Doctors Know a Good Thing When They See It!

Showed my Blue Balls Gear – “National Blue Balls Awareness Month” T-shirt to my female annual checkup doctor today and she went crazy over the concept and the shirt! She had to have one before I left and was going to wear it for the family tonight. You see she has at least 6 kids and 4 are males ranging from 13 to 25. Awareness is what it is ALL about and she was so excited at this unique way to show it to her kids and in the public.
Let’s see now…that brings total doctors in this town wearing “National Blue Balls Awareness Month” T-shirts to 5 doctors. Blue Balls Gear 2 female private physicians (Family Medicine + Internal Medicine) and 2 male Urologists and 1 male Chiropracter!
“Doctors Know a Good Thing When They See It!”

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Biker47.com Interview with Blue Balls Gear

Blue Balls Gear is on a mission to raise awareness of Testicular Cancer in the same way that the NFL’s “Pink” Coordinated Campaign has for Breast cancer.

Blue Balls Gear (BBG) recently followed us on Twitter and since I always try to check out followers I was intrigued by their feed… and having checked out the site, I learnt that they are selling T-shirts to not only raise funds for the Testicular Cancer Society (TCS) but also they are planning an ‘awareness event’. I have a good reason (well two actually) to be onside with this one, so I asked them for an email interview.

Biker47: Hello Dennis, tell me about BBG. What’s the ‘reason for being’?
BBG: I’m a big American Football fan, and every October the National Football League (NFL) runs an awareness campaign for Breast cancer called Pink. This is truly an outstanding program and all credit to the NFL to include it as part of its regular programming. We thought what a great journey Pink had taken from its humble beginnings… the program’s simplicity of message and its ‘across the board’ ability to raise awareness for Breast cancer.

We then asked ourselves, “What is out there regarding men and what can be done to promote men’s cancer awareness?” ”Is there a way to reach men with messaging that improves their health and possibly save lives?” We contacted the Testicular Cancer Society and found out some scary facts:

• Testicular cancer is the leading cause of cancer in guys age 15-35
• Testicular cancer is almost 100% curable at early stages but later stages lead to higher treatment burdens and unnecessary deaths
• On average, in the United States, one guy is diagnosed with testicular cancer every hour and one guy dies each day from the disease
• One in 250 guys will develop testicular cancer in their lifetime

Biker47: 18-35! That’s an eye-opener! I’ll admit to thinking that cancer was largely an age related thing. So what happened next?
BBG: The ‘early’ age range is astonishing isn’t it! That fact alone was one of the driving forces behind BBG! So after some lengthy research, we decided that a clothing range that carried a positive message could work with specific demographics targetted. For example, we have produced a simple yet glaring design to deliberately provoke conversation amongst this younger/approaching-middle-age groups.
Blue Balls Gear awareness tshirtBlue Balls gear awareness week tshirt modelBiker47: Simple and as you say, effective! What other demographics are you targeting?
BBG: The more active amongst us – action/extreme sports like windsurfing, paragliding, rock-climbing, motorsports, snowboarders etc. We’re working on specific designs that appeal to those sports. For example, we have a Windsurfer’s Tshirt running the headline “Get Your Pair In The Air” and we’re delighted to say it’s becoming popular! Our plan is to produce as many specific designs as we can to spread the word and continue to raise the awareness of the stats behind Testicular cancer.

Blue Balls Gear Windsurfers tshirtBlue Balls Gear Windsurfer tshirt modelBiker47: Get your pair in the air! Nice one! How do your Tshirts fund the TCS?
BBG: It obviously costs real money to produce and promote the idea, but as part of our agreed business model with the TCS, we are committed to donating at least $1 per Tshirt sale to their vital research and support services.

Biker47: That’s great news. Is there going to be a specific Tshirt for all the bikers out there?
BBG: We’re working on that! We have some ideas that we’ve floated on our site and we’re always looking for comments or even a pro bono designer to help us through!

Biker47: That’s some great work guys. I wish you all the best with it all. Do keep in touch!
BBG: We will! And a huge thank you for helping us spread the word!

