Monday, April 19, 1993

Cover letter to biz plan

Part One:

Opening Letter

Mark Rauterkus

Publisher & Founder

Sports Support Syndicate, Inc.

108 South 12th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226 USA

Office: 412-481-2497

Fax: 412-481-2540

Orders: 800-869-0758

April 13, 1993

Mathews Printing

Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Paul Mathews and

Other Important Players at Mathews Printing,

I’d like to come and work with you. It is my intention to present this proposal to you, and, in turn, become a full-time, long-term employee of Mathews Printing. I hope you will allow me the opportunity to explain my vision and sell myself to you.

As a publisher of an active, independent, small press, my arrival at Mathews as an employee means I’ll be bringing projects, ideas, ambitions and experiences. When these activities become properly engaged with you, together we can build a dynamic and profitable publishing/printing solution. Furthermore, I have thought through the benefits and scope of these ventures. I’m sure this win-win arrangement will do wonders for your business.

As I approach Mathews Printing with my projects in tow, Mathews Printing will have to open the door and expand its business. I suggest the formation of a new division within Mathews Printing, to be called, Points Press. My new role and job title would be director of Points Press.

I’m excited about our possibilities. I am anxious to go to work and put my skills into place among Mathews’ resources. I’m thrilled to be in a position to bring my talents and efforts to a “company” setting. I’ve been a lone, entrepreneur for the majority of my professional years. Not only have I been financially drained, but I’m also eager for on-the-job companionship and a being able to contribute to a larger sense of corporate identity. My stepping to Mathews could be just what I’m looking for, and Mathews Printing will realize plenty of new business orders and obtain a new stream of revenue and profits. I believe this plan is ideal for both of us.

In the last weeks, I’ve pull together lots of plans that I would like to convey to you. I met with Paul, and he gave me a sense of direction. Now, I’d love to get started and find myself on the job in a matter of days. There are plenty of rich opportunities and challenges I’d like to tackle together.

Looking forward to us meeting again.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Rauterkus,

Publisher, Sports Support Syndicate

Tuesday, April 06, 1993

Deal with a suit maker -- didn't develop

Not sure this was even delivered.

Sports Support Syndicate’s

proposal to the brand

I. Benefits For brand.

A. The xxxx increases sales by $200,000 a year and profits by $95,000.

B. The brand expands it’s product-line to include “intelligence products” (i.e. publications).

C. The brand's logo and sales materials are prominently displayed on the products packaging throughout the life of the product.

D. Following the exclusive-period, the chosen Syndicate products, which carry The brand  logo, are sold in alternative markets; such as bookstores, magazines, and sports dealers.

E. The brand takes a leadership role in the minds of the consumers.

F. The brand joins the marketing trend of advertising inside books.

G. The brand utilizes the talents of its advisory coaches in meaningful, product related tasks without having to expend energy in managing these projects.

H. The brand can refer all author inquiries directly to the Syndicate for future product-development proposals.

I. The brand can pick-and-choose from a selective list of excellent, well-researched products available to the Syndicate.

J. The Syndicate products allow The brand the opportunity to enrich the sports-specific knowledge of The brand’s customer base. Informed and smarter consumers become more active and dedication to their recreational activity.

K. The Syndicate products allow the brand to teach and reach entry-level participants about subtle issues in their sports activities.

L. The brand can choose to either end or extend the agreement with the Syndicate following the first year of operation.

M. The brand  and Syndicate can grow in future years and extended product offerings into a variety of additional sports

after the first year including: Water Polo, Diving, Synchronized Swimming, Triathlons, Cycling, Aerobic Fitness, Running, Track & Field, Volleyball, Crew, etc.

N. The Syndicate products give salespeople another type of hook and interaction with potential customers.

O. The brand  has a no-risk purchase plan with a guaranteed supplier at a minimal expense.

P. The brand  becomes a cutting-edge resource to the sports community without any of the research and development expenses.

II. Agreement Details

A. The brand  dedicates one-half page of their catalog to promote two products produced by the Swimming Support Syndicate.

