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01/20/2010

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Thanks for your honesty here Tai. Sometimes Christians believe that other believers should be giving away things for cheap/free, but I feel that if somebody does something well they should be compensated fairly. If you didn't have the mind to think of Third Day with a "business" mindset, then I'm sure you guys wouldn't be near where you are today.

That being said, I think the tees you've created over the years have been creative ways of selling your brand without jumping over the line of exploiting Christ for a profit. I'm sure you already thought of doing this, but if you made an announcement during your shows about the new pricing of merchandise with the intent to give a percentage to Haiti relief, I could almost guarantee your sales would increase.

I admire you being open and honest about the "business" side of TD because many believers think that side shouldn't exist. You guys run an amazing ministry that has blessed millions, but your true calling is to provide for your families. Keep doing what you're doing Tai!

- Joe

Thank you, sincerely, for having the confidence to share this with us. I have never had any trouble admitting that I'm dumb as a bag of hammers on a good day, and this day being no exception. I have lived quite comfortably not having a clue as to how you gentlemen get paid. That changes NOW. You better believe I'd be more motivated to buy t-shirts if I knew people's livelihoods depended on it! As for t-shirt content, well I'll just leave that to the professionals. All I can come up with is JUST DO GOOD (^_^)

Great post, Tai. I, for one, hate those knock off tees. It's infringing on trademarks of another company and playing off THEIR brand Somehow I just don't feel that's right because it appears to mock another person/company's trademark with associations that that brand or logo did not intend.

I loved the Cry Out to Jesus tees due to the subtlety. Big loud print and letters are just not my style. No need to hit people over the head. I'm a big fan of NOTW stuff because of the graphics and the Scriptural messages that aren't screaming at the audience. Keep on doing the merch the way you have been doing it.

Merch is a big part of the revenue generator for the band and crew which is why I will buys stuff. If Iknew that a portion of the proceeds was going to support a charity or an immediate need (like Haiti earthquake survivors) I would consider buying more

Thanks for sharing and being open and honest about these things. Money is a topic that makes most of us queasy, but it does need to be addressed.

Great thoughts Tai. There is a very fine line on several levels as you mentioned. I think that Third Day has done a good job over the years with the different designs for most everyone to find a design that they like/that's "them". I'm not a fan of the tshirts that knock off from other logos. Why can't people be original? I'm also not a fan of message tees necessarily...I feel that our actions should speak more than our clothing and point others to Him because of who we are as a person and how we act.
I'm a big fan of supporting something that is connected to a cause. And I saw at Passion this year that many others are as well. The Do Something Now area was incredible and much money was raised supporting these causes and the awareness that people have from that is something that will last. I am one who will definitely pay more for something knowing that I am doing good....not only for the band (b/c you have to make your money too so that we can continue receiving great music from you all) but something larger that I am made aware of by my purchase and that coming together with others will make more of a difference than if I were contributing by myself. :) Thanks for the effort you put into making great items for the fans. I had not bought a Third Day tshirt in a few years until the Family Picnic this summer and got the gray family picnic tshirt & love it. So soft. (Just had not been a design I had to have over the last few years.) These are just my few cents. :)

Tai, you have been doing a great job of designing and selling the shirts that represent the band in a modern and successful way. This is your job and your business. Just like the way I make my money is my job/business. If there is a way to 'spread the wealth' to help make a difference to worthy causes, I'm all for it. Do cut yourselves short because of the nature of your business. Adding an extra $5 to the cost of a shirt with a portion going to your foundation is a great idea whether it is known to the public or not.

Btw, I have something I'm cooking-up (literally) to raise $$ for the Come Together Foundation. I'm hoping to talk to you at a m&g next week about it to see what you think.

Tai, I always admire your candidness and the deep thought you give to every aspect of what Third Day does as a band and as Christians. Personally, I always purchase Third Day merchandise at a show because I understand this is where you make your profit. I support Third Day as a Christian band and therefore trust the products sold and the profits made all promote Christian values. I just bought the "Give Love" shirt in Tampa :-)You guys devote your lives to spreading God's glory through your music and therefore I will faithfully support the band through merchandise sales no matter what direction you go with it because I feel my purchase directly helps to further Third Day's message.

Tai,

Thank you for sharing with us and allowing us to also share.

