In 2011, Jake Sullivan walked into a local Pittsburgh clothing store called Timebomb. He bought powder blue Wiz Khalifa Taylor Gang Bombay Gin Cup shirts and sold them on eBay.
His enjoyment of clothing turned into a budding apparel and media company in 2015 that he operates with Steven Crump.
At the Make Sure You Have Fun Mixed Threads clothing fair in 2017, Crump and Sullivan were selling their own brand Good Sports. Even cooler, the experience came full circle because Ryan Brown, the designer of the Gin Cup shirt that Sullivan had bought years earlier, hosted the local streetwear market.
People could have “Pittsburgh clothes for the [whole] year if you look into it,” Sullivan said.
Now, Good Sports, Sports for short, is an example of an emerging streetwear culture in the city.
I asked if either of the partners skates because that’s the feeling I got looking at their collections, like the latest Exordium. Turns out, only Crump skates, but the love for culture grew from the two’s fondness of Nike SB sneakers back in seventh grade, P-ROD 2 specifically. That’s how they conceptualized “how everything ties together, the shoes, the clothes, the music,” Crump said.
What Sports is trying to do is “get more involved” in the culture. The 23-year-old Bethel Park and Wexford natives in Crump and Sullivan conduct an interview series called Pittsburgh Culture showing the energy coming out of the creative scene and “the ones behind it all.” Musician Linwood and thrift store owner and barber Zed have segments.
To that point, people in the city have been receptive to Sports, obviously, we love our teams, but the Good Sports kind message and general aesthetic promote quality. Crump remembers local rapper Mars Jackson being the first notable person to wear their clothes. InnerviewQ has also been seen wearing Sports.
The apparel side of the label isn’t trying to be in your face with its simplistic designs. “A lot of things are just overdone now,” Crump said. He mentioned the We’re Proud long-sleeve shirt comes from looking at old ‘80s and ‘90s Sports Illustrated. Garments like polos and quarter zips highlight the Exordium range.
With limited quantities in each Sports collection, “we focus on every little detail because they all matter,” Sullivan said. Patience helps them, as the business pays no attention to typical season-by-season collections.
Down the line, Crump and Sullivan hope to grow into a brick and mortar store for a Pittsburgh foundation.
Sports will produce more clothing when they're ready. "Everything is here it's just how it all gets put together," Crump said.