The Chari-TEE program is a new initiative from Old Smoke Clothing Co. that aims to celebrate horse racing, while providing support to the organizations that are the backbone of the industry. Each month, Old Smoke will proudly promote and support a different horse racing charity. In addition to providing web hosting and promotional services, Old Smoke will donate a portion of the month’s proceeds from all sales of a designated shirt to that month’s selected charity.
What was the inspiration behind The Call T-shirt?
Going back to when we officially launched our brand, the idea was to create designs that gave a subtle nod to the great history and traditions in the sport. In addition, we also wanted to make sure we had something that could speak to every fan. “And They're Off” is a classic horse racing phrase that is often used by track announcers as the call to start the race. It was also an apt phrase and shirt to mark the launch of Old Smoke in 2018. In a similar vein, we thought it would be a fitting shirt to kick off this new program ... “And They're Off.”
Which came first: the slogan or the graphic?
We knew we wanted to have a graphic with this phrase on it, so the phrase definitely came first.
How many different designs were created before landing on this one?
The current design was actually the very first draft. We sketched out countless variations thinking the graphic might need a horse added to it or the cursive should be changed, etc. In the end, we went back to our very first take ... which seems to happen often!
What’s the message you sought to convey with the design?
The slogan is so cool because it is not only arguably the most common phrase in the sport, but it can also take on more significant meaning. Such as, launching our brand or introducing this new program.
How has the T-shirt been received to date?
As mentioned, this tee was included in our initial collection when we launched Old Smoke. Since this time, it has consistently been one of our very best selling products. We believe the simplicity of this design appeals to just about everyone.
Which person in racing would you most like to see wearing this T-shirt?
We have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people in the sport, and this shirt has been worn by many of them. One person we would love to add to this list is Eddie Olczyk. He needs one!
What is the mission of your charity?
The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation is a charitable trust which provides, on a confidential basis, financial relief and assistance to needy members of the Thoroughbred industry and their families.
Adversity or hardship presents itself in a variety of ways, so The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation remains flexible when it comes to the support it provides. Assistance can come in any number of forms, including financial aid for medication, surgical and hospital costs, therapeutic equipment, and basic living expenses like rent, clothing, and food.
Since 1985 the Foundation has helped individuals and their families with more than $16 million in assistance. Recipients represent virtually every facet of the Thoroughbred from jockeys, trainers, exercise riders and grooms to office personnel and other employees of racetracks, racing organizations, and breeding farms.
Explain the importance of the partnership with Old Smoke to raise awareness for your cause and raise revenues from the T-shirt sales?
Our important work at Safety Net is widely unknown because of the confidential manner of our assistance. A partnership with Old Smoke will not only spread the message to those who wish to support our work, but also to those in our industry who might be in need. The more funds that are raised, the more people Safety Net can assist. Every dollar counts.
The people that are assisted by the Safety Net are the backbone of the racing industry. We enjoy working with companies like Old Smoke, because their dedication and love for the sport of racing is so apparent.
Where is your charity based and how can people continue to support your mission?
While Safety Net’s office is in New York, we assist at racetracks and farms all over the country. You can support us through a donation at our website tjcfoundation.org. Another way to support our mission is to follow us on social media @TJC_SafetyNet on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook. A like, follow, or share helps spread our message of the importance of helping those in need in the Thoroughbred industry.