What I love about Third Day merch/tees is it is original, and sometimes very unique. The fact that you have actually drawn some of the art yourself, makes some items priceless. Add this to the fact that, your tees are designed based upon the current Third Day album/concert/movement/vision, again, makes them unique to you, yet are part of the overall concert experience, which includes a message of Love, Faith, Christ & FUN. You don't have to say it to see it, or touch it to feel it, you know what I mean? It's a, you had to be there kind of thing..which drives curiosity and newer crowds that will always include many seasoned fans.

Other than continuing to create great new stuff, don't change!

Your merchandise is so well crafted, that people want to buy it. Especially to support such a wonderful cause. 25% is extremely generous. A $20.00 tee, you would generate a $5.00 donation, or,a $45.00 hoodie, $11.25..That generously rocks!

I respect and appreciate your experiment, and, believe that it will be a WIN/WIN situation. As Joyce Meyers says, Double for your trouble. And, Stewardship is rewarded! Your generous heart is open just considering to do this. But, you are not just considering, you are putting it to test. That counts! Your doing great things!!

Hope to get to talk with you more about the idea we talked about. Loved how you chimed right in with your favorite!

Tai-I am not smart enough to know about the business side of what you do but I do know that we appreciate YOU and everything you do for us (the fans!) I go on and on about you guys to all of my friends. I've never known of any other band that takes care of their fans as well as you all do!! I just had to thank you for actually caring about our opinion too! I love your ideas and like others, I had NO idea that selling merch helped pay ya'll's salary!! You better believe I'll be buying more t-shirts now!! (Not, that I don't have enough already but ya know...)You guys have good quality shirts and I would definately be more inclined to buy them if I knew they were also helping a good cause!! You rock Tai. Can't wait to see ya'll again in Kansas City!! (feb 28th-front row :)

Tai, just saw and talked with you in Tampa. I have the new Rock Star T shirt and love it. You told me it was the first night 3Rd Day had featured it. If I have a Tee that associates me with a band that boldly sings/plays the Word then I'm feelin pretty good about that. I don't have any criticism for you guys. I have this idea that we should earnestly seek Gods face before we offer up criticism to others, and if its destructive you pretty well have the answer ahead of time. Loved WinterJam....

Tai,

There is absolutely nothing wrong with mixing Christian values and business. I wish more businesses would do the same. Third Day first is a ministry to bring God's word to people. Second, ya'll need to be compensated for your time and efforts to this ministry which brings in the business. So Third Day is a business. Ya'll need to be compensated and merchandise accomplishes this. Thirdly, ya'll are a rock band. You rock! You not only fill us with words displaying Christian values and glorify/worship our Savior, but you also entertain us. Ya'll are an icon, if you will, to Christian music and people identify with that and want to display that.

If you would announce that the merchandise is not only going to ya'll but also a relief fund, it's a win for everybody. First God's work is being done for the relief fund. Second, you're business is being funded. And thirdly, and this is the most important, when we fans wear your merchandise, it gives us a chance to witness for Christ! I have Third Day's blue baseball hat with the cross and Revelation emblem. I get many comments on it being a cool hat. And, it has ya'lls autographs on it which stimulates more conversation that the Holy Spirit directs. It's cool!

I like song lyrics on shirts. I like the revelation shirt. Forgive me for what I'm about to say because I'm not comparing you to another Christian artist but using this as an example. But, Jeremy Camp was in town recently and we purchased a couple shirts. It has Christ on the cross with the lyrics on the back "Would you take the place of this Man?" A couple times I've had people ask what that means. I simply state that Jesus took your place, would you take it back? Hey, there's a song there somewhere; Took my Place. Oh yea, ya'll already wrote that!

OK sorry, corny. Anyway, sell the shirts and don't think twice about it. Everyone wins and God gets the Glory!

See ya'll in OKC.

Greg

Hi Tai,

First I appreciate your candidness. As a businessperson who completely understands cost of doing business, resource attributed cost, production, shipping & Yes profit. This is the part of what you guys do that after overhead is covered earns your salaries and should not be questioned. I always purchase Third Day merchandise at a show & online because I understand this and I buy what I like, sometimes in multiples like the dueling guitar t-shirt because I got so many compliments and wanted back up when the first wore out:).

Personally I am not a fan of knock off shirts (cheesy), nor do I feel the need to broadcast my faith on a shirt. Really? If people cannot see Jesus in my character, a shirt is not going to do Jesus any favors. It’s like having a WWJD bumper sticker on your car and cutting someone off. (Don’t have any bumper stickers)

I support Third Day as a band and for the values you live out. You are doing what God has ordained you to do spreading God's glory through your music. I will faithfully support the band through merchandise sales as well as other charities you endorse as I know that these have been prayerfully considered no matter what direction you go with because I feel my purchase directly helps to further the message of Jesus.

