Alumni Outlook Magazine



Even when the Green Bay Packers lost to the New York Giants Jan. 15 in the NFL playoffs, a silver lining existed for diehard fan Gregg McArthur ’80.

The more than 70,000 fans at Lambeau Field that day were waving gold souvenir Titletown Towels made by his company, McArthur Towel & Sports, a WinCraft company.

For McArthur, a business administration graduate, the NFL playoffs are a busy and fun time of the year — especially when the Packers are involved.

McArthur Towels has been in business since 1885. McArthur, the fifth generation, joined the family company as a salesman after graduating from UW-Stout.

He quickly moved into the president’s role as the company’s focus switched from making locker room towels for schools, clubs and YMCAs to promotional towels. After a few years, he pushed for and landed the license to sell NFL products.

McArthur Towels was acquired in 2010 by WinCraft, of Winona, Minn., which holds numerous sports-related licenses and is a stateside producer of many other promotional products, many for the Super Bowl. McArthur heads the McArthur Towels division for WinCraft.

“WinCraft is the leader in hardline sports-licensed merchandise, and we are now proud to be one of WinCraft’s largest  product families,” he said.

WinCraft has more than 500 employees; McArthur Towels has 30 in Baraboo. The terry cloth products are produced overseas and decorated in the U.S. at facilities in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

McArthur Towels also makes the famous Terrible Towel for Steelers fans. Having the Packers and Steelers in the 2011 Super Bowl “was the perfect storm,” he said.

McArthur admits that some Packers and Steelers fans weren’t pleased when they found out last year that the Terrible Towel was being made in Wisconsin by a Packers fan. “We received a lot of press on it and a little heat because we’re from Wisconsin and making towels for the rival team,” he said.

Gregg McArthur, a 1980 UW-Stout graduate, is president of McArthur Towel & Sports of Baraboo. He and his daughter, Lexie, the company marketing manager, stopped by a Lambeau Field mural featuring the Titletown Towel they make.

But, business is business. McArthur doesn’t discriminate when it comes to team loyalty. McArthur Towels is licensed by the NFL to make towels and other products for all 32 NFL teams. It also has licenses with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, major colleges and NASCAR.

For the NFL, McArthur makes more than collectible fan towels. It produces player towels, championship on-field Trophy Towels and robes and wraps worn by the athletes. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers sported the Trophy Towel during postgame interviews at the 2011 Super Bowl.

“It’s always exciting to see the fruits of our labors being used,” McArthur said. “The NFL is a marketing machine. It’s a great brand.”

McArthur’s wife, Brenda, also is a 1980 UW-Stout graduate, in art with an interior design concentration. They have two daughters, one of whom, Lexie, is marketing manager for McArthur Towels.

“I received a great education from UW-Stout. What I really appreciated was the hands-on work opportunities I received. I remember my time at Sanna Dairy (now ConAgra Foods) in Menomonie. You really learn with hands-on experience,” McArthur said.