
- We believe in our people
- We work as a family
- We communicate openly
- We do what we say we’ll do
- We don’t make excuses
- We act with integrity
- We do the right thing
- We keep a positive attitude
- It’s more than just apparel
Blue Chip Mission
To become the most trusted provider of high-quality custom apparel to schools, clubs, and teams.
Blue Chip History
Two guys, a garage, and a dream.
That is how it all started out. Two friends with a common interest and a desire to give back to the sporting communities that had given them so much.
The concept for Blue Chip Athletic was formulated in 1993 while Gonz was studying entrepreneurial management at the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote a business plan about a wrestling company in the midwest called M & W Wrestling Warehouse (Medina and Wiles Wrestling Warehouse). The idea was based off of his college roommate’s mother’s business (Tina Povalac). The 2 wrestling fanatics would sell apparel and wrestling gear to coaches and teams in the midwest.
In 1996, Jason Heslop and Gonz Medina met while coaching high school wrestling at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. This would prove to be a valuable meeting and set the foundation for BCA. After coaching together for 1 season, Gonz went on to work for a global IT consulting firm and Jason continued coaching HS wrestling and working in a textile screen printing shop.
In April 2000, the 2 decided to put together a plan to launch an apparel decoration company and use their contacts in the wrestling community to grow the business. Gonz left his consulting gig and the 2 spent the next year planning the company launch.
The company was formally started in May of 2001 as Fundateam. It offered custom decorated apparel for youth and HS sports teams and discount fundraising cards.
Several grueling years were spent calling on customers and wearing all the hats – Gonz and Jason had no safety net, and grew primarily due to their relentless focus on customer satisfaction.
In 2004, Blue Chip began selling onsite at wrestling, cross country and track events. Jason and Gonz covered the majority of the events themselves, working in the office all week and on the road on weekends.
In 2006, Blue Chip hired a full time event coordinator to manage the growing list of events. We grew from doing 20 events per year to over 100 events per year. Events helped us with grassroots marketing and growing our brand presence in the marketplace.
As our company started to grow, we knew we had to take care of our employees. We started simple, with a company Christmas party and then added smaller events (like our annual Kansas City Royals baseball game outing -the unofficial Blue Chip Day at the K for employees and family members).
In 2007, we launched our first catalog, 32 pages w/ about 10 manufacturers. We produced the catalog in-house. Sales broke the million dollar mark and we had 13 employees. We were still working crazy hours, printing late at night to make sure everything was done on time and up to standards.
In 2008, we moved into a new 14,000 square foot facility in North Kansas City, with 6,00 sq. ft. dedicated to warehousing and internet/event sales. Sales continued to grow, and we added more jobs as we grew.
We continue to focus on the same things that got us to this point – listening to what customers need, and focusing passionately on providing an awesome customer experience.