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A Grandma at the Pool

BBG one day at the pool was asked by two older ladies what my shirt said on the back.

BBG responded, “Ladies some folks that ask a question may not be ready for the response”…”If you would like to know I will tell you>” …and both said “Please do…”

BBG held up the shirt and showed them the artwork on the back of the BBG “National Blue Balls Awareness Month” T-shirt. BBG proceeded to explain how BBG’s business model came about and the idea behind coupling messaging targeting young males awareness for testicular cancer and BBG’s support and donation relationship with the http://www.testicularcancersociety.org  Please scroll down and read “Clothing with a Message” listed earlier within this same blog. BBG then showed them the Testicular Cancer Awareness Support + Donate messaging on each sleeve of each shirt and how at least 0ne-dollar of each shirt sale goes to the TC Society.  It was then explained that there were, at present two shirts, the…1) “National Blue Balls Awareness Month”- for university aged males social interactions, and 2) “Get Your Pair in the Air” shirts – for interest of action/extreme sports minded individuals. Both shirts are specifically designed to capture attention to create conversation and raise awareness for TC. Both women said they “Really Liked” the shirts and the idea behind it. Of most importance, was when leaving the pool area, one of the ladies came back to BBG and asked for the name of the website/online store……she said: “It took me the time it took to get to that door to remember that I have an 18 year old grandson and I think it would be good for me to buy him a shirt!BellaP Wjersey (3) web

promo2_awareweb                       pcbeach

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Hard Sails and Blue Balls Gear

Wallace C. Ross purchased Hard Sails, Inc. in 1954 from a friend, William Hard. Ross had been an account executive at a local Long Island radio station and Hard Sails was one of his accounts.  Ross’s success at sailmaking came during the exploding yachting boom during the early 1960s when, coincidentally, synthetic materials were first available for the crafting of sails. Ross’s work in Dacron gave his staff a medium that held its shape, allowing for the application of aerodynamic theory to sailing. A material holding shape also allowed for relative mass production, especially when compared to the older, individual sailmaking techniques using Egyptian cotton. By the mid-1960s, Hard Sails was using a new device – the computer – to accelerate the design process.

At Hard Sails, Ross made sails for over one hundred national and international small-boat champions. These included many in the 12-Meter class, including champion yachts Phantome, Windigo, Tempest, and Ondine. Among Ross’ innovations were the radial spinnaker, the spherical spinnaker, and the ball-bearing traveler.

Hard sails was also widely known for their Hard Sails T-Shirts. They were not only popular with sailboaters but also presented provocative messaging for young males to wear  in clubs and taverns, beaches and wherever their normal social activities would stand out to start conversation with females. There were two basic shirts:

hardsails hardsailwith

The Hard Sails Triangle logo was on the left front chest and with one of the following sayings on the back

“Sail with a Hard On”..as seen above, or

“A Hard Man is Good to Find”

As previously explained in the “Clothing with a Message” blog section was the following:

Also important was how you dressed, very important! It always amazed Blue Balls Gear that a T-shirt with a good solid message could be an attractant or maybe just an “ice-breaker” for male/female conversation. For example, there was a sail company in S. Florida that was called Hard Sails. Their T-shirt had the Hard Sails triangular logo and the motto “Sail with a Hard On!” across the back. Blue Balls Gear met more girls wearing that shirt than any Gant shirt and Bass Weejuns shoes could ever do. Hell, a pair of Levi cut-offs and a Hard Sails shirt should have been outlawed! It was like hunting in a “baited – field!” Blue Balls Gear wore that T-shirt until it virtually fell off the body from the rips, tears and holes in it……and that was years and years later.

The Hard Sail Company formed the basis of Blue Balls Gear  and is the driving force integrated in it’s business model……..”Clothing with a Message!”

 

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Marketing “Purchase with Purpose”

The Blue Balls Gear idea came to light and would be implemented through sales of designed products. It was now the time to market to the target audiences. “Purchase with Purpose” would be the driving mechanism for all marketing efforts.

Implementation of the initial marketing concentrates on two related but separated target audiences. The first group consists of school/university  aged people. The second is the action extreme sports age group. Each individual group possessing a demographic customer target age of 18 to 35 years old.

