Local baseball-lifestyle apparel brand “Baseballism” has been hit hard by the nationwide economic slowdown caused by COVID-19.
Travis Chock, the CEO of Baseballism, told Maury Brown of Forbes.com, “We’re fighting hard, but this thing hit us at the perfect time to cripple us.”
Baseballism began as a mail-order business out of the garage of friends who attended University of Oregon and played club baseball there. It now has brick-and-mortar stores near six big-league ballparks, in Cooperstown, N,Y., pop-up stores in spring training locations and stores under construction in St. Louis and at Field of Dreams in Iowa. The company's online sales have become a small percentage of the company revenue compared to the retail outlets.
The drop in revenue from the ballpark-area stores with early games not being played and the spring-training locations with no games, in conjunction with the short-term construction loans, have caused cash-flow difficulties for a company that had been hailed as a rags-to-riches success story.
Seventy employees have had hours cut or been laid off and Chock told Forbes, “After that, we’ll need a cash infusion, whether it be debt or selling equity.”