Birmingham Innovator: Aviate owner’s motto is ‘Play Hard. Travel Often’

Photo by Kara Kennedy

I am sure by now, you all have seen the BHM baseball caps in retailers around town, but did you know that the company who came up with the idea is located right here in Birmingham and that it has expanded internationally?

The product line, baseball cap with airport codes stitched on them, promotes a sense of pride in one’s community, which is one of the founding principles behind why owner Ben Lancaster decided to open Aviate  in 2015.  And since its opening, the Homewood, Alabama-based company has garnered a loyal following.

“I created the brand on the foundation of community and being proud of where you are from,” said Ben Lancaster, owner of Aviate. “The Aviate also is a brand that allows people to show where they like to travel to.”

Photo by Kara Kennedy

Initially the baseball caps were only in a dozen to 20 retailers, but after the brand became popular and gained a following, Lancaster quit his day job and put all of his focus on growing and expanding the brand nationwide.

Now Aviate caps can be found in more than 500 retailers in about 130 cities in 35 states. There also a couple of International airport code caps now available on their website. Lancaster also gives credit to his  team for helping build and expand the Aviate brand and reputation.

Photo by Kara Kennedy

Loyal Following

Since it’s beginning, Aviate fans have flocked to the brand, and have become loyal brand ambassadors.  The company recognizes this loyalty by giving a shout-out to their customers on their website.

“We want all of you to know that your love and expectations of our brand have not gone unnoticed. You are what make this brand unique.  It’s customers like you that have truly allowed Aviate to soar beyond the rest.”

Because the brand is so popular, a number of companies have tried to compete with Aviate by creating similar-styled airport logo baseball caps, so to ensure that you’re getting the authentic Aviate cap, look for the word Aviate on the back of the cap.

What’s Next for Aviate?

In order to keep the line fresh and up-to-date for his customers, Lancaster plans to launch baseball caps in different fabrics and textures right before the holidays. Aviate also has expanded into airport logo apparel.

The company also has a campus ambassador program for students 21 and over to help continue to build brand loyalty.

It’s great to know that this Birmingham Innovator is doing his part to spread community pride! Hat tip to Lancaster for coming with such a cool idea for showing community pride!

Where You Can Buy An Aviate Hat

Locally you can buy Aviate caps at Gus Mayer, Alabama Outdoors, in specialty boutiques and online.

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Kara Kennedy
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