The first group, school/ university aged, aims to capture interest through the social interactions of the way this group interacts with various media and networking outlets, their social and leisure activities and events where males and females group together to meet and interact. The marketing campaign also  includes related events and activities such as Spring Break locations utilizing surf shops, gift shops, restaurants, bars and taverns, as well as brick and mortar retail establishments. The USPTO Trademarked logo of two blue balls with the words “Blue Balls” and the design “National Blue Balls Awareness Month” is what the product line is built around.

In 2014, 21.0 million people were expected to attend American colleges and universities, constituting an increase of about 5.7 million since the fall 2000. More than 1.5 million students will party during Spring Break spending more than a billion dollars in Texas and Florida alone.

The second is the demographic consisting of extreme sports related activities such as skateboarding, BMX biking, mountain biking, moto-cross, snowboarding, base jumping, hang gliding, kitesurfing, surfing, skimboarding, street luge, paragliding, rock climbing, skydiving, wakeboarding, windsurfing, etc. This marketing campaign also utilizes the same methods and outlets as above. Sales for both groups will rely heavily on social media. The USPTO trademarked logo above as well as the logo “Get Your Pair in the Air” is what the action/extreme sports line of clothing is built around.

Avid action/extreme sports fans for 2014 stood at 4.88 million, 22 million were actual participating athletes. There are over 9 million skateboarders alone and only 17% are over the age of 25. Nike alone has announced plans to grow action sports sales by 40% to $27 billion by 2015 and net sales are expected to double from $390 million in 2014 to $780 million in 2015.

The Blue Balls business philosophy is to couple a fun and enjoyable experience with a serious business effort in building satisfied customer bases with ever increasing product lines and sales, while also raising cancer awareness. A portion of the sale of every Blue Balls Gear shirt sold is donated to the Testicular Cancer Society (TCS) http://www.testicularcancersociety.org

http://www.blueballsgear.com is the official on-line storefront for “Blue Balls” and “Get Your Pair in the Air” and both operate under the official business name Blue Balls Gear.

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“Clothing with a Message”

 

Blue Balls Gear’s previous post explained how Blue Balls Gear began. This posts outlines the philosophy behind implementation.

After seeing the success of the PINK movement’s wide outreach, Blue Balls Gear looked at all the T-shirts on the market and saw that a large part of this market consisted of “gag or funny” shirts, art or were brand name oriented. Blue Balls Gear asked what about clothing with “positive messaging”? Would it be possible to develop clothing that carries a message whereas, the message could highlight or bring attention to other worthy causes as Pink had done? It was decided that the business model would be based on this concept and would seek to merge profit/non-profit in a beneficial common effort increasing awareness and stimulating donation through a profit making enterprise.

Now that Blue Balls Gear knew what direction it wanted to take with it’s philosophy and business model, it was fortunate to have been asked to participate in a local cancer awareness charity event. Blue Balls Gear became a proud business sponsor of the Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta held annually in Tallahassee, Florida. The Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that presents the regatta annually for the benefit of the American Cancer Society in memory of Stephen Smith, a local sailor who died from a rare form of leukemia at the age of 29. Cash and donation in form of the Blue Balls Gear’s “Get Your Pair in the Air” windsurfer T-shirts were donated in full to this worthy cause.

smith regattaregatta (12)

Blue Balls Gear found the charity benefit experience very rewarding. Blue Balls Gear decided to continue to support awareness and encourage donation to ALL types of cancer – mens – womens – childrens…all forms and and all types. This philosophy is now the driving force in our business model. However, our roots are based  in the men’s cancer issue and have decided to base this issue as our foundation objective. The goal is to successfully build a successful awareness and fund-raising partnership between a private sector entity/charitable worthy cause to the benefit of both.

