The Maine-based company has grown to sponsoring players and disc manufacturing
December 20, 2019 by Bennett Wineka in Interview with comments
When Drew Gibson announced after the 2019 season that he’d be forgoing a traditional single-manufacturer sponsor, several other disc golf companies soon stepped in to collaborate with Gibson.
Infinite Discs and Legacy Discs received the majority of the attention of the newly on-board sponsors, but another company is less of a known commodity.
Thought Space Athletics is not necessarily new to the scene, it is, however, branching into an entirely new segment of the sport. We caught up with owner Aaron Wilmot to learn more about the Maine-based outfit and its transition from apparel company to sponsor to disc imprint.
Ultiworld Disc Golf: Can you provide a quick history of the company/brand? The first I remember hearing of it was either late 2018 or early 2019.
Aaron Wilmot: Thought Space Athletics started as an apparel company in 2012, with an emphasis on bringing rich creative concepts to life to inspire creativity and knowledge and only using the best quality materials. I founded Thought Space as a pet project, after visiting the 2012 World Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina, I saw there was a void to fill in the current offerings of disc golf apparel and design. The whole concept was to bring a new vision and idea to the design and apparel offerings of Disc Golf. We wanted to tie in philosophy, spiritual, and scientific ideas that would make people think and inspire them.
In 2018, we decided to expand our horizons and offer our artistic abilities and unique skill set to the companies and players in the sport. We wanted to provide a cutting edge graphic design service. Around this time, I brought on my friend and world-renowned visual artist Tony Graystone as a partner. I had been working with him since the conceptualization of Thought Space.
In 2019, we again decided to grow, so we started taking steps into becoming a disc golf manufacturer. There is always an allure to creating your own discs and having people enjoy both the art and creative concept behind the mold.
UWDG: How do you differentiate yourself from other disc golf brands?
AW: Thought Space Athletics is a smaller company compared to a lot of the more prominent companies like Innova and Discraft. We can provide more direct support to our customers. I respond to any correspondence to answer questions. I also feel we stand out a bit with our design work and what goes into the creative story behind concepts.
UWDG: You sponsor a couple athletes — Nate Perkins, Garrett Gurthie, and now Drew Gibson. What goes into choosing who you sponsor?
AW: We have been able to work with some fantastic athletes over the last few years, both locally and nationally. Last year we got to work with Garrett Gurthie and Nate Perkins, whom we did a lot of design work for, such as signature discs and some of their concepts. This year we are partnering up with Drew Gibson and Nate again.
Our ethos all about growing disc golf and injecting new thoughts and ideas to breath fresh life into the direction the sport is going. When selecting players, we look for positive role models of the sport that aren’t afraid to think outside the box and try new things.
UWDG: Who does the artwork for discs and merchandise?
AW: My friend and business partner Tony and I are a creative team. We have worked together since 2012. In 2018, when we wanted to offer our mark on the design world of disc golf, it only made sense that we work together as partners.
UWDG: Why the jump to producing your own discs?
AW: I think there is a special feeling when offering your own disc line. We wanted to take our talents as business professionals and designers to the market, and it was a natural progression for us. We are working with some fantastic people to bring our products to light, and we plan to make more info on that available in the near future.
UWDG: Who manufacturers the discs, and how did that relationship come about?
We first approached MVP about partnering on manufacturing after running a few custom stamps with them. We were really impressed with the quality of the product and their stamping services.
After researching our options with other manufacturers, MVP became a clear choice for us, and we began working together on our product lineup.
Our focus has always been high quality and graphic design. It seemed to be the perfect match.
UWDG: What kind of impact do you see Thought Space making on disc golf?
AW: Hopefully a positive one! We want players to be able to stand out and be able to represent their values as golfers even if they do not have any sponsorship. We want to break the mold and offer individuality.
UWDG: Can you share any growth plans for company?
AW: We have a few molds we plan to release in 2020 to expand our line. I also work with a friend of mine, Jamie White, on most of the more significant events in my home state of Maine. This year we are working on an opportunity offered to us by the Disc Golf Pro Tour with creating one of our events, The Maine State Disc Golf Championships, as a DGPT Silver Series event. We also hope to strengthen our relationships with other manufacturers with our graphic design services and to continue to build our offerings for unique apparel, disc molds and design concepts.