American Sin Bin is a company for ruggers, by ruggers with one express purpose in mind:
Elevate the game of rugby in America and deliver a World Cup Championship to the United States.
We know how bold our mission is and we know some of you are asking how the hell an apparel company plans on making it happen. To be honest, if you had thrown out this very idea to the American Sin Bin Team a few years ago, we probably would have belly laughed like Santa Claus. It’s an incredibly challenging feat that will involve education, investment in teams and players, and fostering growth in the youth circuits. Many of our fellow ruggers told us it will be impossible.
We’re going to do it anyway.
How did we get here? Well, the path has been paved with hard work, an endless passion for rugby, and a little luck. We work for a company called Ranger Up, the premiere military apparel company in the U.S. and one of the largest Mixed Martial Arts apparel companies around. Ranger Up is an extremely fun, but relentless and demanding work environment. Every employee expects excellence from themselves and those around them, so failure to carry your load carries a hefty price we call "tough love."
After a particularly stellar week, we were sitting around sharing some beers and grilling meat when we realized that everyone who worked here either was an elite military warfighter or a rugby player – and in many cases, both. We decided that we should start a rugby brand and immediately told the company founder, Nick, our idea. He liked the idea a lot, but it was like selling snowboards in Jamaica…it would take some convincing.
Over the next nine months, we kept bringing up our dream. Each time, we were told it was a great idea, but then received the Guantanamo Bay interrogation. And every time, we came back harder, faster, and smarter, like any good rugger would, with more information, better answers, and even more passion.
One day, after we finished our updated pitch, a funny thing happened: Nick said YES.
We were thrilled!
“But,” he added. “If we’re going to do this, you need to understand three things:
1) This will be harder than anything you have ever done. It’s going to take more time and effort than you can imagine, and you’re going to have to fight for every inch of success just like you do on the pitch. You have to promise no matter how hard it gets, you will never quit. 2) Ranger Up only engages in businesses that give back. If we go into rugby, we’re not going to be an apparel company. We’re going to be a vehicle to elevate the game of rugby in America. Wrap your heads around that now. It’s not about the shirts. It’s about what we do. 3) We’re going to win the World Cup. And our job is going to be to set the conditions to make that happen.
If you guys agree to those conditions, then we are all in.”
We gave each other the thousand-yard stare of someone standing on the edge of the abyss, contemplating the jump. We had a lot of great ideas, but a World Cup victory seemed like a bridge too far. Nick walked up to the white board and sketched out a plan for the next two years, then the next five, then eight, and all the moving pieces we needed to nail down to make it happen. It all made sense. But there were other things we could do. We chimed in and built on his ideas. We filled another white board, then another. Three hours later we were still going strong.
Nick stood to leave, but stopped at the door. “So, it looks like this is a YES?”
We didn’t even hesitate, bludgeoning him with a hail of yesses..
This was our job now.
We have a World Cup to win.