Your post is most interesting. I have read through all responses. Looking at my own buying experiences through the years, I have never, ever, and will never buy a knock off tee. I think that is what you called them.

In life I think it is too easy to show ones faith by wearing a cheesy tee shirt. People will know your faith by your actions and character not by some goofy tee shirt. I literally despise those type of things. I can't stand seeing people wear them to "church activities". Maybe I am too harsh but just being honest. I simply wear for example Third Day concert tees as a way to let people know that I like this band and I like the shirt. Probably the same reason I wore Bob Seger concert tees and John Mellencamp concert tees back in the day.

Who am I kidding, I put Third Day on my personalized auto license plate. That stimulates more conversation than wearing a knockoff shirt. It has been a very cool tool for me.

After my first Third Day concert, I remember buying a concert tee to remember an event that literally changed my life. I still have that shirt as well as many others. (about 12)

I think as a buyer it is nice to know that certain %'s go to charities. For example buying Paul Newman food items and knowing that he was giving back always meant something to me.

You will always have critics that don't believe you should make any money. Bottom line is I think giving %'s of merchandise sales to recognized charities is a very good and acceptable way to do business. You go right ahead and keep making a living doing what you enjoy because I the fan will continue to benefit from your music as long as you crank it out.

Exhibit A

So even when I keep my responses to a minimum I can manage to display my "dumb as a bag of hammers" status. Although I'm definitely no fan of the knock-off, I threw Tai a t-shirt slogan suggestion of JUST DO GOOD thinking I was playing off David's DRINK COFFEE. DO GOOD. Then several hours later I remembered Nike. (:-\)

And I neglected to mention that, like Sunnie, I've purchased a couple of items in duplicate as beloved back-ups. I wear my Wherever You Are hoodie ALL THE TIME and nobody ever wants to know about it but my 3D GOMER license plate has been (almost) the most valuable witnessing tool I have.

Hi Tai,

Thank you, once again, for coming to your fans for our input. It shows how much you care for Third Day and us!

I like buying Third Day shirts to show that I'm a Third Day fan. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of long scripture quotes on the back of tees. I also feel that people see or know that I'm Christian by my actions. I do have a few shirts that may have A quote with a pretty design (i.e. Jeremy Camp: "I will walk by Faith, not by sight" with footprints across the front)-something subtle.

As for "knock off" tees...I have to admit...I do have one. Not to diminish God in any way, but the opposite, to promote Him. The one I have is subtle as well but I like the idea someone is looking at my tee and realizes it doesn't say the name brand it says God instead. Because He is more important than the brand. I guess I never really thought of it as a way to diminish Him, I just thought it was cute and showed I was a Christian to anyone looking. I don't really read too much into stuff.

I would also pay an extra $5.00 for a tee for charity. I think that's an excellent idea!

Thanks for asking and telling us your heart.

I for one hate the knock shirts. Like Joanne I LOVE NOTW shirts which I have several.

I obviously have no issue with buying your merchandise I have a closet full. I know this is how you make money and I'm not at odds with that at all.

I wondered how the band was contributing $20,000 through the Come Together Fund and I think this is an excellent idea. Would I buy more -yes.

There will always be nay-sayers (remember your tour with Chevy...) but I believe this is just the nature of the beast. Those same people that complain about a band making money off of merchandise have no issue with the fact that they just got snowed with paying ridiculous fees in addition to the ticket price. They also go out and buy consumer goods never really knowing who is getting the profit.

Your honesty and transparency is so needed in this world and you will be blessed for it. I for one look forward to seeing what this will bring to the Come Together Fund. I would contribute to that fund just to give you money to help out but if I get a t-shirt or jacket too...hey I win...yeah me! :)

BTW....I miss the Harley Davidson logo thing though...I have that sticker on my car and it is faded and starting to peel off (you have anymore laying around I could buy to replace it????)

Oh...and thanks for having girl shirts that aren't pink..I don't wear pink!

and all of this swims in your brain! Amazing. Don't you wish things could be black and white and not so complicated. But, your concerns truly show your heart, and be for sure, that no matter what decision you make someone will be put off or frustrated by it. Oh well! Keep focusing on pleasing the One above, and definitely keep praying for wisdom on these matters.
I myself, just like the originality of the shirts. The Austin 3D tee from this year is my favorite(although I'm sort of a newby). Good job and thanks for sharing with the fans that really love what you do!

