If you’ve ever played Ultimate Frisbee, you know that community is a huge part of the sport. It’s what pushed me to pick up a disc for the first time in high school and to play passionately through college and on into adulthood.
It may surprise you to learn that that spirit of the game doesn’t just exist between players and teams — it’s also present between many of the companies that have made it their mission to serve the Ultimate community. Over the years, I’ve made connections with the owners of companies that are Savage’s direct competitors. We greet each other warmly at tournaments; we have each other’s numbers in our phones. Their company’s gain sometimes means Savage’s loss — and vice versa — but we recognize that it’s all for the greater good of our beloved sport.
This is why the idea of bringing together two of Ultimate’s biggest brands — and biggest competitors — seemed like the most natural move in the world. I’m thrilled to officially announce that Savage Apparel Co. and Five Ultimate, along with ARIA Discs, are now joined under the umbrella of XII Brands.
I’ve been a fan of Five since before Savage even existed — they’re one of Ultimate’s o.g. brands. I’ve worn their gear and admired their company culture. I’ve also gotten to know the five siblings that founded the company — Zahlen, Xtehn, Vehro, Rohre, and Qxhna. So when I reached out to them with an idea that would bring our businesses together, the conversation was open and productive from day one.
Let me assure you: Savage will always be Savage. Five will always be Five. And ARIA will always be ARIA. All of the current owners of Savage, Five, and ARIA remain key stakeholders in XII Brands. The key difference is, we are now working together as a team. We’re sharing resources, sharing ideas, and growing together for the betterment of our community.
I and the rest of the Savage crew will continue working out of our headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, serving the Ultimate community along with the other sports we’ve added to our roster in recent years, from disc golf and dodgeball to Spikeball, soccer, quidditch, and baseball. We will continue being a full-service company, designing and creating all of our products in-house, with a growing emphasis on our GreenLine of fabric made from 100% recycled bottles. I, along with Dan Lee and my brother Dan Curran, are the co-owners of Savage as well as co-owners of XII Brands.
Five is still based in Seattle, with the same sales/marketing team and designers you know and love. Their focus is and will always be Ultimate Frisbee. The Five siblings are still actively involved as well — and notably, they’re all part owners of XII Brands. We are all invested in the success of this venture.
The biggest change for Five is our goal to produce all U.S. orders domestically and with recycled fabric — at the XII headquarters in Richmond, Virginia — as opposed to overseas. This means a drastically reduced carbon footprint for all domestic orders. Five and Savage are both working with partners in Canada, France, and the Philippines to produce international orders, which will further reduce our collective carbon footprint.
And let’s not forget ARIA, which brings a disc company under the XII fold. Created by Five’s founders in 2015, ARIA specializes in discs specifically formulated for playing Ultimate. ARIA operations will now be shared between Seattle and Richmond. With our newly expanded resources, we can proudly say that our goal is to take over the Ultimate disc market. If you haven’t been converted, you’ll be hearing from us soon.
The creation of XII Brands has been quietly in the works for over a year, and I’ll admit that it feels cathartic to finally share it with you. I’m sure you’ll have questions (check out the FAQs at XIIBrands.com for starters), and we’ll all work together to answer those in the coming weeks. But for now, I hope you’ll share in my excitement for this new partnership that I feel confident will bring good things for the communities we’ve made it our mission to serve. We can’t wait to show you what’s in store for the future.
Your Ultimate partner,
Todd Curran, CEO of XII BrandsContinue reading