Plano-based sports memorabilia company Maverick Awards dominates industry

One of the Maverick’s founding clients is SMU. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
One of the Maverick’s founding clients is SMU. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

One of the Maverick’s founding clients is SMU. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Don Giddens started the company as a retirement venture more than two decades ago. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
When Don Giddens started Maverick Jackets in 1998, he had just ended a thriving career in sales and venture capitalism. He could have never imagined that his retirement project would grow into what it is today.

“The challenge was to be involved in something that was fun and meaningful but not 80 hours a week,” Giddens said of the early days of the company, now called Maverick Awards. “That’s how this started, but it’s not how it is today because what happens is that anything that’s meaningful, ... you put yourself in it.”

Giddens, who was recruited to St. Edwards University in the 1970s to play college basketball, started the company with three clients: Southern Methodist University, Miami University and Indiana University. Those three schools were pivotal in connecting Giddens with decision-makers at other colleges and universities, who would eventually become clients.

“It takes a while for you to earn your chops, if you will, because there are so many people, especially in the athletic scene, that are flash-and-go,” Giddens said.

The company’s bread-and-butter offerings are still its custom-made varsity letter jackets, but Giddens said he has slowly added more products, including custom-framed awards, jerseys and diplomas; blankets; watches; graduation stoles; and four-year rings.

One of the keys to Maverick’s success is its ability to do business with as many schools as possible. The company’s roster of clients includes big names, such as The University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University and University of Southern California, but none of those schools represents even 1% of Maverick’s business, Giddens said.

“We are not beholden to any one, but we are so proud to be a part of all of them,” he said.

Maverick now works with 450 clients, including high schools, and ships an average of 1,000 orders per week out of its 18,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Plano. It is the leading manufacturer and supplier of athletics awards to colleges and universities across the country, including the majority of Division 1 schools in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Giddens said.

“You can call it what you want—tenacity, luck, hard work. You can say we’ve been super blessed. I think it’s all of that. We’ve been able to harness this market,” Giddens said.

Maverick Awards

610 Coit Road, Ste. 100, Plano


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., closed Sat.-Sun.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

school board meeting
Plano ISD planning for full return to classrooms in 2021-22

Plano ISD staff told trustees in a work session April 20 that their instructional plan for next year is being built around the idea that everybody is coming back in person.

Steak and lobster dish.
Steve Fields to bring steak, seafood lounge back to Plano

While the new restaurant does not yet have an official name, Steve Fields said it will have his name in it, just like his previous establishment.

School building.
Plano petition seeking eminent domain special election falls short of requirements

Plano staff said a petition to call a public vote on a proposed ordinance regarding eminent domain was not compliant with state and city requirements.

The company also has plans for another location in Northeast Fort Worth. (Courtesy Starbucks)
Starbucks coming to Fort Worth; Makers Gym opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Sandwich Cubano.
Plano fixture The Latin Pig offers home-cooked, savory food and casual vibe

John Guerrero, who co-owns The Latin Pig with his wife, Ana Costello, said he loves getting feedback from customers about the restaurant.

Continued growth at Legacy West in Plano is helping to boost the local economy, according to the county’s 2020 comprehensive annual financial report. (Courtesy Legacy West)
Collin County finances healthy despite pandemic, report shows

Considering challenges officials faced last year, Collin County’s bottom line is “extremely healthy,” an independent auditor told county commissioners at their April 19 meeting.

vaccine vial
Looking to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Collin County has thousands of openings this week

Thousands of doses of COVID-19 vaccines are sitting in Collin County freezers waiting to be claimed.

The restaurant's menu focuses on chicken wings and sandwiches. (Courtesy Hoots Wings)
Hooters offshoot to open in Fort Worth; Oishii Sushi coming to Plano and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Boardwalk at Granite Park.
TO-DO LIST: Here are 8 in-person, virtual events happening in and around Plano

Here is a list of some ongoing and upcoming events taking place in Plano and online over the next several weeks.

Oishii Sushi to open first Plano location this spring

The restaurant serves sushi and pan-Asian cuisine, including sashimi, maki rolls and specialty dishes.

Early voting runs from April 19-27, and the election is May 1. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Early voting opens for races on May 1 ballot in Plano

Contested races on the ballot include Plano mayor, four Plano City Council seats, four Plano ISD board of trustees races and three Collin College board of trustees races.