Remembering Team Gates in 2016


With the new car audio season upon us, we had our first writers’ meeting of 2016 at our local office.  During the meeting, my daughter brought me an old envelope that I had stored on my desk.  It had a large pack of “iron-on patches” in it.  I admit I had forgotten about these.  They were Team Gates patches; I opened the envelope and found the “Welcome to Team Gates” letter.  It made me remember this amazing lady and her co-pilot called “Cowboy.”

I met Alma in 2006 on her farewell tour, and she was a fantastic lady.  She was a multiple world champion in all sanctioning bodies in SQ and SPL.  She had appeared on more television spots, including Ripley’s Believe It or Not, CD covers, and manufacturer’s marketing material than any other competitor in history.  And she was incredibly humble…

She had a contagious love for our industry, and we could never ask for a better ambassador.  The manufacturer JBL sponsored her farewell tour, and she had stopped in two cities in British Columbia, Canada.  I spent six days with her, and over a few beers, listened to her stories about her journey in our industry.  She genuinely loved her time in the “car audio” culture.  It was an absolute pleasure getting to know her, but besides her accomplishments, she wanted to spread an idea for our industry called “Team Gates.”  This is taken directly from the “Welcome to Team Gates” letter ( I will add a copy to this blog).
“The Team Gates decal is more than just a logo.  It is a banner of pride, promotion, and respect for others.”

  1. Sportsmanship
  2. Promoted your products
  3. Promote your organization(s)
  4. Promote the Industry
  6. Make a conscious effort to operate your system in a non-obtrusive manner.
  7. Respect the rights of others
  8. Vehicle open at shows
  9. Willingness to talk to people
  10. Willingness to help others
  11. Have fun

I also enjoyed attending MERA last year in Dallas, Texas, where I participated in a marketing seminar (I am sorry, I do not remember the instructor). The mission statement #4 for Team Gates was being discussed.

The gentleman teaching the course asked everyone in the room, “What are you doing to promote the industry?”.  Not “What are you doing to promoted your business/self.”  This hit home for me.  The internet is an amazing invention which is filled with self-promotion of ourselves or our businesses.  But not with Alma; she always promoted our “car audio culture.”  She represented “us.”

I admit I had forgotten about Alma and Team Gates, my career and family seem to have taken over my life, but we are all busy.  Then by chance, my one-year-old daughter was “exploring” my desk when my back was turned and handed me my “Welcome to Team Gates” letter.

Ask yourself, “What are you doing to promote the industry”?  I started this blog shortly after the training at MERA.  But then I remembered Alma; I admit by chance, she never talked to me about market trends, margins, niche markets, or competitor’s products.  She just took the time to talk to me about our industry.  Please take the time to “google” Alma Gate; I couldn’t believe the amount of press coverage and videos dedicated to her.  Let’s try and keep the ideals of “Team Gates” going.

We would love to hear your stories or comments about Alma! Stories and comments will be published in our comments section.

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  • Kimo says:

    I am not a big blogger ( I do have one ). This is my first response ever to a blog like this. For me Alma Gates is a legend. When I was in the industry almost 20 years ago the name Alma Gates was only whispered. Within five years it was household in the car audio industry and by 2006 “Legend”. I never had the opportunity to meet her and only wish I could of.

    This article made me smile because I know we would of gotten along great. From all who met her said these words are true “Promote the industry”. This is something I have been trying to do via car audio competitions. I even have it on our website page under “about us”. Thanks for this article and making my Monday 1/25/16. .

  • Joe Cuartero says:

    And that is the reason we bought her truck. I never had the chance to meet her, but have heard so much about her and how she supported the industry. When her Bronco was up for grabs, we thought it could end up in the wrong hands. Now we are looking for a shop with enough experience to bring it back to life. About 95% of the people we have talked to say: she would rather see the truck playing and not stored in a museum. Do you agree with that statement?

  • Jeremy middlebrooks says:

    I met her at NOPI Nationals, cool lady and always smiling. I had the pleasure to judge her Bronco in sound quality, at that time she was in the new class called Q, the sound of it would of put you to sleep. Hope who ever gets her Bronco, treats it right.

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