The cause of choice would be to raise awareness and education for men’s testicular cancer, the most common form of cancer in men aged 15-35. After extensive research, Blue Balls Gear found that Men’s Testicular Cancer  awareness was a cancer issue either not fully accepted or widely known of by males and whose message was in need of greater exposure. The difficulty would be reaching males, especially young males with a message they would respond to? Men and especially young men do not talk about this subject. Blue Balls Gear grew up with virtually no knowledge of this issue and virtually no communication amongst other males about this cancer. Blue Balls Gear knew that to increase awareness would take something unique ….from it’s own experiences Blue Balls Gear just knew that males were just not going to respond to a “blue ribbon!”. It was going to take something that was unusual in it’s approach, something that males could relate to and something that was acceptable to the demographic at large.

Blue Balls Gear looked back at it’s younger days and growing experiences and knew there was one underlying factor that controlled all social activity (or inactivity) in young males…”How to Meet Girls!” Hell, there was a book written with that as the title! No one Blue Balls Gear grew up with ever ordered it because of fear of being caught doing so…doing so meant weakness and every guy needed to project total control and mastery over the subject – GIRLS!

Blue Balls Gear knew it needed to develop a product that was indirect to the issue, but one that could have an impact to positively capture attention.  It needed to be able to stimulate conversation amongst other males and with females. Blue Balls Gear’s experience with females was to be friendly, have some humor, and to be at the ready to perform or do an act or feat (athletics were good and if not some stupid feat like jumping off a tower or if still not enough swimming with sharks or alligators would do just fine….and Blue Balls Gear had plenty of close calls with both of these critters growing up in South Florida!). Hell, a major turning point in Blue Balls Gear’s life was when several friends in Junior College asked Blue Balls Gear to skip class to go “bang-sticking” sharks in the Gulf of Mexico! This endeavor consisted of chumming up Gulf sharks and then jumping in the water and trying to kill them with short metal sticks with shotgun shells on the end of them. “Crazy!!!” This is where Blue Balls Gear started to question direction in life and seriously started contemplating going off to college and working toward a degree and a career.

Also important was how you dressed, very important! It always amazed Blue Balls Gear that a T-shirt with a good solid message could be an attractant or maybe just an “ice-breaker” for male/female conversation. For example, there was a sail company in S. Florida that was called Hard Sails. Their T-shirt had the Hard Sails triangular logo and the motto “Sail with a Hard On!” across the back. Blue Balls Gear met more girls wearing that shirt than any Gant shirt and Bass Weejuns shoes could ever do. Hell, a pair of Levi cut-offs and a Hard Sails shirt should have been outlawed! It was like hunting in a “baited – field!” Blue Balls Gear wore that T-shirt until it virtually fell off the body from the rips, tears and holes in it……and that was years and years later.

From the above experiences, the “National Blue Balls Awareness Month” T-shirt was derived. It was direct to the target audience and added a spin that was harmless, while both males and females had some form of experience or identity with the subject. It would be perfect for targeting young males and university aged students by capturing attention and be the subtle prelude to the subject of cancer prevention for guys. It’s aim was to interface males and females through their social interactions. Social interactions need conversation and conversation need a subject matter to start it.

Blue Balls Gear is based in a North Florida city with three separate colleges with a huge college scene school and bar social life. Once the marketing program started, “It Worked”! Interestingly enough, the printer made a mistake on the second printing and printed messaging on the front of shirts not the original backside. When this was known to several college guys Blue Balls Gear was amazed how they would prefer print on the fronts over backs. Perplexed, Blue Balls Gear found that socially the message on the front was in line with direct eye-to-eye contact with a female, hence a greater attention grabber and conversation starter! In addition, Blue Balls Gear has yet to have a single female not just “Like”, but “Really Like” the shirt. They too identify with their youthful experiences discovering guys and most importantly they are happy with the success of PINK for females and see the potential for the messaging to increase cancer awareness in males and save more lives!

By adding the Testicular Cancer Awareness –  Support and Donate to the sleeve….. the conversations began and awareness grew! It was now not just a unique “catchy” T-shirt, but one that provided “Clothing with a Message” and “Purchase for a Purpose!”….it would be the conversation starter and the continuing thought way after the conversations ended.

To be continued………………………….

http://www.blueballsgear.com is the official on-line storefront for Blue Balls Gear and operates under the official business name and USPTO approved trademark Blue Balls.

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