Terry Bradshaw might just be the perfect fit for EverGreen Recreational Vehicles, Middlebury, Ind., that owner/founder Kelly Rose thinks he is.
“I am telling you we are very fortunate,” Rose told The South Bend Tribune in a quiet moment after Bradshaw’s 45-minute news conference Thursday (July 15) rendered lots of laughs, plenty of opinions and likely a large amount of publicity for the 18-month-old recreational vehicle company.
“We talked about it a long time. I am very happy he accepted.”
The two golfing buddies met in Florida a few years ago and gradually became friends.
Eventually, Rose asked him to come on board as an endorser/part owner of the business.
Bradshaw, who says he’s not big on endorsing, said he accepted the offer because of Rose and the company.
“I know it will work,” Bradshaw said. “They’ve got good people, smart people and if they don’t understand something they are not afraid to ask.
“We will try to sell these. If I can sell used cars, I can sell these.”
And the Hall of Famer who quarterbacked the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles, actually has a background in something the RV industry witnessed in recent years — lean times.
Bradshaw said his first five years or so in the NFL were rough. He eventually lost his starting quarterback job to Joe Gilliam in 1974 before regaining it and going on to a Hall of Fame career that ended in 1983.
“I am so proud of myself for not giving up,” Bradshaw said. “I normally don’t like to stir things up. I am easygoing and it takes a lot to get me upset. But I got as mean and hateful and as nasty as a human being can get. I found out in that environment, that’s what I had to do to survive.
“Those years were tough, knowing that the coach (Chuck Noll) did not want me. But I didn’t quit. Thank God I didn’t quit.”
Bradshaw, now a colorful commentator on Fox NFL Sunday, was chosen by Rose for a number of reasons, including his outgoing personality.
“He’s down-home,” said Rose of Bradshaw, who also raises cattle and shows horses. “He fits the RV lifestyle perfectly. He’s got character and he is a character.”
For Rose, Bradshaw could be but another nice step forward for a company that was formed in December 2008 with just 18 employees.
It now has 100, but Rose is not planning on growing it as big as his former company, Starcraft.
“We don’t want to be the largest producer of product in this business,” Rose said. “We want to make a nice profit, be able to service our dealers and obviously, stay in business a long time.”
Rose saluted his business team and noted that they have a stake in ownership, making their work ethic unique.
But what makes EverGreen most unique is its green effort.
Featuring the Ever-Lite brand, the company touts its products as eco-friendly, 20% lighter than much of the competition, helping customers save fuel. The company also uses Composi-Tek construction resulting in what the company says is a more durable and recyclable material.
Perhaps most importantly in Rose’s eyes, the RVs are 90% formaldehyde free. The company estimates the rest of the industry is 45%.
Rose said company growth will remain “strategic,” adding that he is “cautious” amid what many experts believe is a slowing economy.
“We are playing it a little closer to the vest right now,” he said.
Excluding Thursday’s introduction of the company’s spokesman and part owner.
“This is good for me,” said Bradshaw. “This makes me an entrepreneur.
“I can’t spell it, but I am one.”
According to a news release, EverGreen Recreational Vehicles is scoring big in the camping arena with a new generation of all composite, eco-friendly, travel trailers and fifth wheels that are as healthy for families as they are for the environment. EverGreen produces eco-friendly travel trailers with composite materials creating a longer lasting, lighter weight vehicle that is easier to tow and more fuel-efficient. The new Ever-Lite RVs are manufactured using EverGreen’s proprietary ComposiTek construction process making them completely recyclable.
About Terry Bradshaw
Bradshaw is currently a football analyst and 3-time Emmy winning co-host of FOX NFL Sunday. In a six-year span, he won an unprecedented four Super Bowl titles with Pittsburgh (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979), becoming the first quarterback to do so, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 in his first year of eligibility. Terry is one of the nation’s most sought-after corporate motivational speakers. He is also a film and television actor, NY Times best-selling author and recording artist, among numerous other accomplishments.
Since retiring from the NFL in the 1970s, Bradshaw has dabbled in many businesses, cattle ranching, motivational speaking, TV sports analysis, acting, but never before RVs. Bradshaw says no matter the business, he’s learned to never quit.
“That’s one of the things you learn as an athlete is to go out, you know you’re prepared and listen, business is tough. Economies are tough. It’s tough economically in this country right now. You can go put your head in the sand or don’t turn on the news so you don’t get depressed, but that’s the facts.”
To hear Bradshaw’s comments about the NFL prospects of Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Claussen, click here for coverage by WSBT-TV, South Bend.