5 for Friday with Dave Aichinger

5 for Friday with Dave Aichinger

Dave Aichinger is my guest on today’s 5 for Friday. A man with the job many would love to have. As the Senior Manager for New Era Cap Company, he’s responsible for distributing official World Series caps and replacing playoff patches with championship patches on the game-worn hats some players insist on wearing. He also is on the field at the end of the NFL Super Bowl and All Star games.

Dave is a busy, busy man and always on the run. He is married with two children and is a proud grandpa these days as his little granddaughter continues to keep the family on their toes.

Make sure to check back on Monday for the full episode with Dave Aichinger.

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New Era Cap Company History

In 1920, Ehrhardt Koch borrowed $1,000 from his sister, Rose and $1,000 from his co-worker Joe and started his own cap company, the “E. Hoch Cap Company.” Production started on the third floor of 1830 Genesee Street in Buffalo, New York. The company started with 14 employees, including Ehrhardt’s sister Rose, Ehrhardt’s son, Harold, and Rose’s son Wally Domas. In 1920, the company produced 60,000 caps.

1934, New Era began producing caps for the Cleveland Indians. This would be their first Major League Baseball (MLB) contract. In 1954, the company’s fitted pro cap was modernized, redesigned and named the 59Fifty, aka the “Brooklyn Style” cap, by Harold Koch. He introduced many design improvements and innovations while head of New Era. By 1965, New Era was supplying caps to about 10 of the 20 MLB teams. In 1993, New Era was granted the first exclusive license with MLB to produce the on-field baseball caps for all teams.

In 2001, Chris Koch was named CEO. In the 2010s, while New Era had long been associated with baseball, the company focused on delving into football and other sports leagues.

2012, it acquired full exclusive sideline rights for the National Football League (NFL). I

2013, New Era signed with Australian cricket’s Big Bash League as their official cap provider. New Era signed an additional deal in 2015 with Manchester United.

2017, New Era signed exclusive rights for NBA on-court product. This made New Era the first headwear company to have exclusive rights for MLB, the NFL, and the NBA simultaneously.

It was announced on August 13, 2016, that New Era and the Buffalo Bills reached an agreement for naming rights for Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills and New Era officially announced the stadium’s new name of New Era Field five days later, on August 18, 2016. 

On September 12, 2018, it was announced that New Era would be the official outfitter for the Canadian Football League starting in the 2019 season. The company has been a licensee of the CFL for headwear and apparel since January 2011. It will be the first time that the company provides football uniforms and sideline apparel.

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