Welcome to allCanes.com, the official online store for allCanes, a family-owned business since 1974.
When my wife Gigi and I purchased the business almost four decades ago, it was simply All Sports; a neighborhood sporting goods store serving the needs of UM students, faculty and local residents.
In 1984, soon after the University of Miami won its first football championship, I realized two things. First, the era of the general sporting goods store was coming to a close and second, with the Hurricanes bursting onto the national scene, there wasn’t enough licensed, logoed UM merchandise and apparel available for a growing fan base.
Both factors caused a shift in our focus, so All Sports switched directions and never looked back.
We switched from All Sports to allCanes around 2004, which it seemed a logical move after two decades as the #1 Canes shop. It also proved necessary for our web business as a Google search for ‘all sports’ was too universal for a UM-themed shop. In the end, a win-win and natural fit.
We were officially licensed by UM in the mid-1980s, which brought us into the foray of creating exclusive original designs – something unprecedented at the time. In that long-gone era, collegiate licensing was like the Wild West and with Miami the true renegade program of that time, as well as some big-name rivals, countless legendary shirts were born.
The series with Notre Dame produced some gems like “Irish Daiquiri” (complete with a Leprechaun in a blender and Sebastian ready to push ‘puree’) and “Fate Night”, a spoof on the David Letterman Top Ten List, rattling off reasons to hate the Irish.
In-state rival Florida State provided some fodder as well, thanks to a lack of accuracy from their field goal kickers. The “Wide Right” shirts started in the early 90s and were followed by “This Is A Goal Post, This Is A Nole Post” after a second straight showdown ended with a kick sailing wide. A decade later, we had “Wide Right III” followed by “Wide Left”. Thanks you for so much material, Seminole Nation.
Still, no allCanes Original got more mileage or stood the test of time than our “It’s A Canes Thing … You Wouldn’t Understand” tee. Created in the early 1990s, we still stock the shirt today as it truly was the first to embody this program’s “us against the world” mentality.
“Canes Thing” struck a good nerve and through that, original designs like “U Family”, “The U Invented Swagger”, “Respect It!” and our “305” line hit home; shirts specifically created for this proud, brash and unique fan base.
It’s been an incredible journey from an old fashioned sporting goods store to the undisputed, number one Canes shop nationwide and at the core of that, our undying love and dedication to the University of Miami. For allCanes, “U Family” is more than a tagline or slogan.
I was introduced to the Canes a lifetime ago – when games were played Friday nights at the Orange Bowl and the premise of a national championship was nothing more than a pipe dream.
I passed that tradition on to my sons, taking them to games in the 80s and 90s and telling them to soak up the good times, as UM’s then-dominance was unprecedented; a rarity and wasn’t going to last forever. Both boys grew up with an undying love for the Canes and my oldest, Chris, covers UM athletics at allCanesBlog.com, handles our social media efforts as well as growing the brand that is allCanes.com.
As much as the Bello family bleeds orange and green, the top spot goes to our longtime general manager Harry Rothwell and his clan. Harry has been the backbone for allCanes for the past two decades, in store, on the road or involved with UM and the Hurricane Club, he’s worked tirelessly to earn the deserved title of Mr. allCanes.
Harry’s son Justin has also been a part of the allCanes family for years, working in store, while the youngest Rothwell, Daniel, earned a scholarship to UM and begins classes in fall 2012. Harry and his wife Julie couldn’t be more proud.
Our allCanes family has been blessed to be part of something very special over the years. Our proximity to campus – “a foul ball south of Mark Light Field” – has allowed us to experience things the average outsider wouldn’t have been a part of and our overall dedication to the university has been the result of a mutually respectful and enjoyable multi-decade relationship. We thank the University of Miami for everything they’ve done for us these past four decades as this journey wouldn’t be possible without such a top-notch school and athletic department.
Through good times and bad, we’ve lived it all and supported UM the entire way. We experienced the ultimate highs, with five football championships and four in baseball, while suffering every on-the-field heartache – as well as our hearts breaking every time we lost another member of The U Family prematurely. Jerome Brown. Shane Curry. Marlin Barnes. Chris Campbell. Al Blades. Brad Timpf. Bryan Pata. Luke DeBold. Sean Taylor. Too many, too soon.
At allCanes, we’re more than just a brick and mortar store or online shopping destination. We want to create a legacy that makes Hurricane Nation proud. Last fall thousands of you participated in the signing of our #IStandForTheU banner, which we delivered to UM players and coaches, letting them know this fan base is completely behind them.
What some of you don’t know is that the banner idea was something we borrowed from ourselves almost two decades ago. During the ‘Season Of The Storm’, fans and customers turned out in droves weeks after Hurricane Andrew to sign a support banner that was hand-delivered to then-head coach Dennis Erickson and the 1992 squad, which eventually fell short in the title game to Alabama, but gave this fan base a reason to root like hell during a very dark time for our hometown.
There have been commemorative footballs, signed by Howard Schnellenberger, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker, with a large portion of the proceeds donated to the UM athletic department. Years back over $10,000 was raised for the Walt Kichefki scholarship and a comparable amount for The Pata Foundation soon after the murder of Bryan. Money was also raised for The Sean Taylor Foundation after he was taken from us.
There’s also the annual Shopping Spree For Kids every December, where $100 is given to each member of the local Boys & Girls Club so then can holiday shop. We close down the store after hours, invite in local personalities, UM coaches and friends of allCanes, we cater the event and we let some Junior Canes have a shopping experience all to themselves.
On that note, this would be a good time to thank … everyone. All of those who participate with the shopping spree. To everyone who supported our charitable endeavors. To each customer who has ever spent a dollar with us over the past fifty-plus years, or referred us to a friend, and to every coach, administrator, player or parent of a student-athlete who has considered allCanes home, remaining loyal to us through the thick and thin. The list is long, distinguished, jaw-dropping and humbling.
We are proud to welcome you to the new-look allCanes website and hope that you’ll enjoy this new shopping experience as much as we’ hope you will.
As great as all the history and memories have been, and will be, allCanes is still standing because of the tens of thousands of loyal customers like you. We humbly thank you for your loyalty, friendship and support and we pledge to continue providing you the finest Canes merchandise, best shopping experience and top-notch customer service available. Go Canes!
Bob Bello & the allCanes Family