1. If the contract is extended in future years, the catalog’s page-space size will be adjusted.

B. The Syndicate provides professionally-prepared, camera-ready art for the half-page promotion in The brand catalog.

1. This art can be used by the brand’s art director. However, the catalog art-director can illustrate and promote the products however The brand  feels appropriate.

2. The Syndicate’s art is provided as a suggestion and cost-saving alternative for the brand.

C. The brand purchases products from the Sports Support Syndicate under the terms of a risk-free buying contract.

1. The Syndicate will inventory all products to minimize The brand cost for stock and inventory.

2. The Syndicate will credit or buy-back all unsold and returned items to protect The brand from all wasted stock.

3. The Syndicate products will carry a 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee for customers.

a) The Syndicate will pay a $5.00 fee to The brand  (or The brand dealers) for their time to process all money-back guarantees from customers.

b) The returned products need to be shipped to the Syndicate.

4. The Syndicate will supply products to The brand  in a 14-day delivery schedule. The Syndicate will insure prompt delivery and the elimination of all back-orders.

D. The brand  will have a one-year period for exclusive sales for the chosen Syndicate products.

1. The brand  will have the opportunity to extend the exclusive period with one option year if the product’s sales meet base-line projections and the product’s catalog promotion continues.

2. After the exclusive period, the Syndicate will continue to supply the product to brand  under the existing sales terms.

3. After the exclusive period, the Syndicate can expand the product’s sales to include other distributors, dealers and markets in addition to The brand .

4. The Syndicate reserves the right to operate it’s own Order Center and sell the exclusive products to Syndicate retail customers.

E. The Syndicate will research and prepare a complete report to The brand  six months following the first catalog mailing.

1. The Syndicate will review the sales activities and profitability of the new venture.

2. The Syndicate will present all the options for product offerings for the second year of operation.

III. Product Descriptions

A. Overview

1. This first year, the Syndicate presents two products in swimming. One product is designed for individual swimmers, the other product is designed for teams and coaches.

2. In future years, the Syndicate can present products in many activities. The high-sales products can remain in the catalog for more than one year.

B. SprintSalo’s Practice Companion

1. Author, David C. Salo

a) Dave Salo is a scientist, and he has done a controlled study for The brand  on swim suit performance. He is a personable writer and advocate of the Low-Yardage/High-Intensity Training which won Paul Blair a National Team Title and keeps Brad in top sprinting form at the Master’s level.

b) Forward will be written by Rowdie Gaines, former world record holder and Olympic Gold Medal swimmer.

2. Package Includes:

a) SprintSalo book (included for your review)

(1) 92 pages

(2) softcover

(3) chapters on physiology, workout design, glossary and practices.

b) Workout cards

(1) The 24 double-sided, water-proof workout cards. One sample workout card is included.

c) The brand Catalog

(1) A custom catalog can be printed especially for the SprintSalo package if you choose not to use the full catalog.

d) A pair of swim goggles shrink wrapped into a top pocket on the outside of the package.

e) Everything is contained in an attractive, colorful case suitable for retail display.

3. Prices

a) Retail Price = $35.00.

b) The Price for brand ’ Dealers = $20.00.

c) The brand ’ Factory Price $15.00.

4. The Author made more than 150 advance sales of the $10.00 workout book with a one-line mention in the back of his Swimming World column.

C. Tide Teamwork

1. Author, Don Gambril and Jonty Skinner

2. Target market is swimming coaches and sports scientists.

3. Package Includes:

a) 250 page, softcover book

b) optional computer data disk for $25.00 on mail-in offer directly to the Syndicate.

4. Prices

a) Retail Price = $29.95

b) The Price for brand ’ Dealers = $10.00

c) The brand ’ Factory Price = $5.95

IV. Projected Sales Figures

A. SprintSalo sells 5,000 units

1. Price of $35.00 x total sales = $160,000. gross sales.

2. Cost of $15.00 x total sales = $75,000. product costs.

3. Sales Profits from SprintSalo = $85,000.

4. Cost of quarter page in The brand catalog = ?

B. Tide Teamwork sells 2,000 units

1. Price of $29.95 x total sales = $59,900.

2. Cost of $5.95 x total sales = $11,900.

3. Sales Profits from Tide Teamwork = $48,000.

4. Cost of quarter page in The brand catalog = ?

V. Background of the Sports Support Syndicate

A. The Syndicate has an extensive business plan which can be sent to The brand for review, if you desire.

B. Company Highlights

1. The Sports Support Syndicate, recently formed by Mark Rauterkus, was established to fill a need in the marketplace as a distributor of “Sports Intelligence Products.”

