"Why Didn’t I Think of That?"A Goof-Off Game Gets Real
By Jeremy Loudenback
The Popular FikiFootball set now available
3Point Enterprise’s Richard Crasnick was faced with a tough choice in
January of 2000. After struggling to get his fledgling public relations
firm off the ground, Crasnick was eyeing the bleak prospect of searching
through the classifieds when he decided to follow his dream of creating
a portable flicking football game. When he finally crafted the game, FIKI
FOOTBALL, Crasnick discovered he had a legion of ready-made fans that
remembered the game from the bored days of their youth. Now, Crasnick
says he is juggling the recent success--which has included business from
corporate behomoths like Budweiser and Direct TV--and is aiming to penetrate
the supermarket sector.
Quit Your Day Job
After years of working in sports marketing/PR, I opened my own marketing/promotions/public
relations firm in 1997. After struggling for three years it was time to
"get a real job with another PR or Marketing agency or chase a dream,
taking an idea I had to see if I could develop it into something. I opted
for the latter.
I had the idea years ago, but it wasn't until the above described moment
when I actually moved forward and began the project. I took the decades-old
concept of paper or triangle table-top football and created a game/toy
for the retail and promotional market.
FikiFootball is Licensed to many Popular Universities
My first meeting for the project, now with a name, Flick It & Kick
It Football (sold at retail under the brand name Fiki Football) was January
12, 2000, and it wasn't until August 2001 that Fiki Football was ready
The Power of Nostalgia
As we like to say, the game is "nostalgic for adults and a game
kids continue to play today." Thus, our market is basically 8 years
of age to 50-ish, as that's the upper age of people who remember playing
the game as kids … when they see it, it strikes a nostalgic chord. When
I go to trade shows, people always seem to come by, take a look at the
Fiki Football game, shake their heads and say, “Why didn’t I think of
There is no shortage of the type of retailer who carries the product.
Of course we're looking for the masses, but as a relatively new product,
we're still finding our way. About 50 percent of the business is generic.
The product can be found in drug stores, supermarkets, Hallmark stores,
sporting goods stores, gift & novelty stores, amusement parks, college
bookstores, hardware stores, Learning Express and many more.
We are now approved by Barnes & Noble college division for
placement in their stores. We have over 150 sales reps covering the gift,
toy and college bookstore areas, and [they] do direct selling out of our
corporate office. We are talking to supermarket chains, trying to get
into that market.
A Word from Our Sponsors…
We also do a lot of private label jobs. We now have licensing for more
than 45 colleges and universities and also are active in the premium market
with clients including Budweiser, Yahoo!, Oregon Lottery and others. At
the present it represents about 20 percent of our market, but it’s one
part we’re always looking to expand.
Despite a jittery economy, sales continue to rise for Fiki Football.
We are confident that we will at least double our sales from $500,000
last year to $1 million this year. Not bad for a two person operation.
We don’t have an advertising or publicity [agency] but we hope to get
One area of concern is that, as a one-product company, some retailers
do not want to carry us as they claim it is too much effort to open a
one-product vendor with their company. Our answer to that is “they might
not want us now, but we'll eventually get in there!”