For months, Anthony Davino encouraged his employer to embrace the Chanticleers.
The Coastal Carolina alum noticed all the attention his alma mater was getting, and as the marketing director for FOCO, which specializes in sports and entertainment merchandise, he knew this was the time for a teal-themed product.
“I’m always bringing [Coastal] up to them,” Davino said. “As an alum, I’m watching all the games and whatnot and saying, ‘Yo, we’re like the real deal.’”
FOCO’s products include apparel, toys, collectibles and other novelty items.
When Davino started working for FOCO, he didn’t realize how big of a deal one particular item is at the company: bobbleheads.
“I didn’t know there was such a love for bobbleheads,” Davino said. “But actually seeing and touching it really shows how detailed we can get.”
He and his coworkers are part of a group chat called “Bobble Tank,” a nod to the popular ABC show “Shark Tank,” where aspiring entrepreneurs present their business ideas in hopes of getting an investor to support their company or idea.
Throughout Coastal’s historic football season, Davino said he’s been constantly pushing for something teal during the “Bobble Tank.”
“I’ve always been throwing it in there saying that I think a Coastal bobble would do really well,” Davino said.
Finally, after CCU’s upset win over BYU on Dec. 5, Davino got the green light.
Right away, he knew what the product had to be: a Chauncey Bobblehead draped in the black turnover cloak, which players wear after forcing a turnover.
“Everyone loves Chauncey,” said Davino, who got his undergraduate and master’s degrees from CCU. “We had to do the turnover cloak because it would resonate with the fans. Plus, the Black Swarm defense was getting a lot of coverage. I just felt that CCU fans would really appreciate it.”
The bobblehead also includes the sword that accompanies one who dons the turnover cloak. While there is some pressure from FOCO that the product has to sell well, Davino is embracing the challenge.
“I still have connections at the university and I know the media down in Myrtle Beach would be excited and that they were going to love this,” Davino said.
Davino said it takes FOCO’s in-house graphic designers about a day to come up with the artwork. Once the artwork was completed, it was submitted to the licensing department at Coastal for approval.
“Once we get approval from Coastal, we go to our factories overseas and have them start doing the clay molds,” Davino said.
It takes about 7 to 10 days to get a sample. Once the sample is good enough, then that sample is used to launch the product on the company’s website, FOCO.com.
“For mass production, it takes about 45 to 60 days to get them going,” Davino said. “That’s why we launch it as a pre-order.”
Since the pre-orders went live this month, Davino said there have been over 125 orders already placed.
The early success of the product has inspired FOCO to begin production on some “Myrtle Beach themed” Coastal Carolina gear. Davino expects CCU floral shirts and straw hats to be popping up for sale on the company’s website.
While Chauncey is the lone CCU-related bobblehead at FOCO right now, Davino said fans shouldn’t be surprised if a coach Jamey Chadwell bobblehead makes an appearance.
Davino said that the company would have to get Chadwell’s permission for his likeness to be used on a bobblehead. Should that happen, Chadwell would join the ranks of another popular football coach in South Carolina to be made into a bobblehead: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
“That’s something we can do if we have his permission,” Davino said.
Davino said that the visor that Chadwell wears and his play sheet “must be included” if a Chadwell bobblehead comes about.
For now, Chauncey is it. The Chauncey Turnover Cloak Bobblehead is available for pre-order online. They’re $40 before shipping and are expected to be shipped by late February or early March.