2. The Syndicate product-line includes more than 10,000 titles, believed to be the largest offering of sports-related products anywhere.

3. The Syndicate thrives by building double-win relationships with associates business.

a) Sport-specific magazine publishers are on the growing list of publishers who are taking an active interest in the Syndicate’s services.

b) Points Press serves as the Syndicate’s Order Center.

c) Authors interact with the Syndicate to create specific product development items while capitalizing on the profits.

Sunday, April 04, 1993

Points Press, deal flopped

This was fruitless.

Sports Support Syndicate & Points Press


To the Publishers and Producers of

Sports Intelligence Products

Sports Support Syndicate Facts

The Leadership Double-Team

Mark Rauterkus, founder of the Sports Support Syndicate and Publisher and Points Press of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Paul Mathews, President of Points Press and Officer of Mathews Printing.

Points Press Order Center

Points Press is a new, independent, mid-sized, wholesale operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As the name implies, the business prides itself on titles with a strong message and the inventory includes more than 1,000 different titles, and the list is growing as other sources are discovered.

Points Press serves as the exclusive order center and production headquarters for a number of publisher inprints, including the Sports Support Syndicate. All the Syndicate's products are developed, manufactured, ordered, stocked and delivered from the Points Press.

Besides retail activities, Points Press offers extended services that include: 1-800 service; informed telephone operators available than 80-hours a week; credit-card acceptance with MasterCard, VISA, and American Express; electronic mail communications from headquarters; acceptance of school purchase-orders and a credit department willing to sell to the trade and special markets.

Sports Intelligence Products

Books, video tapes, audio tapes and computer software are the major product categories of "Intelligence Products". Intelligence products and other interactive media appeal to the user's cognitive process to disseminate information and ideas for education and enrichment.

Uniforms, clothing, equipment, accessories, games and coaching/training aids might have "intelligence" value, but these types of products are not part of Syndicate's product line.

The Syndicate's scope of sports includes the Olympic boundaries and extends far beyond. The Syndicate covers the major sports as well as anyone, but our strength comes through the variety

and depth of specialized activity selections. Marathon Swimming, Beach Volleyball and Powerlifting are few of the 50 different sports categories which are all important.

No-Cut Try-outs

Unlimited Selection

All publishers and producers with sports related titles are already on our team. We carry all sports-related titles.

Ninety-nine percent of the publishers accept the invitation to join our team as vendors. The Syndicate is striving to contact the missing one-percent. Our open invitation to sports publishers and additional discoveries continually expand our product-line.

It is easy to include your products as a part of our product-line. We can sign-up any title in an instant. But the Syndicate hopes for more than a simple involvement from the publishers.

Just as in sports, it's easy to sign-up for a team, but difficult to play in the games. Athletics are not about casual involvement, neither is the Syndicate. The Syndicate wants to engage publishers in a profitable partnership. The Syndicate wants to work with publishers in a dynamic program with Double-Win results.

The Syndicate is turning all titles into play-makers, not bench-warmers.

Today's Marketplace

Today's sports marketplace is fragmented, specialized and more technical than ever.

Today's products are produced to appeal to narrow populations in vertical markets.

Today's knowledge is the sports sciences has expanded and is stressing the traditional sources of information.

Today's consumers are spending more time and money in leisure activities.

Today's consumers thrive on cross-training and have diverse interests in a variety of activities.

Today's costs for advertising and direct mail prohibit profitability for most titles.

Today's one-stop solution for consumers, dealers and media is the Sports Support Syndicate.

Specific Sales Markets for the Syndicate

The Syndicate's operational plan includes sales activities in every type of market. All aspects of the plan are functioning at present, and dramatic growth is projected throughout the 1990's.


