Date: Jan 22, 2019
In 1998, elementary school PE teacher Bob Fox and his wife Jill started our company, Speed Stacks in their basement because they believed that what was then called cup stacking could one day be a real sport. Bob had been teaching stacking in his PE classes and saw how much his students loved it and how it helped their coordination and self-esteem. Within a few years, Bob had inspired stacking programs in hundreds of schools and realized that a governing body for the sport was needed. The problem was funding. Governing bodies for mainstream sports were funded through TV contracts and corporate sponsorships but nobody was willing to sponsor this strange sport where kids stacked cups really fast. So Bob funded it himself through Speed Stacks. Every year, Speed Stacks gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the WSSA to maintain a staff, develop rules, create and maintain a stacker database and scorekeeping system, review record videos and fund tournaments. As time went on, other companies began making stacking cups too, but none of them were willing to fund the WSSA. They only wanted to profit from selling cups - not support a sport. It was left to Speed Stacks to grow the sport and provide opportunities for stackers to compete. Over the years, the WSSA looked for corporate sponsorships and found mild success with companies like Wonderful Pistachios and the National Egg Board. Unfortunately, these sponsors came and went and despite ongoing attempts, the WSSA has been unable to find any long-term sponsors and remains fully reliant on Speed Stacks to fund the sport. In exchange for that sponsorship, Speed Stacks asks for clear and prominent exposure of their brand on the equipment used in the sport, and to be the exclusive equipment provider of the WSSA.
Recently, there has been discussion within the stacking community about the relationship between the WSSA and Speed Stacks. Unfortunately, a lot of it is misinformed and some of it even includes accusations of wrongdoing and bad intent, which we at Speed Stacks find hurtful. Speed Stacks is a small, family owned business in Colorado, not some large corporate conglomerate. Our staff is made up of former teachers and stackers and we spend almost all of our time getting new sport stacking programs started in schools. Our licensed representatives in other countries do the same things. We fund these efforts through the sale of our products and that’s also how we continue to fund the WSSA. There is no hidden agenda. Our business model is simple; create quality products for our stackers and provide a platform for them to compete. Our leaders are Larry Goers, CEO and Don Teel, President and many of you in the stacking community know us and our families personally from attending tournaments over the years. We are not some investment group that only cares about their bottom line. This is all we do and we care about this sport deeply and try to make sure that stackers at all levels have a great experience. We don’t always get it right, but we work hard at it every day and are proud of what our staff, tournament directors, teachers and representatives around the world are accomplishing. Bob and Jill retired several years ago but our company continues to pursue their vision. I hope you will join us in supporting our sport in a way that builds up the community and those who support it, rather than feeding divisiveness and mistrust. As Bob has said from the beginning, we build only positive pyramids and we are proud that our sport is about inclusiveness, fun and meaningful competition. That’s how we run our business and it is also what we expect from the stackers and families who participate in WSSA programs and events.