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July 18, 2015

Brent Bowen

Ronnie Shaw


THE MODERATOR:  We're proud to announce today that American Century Championship golf bag auction, in partnership with NBC Sports and this year's tournament, Vessel bags, will be providing celebrity golf tournament participants with a custom golf bag which will be autographed by each celebrity and then auctioned off during the tournament via social media.
I would like to introduce our guests today, Ron Shaw, CEO of Vessel bags, and from American Century Investments, Brent Bowen, director of corporate communications.  Ron, why don't you tell us a little bit‑‑ this is the second year we've done this‑‑ why don't you give us a little bit of history and overview and tell us why Vessel bags decided to get involved with the American Century Championship and this charity.
RONNIE SHAW:  Good morning, everybody.  Thank you for coming.  First I want to thank American Century Championship and NBC Sports for having us out here again.
The planning and the work done here and the hospitality that's been extended to us in Tahoe has been absolutely wonderful.
Vessel started out in 2012 and we had one goal in mind, and that was to be the bestinclass in custom bags.  And when our customers carry what they treasure, we want them to carry in a bag that is unique and that can express the customer's individuality.  So what we did is we developed an online customizer, which puts the design, the whole design process in the customer's fingertips.
So they can go online and they can choose from a rainbow of colors arranged in the way they want.  And they upload their logo, upload their image and upload their names to create a bag like no other.
And so we're really proud of that.  And one of the other things that we do is we want to be a positive‑‑ we want to make a positive difference to the world.  So we have developed a program called Buy a Bag Give a Bag, where for every bag that is sold we donate a bag, we donate a school backpack to a child in need.
So with that spirit and with this, when we heard of this opportunity to partner up with ACC, we were absolutely thrilled and honored to be part of this.
So for the second year in a row we actually design a tournament‑specific Vessel bag, ACC bag, and a duffle bag for every tournament celebrity that's playing this weekend.
And it gets better.  We are using these bags as a platform to raise money for a good cause, a greater cause, for the Stowers Institute of Medical Research, and Brent is going to talk a little bit more about that, but dedicating, supporting research into finding cures for disease and how to prevent them.  So we're absolutely honored and absolutely thrilled to do that.
Last year, together we raised almost $50,000 and we are hoping that this year we are going to go double that, if not more.  So we really‑‑
BRENT BOWEN:  Let's do it.
RONNIE SHAW:  What's actually interesting, last year we didn't have this bag right here.  Last year we just had the individual bags.  But this year we got all 92 celebrities and athletes together to sign this big staff bag back here.  So it's specific to this year, the 26th American Century Championship.  Everybody signed it.
It's online right now for bidding.  So how it works is like this.  You go to celebritygolfbags.com or you can text the word "golf bag" to the number, if I'm remember right 52182.  And go online and bid for the players.  So all the players have their own bag like John Elway's bag here.  They're going to play this weekend with the bag and you can go‑‑ everybody, the general public that's here and at home ‑‑ can go online and bid for their bag.
John Elway's bag I think right now is going for 955.  So we are hoping that his bag can go up to $2,000 or more.
And all proceeds go to charity, goes to the Stowers Institute, which we're absolutely thrilled and honored to be part of this.
And lastly, just in time for ACC we actually launched our brand new lifestyle collection with the backpack, backpack and duffle bag.  And I may be biased but I think this is the best backpack in the whole world right now.  Thank you so much for coming.

Q.  Brent, tell us a little bit about the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, what the Vessel bag auction is going to benefit, and your company's involvement in this process?
BRENT BOWEN:  This is certainly an activity that we really, in a partnership opportunity, that we really enjoy with Vessel bags.  And I think you talked about, their slogan is Filled With Purpose.  And Ron talked about the give a bag‑‑ buy a bag to give a bag.
And I think something from the overall DNA of our company and our ownership structure and how we contribute to the Stowers Institute, we're very much aligned, and I think our thinking around giving back to the world and giving back in a great way.  And I think it's a partnership not only of purpose but a lot of fun.
So one of the things Ron had mentioned that Aaron Rodgers was at, was it 955?  I think Justin Timberlake's just on his heels at, like, 850.  So we're wanting to have a little fun and create some competition among the players.
But what it means to us, ultimately, with the Stowers Institute‑‑ and I know we've talked about this‑‑ is we've given or directed more than 40percent of our profits to the tune of $1.1billion to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.  And the Stowers Institute is a basic biomedical research organization that focuses on trying to find cures to treat, diagnose and prevent diseases.
And it's not only cancer but also Alzheimer's, diabetes.  So that's something, from the standpoint of us, we believe investing can be a force for good.  And that is truly part of our DNA is to make sure that we're contributing to the Stowers Institute to find not only creating and contributing to people's lives from the standpoint of wealth, but also for health.

