Big Heads At Basketball Games – How The Craze Has Become A Big Business



Why are there giant heads invading more and more basketball games? Because fans waving their arms was getting old and student sections were ripe for a trendy new way to distract a foul shooter. And then Conor Mongan of San Diego came up with an idea way back in 2002.

Sports Illustrated says Mongan is the godfather of the basketball big heads.

At the time, the 25-year-old Mongan was one of the ringleaders of the student section at San Diego State men’s basketball games, a group later self-dubbed The Show. Though he stopped attending classes at San Diego State in 1999, Mongan remained one of The Show’s figureheads, using his background in graphic design to create the T-shirts that fans wore during games. That November, Mongan had been pondering ways the group could better distract opposing free throw shooters. When Jackson’s face popped up on Mongan’s television, it triggered an aha moment: If he had been so stricken by Jackson’s mug, Mongan thought, imagine how a free throw shooter would react.

We also learned that, at Indiana, big heads can cost upwards of $75 and that Fathead is now moving into the foul shooting distraction business.

Fathead now owns a dominant share of the big head market, which McInnis, the CEO, credits to an employee who approached him while he was getting coffee one day early in 2012 and said: “Why not offer big fat heads?”

If you’re looking to save some money on your big head, you can still order a cutout from for $11.99. A LeBron James big head from Fathead will cost $24.99.

Many now consider February 28, 2013 as the apex of big heads in basketball history. That’s the night when Virginia beat Duke and a Coach K big head was in the right place at the right time for an amazing photo.

Of course it looks like the college student, being thrifty, made his own Coach K head.


[How big heads became a part of college basketball culture]

I started Busted in 2007, sold it in 2011 and Coed kept me around to run this operation. Based in Ohio. Contact me: @bustedcoverage
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