ABOUT GATOR OUTDOORS
Our Story as told to the Iowa Sportsman:
We recently partnered up with a local Iowa Sportsman, Wade Bormann, owner of Gator Outdoors to talk about their new membership program and what’s to come in 2022.
It all started with Gator Graphics, a graphic design company started by Jamie Bormann in Preston, Iowa. Fast forward to 2019, Jamie’s son, Wade, came up with the idea of Gator Outdoors and merged the two companies. As an avid hunter and outdoorsman, Wade wanted Gator Outdoors to be the best place to find hunting products, fishing products, and all the gear in between.
Through their local community and social media, Gator Outdoors has become a big hit with sportsmen around the state of Iowa. Wade says that social media has been the primary focus to get the word out customers and supporters. By posting content, most of which involving the youth outdoors and showing their merchandise, their reach across social media has grown tremendously. After social media started to grow, more and more people wanted to see a Gator Outdoor branded line of clothing, so the very first line was started in late 2020. If you attended the Iowa Deer Classic in 2021, you may have seen some of their products.
Since starting in 2019, the ultimate goal of just becoming a successful outdoor product distributor has switched. Wade recalls the “light-bulb moment” when he realized what all Gator Outdoors could be.
“My wife and I were walking early one morning in our hometown of Bellevue, Iowa and it was just a little after 5am and it wasn’t even daylight when I caught a glimpse of a young boy fishing by a local stream wearing a Gator Outdoors hoodie. It kind of caught me off guard and it was one of the most special moments I’ll ever remember because, at the time, we were such a new company and not too many people knew about us yet and he was wearing our hoodie! I asked the young boy, ‘Are you catching anything?’ he replied, ‘Nope, not yet!’
We were about to walk away, and I said, ‘Where is your dad at?’ He replied, ‘My parents recently got divorced and we don’t get to fish much anymore so I get up and walk several miles to get here early in the morning before school starts.’ Needless to say, I was taken back. Before I left, I told him, ‘Good luck fishing and I like your hoodie!’ the boy replied, ‘Thanks! Have you heard of Gator Outdoors?’ I kind of laughed and said, ‘Yes, I heard of them!’ He replied, ‘Yeah I follow them a lot and it makes me want to get out here early and fish more.’ It was an emotional moment for me.”
After that encounter, Wade’s outlook was changed and he decided to take Gator Outdoors to a whole new level.
As for his goal for Gator Outdoors? Educate the youth and the community. Wade would like to eventually get local chapters or clubs together across the state, and maybe even across the country. These local chapters can be great resources for locals to learn and participate in events, or even look for guidance or mentorship when it comes to the outdoors. Think something similar to Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, or local Izaak Walton chapters. “In today’s world now more than ever we all need to work together in getting the youth more involved in the outdoors and be the reason why their passion for it grows and sticks with them into the next generation. Our goal moving forward is to be that outlet they can be associated with and help ask for guidance,” said Wade.
In fact, the membership part of the equation is already starting. After Wade’s encounter with the young boy fishing, “Be The Reason” became the new slogan for Gator Outdoors. The “Be The Reason” movement is the new membership program that anyone can sign up through Gator Outdoors. The mission of the movement is to be the reason that more people, especially younger generations, are getting involved in the outdoors. By signing up for the membership, you’ll receive a membership card and some initial gear, and by getting more individuals signed up, you can earn more gear and more discounts on other outdoor-related items.
If you’re interested in joining the Gator Family, check out their website https://www.gatoroutdoors.com/gatorcard
Don’t forget to stop by their booth at the Iowa Deer Classic in March!
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