Q.  Let's talk a little bit, again we have all 92 players that have bags.  They're going to autograph those bags afterwards, auction those off.  Now the bag behind you that has everybody's autograph is also going to be auctioned off, correct?
RONNIE SHAW:  Right now that bag is going for $555.  So I think that bag can go up to 3,000.
If you don't mind I just checked online and this bag right now is going for $1,000.

Q.  I'm curious, not so many companies, especially a start‑up so young invest such a large portion of their profits towards charity or philanthropic endeavors.  I'm curious what motivated you to do that, was there a personal experience in your lives or somebody that you had in your history that was ill?  I think it's great.  I was just curious the motivation behind it?
RONNIE SHAW:  I think I was, growing up, I was just taught to be a person that should make a difference in the world in a positive way.  And my dad told me that.  And he's a person that I looked up to, that I respect a lot.  And he's been giving all his life.  Inspired by that, I feel that I'm truly blessed by him and he gives me a lot of support.  And that allows me to be able to give.
And I mean you're blessed when you give away.  So that's part of the reason why we want to be a company that gives back.

Q.  Couple of minutes ago that bag you said was 550.  We waited 30seconds and it's up to a thousand.  Did it climb any higher since the last time?
RONNIE SHAW:  Let me reset.  Hold on.
BRENT BOWEN:  While he's looking at that, one of the things that we had discussed as part of the partnership, too, that I was really excited we were able to execute was for the veterans that we have, for the Wounded Warriors that we have out on the course, for Chad Pfeifer and Rod Gorman.  We were able to create camouflage bags, and they look dynamite.  I just fell in love with those bags when I saw them out on the course.
I know we've had a big on‑site contingent with the veterans that have been able to be on the course and enjoy the event, and I just thought it was fabulous to see those bags out on the course.
RONNIE SHAW:  Phil, to answer your question it's at 1050 now.  Awesome.

Q.  I would like to thank you both and thank American Century and Vessel bags for giving back to the community.  I've been so impressed with American Century ever since I found out about the 40percent to the Stowers Institute.  And the only thing I always think of is just imagine if every company in America did that, even if it wasn't 40percent, if it was just 10 percent, what would our country be like if every company did that.  So thank you so much.
BRENT BOWEN:  Thank you for saying so.

Q.  Ron, can you talk a little bit more about your Buy a Bag, Give a Bag program?
RONNIE SHAW:  So what we do is every bag that's sold‑‑ so a stand bag or cart bag, a staff bag, golf bag, backpack, duffle bag, every bag that is sold has a unique ID number on the inside.  So that unique ID number represents the bag we've been giving away.  So we first started partnering up with WorldVision.  Now we partner with a organization called Restore International.  And we're always actively trying to find charities that we can partner with that already has existing needs for school backpacks to give away school backpacks to them.  So that's what we've been doing on that front.

Q.  And also your lifestyle bags, you have the backpack, the duffle bag.  Do you have any others, any other plans?  And are they customizable too?
RONNIE SHAW:  All of them are customizable.  We were talking about the camel backpack, and I think that's one of the colors that we want to add in there.  On the duffle bag, if you go online in about a month, on Vesselbags.com, the customizer, you'll be able to customize every different panel in a different color.  And so to really to express the customer's unique personality and the individuality, and if they're a veteran they can buy something like that camo'ed out, part of it in camo.  We were very excited about that program.

Q.  Make any ski bags?
RONNIE SHAW:  We talked about it, maybe, potentially.

Q.  How many colors do you have?
RONNIE SHAW:  We have 22 and counting, and six different textures.  So potentially that's 120 different textures in probably seven different areas.  That's one‑in‑a‑million, probably, combinations.  You can be really unique.  You can create a bag like nobody else.

Q.  You talk about customized bags and stuff.  Do you make customize bags to the size of the clubs, to like, maybe‑‑ I would want a bag that fits my stature for someone that's 6'5" or even though clubs are‑‑ drivers are usually the same size.  But can you elaborate on that?
RONNIE SHAW:  The sizes are actually all‑‑ we only have one size right now.  So the stand bag comes in one size, the staff bag comes in one size.  But, Doug, if you call me up, I can probably design a bag for you.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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