Monday, April 7, 2014

The D'Angelo Family Is Truly 'A Brand Apart'

The D'Angelos: Bobby, Arthur, David (FenwayNation photo)
When you ask 87-year old Arthur D'Angelo how long he will continue as the patriarch of his sports souvenir empire, he doesn't mince words, "As long as I can walk". That kind of perseverance and dedication to craft is what makes D'Angelo's '47 Brand a worldwide phenomenon. In addition to running one of the largest concession/souvenir stores in the country across from Fenway Park, the D'Angelo family (and it is a true family enterprise with sons Bobby, Mark, David and Steven on board) sells more caps than anyone else in the world. This was not a likely result when Arthur and his twin brother Henry arrived here from Italy in 1938. They started selling papers for two cents in front of Fenway—because the kids were told, "there's lots of people there". And then, in 1947 (the year that gives the brand its name), Arthur came up with a brilliantly innovative idea—put the image of a major league baseball team on a pennant. Steve Jobs gave us the Mac, Bill Gates gave us Windows—but Arthur D'Angelo may have given us something even more special. This was no small feat for the late 40's—it was all new territory. The "Twins" grew their new business from a single street cart to one of the world's premier sports apparel and headwear lines. They had their run-ins over the years with various Red Sox owners and even Major League Baseball—but the D'Angelos and their '47 Brand are still here and thriving. Now, they're embarking on a new media campaign ("Let Your You Out") that even features a digital component—a far cry from that single street cart. It remains to be seen how much Arthur will be able to partake in these new ventures—after all, his wife has set a new 11:30 PM curfew for him to be home. We're betting that he breaks that curfew a few times. The next time you're in the store, stop by and say "hello" to Arthur—he'll be there. You can see a video that tells the story of the D'Angelos and the '47 Brand HERE.