HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Sportsheets founder Tom Stewart was inducted into the StorErotica Hall of Fame at the StorErotica Awards this week during the ANME festivities in Burbank.
Recognized as one of the leaders in the BDSM/Fetish arena, Sportsheets International was up for five StorErotica Awards.
Kristopher Kay of StorErotica Magazine presented the award to Stewart.
“When I won this award I didn’t know it was a category otherwise I would have voted for myself," Stewart said with his trademark sense of humor that has made him such a popular figure in the pleasure products industry for more than two decades.
According to Mike Kulich who was sitting across the table from Stewart, “It was clear that no one had tipped Tom off about him being inducted into the Hall of Fame. As I heard Kris describing Tom’s career from his humble beginnings as a military pilot to the infamous David Letterman story which sparked the idea for the original Sportsheet prototype.
"I looked at Tom as he tried to play himself off as undeserving, yet was overwhelmed with the applause and standing ovations of his industry peers. That is the kind of guy that Tom is. Charismatic, but extremely humble. It was great to see him honored and the intro given by Kris really showed how loved Tom is by this entire industry."
Julie Stewart, president of Sportsheets as well as Tom’s sister, added, “Seeing Tom get the Hall of Fame Award was one of the highlights of my career. Tom works so hard and puts so much into our products and the company. He is so generous, creative and sincere. To see him receive that standing ovation from his peers was priceless.”
Other Sportsheets employees were eager to weigh in with praise and admiration for Stewart.
“I am immensely proud of Tom and all that he has accomplished from very humble beginnings,” said Kimberly Harding Stewart, project coordinator at Sportsheets. “Tom shares this recognition knowing that he, alone, could not have built this company to what it is; and that Julie and Ed played an enormous role as did his brother and the entire team (past and present).
"For me to have been in on 'the project' since the beginning and witnessing his creativity first hand is like nothing else. Tom is truly a creative man and his brain never rests. He is always thinking and always creating and that amazing quality about him inspires the people around him.”
Corrin Brubaker recently joined the company as International Sales Manager in April of this year.
“In the short time I have been at Sportsheets Tom has taught me about passion — passion for invention and being an entrepreneur, passion for his family, passion for his company," Brubaker said. "It’s an honor to work with him and be a part of this amazing team here at Sportsheets.”
Alanna Calloway, who heads business development for Sportsheets, remarked, “Tom Stewart is so talented and creative but more importantly he is a fabulous human being! Tom is a man of integrity with a heart of gold. Sportsheets is an extension of his family. We can’t wait to go to work each day because of how Tom inspires us to give our all to what we do.
"He incites enthusiasm in all of us. Winning the award at ANME was an acknowledgement of his passion, hard work and dedication to the industry and to his extended family which is everyone who comes to work Monday through Friday at Sportsheets. It is an honor to part of Tom’s Sportsheets’ World!”
“Tom is such an innovator and the Hall of Fame Award from StorErotica was so necessary and well-deserved,” added Durante Brown, purchasing agent for Sportsheets. “For someone new to the industry, he has opened my eyes to the many possibilities in and outside the bedroom, turning normalcy to ecstasy with the various positioning products that truly help in 'Keeping Couples Connected.'”
“Tom has influenced me to be a leader and not a follower,” said Sylvia Lopez, one of Sportsheets rising stars in the Sales Department. “He taught me to never give up and always pursue my dreams. I feel so honored to work for someone who has influenced not only me but everyone in the adult industry.”
Lastly to weigh in was StorErotica's Kay, the PR director for the magazine that presented the honor.
"In our industry not too many people can measure up to Tom Stewart, which made him an ideal choice for our 2015 StorErotica Hall of Fame," Kay said. "As a business leader he has built the Sportsheets brand from conception to cornerstone, thereby creating what we know now as the soft bondage market. Personally though, he's just a helluva nice guy whose integrity precedes him. Added to all of that is his wonderful family who has helped see his vision through to make Sportsheets a leading manufacturer in adult retail today. Mr. Stewart is more than deserving."
For more information on Sportsheets, visit their official website at Sportsheets.com.
Pictured: Kelly Shibari, Tom Stewart and Kris Kay.