A Boston resident is hoping to change the online shopping game for sports fanatics. In an effort to connect buyers with story-focused sports memorabilia and original sports-themed pieces, Chas Wagner launched an online store called Rally.
“Whenever I’d wear an old sports jersey, my friends would ask, ‘Where did you get that?’ and I like that compliment,” Wagner said. He'd become increasingly interested in vintage sports apparel, what he calls, “products with a story or a personality behind them.” After realizing original and vintage sports items were hard to find, Wagner opened the online store.
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Wagner likens his site to Etsy, a marketplace for artisans to sell and showcase items they’ve made themselves, with the difference being that Rally sells sports-themed items exclusively. Distinct from most online marketplaces, Rally provides independent designers with an outlet to sell their merchandise, giving graphic designers like Elliot Gerard, of White Plains, New York, an opportunity to showcase their work. Rally now has 15 original creators and accepts vintage pieces from users.
In addition to designers, Rally depends on everyday users selling their vintage and historic sports paraphernalia. Wagner said he aims to build a community and conversation based on sports.
“I value stuff that takes me back to my childhood, Wagner said, It’s not just a Derek Jeter jersey. It’s thinking, ‘I remember being in Yankee Stadium with my dad and I’ll never forget it.’”
Rally’s focus is to collaborate with artists and users looking to sell not just their vintage items, but their stories.
Wagner said he has plans to expand their web-based outlet into brick-and-mortar stores in the distant future. He envisions the spaces to "feel like a museum” and hopes to make them a venue for sporting events, for speakers and athletes to share their stories and for artists and designers to showcase their work. In the immediate future, Wagner is working on creating a mobile app for the site.
Rally products are found exclusively on the site, meaning you won’t find its merchandise in Dick’s Sporting Goods or City Sports.