Trophy Smack Before Shark Tank
Trophy Smack was created by Dax Holt and Matt Walsh. The former is a reporter and producer while the latter is a business professional who specializes in supply chain management and logistics.
As it is, the company all started when Dax invited Matt to join his fantasy football league with their circle of “dad friends”. Despite never having played before, Matt was able to make it to the finals as the “newbie”, which made him feel compelled to buy an over-the-top trophy for bragging rights. To his surprise, however, there weren’t many trophies available and those that were, all looked generic and the same. So he decided to take matters into his own hands and created Trophy Smack.
Partnering with Dax, the pair began to design and manufacture products from the ground up. However, they soon ran into an issue; the demand for trophies was way higher than what they had expected, which led them to sell out of everything as their system didn’t have a chance to update. To remedy the problem, they had to rent a u-haul and wait for 20 minutes at the airport for an emergency replenishment of inventory.
Fast forward to June 2019 and they decided to try their luck on Shark Tank as they could use the funds to further expand the business. They started by submitting a long pitch about what made their business so unique. Six months later, they were contacted by the show’s production team and were told that they would be taking part in the auditions.
And after several rounds, they received the call that they would be featured in the twelfth season.
Trophy Smack On Shark Tank
Dax and Matt walk into the tank with a championship belt over their shoulders. They introduce themselves and let the sharks know they’re seeking $600,000 in exchange for eight percent of their company, Trophy Smack.
Seconds later, they jump into their pitch with the fact that 50 million Americans “pour their hearts and souls” into fantasy sports every year. They tell the sharks that people spend tons of time and energy on the game but that there is no trophy at the end for the winner. Dax makes a point that when he wins, he wants everyone to know.
They go on to explain that that’s why they created Trophy Smack, the best place to get the most unique and customized trophies, rings, and championship belts. As they’re saying this, the camera zooms in on the items that are on display beside them.
Matt explains that the process is super simple. Pointing at the display in front of them, he tells them that all they have to do is choose their sport, the size of the trophy, and color. He adds that there are literally thousands of trophy combinations that you can get, which makes it that much more unique.
Matt goes on to reveal that they’ve made customized trophies for each of the sharks. Seconds later, they’re unveiling the trophies in front of them. Lori receives a “golden slipper trophy” while Kevin gets a “bull and bear trophy.” The rest of the trophies are impressive as well, including Mark’s huge basketball trophy.
Lori asks how they came up with the idea.
Matt explains that it happened in “the most organic way”. Continuing, he tells the sharks that he was the “new guy” in the league with other dad friends and that he was trying to shop for a trophy when he realized that the options were incredibly limited so he took matters into his own hands.
Barbara questions whether or not that’s true as she has purchased customized trophies before. She asks them to explain the difference between their company and other trophy houses.
Matt explains that while there are trophy makers, they all sell the same type of generic trophy. He makes a point that they’re the first ones to make customized trophies where the customer can choose the color and size. Asked whether or not they designed the trophies, Matt says yes, that they designed everything.
Lori goes on to ask about their backgrounds. Matt reveals that he works in logistics and supply chain demand, which has taught him how businesses work and operate. He tells the sharks that he had worked at a freight brokerage out of college and that he had become the number one salesman at the company. Mark commends him for his accomplishments.
Dax tells the sharks that his background is completely opposite and that he works in television and film and was also involved with TMZ.
Kevin asks how much money they’ve invested into the business to get it going. Matt reveals that they’ve invested $250,000 into the company. The sharks are surprised. Lori remarks that it’s a lot of money.
Kevin wonders why they needed so much money to get things going. Matt tells him that they started small at the beginning with $60,000 and that they had sold out of everything within a few weeks after the start of the fantasy football season.
Kevin asks about the average price of the trophies. Matt tells him they cost between $100 and $150 and that they have a profit margin of 80 percent. The sharks are surprised at the high number.
Kevin goes on to ask about their revenue growth. Dax tells them they sold $850,000 worth of trophies in the first year, $200,000 of which were profits and the rest were used for inventory. Continuing, they tell them they did $1.9 million in the second year, $775,000 which were profits. Matt also reveals that in spite of the pandemic, their revenue to date has gone up and that they’ve already done $650,000 so far.
Kevin expresses that there must be a lot of competition in the trophy space. Matt explains there’s a reason why no one in the industry has taken a national approach in e-commerce and that it has to do with the traditional method of trophy making. Continuing, he tells them that the assembling process during their first year was a nightmare and that the cost was actually higher than the cost of goods.
