Sales and media bonanza overwhelms Pizza-Hats inventor

March 19, 2002

As David Bishop will attest, sometimes fan loyalty -- not necessity -- is the mother of invention.

Bishop was at Soldier Field watching a battle between his beloved Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers when he noticed a troubling imbalance. The typically solid sea of Bear black in the stands was well speckled with thousands of yellow "cheese head" hats worn by Packer loyalists.

David Bishop

"I was thinking, 'They stand out too much,' " said Bishop. "It even looked liked there were more of them than us.

"I thought we needed something for (Bears fans), and that's when I came up with the idea."

The idea is Pizza-Hats, an appetizing though inedible triangular foam knock-off of the cheese head hat. Wanting to combine a clever show of team loyalty and a famous Windy City icon, he chose a wedge of Chicago-style pizza.

"Great pizza is one thing we're well known for ... and with the Bears in the playoffs, it made sense to put the two together," said Bishop, owner of CRC, Inc., which is marketing the hats.

So far sales are brisk. Three days after the first 600-unit shipment arrived on Jan. 14, 400 hats had been sold for $20 each.

With only a single press release sent to news organizations, Bishop said requests for interviews "have been unbelievable. ... I called the manufacturer and told them to go to full production immediately."

Without a license to sell the hats at Soldier Field, Bishop said his main sales channels are the phone and his Web site.

"Anyone who wants to come get them, carry them away and sell them at bars ... wherever, we'll do that, too," he added.

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