Visit the retail store.

Repeat customer request the general, seasonal and mini catalogs.

Direct Mail delivers mini-catalogs to specific-sport participants.

Special event promotions attract customers and builds demand for products.

Institutional-Based Consumers:

Direct mail promotions aids coaches and athletic directors.

Direct mail literature targets schools for text book and library needs.

Sports Wholesale:

Independant, sports-specific stores benefit from the dealer program.

Super-Dealer program offers many support services including joint promotional assistance.


Publisher program establishes comprehensive and customized interaction with vertical market magazines.

Media press-releases and articles are made available to editors on a regular basis.

Book Trade:

Experience and available resources allow the represenative from Points Press assist your staff to service and sell directly to retail bookstores.

Support is our Middle-Name

Normal Customer Service Includes

Toll-Free numbers from anywhere in USA and Canada.

Telephone receptionists with hands-on knowledge of stock levels, prices, delivery dates, full-title list, alternative suggestions, order process and every other detail necessary for customer assistance.

Telephone support lasting for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Accepted credit cards include MasterCard, VISA, American Express.

Institutional purchase orders accepted.

Catalogs available in sports-specific areas.

Syndicate Cognitive Coupons sent to customers to encourage repeat sales.

Normal Dealer Service Includes:

Easy credit applications.

Net 30-day terms with approved credit applications.

Discounts on quick payments.

Minimal volume restrictions start on orders as small as 10 items with mixed titles.

Expanded sales support with a service fee for as few as one item.

Orders accepted via electronic mail which support local phone calls.

Supplemental dealer literature to assist with sales without inventory.

Custom-designed, camera-ready art provided for use in the dealer's own sales materials.

Confidential dealer price lists mailed free of charge.

Normal Special Event Services Include:

Syndicate Cognitive Coupons offer discounts to participants at tournaments.

Sales booth for regional and national events for direct consumer contact.

Normal Media and Magazine Services Include:

Press release information on specific titles.

Advertisements from classified to 2-page spreads.

Annual Press Release covering product trends on the global market.

Advisory Board activities and press-release information on top products, evaluations, rankings and recommendations.*

* All programs scheduled for implementation in 1989.

Our Game Plan

Publishers' Interaction with the Syndicate

The Syndicate seeks start-up assistance from Publishers in only two areas. Then the publishers can step aside and let the Syndicate carry the ball. We will score with sales.

Publishers Provide Product Information to the Syndicate Publishers are encouraged to educate, inform, and interact with the Syndicate about their title. Please keep us up-to-date with press-releases, review copies, sales literature, artwork, review article clippings, and possible trends.

The Syndicate thrives on product knowledge. We recommend reading lists. We have an expansive file system and computer data base which is organized for productivity. The Syndicate needs to know you products before we can promote them properly.

The last page of this introduction lists many of our questions about your titles that are most helpful to us. Send us a copy of that page for every sports-title you carry. Send us copies of important notes from the files of your sports titles.

Put the Syndicate's headquarters and the Points Press Order Center on all your mailing lists:

Publishers Communicate Pricing Approval

The Syndicate want to purchase your titles at wholesale or mail-order prices. Most publishers have this type of schedule in place. The Syndicate needs at least a 50% discount off of the suggested retail price.

The Syndicate price for your products have to reflect our additional efforts to resell and promote the titles to dealers and a national market. The news releases, direct mail, catalogs, advertisements and other services and proposals cost much more than setting the book on a shelf in a store.

Review of the Syndicate Requests

1. Send us as much product information as possible.

2. Allow a 50% to 55% discount schedule.





Vendor of choice

Alternative vendor

Date of First Publication:


# of pages

hard or soft cover

Describe the illustrations:

(i.e. number of photos, drawings, charts, in color or b&w, subjective judgment)

target audience:

sporting activities:

suggested retail price:

Syndicate % discount:

Syndicate Price (s):

Cost for shipping 1 book via US Mail book rate: $

Book reviews on hand?:

B&W photo on hand?:

Catalog description:

Short Sales Discription for ads:

Overall Subjective rating of book: