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Birdman Bats produces top-quality birch bats at the Major League level, and we do it without taking everything so seriously.
Birdman Bats produces top-quality birch bats at the Major League level, and we do it without taking everything so seriously.
Birdman Bats produces top-quality birch bats at the Major League level, and we do it without taking everything so seriously.
267 backers pledged $26,237 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$26,237

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Birdman Bats produces top-quality bats at the Major League level not just for work, but because we're a bunch of kids at heart who love baseball. Birdman was born from that passion. Now, we're ready to bring the whole world into our nest.

Put some wings on it!
Put some wings on it!

Our Story:

Five years ago, to the month, Gary Malec turned the first Birdman Bat on his hand-wired lathe in the garage. Gary had crafted bats before, but this one was for his brother, Mark. This one had to be special. So Gary went digging through his brother's sketchbook, found the Birdman amongst his quirky illustrations, and the company was born. He turned it into a sticker, sent it off to Mark, and he and that bat went on to win the Junior College National Championship later that year.

We only use the best, straightest-grained birch
We only use the best, straightest-grained birch

The brothers moved to San Francisco with their love of baseball following them every step of the way, and they kept playing, coaching, and making bats. Fate, luck, and a hard work eventually led them to Lars Anderson, a former top prospect and 1st Baseman for the Red Sox, currently in the Dodger's organization. He took one look at the unique logo, and the Birdman piqued his interest.

Lars Anderson spreads the Birdman love
Lars Anderson spreads the Birdman love

From there, the nest only kept growing. As Gary kept learning, Lars brought the bats into some of the world's greatest clubhouses. And the excitement was palpable. Using feedback from professionals, Birdman honed its designs and began taking orders. Somewhat unsurprisingly, we quickly had far more demand than we could handle.

And then our lathe broke.

Grinding away on a hand-turned bat
Grinding away on a hand-turned bat

But the lost lathe, which Gary wired and re-built by hand, is a blessing in disguise. Now, after taking a few months off production, we have become a registered LLC, built a robust business plan, and secured legal representation. With our foundation finally in place, we need you to help us take flight.

Shooting our video at Giants Stadium
Shooting our video at Giants Stadium

Why Birdman?

Ever since we first starting spinning bats, Birdman has been using birch. Widely available and quickly growing in popularity, birch has the hardness of maple with the flexibility of ash. And it is both lightweight and durable. Since its introduction to professional baseball in 2006, birch has been continuously rising in popularity among pro ball players. As testified by Pro Baseball Insider, “Birch bats, in my opinion, have the best characteristics of maple and ash, put together in one bat.” Most importantly, they have the look, feel, and sound that gets big leaguers hooked.

Mark Malec crushing a ball with his Birdman
Mark Malec crushing a ball with his Birdman

Because look, feel, and sound matter. There are few places where hitters can show off some personality – and their bats are the most important. But there is not a single bat company offering modern, funky, or interesting bat aesthetics. From Louisville Slugger to Chandler, every major bat company has been reinventing the wheel, sticking to tired, traditional designs and logos. We offer personalization and customization from fungos to softball bats, and mounted trophies bats for every baseball enthusiast.

Co-founder Lars Anderson in the box with a Birdman
Co-founder Lars Anderson in the box with a Birdman

Oh, and did we mention that we offer, without exception, free shipping on all Birdman orders. The price you see is the one you pay -- and that's that.

The Many Bats of Birdman:

Our first order of wood as an LLC!
Our first order of wood as an LLC!

Spending five years turning bats for whoever walked in the door taught us how to make any bat great. That's why we offer bats for softball, youth, and coaches as well as premium MLB-grade bats. And if you love the game and love a quality piece of woodworking, we offer all of our bat styles in trophy models.

One hallmark of the bat business is the natural variability of products, which has allowed Birdman to nearly eliminate waste. If a piece of wood is too heavy to make a good bat, it becomes a trophy bat. If it is too light, it becomes a “fungo,” or practice bat. We already have designs in place to use every piece of wood we’re given, making us more efficient than large manufacturers. We hate to waste good wood, and we have the know-how not to.

Working the Lathe
Working the Lathe

Where You Come In:

Help us put Birdman Bats in stadiums everywhere!
Help us put Birdman Bats in stadiums everywhere!

We anticipate being ready to make and ship bulk orders of bats by July 1st. To get to this point, we are raising at least $30,000 in start-up capital through a combination of founder investments and crowd-funding. This secures us our first CNC Lathe, drastically reducing our production time and allowing us to produce 150 new bats each week.

Currently, we are asking for $25,000. This money will be spent primarily on the new lathe and laser engraver, which will allow us to immediately begin full-scale production:

Two of your choices for shirts
Two of your choices for shirts
  • $15,000 -- Lathe
  • $1,500 -- Laser Engraver
  • $5,000 -- Wooden Billets
  • $2,000 -- 8% Kickstarter Fee
  • $2,500  -- Rewards Fulfillment (shipping, shirts, stain, etc.)

If you guys are as amazing as we think you are, and we overfund the project, we already know exactly where the money can go:

  • $15,000 MLB Licensing fee, required for selling
  • Precision spray paint system, allowing more color options 
  • A second lathe, greatly increasing production time and sales.
Thanks for your support!
Thanks for your support!

