Willie Robertson Reveals How 1 T-Shirt Made Duck Commander A Multi-Million Dollar Company

Katie Couric's YouTube Account

We’ve come to know and love the Robertson family from watching their hit A&E TV show, Duck Dynasty.

But what got them to this dynasty? The show premiered in 2012 and before that, they appeared on the Outdoor Channel in a show called Duck Commander and its spinoff, Buck Commander. 

The company Duck Commander got its start right after Phil Robertson decided to stop playing football in college.

Fun Fact: Phil was the starting quarterback at Louisiana Tech, ahead of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Terry Bradshaw, who was the first overall draft pick in 1970.

Phil invented his first Duck Commander duck call in 1972 after he was displeased with the quality of duck calls that were available.

After his duck calls began selling, he decided to take the company to the next level.

While on the Katie Couric show a few years ago, Willie described how they got their start.

“We took the duck calls, and dad wanted to start making videos, so we started filming,” he says. “Nobody had a clue how to film. We rented some cameras and Dad got the guys at the church who do the sound. We went out there and started doing videos.”

One day, Phil said, “Maybe we’ll make a t-shirt with ‘Duck Commander’ on it!” And it was a great idea because, “we’ve sold a lot of them,” Willie says with a laugh.

Once Willie took over as CEO, he helped the business reach the multi-million dollar level and this was all before they were even on TV.

Their business model and family-oriented traditions are what people love about their show and company.

According to Forbes, by the end of 2013, Duck Dynasty has generated over $400 million in revenue.

Watch the full interview below.

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