Duck hunting is a way of life for the hunters who enjoy it. Although duck hunting represents a small portion of the overall hunting population, Muddy Water Camo “huntrepreneurs” Steve Maloney and Stephen Kirkpatrick hope to capture a large segment of the over 18 million hunters in the USA. Muddy Water Camo was originally designed as a specific solution to duck hunting camouflage; their patterns mimic the conditions found in swamps and marshes, where duck hunters hide in blinds to shoot their feathered prey.
What they found while developing Muddy Water Camo is their photographic process is useful in creating camouflage for any terrain. Whether you want to go duck hunting, deer hunting, or any other kind of hunting, Muddy Water Camo can design a camouflage pattern to match the terrain as nature appears to animal’s eye. No matter what the terrain, Muddy Water’s patent pending, creative process delivers the most realistic camouflage on the market.
Duck Hunting Gear
The Muddy Water Camo line is strictly duck hunting centric now. They sell jackets, hats, waders, gloves,blind building material, and more. All the current products have marsh-like patterns suitable for duck hunting. The bigger play for Muddy Water Camo is licensing. We hear a lot about licensing in the Shark Tank. It seems like Mr. Wonderful offers to license a product every week, usually with poor results.
Maloney and Kirkpatrick are going into the Shark Tank with licensing as their objective; not many entrepreneurs take this route initially, although other Shark Tank entrepreneurs licensed products in the past after getting a deal. What Muddy Water Camo seeks to accomplish is using their photographic process to license their camouflage images on other hunting gear. It's not at all unlike how professional sports leagues license team logos and images.
I like hunting, but I haven't done any kind of hunting since the early 1990's (unless fishing counts). I never got into buying a bunch of gear, though I do own some hip waders. If I were a hunter, the Muddy Water Camo duck hunting gear looks like something I'd pick up. Fishermen don't need to worry about camouflage, but hunters do! I have a friend who does a lot of hunting and he always bugs me to come with him and he provides us with venison, turkey, and the occasional duck when he has a successful hunt. Having the right gear, no matter what you're trying to catch, is tantamount to a successful hunting trip.
Ducks in the Shark Tank
Initially, I thought the idea of pitching duck hunting gear to the Sharks was a recipe for disaster. The duck hunting market is too niche for the Sharks, but the bigger hunting market is HUGE: it's a $22 BILLION a year business. That is a big enough niche for the Sharks to take notice. Muddy Water Camo wants to license their camouflage creation process, a business idea the Sharks are quite familiar with.
Licensing is based on a contract between the owner of a property (the licensor); and a licensee – usually a manufacturer or retailer. The licensor gives the licensee permission to use the property according to a set of specific terms and conditions. In exchange, the licensor receives financial compensation – usually as a guaranteed fee or royalty on a percentage of sales. This arrangement allows a licensor to increase its brand awareness, generate new revenue streams, and enter markets quicker and more efficiently depending on its distribution capabilities. Licensees benefit from being able to offer more products and piggyback on the branding of the licensor.
Licensing their duck hunting gear and associated products and processes would instantly give Muddy Water Camo exponentially larger distribution than the 70 plus stores in 22 states that currently stock their products. Maloney and Kirkpatrick will need to show the Sharks how the ducks get in line with their numbers. If the business plan is sound, and they have at least one or two pending licensing deals, the Sharks may feast on duck! I am most definitely “IN” with an extra-large Weather Man Camo Jacket and some roasted duck with a ginger and orange glaze!