Gator Cases was founded in 2000 by father-daughter team Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris in Tampa, Florida. Initially, they launched with a small offering of molded plastic guitar cases at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, Tennessee. From there, they expanded the product line to include case and bag solutions for pro audio, IT, audio visual, general utility, band instrument, and percussion. The line now consists of over 1000 different solutions that are made from vacuum-formed plastics, rotational-molded plastics, wood, sewn, and EVA materials.
Leveraging the company’s expertise in case design and manufacturing, Gator has also grown a complete OEM division that works with leading companies around the world to engineer and manufacture custom cases for original equipment manufacturers.
In 2008, Gator acquired the manufacturing facility and product line of Protechtor Cases, located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This new endeavor brought on shore manufacturing in rotational molding along with expansion into the percussion market. Gator continues to invest in additional US manufacturing and expansion of this plant.
In 2013, Gator announced its new Frameworks line of stands and support systems at the Winter NAMM show. The launch features over 50 innovative and unique solutions for microphone, speaker, guitar, keyboard, A/V, and more. The line was extremely well received and compliments the existing case line, making Gator the one stop for all your accessories needs. After being awarded Best in Show Honors at Summer NAMM 2013 and Winter NAMM 2015, it is clear the Frameworks line of products will be a major and permanent contender in the industry.
In 2014, Gator moved into a new state of the art manufacturing and distribution facility in Columbia City, Indiana. With over 180,000 square feet of dedicated space, Gator is poised to continue expanding manufacturing and offer best in class distribution.
In 2015, Gator acquired Viking Cases, a USA based case manufacturer specializing in custom built ATA rated flight cases. All Viking Case manufacturing was moved from it’s location in St. Petersburg, FL into our facility in Columbia City, IN.
In 2018, Gator acquired Levy’s Leathers Ltd. , one of the world’s most respected names in quality guitar straps.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) recently interviewed Crystal as part of their oral histories program the the music instrument industry. She shares some insights from the early beginnings of Gator in 2000 and expands a bit on where we are today for this industry. While Gator serves many industries, the music and pro audio industries still represent some of our largest and longest-standing product segments.