Student entrepreneurs market Wildpants for ‘Nova fan uniform

Kelsey Ruane

The ‘Nova Nation T-shirt, sported en masse by fans in the student section at basketball games, could use a little something to go with it, according to senior Joe Mancari.

That something is a pair of Wildpants.

Wildpants are the brain-child of Mancari, an accounting and finance double major and entrepreneurship minor. The idea grew out of a pair of Zubaz pants he wore in sophomore year when he was Dennis Rodman for Halloween.

“They make a uniform with the ‘V-shirt’ to wear to basketball games” Mancari said of the blue-and-white, tiger-striped pants he envisioned for students.

But two years ago, the idea didn’t pan out. Mancari ran into a number of obstacles prohibiting him from turning his idea to sell Wildpants into a reality. For one, he was told he needed a minimum of $10,000 in liability insurance to be an outside vendor on campus, like those who often sell scarves and bags by the Oreo.

Not until teaming up with fellow senior Justin Yeash last semester did Mancari see his Wildpants idea take shape.

Yeash, along with seniors Katie Beringer and Steve Augustyn, founded the company Always Go Time, LLC., which has been incorporated since Dec. 2007. According to its mission statement, AGT is a company dedicated to human activity, built on its founders’ desire to learn business practices. The company deals especially with extreme sports, facilitating people “to get out and live the extreme life.”

“Joe didn’t have a company or insurance, and Always Go Time provided him with that,” Yeash said.

AGT organized the ‘Nova Numb Run, in addition to a 5K race in September in Oaks, Pa., to benefit breast cancer research.

The collaboration with Mancari to sell Wildpants is AGT’s first for-profit venture. They pay a Chinese manufacturer directly to make the pants, which come in unisex sizes XS-XXL. The pants are similar to medical scrubs, with pockets and a drawstring.

Yeash used a graphic design program to create the Wildpants’ pattern using images of an actual tiger from Animal Kingdom.

Two years ago, Mancari sent out an e-mail survey to gauge student interest in the Wildpants idea.

“I saw a huge amount of interest,” he said.

The people he surveyed are now juniors and seniors who are no longer as interested in the idea. But AGT’s target market for the Wildpants is freshmen and sophomores, who traditionally spend more money on school-spirit merchandise than upperclassmen do, according to Mancari.

AGT reports that getting the word out about the Wildpants has been tricky. The University has strict non-solicitation policies.

“It’s the creative people who get by those policies,” said Yeash.

AGT has people wear the Wildpants to class on men’s basketball game days, drumming up support for both the team and the pants.

Personal training is AGT’s second for-profit venture, which has recently been added to the variety of athletic services that the company offers.

AGT has job postings on GoNova for people interested in marketing and learning about business first-hand.

“We’re looking for creative people with good ideas,” Yeash said.

Since they are both graduating in May, Yeash and Mancari said they would like to see AGT inherited by undergraduates who will continue the company’s growth.

Always Go Time has been selling Wildpants for two weeks and has made eight sales so far.

They will be selling Wildpants for $20 in Connelly Center today from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and are accepting WildCard payment.