LeBron 'FOR6IVEN' T-shirts take off, website crashes fom traffic
JUL 11, 2014 8:58p ET
Earlier this week, Fresh Brewed Tees took some heat for revealing their new "FOR6IVEN" design in anticipation of LeBron James' return.
Now, the Cleveland-based T-shirt company is having the last laugh.
Tony Madalone, Cleveland native and owner of Fresh Brewed Tees, starting prepping for the idea of a LeBron James return about a week ago. That's when he and a colleague came up with the "FOR6IVEN" design, that spells "forgiven" with a "6."
As the rumors of James' return picked up this week, Madalone revealed the design on Wednesday via the Fresh Brewed Tees Twitter account:
Initially, there was a lot of backlash over the controversial concept of a "forgiven" T-shirt, especially since no one really knew what James' intentions were.
@btcoop71 My palm needs to be surgically removed from my face. So "proud" of my city. Sigh.— T.J. Basalla (@tjbasalla) July 9, 2014
@FreshBrewedTees CHILL OUT BROS CHIIIIILLLLLLL OUUUUUUTTTTTTT BROSSSSS (unless LBJ sees this and goes "Great design. I'm in.")— Scott (@ScottyB330) July 9, 2014
But now the local company is cashing in on their unique idea — so much, that the website has struggled to stay online all day due to the high amount of traffic and orders.
Madalone said the demand went through the roof within five minutes of James' announcement. "We sold all of our inventory — over 2,000 shirts in just a couple of hours," Madalone said via text message. "We're printing 2,500 more through the night to keep up."
Nearly 5,000 shirts in less than 24 hours? That's quite a hike in sales for the small Cleveland business.
LeBron's return is sure to have a huge positive impact on the local economy in Cleveland — and Fresh Brewed Tees is just one of many business that's already reaping the benefits.
The shirts are available at FreshBrewedTees.com — as long as they can keep the site humming.