This is an excerpt from my upcoming book "Sports Retail Insider, ethical lessons for today's retailer.
Kittredge & Associates according to their website represent the top brands in the athletic, outdoor and footwear industry. They also represent the Dallas Cowboys.
My sales rep Bill Chase worked for Kittredge & Associates when the Dallas Cowboys tried to destroy my business and family.
I was a Dallas Cowboys wholesale account for over 14 years. Like any retailer/store owner I would buy wholesale and sell retail.
I had a store in 1991, went online in 1998, and sold on Amazon for the last 5 years. During this time the Dallas Cowboys thru their sales agency Kittredge Associates, were only concerned with revenue. As in most industries it was all about selling, booking, buying.
This all started to change in 2017. The NFL, NHL, MLB and other leagues invested in Fanatics.com. New online policies were then developed by the leagues to favor their new partner, Fanatics. These policies were to be enforced by the manufacturers and licensees.
The NFL and MLB knew I was on Amazon since 2016. Most people would agree Amazon is a legitimate sales channel that many consumers enjoy.
The Dallas Cowboys thru their licensing manager Amon Simmons absolutely knew I was selling on Amazon as of Oct. 13, 2017. The Cowboys and Kittredge Associates were happy to continue selling me over $200,000 in merchandise over the next year even though the Cowboys knew I was on Amazon.
In Aug. of 2018, the Dallas Cowboys sent a threatening letter to Amazon sellers of Cowboys merchandise. The letter demanded sellers remove listings from Amazon within 24 hours. It also threatened forced removal that would harm your Amazon account. I thought something was wrong as the Cowboys were shipping me $10,000's in jerseys all summer long.
I arranged a call with Amon Simmons, the licensing manager of the Dallas Cowboys that knew I was on Amazon. He told me no more Amazon. I asked for an exemption and for Amon to plead my case with upper management. He said that wasn't possible and my account was to be closed.
I asked if the Cowboys wanted their merchandise back. He wasn't clear. The conversation ended with me asking for an exemption again or to return merchandise.
Amon could of ended this immediately. A simple, "You are closed, send back the jerseys , we will square up or you can sell out and pay off invoices. That's it, over. So be it. Instead of an easy 5 minute resolution he chose a different path. Amon and the Cowboys chose a path that put my families future in jeopardy.
On Sept 4th, 2018 the Cowboys flooded the Amazon system with false lies that my Cowboys jerseys were counterfeit.
Over the next 3 days I emailed everyone I knew at the Cowboys and my rep Bill Chase from Kittredge that a mistake was made. This will hurt me, I need a retraction. I pleaded. I begged.
I had no response but a few days later I received $30,000 in jerseys from the Dallas Cowboys. I was so confused. This is insanity. What are they doing I said to myself. I thought they wanted to continue doing business.
Then on Oct. 5th, 2018 they flood Amazon again with lies that the jerseys they sold me were counterfeit. I kept emailing begging for a retraction, begging to know why they are destroying my business with lies. Pleading for my families future. I had no response from the Cowboys or Kittredge.
On Oct. 19th, 2018 I got suspended from Amazon for 25 days. This caused extreme hardship and financial uncertainty for my family. I supported the NFL and Dallas Cowboys for 3 decades and the Cowboys for a reason I can't fathom tried to destroy me.
I knew of other sellers still on Amazon, still with Cowboys accounts. Why was I being singled out? Why was I targeted? Why after supporting the Cowboys for 30 years am I being destroyed?
Why weren't the lies ever retracted after 18 months? Why after 30 years of operating an honest business I have to live with a false accusation and a cloud over me? I call out to the Cowboys why didn't you ever make this right?
Kittredge & Associates sold me Dallas Cowboys merchandise and profited from my Amazon sales. I thought we had a great working relationship. but where were they when the Dallas Cowboys were destroying my business and life. Why didn't the bosses just pick up a phone and say to the Cowboys, "we stopped selling this guy. retract the counterfeit complaints, leave him alone. I'm sure the bosses at Kittredge had contacts in upper management at the Cowboys. Instead Kittredge did nothing. Absolutely nothing. They stood by as an American small business that supported the NFL for 30 years is destroyed.
Retailers if you must do business with Kittredge please learn from my situation. They stood by and did nothing as my family was being destroyed. Maybe if you get in a dispute with a brand they sold you it happens to you. Proceed with caution.
Consumers-If you do not like this kind of behavior please Boycott brands represented by Kittredge. Dallas Cowboys, Reebok, Oofos, and Chinook.