Bronco alums on the ball
Jacki Kruse acknowledges KIBS sports broadcaster and Bishop JV football coach Arnie Paluâs Bronco support with a customized football. Photo by Deb Murphy
Two Bishop High grads have put their heads together and come up with the answer to sports trophies.
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Design Your Ball, owned by former Bronco athlete Patrick Bustos with Bishopâs Jacki Kruse as the local sales manager, incorporates anything from a football to a home plate replica with personalized graphics, a unique and unbreakable memento for players and coaches.
In addition to the more traditional sports, hockey pucks, lacrosse and bowling balls are also customizable.
Bustos got the ball rolling last fall in Bakersfield where he owns an insurance agency and is involved with his sonâs sports activities.
Kruse, who has kept in touch with Bustos through Facebook, tells the story. âPatrick sponsored Player of the Week awards for the football teams at his sonâs school,â she said. âHe bought 30 custom-designed footballs to give out and the kids liked them so much, he decided to get the equipment to make them himself.â
His first Design Your Ball was a volleyball for a business associate. The associate came back the next day and ordered five more. Bustos knew he was onto something.
He started designing and handing out the functional trophies and put the finished products on his Facebook page. Thatâs where Kruse comes in.
She spotted the custom volleyball on Bustosâ web page and knew her daughter Callie, a member of the Lady Broncos varsity volleyball team, would like it.
Then her imagination kicked into high gear. Kruseâs husband Mark coaches their youngest sonâs Little League team. Baseballs with the team photo were ordered, as were custom soccer balls for the Kruseâs grandchildren. In this youth-sports-oriented community, the potential is nearly endless, she realized.
âPatrickâs focus is on his insurance business,â said Kruse, âbut he loves designing the sports balls and is excited about the possibilities.â Bustos asked Kruse to rep for Design Your Ball in the area and she hasnât stopped figuring out new applications since.
âItâs like Christmas at my house,â she said, âorders and samples keep coming in.â Which reminds her, wouldnât custom basketballs be perfect for Bishopâs Christmas Classic; and, Design Your Ball can do Christmas tree ornaments.
âThis is something new, itâs fun and you canât get it just anywhere,â she said.