Tai:
Thank you for publicly asking for input. I have always loved the fact that you put your own creativity into the designs. It has made the shirts more personal and more thirddayish (new vocabulary word)to me. If you want to charge a little more for charity, I have no problem with that. I am not a huge fan of knock off tees; however I do have the consuming fire tee and I might love it a little! I also like the fact that nothing you do concerning the band is an after thought. Thank you!

Tai,

You pose several interesting points. First of all I do not like knock-offs at all. I don't buy them, I won't wear them. I LOVE tour t-shirts. I like shirts that have song lyrics as their theme as you have done in the past. Personally, I think the t-shirts at all concerts are pricey already. That being said, if I knew the t-shirt was being sold to help a charity, I'd be more apt to buy. I own a "Drink Coffee - Do Good" tee just because I love what they are doing.

The idea of doing a t-shirt with proceeds to go to a project in Haiti is awesome. I'd gladly pay a premium price for a t-shirt that mentioned the project, and the band(s)involved.

You already do so much for us and soliciting our input is very humbling. I look forward to seeing the new designs you have for us in the future.

God Bless.

Thanks for putting your thoughts out there Tai - very enlightening.

As a long time supporter of your shows and Third Day's message but also someone who simply doesn't wear many t-shirts, I honestly never gave them or any other merchandise that much consideration. I mean, I always knew that buying something would support the band further, but I never realized to what extent. Generally I lean more toward the "preach the gospel always, use words when necessary" philosophy so subtlety is my preference. Now that I've been enlightened, I will definitely consider buying more shirts, etc. especially given the incentive that some of the profit will go to a relief fund.

And for the record, I see absolutely nothing wrong with you guys profiting from what you do as a business. So even if all the merchandise profits go straight to your banks accounts, what you all do for others through your music, ministry and hard work is priceless. Thank you for that.

Hi Tai....I think you all should go with what your heart tells you...thus far God has taken Third Day and each one of you on a mission and you have never disappointed this fan. I think all of your merchandise is great and there is a nice assortment to fit every fan's taste !!! While each one of your fans has one important thing in common YOU GUYS...everyone has thier own style and ways to show their fondness for their fav band....so I think that you are going a fantastic job !!!!! I of course had designed 3 t-shirts last year to wear to your concerts and had a great time creating them.....I hope to see you this year so I can make some more...God bless you Tai and all of the guys on your travels....Hope to see you in the coming months when you guys make it out to California......

I meant doing a great job!!!!! not going

and their not "thier" I hate misspelled words.....sorry about that ...How is Mike Lehman?

kinda hard to throw a grenade or be critical when you block constructive critisism huh????

Hey Tai,
Thanks for your honesty, and thanks for once again asking for our input. I truly appreciate that you do that.
Do I like the "knock off" tees? No, not really. They do make a person look twice, but I have never purchased one.
Personally, I buy Third Day t's because I love you guys and your music, and I am proud to display that. I do also own some overt message t's. I have never had a problem with them.
I think you have been doing a great job with the assortment of t's that you have been offering. You certainly have enough of a variety that most anyone would be able to find a shirt they could proudly wear.
Would I pay more, knowing the money is going for a good cause? Most definitely!! I hope your experiment works out well, and I hope that you will update us and let us know if sales increased!!
I want to add that I was also not aware that most of your paycheck comes from merchandise sales, and knowing that fact will change how I view my future merch purchases. I will be much more likely to buy a t-shirt or 2 in the future!
See you in Charlottesville in February!
God bless you Tai!

Hello Tai,

If I was in your position I would pose this question to your wired members. Would they be willing to give-up their 20% discount from the wired store, to allow that money to instead go to charity. (Christians have been historically frugal. Not everyone, but most people have to admit that Christians make good bargain hunters)

As for the knock off shirts, I would be embarrassed to wear most of them. However I did find one that I liked `Jesus never TAPPED OUT`. I believe that they do get a message out there that is very much obscured by other temptations. Knock off product(red) shirts are misleading though.
interestingly the above people that ``HATE`` knock offs also seem to be more introverted about their faith, with their actions displaying their faith. More people are going to see the Jesus never tapped out on my back while taking the subway to an event than their Christ like actions in the same situation.

See you in Cleveland

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