Innovate or Die®
It’s not simply a slogan for TYR Tactical®, a company that produces specialized technical gear for military and law enforcement professionals, “Innovate or Die” is the mantra that owner and co-founder Jason Beck lives by. Beck is constantly exploring ways stay on top of the industry, develop better products and deliver the best gear available. In an industry that truly deals with life and death, innovation isn’t a nice to have but a necessity. As a result, TYR Tactical is an internationally sought-after designer and manufacturer of body armor, ballistic full tactical entry vests, plate carriers, load carriage equipment, belts and assault gear.
Beck is a former marine who spent years as a mixed martial arts trainer for elite military and special ops armed forces. As a trainer he taught the combat style that in order to get back home you need to “define the fight”. It was during this time that he discovered a passion for developing tactical gear that would best protect the individuals he trained when they were on the front lines.
At 26-years-old, Beck was young and invincible. He started designing and manufacturing gear in a storage unit with three sewing machines. By day Beck would train the best of the best, by night he would sew. And as his training clients saw the gear he made; they requested more products for themselves.
His business grew rapidly through Beck’s relationships and strategic marketing. It reached over $48 million in annual sales by 2008, when Beck decided to exit the business. In choosing to exit manufacturing to focus on consulting, Beck continued his constant search to find better ways to protect the men and women who serve in combat and armed conflicts.
In 2010, Beck and his wife, Jane, were presented with an opportunity to get back into manufacturing that they could not pass up, and co-founded TYR Tactical. Beck intended to create a boutique company focused on special ops forces and top-level military. Having experienced large-scale success with his previous venture, he knew the capital demands of supporting mass production and managing investor expectations. As a business owner, he wanted more control and recognized that a deliberate growth plan would help him achieve this.
The turning point for TYR Tactical came more quickly than Beck expected, when in 2011, he received an out-of-the-blue message from the Danish Ministry of Defense asking TYR Tactical to design and manufacture ballistic vests for the Danish military. Beck’s reputation for success and return to the industry had attracted attention, and he soon began scaling up his company, preparing to “define the fight” by planning for the future on his terms.
Finding a Long-Term Financial Partner
Over the next decade, TYR continued its steady growth from its headquarters in Peoria, Arizona. During that time, Beck and his team, including CFO Kevin Hull, Beck’s former banker, worked with the large, national banks, but weren’t finding the relationships and support they desired.
“We weren’t looking for a bank for the next two years,” said Beck. “But for the next 20.”
In 2020, Hull reached out to Scott Sipe, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Team Lead, not long after Sunflower Bank entered the Phoenix market. His initial request was for specific fixed-rate equipment financing. However, recognizing the equipment purchase was only one part of the company’s strategic growth plans, Sipe asked for the opportunity to review the full scope of TYR Tactical’s banking needs. As a result of the analysis, Sunflower Bank was able to structure a complete financing solution that consolidated all of TYR’s equipment, real estate and construction financing needs complemented with banking and Treasury services for payment processing.
“With Sunflower Bank, I feel like we have a bank that helps act as a board, serving in our best interest,” Beck adds. “That doesn’t happen with the bigger banks. Scott and Neal always give the best options for our business.”
As TYR Tactical continues to grow, we’re proud to support their vision and be their trusted partner. Together we continue to innovate and provide our respective clients with best-in-class solutions.