This unprecedented time of quarantines and social distancing has had a tremendous effect on our economy. While we are all doing our best to stay safe and healthy, many local businesses have been forced to adapt to the new reality. One company here in Irvine has pivoted towards helping the community.
Basketball apparel and media company, BallisLife, was founded by Irvine resident Matt Rodriguez back in 2005. The company started out by profiling high school basketball players and posting the profiles on social media. As their popularity grew, so did their viewership. The company now averages over 285 million views across all of their media platforms (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), which has helped them become one of the biggest basketball-focused media brands in the nation.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic set in and new safety measures went into effect, Matt had an idea on how BallisLife could help.
“We have our own dedicated screen print, embroidery, vinyl and sublimation shop for our apparel and merchandise side of our business. I came in one day shortly after we had sent all of our staff home to work remotely, and one of my team members was wearing a cool looking mask. I asked her where she got it and she said she used leftover fabric that we had laying around. Just like that, an idea was born!”
The company began cutting up material from leftover basketball merchandise to test out making fabric protective masks. “Since we already had sewing machines and the tools to quickly switch to producing masks, we were able to start production right away,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez continued, “The next thing we wanted to do was donate a percentage of the proceeds to a cause helping folks in need during this time.” He saw a piece on 60 Minutes about Jose Andres and the World Central Kitchen, and how they are helping feed those in need during these tough times.
Rodriguez said that learning about Jose Andres and the World Central Kitchen partnering with restaurants and paying them to make and provide meals for first responders and others in need of a free meal was a concept that made so much sense that BallisLife decided to support it. The company sold out of masks in 2 days and was able to donate 25% of the proceeds to the World Central Kitchen.
In addition to buying products from BallisLife, you can also donate to the World Central Kitchen directly on their website. 100% of your donation goes towards feeding those in need.
To find out more information about BallisLife, visit their website at https://ballislife.com
You can also follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ballislife
And you can find more information about the World Central Kitchen by visiting https://wck.org
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