 

Risks and challenges

We've been making bats for the past 5 years, but we haven't been making 200 of them a week. Like most young businesses, we understand that there will be issues as we ramp up drastically in scale, and that we can no longer simply pump out bats from the basement.

We have, however, secured warehouse space in South San Francisco for a competitive price. And the machinery purchased through this Kickstarter allows us to produce a lot of bats without needing to hire any full-time employees for the first year.

The success of our business rests on our ability to break into the MLB market. While we have already done the hard work of making connections with players (Lars Anderson, Ryan Kalish, Manny Ramirez, etc.), we still need to have our bats reviewed and approved by a Major League Baseball Commission. This is in addition to a $15,000 licencing fee due in January and a required $11 million general liability insurance policy.

While these costs are steep, we know these stipulations because we've already started preparing for them. We are working with sport and entertainment insurer BWD Group, who represents almost every major league team and has intimate knowledge of the business and of legal hurdles. We also secured legal representation through the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, helping us navigate through any thorny or unforeseen issues when beginning the business.

Finally, there is always potential for disruption based on the year's wood supply. Because birch currently has a lower market share than maple, we eliminate the need to compete with Louisville and other major companies for a finite quantity of good lumber. To further protect ourselves, we've developed relationships with three different mills: one in Washington, one in Maine, and one in Eastern Canada. This will cover any short-term supply issues and prevent the danger of a regional shortage.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    ADD A TWIG:

    We'll sign your name onto our BRAND NEW LATHE! Be a part of every single bat we make, sending us good vibes from wherever you are.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    ENTER THE NEST:

    You get a pair of high-quality, vinyl Birdman STICKERS for you and the wingman of your choice. Plus, we'll ADD YOUR NAME to our lathe, making you a permanent part of the nest.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    BIRDLET:

    Get real wooden BIRDMAN KEYCHAIN to let people know that you're part of the flock. And yes, you get the STICKERS, too.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    BIRDMAN OF A FEATHER:

    Get yourself a sleek BIRDMAN T-SHIRT. We print each shirt by hand on high-quality tees, and you can choose between our classic design and the new "Lemons" (shown in the bio).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    LAY AN EGG:

    Get a limited edition BIRDMAN BASEBALL, complete with a beautiful CLEAR CASE. Oh, and stickers!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    BREAK IN CASE OF BIRDMAN:

    We'll give you our limited edition, custom BALL AND CASE, as well as a wooden 18" Birdman SOUVENIR BAT.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    SPREAD YOUR WINGS (EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT):

    Get $10 off a FUNGO or YOUTH BAT before they're all gone! You get one of our coaching bats, or fungos, before anyone else and we'll throw in a couple of stickers. Whether you want it as a decorative piece or to teach your little bird how to swing like a big leaguer, out bats are top of the line.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    BEAUTIFUL BIRDS:

    Place a beautiful Birdman over your mantle with a TROPHY BAT and WALL MOUNT. Oh, and we'll throw in some stickers, too.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SPREAD YOUR WINGS:

    You get one of our FUNGOS or YOUTH BATS before anyone else! And we'll throw in a couple stickers. Whether you want it as a decorative piece or to teach your little bird how to swing like a big leaguer, our bats are top of the line.

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    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    FIRST FLIGHT (EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT):

    Grab one of our ADULT GAME BATS, ready for flight when you need it most. You get to pick the size, color, and model. And you get $15 off if you hurry!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    FIRST FLIGHT:

    Grab one of our ADULT GAME BATS, ready for flight when you need it most. You get to pick the size, color, and model.

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    BE A BIRDMAN (EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT):

    Get a brand-new, MLB-GRADE ADULT GAME BAT, hand-plucked from the top
    billets in our wood supply. Be one of the first hitters to use our game-ready birch bombers, which we cut to your length and style, along with custom engraving. Plus you get $20 off if you hurry!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    BE A BIRDMAN:

    Get a brand-new, MLB-GRADE ADULT GAME BAT, hand-plucked from the top
    billets in our wood supply. Be one of the first hitters to use our game-ready birch bombers, which we cut to your length and style, along with custom engraving.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    GRAB A GAGGLE:

    Get THREE ADULT GAME BATS in any model or size. We'll even toss in free engravings.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BIRDMAN OF PREY:

    Get a premier-level bat HAND MADE AND CARVED by our master batsmith and founder. You tell us what you want, we'll make it and engrave it.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    FLIGHT LESSONS:

    Get a HITTING LESSON with former Top Prospect and professional baseball player Lars Anderson, currently with the LA Dodgers organization. We'll give you a brand NEW BAT to hit with, plus a custom SHIRT to swing in style.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    BIRDMAN IN THE BUSH:

    VISIT OUR WORKSHOP AND MAKE A BAT! We'll teach you how to carve your very own wood bat with our founder, Gary Malec, right by you every step of the way. And we'll throw in a shirt!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    GOLDEN EAGLE EXCLUSIVE:

    Live in eternal Birdman fame! Get a one-of-a-kind golden Birdman bat, your name prominently displayed in gold on our lathe, plus a dedication picture and plaque of you overlooking our manufacturing plant. Oh, and the Golden Eagle is serial number 1, our very first bat off the new lathe!

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Funding period

- (30 days)