Dugout Mugs prepares for a new wave of growth, its corporate gifting vertical and outside capital  

Dugout Mugs has thrived in the sports collectibles industry with a lineup of unique products. The Winter Haven-based company makes, and sells, baseball bat-themed drinkware made from baseball bats, with their flagship product being a 12 oz baseball bat barrel mug.

This year marked the third consecutive year that Dugout Mugs was honored on the coveted Inc. 5000 list. Since its founding, in 2017, the company has grossed nearly $45 million in sales and has collected more than 50,000 five-star reviews. From Forbes to CBS to Entreprenuer.com, Dugout Mugs has been getting noticed and for good reason.

With a Major League Baseball licensing deal, Dugout Mugs designs creative bat mugs for fans of all teams. Not only can individuals select MLB-logoed mugs but they can customize their own mugs with logos and personalization.

Individuals can purchase Dugout Mugs products on the company’s website, DugoutMugs.com, as well as at major retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rally House, Home Goods and Fanatics. Fanatics has even included Dugout Mugs as a premium brand, alongside iconic products like Yeti, Tervis, Orca, Tommy Bahama and more.

This is just the start of a long-term growth plan according to Kris Dehnert, Dugout Mugs’ chief executive officer and co-founder.

Dehnert believes that significant growth for the company lies in strategic collaborations and partnerships, product line innovation, exploring additional traffic sources and identifying, and scaling, new verticals.

Currently, Dugout Mugs is working on creating MLB-licensed coasters including a wood, leather and cork option. A licensing deal with the Savannah Bananas is also in the works, says Dehnert.

One of the core opportunities Dehnert and the Dugout Mugs team have prioritized is corporate gifting. With companies always in search of unique, and quality, products this has proven to be a lucrative vertical. To date, Dugout Mugs has created custom mugs for companies like Sony, Topps, Fox Sports, Coors Brewing Company, Hard Rock, Miller Brewing Company, the Florida Sports Commission and more.

With an initial small sales team, Dugout Mugs is expanding its sales department with both internal and external sales teams. Dehnert feels that the time is right to further develop its outbound sales strategy.

Dehnert also believes that Dugout Mugs is in a position to explore outside capital for the first time since its establishment. The company has developed a strong presence in the collectables industry and is ready to explore new verticals. With the right partners, and investors, not only can the company grow financially but it can collaborate with more brands and reach new audiences.

As much as Dehnert and the Dugout Mugs team are excited about the company’s future, they are insistent that the company remains true to its core values during this next wave of growth.

Dehnert and his partner, President and Founder Randall Thompson, developed a laid-back, fun culture that truly makes Dugout Mugs the company it is. “We have not lost sight of what has gotten us here,” Dehnert says.

Want to wear flip-flops and shorts to work? No problem, just get your job done well. Beyond a casual dress code, Dehnert and Thompson make sure that team members enjoy an engaging work environment and a good work-life balance.

At the heart of Dugout Mugs’ philosophy is that if you treat your people right, great things come from it. Hire enthusiastic and fun people and they will help move your company forward.

“Chase the happy, not the money. Because good days with bad people still suck. Bad days with good people are still fun,” Dehnert says.

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