Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of Forever Collectibles, was walking around the company’s office one afternoon last December when he noticed something strange: “Everyone looked like a moron,” he says. “They looked like they just came from the Goodwill store, and they looked absurd. One is worse than the next. It’s not in good taste, not thought out. They just looked bad.”
Turns out it was Ugly Sweater Day, which led to a pretty brilliant idea: Forever Collectibles, the largest non-apparel licensee in the United States, should make ugly sweaters for professional teams and players. Why not? Lewis and Co. brought it to the NFL, who gave them the go-ahead, as did the NBA, the NHL and the MLB.
And here we are. The ugly sweaters were released this year and have been buzzed about all over the web as of late, and for good reason: you can now integrate your fanhood for your favorite team with the annual tradition of throwing on a hideous sweater around Christmastime.
“If your favorite player is DRose or Melo, you relate to that,” Lewis says. “Nothing would surprise you less than if Spike Lee showed up to a Knicks game wearing Melo’s sweater.”