Local Clothing Company C of Dead Resurrects Iconic Calgary Sports Teams

How a crew of local sports fans made nostalgia for Calgary’s pro teams of yesteryear into a fashion statement.

Jonathan Anderson, Garrett Crump, Ryan Williamson. Photograph by Jared Sych.

Like many ambitious ideas, C of Dead Clothing Co. was thought up over a round of beers. Jonathan Anderson and Garrett Crump found themselves reminiscing about Calgary Cannons AAA baseball games (the team relocated in 2002). They began searching for Cannons merch with little luck — and they suspected they weren’t alone.

“Very quickly, we realized that there was an opportunity to do it ourselves,” Anderson says. “The idea was to connect people that had these same memories and love for this gone-but-not-forgotten franchise.”

Anderson and Crump followed through on the idea, acquiring logo trademarks for the Cannons and Calgary 88’s (Calgary’s short-lived basketball franchise). They began printing and selling small batches of shirts and hats under the C of Dead moniker by late April 2019. From there, the brand began expanding its catalogue, bringing in Ryan Williamson as a designer to create original tributes to other Calgary icons of yesteryear.

Since then they’ve built a full line of T-shirts, sweaters, tank tops and hats featuring tributes to defunct Calgary teams and historic landmarks, from the Cannons to the Stampede Corral.

Anderson says C of Dead’s success to this point has been thanks to fellow Calgarians who “get it.” Tributes to the Hart family’s Stampede Wrestling, the Cecil Hotel, Race City Motorsport Park and Lloyds Recreation roller rink all help stir up Calgary nostalgia. The brand’s line of Calgary Flames tributes — which includes an “It Was In” shirt in reference to the infamous no-goal call in game six of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals — act as an inside joke amongst fans.

“We pride ourselves on that sort of ‘if you know, you know’ stuff,” says Anderson.

Now nearing its two-year anniversary, C of Dead continues to expand. Orders have grown from 25 shirts to upward of 500 shirts at a time, all through word of mouth and an ever-active social media presence. Anderson says this growth confirms the initial hunch that others out there were looking for inside-baseball Calgary memorabilia the same way he and Crump (and later Williamson) were back in 2019.

“We’re three guys that absolutely love this city,” says Anderson. “To see other people share that passion is just incredible. It never gets old.”

You can get your wearable tribute to Calgary’s bygone teams and landmarks at cofdead.ca

Photograph by Jared Sych.

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This article appears in the January 2021 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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