The Major League Baseball Team, the Texas Rangers, asked Saddleback Leather to be their Official Leather Goods and we went from honored to confused to concerned to excited.
At first I thought, “Wow, what an honor! This big professional team, who is on TV all the time and who works with big huge insurance and energy companies, just asked us, a little, unprofessional and not funny leather company, to step up into the professional big league world with them. How cool is that?”
Then I thought, “Wait a second. I’m confused. What’s going on here? How did we find favor in the eyes of The Texas Rangers and why would they ask us to be their Official Leather Goods?” Well it turns out, a few of their leaders heard me explaining our love for people and how we’re actually a people business cleverly disguised as a leather bag company. Well, they saw we matched up perfectly with the Texas Rangers Foundation side of their operation and offered us the opportunity. Their work in the Dallas area has completely changed the lives of so many at risk and underprivileged youth that they now want to open up a big new youth program in the Fort Worth area too. Since we’re based on the Fort Worth side of the DFW Metroplex and we share their heart, it just made sense for us to partner together.
So then I was concerned and thought, “Would this hurt our brand that took so long to build? Would we now be seen as Saddleback Leather Corporation? Or would our leather bag owners scratch their heads and say, “What are they doing? Major League Baseball just doesn’t fit with the brand we love so much. And of all of the teams, The Texas Rangers?”
But after much talk and thought, I realized we’re not just a pretty good match, but a match made in Heaven. I love all kinds of sports, and especially baseball, but there is no sport that matches up with Saddleback Leather’s brand better than baseball. And of all of the baseball teams that I love, none of them match up with our brand more than The Texas Rangers.
Here’s why baseball fits so well:
- Baseball and leather just go together.
- Baseball is enjoyed around the world and so is Saddleback.
- Baseball has no time limit and there’s no stressful rushing around. It’s America’s Downtime. Saddleback constantly encourages their customers to slow down, get away from work and enjoy life.
- Baseball is timeless and classic and that’s what people say about Saddleback Leather.
- Baseball has lasted nearly 150 years. Our leather bags are warranted to last at least 100.
- Baseball has a strong committed and likeminded community and so does Saddleback.
- Baseball is one of the most accessible quality sports there is. Anybody can enjoy a fun Little League, High School, College, Minor League or Major League game for free or for just a few dollars. At Saddleback Leather, we make our own leather goods and don't wholesale to stores, which would double the price. Quality leather goods are not cheap, but we purposefully keep them at an accessible price for everybody, to raise the bar on quality.
Of all of the baseball teams out there, here’s why The Texas Rangers team fits the Saddleback Leather brand so well:
- Who doesn’t like the Rangers? They’re not one of those “You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em” teams.
- They’re not either an East Coast or West Coast team like the Los Angeles Dodgers or the iconic New York Yankees.
- The Texas Rangers are often considered America’s Baseball Team because Texas is known as “America” to the rest of the world. Texas is right in the middle of the United States for the 33 American states that don’t have a baseball team. And Saddleback is Texas’ biggest leather brand.
- Texas is known as a traditional family oriented hard working good natured state and the Rangers are too. Saddleback Leather’s values match up there perfectly.
And then to top it off, Toyota is the Official Truck of the Texas Rangers. Are you kidding me? The longest lasting, most durable and reliable truck in the world? Over engineered to say the least. Saddleback bags are over engineered to be the longest lasting most durable leather bags in the world. “They’ll Fight Over It When You’re Dead” is our slogan. If your life had to depend on a vehicle, you’d want it to depend on a Toyota. If it had to depend on a leather bag, let it depend on a Saddleback Leather one. And their slogan is “Go Places”.
I started Saddleback on the tailgate of my old faithful 1972 FJ55 Toyota Land Cruiser with my Black Lab, Blue, by my side. I brought my two kids home from the hospital in our 2006 Toyota Tundra, which we still drive today, though my 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is my daily driver. A Toyota Sequoia was our factory vehicle until my wife, Suzette, got rear ended by a Kenworth dump truck in it. Then we bought a Toyota Hilux pickup to replace it. Quality loves quality.
Now we’re excited. We’re not sure what’s going to happen with all of this. It surely won’t be half bad for getting the word out about Saddleback Leather and it has already spawned a ton of laughter talking through fun marketing ideas. And they gave us some sweet seats too. I’m used to seats with beautiful romantic views of the city below and the smell of jet engine exhaust from the airplanes just above our heads, so this is going to be different.
But if you don’t have a favorite team already, I hope you’ll join us in rooting for Saddleback Leather’s new baseball team and maybe come watch America’s Baseball Team play a game of America’s Downtime with us.