This story is incredible, and the effect it has had on so many people.
What started as something very small turned into something very big. The Cincinnati Bengals center Ted Karras needed a way to express his gratitude to his new teammates in Cincinnati, so he figured what better way than with some swag.
Using his resources, he teamed up with a friend’s business to get them hats. Little did Karras know, this little gesture took a turn for the best and is flying higher than he ever thought possible. His teammates liked the gift, but so did the media and fans. So they decided to sell them to everyone and donate the proceeds to the Village of Merici.
Karras was in awe of the turnout.
“The hats were originally a fun gift for my new teammates…” Karras explained, “The demand for the hats grew rapidly thanks to my teammates wearing them in interviews, and we decided to sell them, but it had to benefit the Village of Merici.”
Karras teamed up with his former childhood classmate, Matt Renie, who is involved with the Village of Merici. According to The Cincy Hat website, the Village of Merici is an Indianapolis-based non-profit living community designed to assist developmentally disabled adults. There are currently 22 adults who reside there, soon to be 37, with a new expansion in the works. Karras hopes to eventually create an income stream for the village.
The Cincy Hat only sold hats last season. After posting a very successful and popular first round of sales, they just released their second campaign just over a month ago.
This season, they introduced even more options.
In addition to their new items Bengals items this season, they reached out to a larger audience, as they created a special edition Cincinnati Reds hat, which they sold ahead of one of their recent games.
I participated in the project myself last year and got myself a black hat. After seeing these new hats and polos, I will be revisiting the site again soon. If you’re interested in this project or like the gear, visit thecincyhat.com.