Making Chores a Slam Dunk

When Marshall McKinney decided to launch the Dunk Collection after his college graduation, he had a product he knew from experience would be successful. Just how quickly that success came, after gaining recognition from Dallas mogul Mark Cuban in March, was a welcome surprise to McKinney.

The Dunk Collection piqued Cuban’s interest when McKinney presented the Dirty Dunk on the court at a Dallas Mavericks game on March 3.

“We did a little ‘Time Out’ show on the court, and everyone saw it,” McKinney said. “I guess Mark [Cuban] liked the product, because later on that night, we got a message from him saying he wanted to talk about it.”

The following week, the Dirty Dunk was in the works to join the Mark Cuban Collection, a repertoire of Cuban-approved products on Amazon Exclusives. From there, McKinney increased inventory as sales skyrocketed. The product remains priced at $34.99 on both Amazon.com and The Dunk Collection website. [Update 10.03.16: Dunk Collection products can now be found at Learning Express in Snider Plaza.]

“The hardest part about that was anticipating when we should put a request in for the replenishment orders to be sent to the Amazon warehouse,” said Kramer Babilla, director of communications for the Dunk Collection.

The Dunk Collection is an e-commerce source for chore-oriented basketball hoops, which McKinney, its founder and president, has grown from his father Charlie’s original Dirty Dunk, a hoop for your laundry. Charlie invented the Dirty Dunk in the ‘80s on a beer-stained napkin during his time at SMU, and within just a few years, McKinney said, it had garnered success among national retailers. Its present model has retained the original aesthetic, while the overall quality and graphics have been improved.

“We worked a long time developing the product,” McKinney said. “If you look at the old model, it’s kind of plastic. We really just modernized the design and improved the way the Dirty Dunk comes to you. Now, it comes essentially put together; the padding on the back is better and the rim that holds the clothes net is a lot sturdier.”

The next step for the startup is to obtain an NBA license to begin printing national sports teams’ logos onto the backboard of the product, which would open up a range of niche markets. “We want to take advantage of the exposure we’ve gotten through the Mark Cuban Collection,” McKinney said. “We think that if we can get the NBA license, our growth would be pretty substantial. We eventually want to break into the college market as well.”

In the same vein of dunkable cleanliness, the Dunk Collection includes the Document Dunk – for an office trashcan – and the Scrub-A-Dunk, to use in a child’s bath with a basketball sponge. Both can be found on the Dunk Collection website.

“The Document Dunk is great for offices, and we’d like to get it where we can print company logos on the backboard to fit into that [market] better,” McKinney said. “And the Scrub-A-Dunk is actually an extremely high-selling product. It’s really cute.”

The Dunk Collection products are marketed toward families with younger kids who need a little incentive to clean up. Because of the products’ durability and nostalgia factor, they continue to succeed, despite competition from copycat products like Hamper Hoops.

“The Dirty Dunk is definitely the flagship product,” McKinney said.

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