Matt explains that they were able to cut down the assembling times by 90 percent with their methods. Kevin understands what he’s saying and says he knows things others don’t because he’s a “logistics guy”.
Daymond says he respects those who are into sports but admits that fantasy football isn’t his thing and goes out.
Almost immediately afterward, Kevin makes them an offer: $600,000 for 25 percent of the company. He tells them he can help them get into the corporate market, which “isn’t easy”.
Before he can continue, however, Lori asks them what they need the investment for.
Matt says they want a strategic partner who will help them grow exponentially by opening up doors at arenas, stadiums, and rings. Right away, Daymond asks if they’re in the tank just for Mark. Barbara agrees.
With that, everyone turns their attention to Mark. He tells them 8 percent isn’t enough and makes them a counteroffer- $600,000 for 17 percent of the company. He tells them there’s no wiggle room and that it’s a yes or no offer.
Lori also decides to make them an offer. Mark warns them that he will go out if they contemplate another shark’s offer.
Barbara says they haven’t even heard Lori’s offer yet. Matt and Dax are put on the spot and are noticeably worried about Mark going out. They decide to go with him at the last minute.
The rest of the sharks cheer while Mark goes up to take a better look at their trophies. Lori remarks that she also had a good offer for them.
During the exit interview, the friends are more than excited about working with Mark, especially Matt, who has watched Shark Tank since season one. Dax says it’s a surreal experience.
Trophy Smack Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
The deal with Mark was successfully closed and with his help, they were able to take Trophy Smack to the next level. In fact, Matt and Dax have had nothing but good things to say about Mark. They even described him as “the perfect fit for [their] business” as he’s responsive, helpful, and driven to make the company a success for everyone.
A year after their original appearance in the tank, they received an update segment, which was included in season thirteen.
In the update, they revealed that they did $1.2 million in sales within a month of appearing on the show. The company has also expanded to include other awards for other occasions and not just those for fantasy sports. If anything, that has further boosted their sales. In 2021 alone, they did more than $1 million in sales.
With the increase in sales, they were able to upgrade to a new, 800,000-square-foot facility- one with state-of-the-art printing technology. Not only that but they’ve also come up with a proprietary way of engraving their awards and trophies.
In 2021, they also launched a new product line, which they stated in an interview, that they were “extremely excited about”. They also invested a lot of time and resources into a new web-based tool, which allows individuals to design their own trophies by uploading their own logos, images, text, memes- basically anything that can be used for rings.
Since they launched the new designer tool, customers have started to design their own trophy pieces outside of fantasy sports. For example, many people have used their tools to create corporate awards, groomsman gifts, and other unique gifts for loved ones.
Around the same time, they also launched a fully customizable championship belt. Not only can you select your own finish (gold or silver) but you can also choose the strap color, as well front plate ribbon color. On top of that, you can select your own front plate design. For those who have their own images, you can use those or if you want, you can choose from their huge collection of clipart. There’s also room for text as well.
Metal wall plaques are also available from their website. For example, you can get a Tomy Brady G.O.A.T. Metal Wall Art for $49. Or if you want, you can upload your own design and turn it into a metal wall art. NFLPA Officially licensed products are available as well.
For those who are interested in their 6-pound custom championship belt, you can order it from their website for $199 (their regular championship belts are a little cheaper at around $150).
Shipping is also free via UPS Ground for larger items such as championship belts and trophies while smaller items such as tattoos and championship rings ship free via USPS. Additional shipping options such as next-day or two-day air are also available.
Fast forward to 2023 and the trophy business is still thriving. Nowadays, they offer a variety of trophies including those for fantasy football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, golf, and youth sports. That’s not all, they also offer championship belts, such as the ones that were featured on the show. They even have a fully blinged-out championship belt with rhinestones that’s available for $299. Championship rings and other bling are also available and like the trophies, they can be customized.
Since 2021, Trophy Smack has also been the official championship belt provider for Kimmy Kimmel’s LA Bowl, an annual NCCA division 1 FBS college football game that’s played in Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium. Fans can also purchase their own Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl rings and championship belts from their website.
For example, you can get a two-pound replica LA Bowl Championship Belt for $89. Or for a hundred dollars more, you can get your own Fresno State 2022 LA Bowl Championship belt.