They are the custom tailors for LeBron James and Tom Brady and now,
American Classic Outfitters in Perry, New York is expanding its operations.
“Everything that we're focused on now is basketball, football, baseball, softball,” says Mark Block, COO of American Classic Outfitters Inc., “it could be huge, it's pretty much as big as we're able to grow for.”
This year, ACO is outfitting more than 100 college teams and more than 10,000 high school sports teams. The multi-year, multi-million dollar deal was signed in June with Adidas and went into effect January 1st.
“University of Michigan is one that they just signed this summer, Texas A & M just signed but you've got Nebraska in the mix, you've got Tennessee in the mix...I think next year, we're going to be doing Notre Dame,” says Block.
The move will increase the employee base from 134 to nearly 300 in the next two years at ACO. When it comes to recruitment, the Wyoming County company is lucky because it has a wide base of skilled workers in the area from which to choose. Many of the current employees stayed in the area from Champion Products which once occupied the building. Champion Products stopped operations in Perry in 2001.
“Keeping the key people that Champion had and also bringing in new people that could develop that expertise that has been here for so long,” says Sam Gullo, CEO of American Classic Outfitters. Gullo, a Perry native, helped transition the inventory and building from Champion to ACO in 2002. ACO also does not have to worry about expanding its current facility pace because it is only using a little more than a quarter of its current 200,000 square feet.
“We have the space, we have the equipment that we can continue to grow without making huge investments in brick and mortar and in equipment,” says Gullo.
ACO is working with New York State to garner certain tax incentives and grants to help further its business operation. The company’s factory site is also close to being designated as an empire zone. In the long run, Gullo says it is an investment which will pay off for the economy of Wyoming County.
“If we can develop this business over the next three years to get to two, three hundred people, that would be huge for this area, it will be one of the largest manufacturers in Wyoming County.”