Faith-Based Company Gets Spotlight With Jeremy Lin Sporting Its Wristband
The growth of Christian-based apparel company Active Faith started by T’Wolves F Anthony Tolliver and former NBA D-League player Lanny Smith was examined by Jon Krawczynski of the AP. Ever since Knicks G Jeremy Lin’s picture was "plastered everywhere,” so “were the wristbands" he wears, which were created by Tolliver and Smith. The two began selling Active Faith wristbands emblazoned with “IJNIP” -- In Jesus’ Name I Play. Lin is a “big supporter” and wears the wristbands during games. Smith said, “It kind of blew up on us overnight and it turned from something that me and Anthony were working on growing step by step to something that turned global.” Krawczynski writes, “They have Linsanity to thank for that.” Tolliver said, “All these pictures across the world with him rocking our bands. Basically at that time, our website launched. It just was crazy after that.” The website -- MyActiveFaith.com -- "crashed three times before they were able to get a dedicated server to handle the traffic and they sold 10,000 wristbands in the first two weeks.” Smith: “Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour, they’ll never make a faith-based product. They’ll never really crossover and touch that. We felt that this was a niche and a market that we could create. That’s what we plan on doing, almost being the Nike of the Christian sports apparel.” Krawczynski notes Active Faith also has T-shirts and "workout tops, shorts, hoodies and polo shirts, all geared to athletes, workout freaks and weekend warriors.” The company sells “a women’s line -- Fearfully and Wonderfully Made -- and have high-profile athletes” like Lin, Bulls G Derrick Rose and T’Wolves F Derrick Williams sporting the bands. The line is “sold at Houston’s Lakewood Church, which has the largest congregation in the United States with more than 40,000 attendees every Sunday, and at nationwide retailer Family Christian Stores, in addition to the website” (AP, 3/30).