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Friday, October 1, 2010

Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule

Greetings!

We issued our second news release in as many weeks yesterday using a number of online news release services and I wanted to share some of the contents with you. The news release headline is "Entrepreneur is a Living Example of the 10,000 Hour Rule". The release is designed to help promote the fact that more than 1500 of our hand-painted watercolor paintings of football, baseball and hockey uniforms are being made available for sale for the first time.

The 10,000 hour rule you ask? Social commentator and writer Malcom Gladwell (author of Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers) writes in his 2008 book Outliers that the key to success in almost any field is practicing a specific task for at least 10,000 hours. My point is that I think I somewhat prove his thesis in that I spent almost fifteen years researching NFL, MLB, NHL, CFL and NCAA college football uniforms, the result of which was the creation of a treasure trove of more than 1500 hand-painted watercolor paintings of football, baseball and hockey uniforms.

The news release made the point that I enjoy dreaming of ideas AND doing my best to make them happen. The release uses the example that when I learned that the Montreal Forum was going to be torn down in 1996, leaving Maple Leaf Gardens as the last remaining arena of the “Original Six” NHL teams, I got to work honoring the great arenas of hockey with the best selling poster “The Original Six”, a poster that sold well over 350,000 copies. Since that eureka moment almost fifteen years ago, I spent well more than 10,000 hours researching the history and evolution of stadiums, ballparks and arenas and especially uniforms of teams from the NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA college football and CFL, and thus find myself as a "uniform expert".


I know it sounds like I'm blowing my own horn, but the truth of the matter is that this may be one of the best selling posters in Canadian history, something I am very proud of. Please note: In my next blog, I'll tell the story of this, our first, poster.

In the news release I go on to say that “I spent so much time researching sports uniforms, that I’m sure my friends were afraid to invite me to dinner for fear I would regale them with stories of the crest on the 1933 Pittsburgh Steelers jersey or the 1960 Denver Broncos socks. By the way, do you have time for a story about the players’ strike because of the tassels on the 1930’s Black Hawks jersey?”

For the record, over a period of almost 15 years, I researched and gathered vast amounts of source material which I then provided to a small team of highly skilled artists. In turn, the artists took the research and created highly detailed watercolor paintings based on the research material. I also am a meticulous record keeper, and I have research files for every single season of every NFL, MLB and NHL team and many NCAA football teams. In all, I have more than 10,000 file folders full of newspaper clippings, photographs, photocopies, trading cards, media guides and much more.

The research was used to create what is most likely the largest collection of sports art in the world, and now almost all of this remarkable original artwork is being offered for sale. Each of the more than 1500 pieces can be purchased in one of three formats:
1. The raw, unframed artwork
2. A “Classic” framed version (add $75 to the price of the unframed art)
3. A “Deluxe” framed version (add $100 to the price of the unframed art)
Prices range from $350 up to $1000 per piece (US$) with the vast majority of pieces starting at the $350 price. These prices include UPS delivery in North America.

The news release also makes the point that these pieces would make an ideal gift for any sports fan – anniversary gift, retirement gift, major birthday gift, graduation gift, wedding gift. Or a sports fan could buy it as a gift to themselves because they want to own a piece of history that celebrates their team and their fandom. This art is unique and one-of-a-kind, and unlike a good deal of sports art, it is very tasteful.

I explain in the release that in making the original art available for sale for the first time, "I realize that there are going to be a lot of disappointed fans. Take the Boston Red Sox for instance, we know that there are at least ten million people who are proud to identify themselves as Red Sox fans, yet we only have 18 pieces of original art. So if you would like to buy the 1902 Boston Americans (now Red Sox) uniform artwork – the Broncos first season - or the Red Sox 2004 World Series winning uniform artwork, you have to move quickly because once that one original piece of art sells, that’s it – there are no more. We are only going to be able to please 18 Red Sox fans and I’m afraid we are going to disappoint thousands.”

The news release closes with the oft heard refrain: To view and/or purchase any of the more than 1500 pieces of original art being offered for sale, please visit the website devoted to the sale of this artwork. This site allows fans to search by team name, or city, or even championship winning teams. Or fans could visit Sillcox’ “Heritage Sports Art” YouTube Channel or simply search YouTube for their favorite team and add the words “uniform art”. These videos explain in depth what is being offered for sale and viewers can get a great sense of the original artwork. Or fans could read Sillcox’ uniform and stadium history blog where they can learn more about a particular team’s uniform and stadium history.

Thanks -

Scott

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