From the January 2000 issue of Startups

Kids under 10 have their own Web sites. Even dogs have Web sites. If people (and pets) we don't care about have them, it's a given that people we admire--like sports stars--have to have them. For the past year, Tim Crockett has been helping this ever-popular community bring their real-life and TV presences to computer screens with his company, BigPros.com.

When Crockett, 28, attended those high school Future Business Leaders of America meetings, we bet his advisors didn't know he'd out-salary them so quickly. At 18, he started a golf club company and sold it two years later. Then he purchased and grew a CD manufacturing company, only to sell it to Sony for a hefty sum.

The idea behind BigPros.com (http://bigpros.com), a Web development firm/memorabilia retailer, struck Crockett after he read about scam artists making millions by registering the domain names of famous athletes and selling faux autographed merchandise. When friend and Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Warren Sapp fell victim to such a scam, Crockett realized the promise of a legitimate business that partnered with athletes to spread their names and merchandise to the masses.

Last January, Crockett launched BigPros.com from his home with $5,000. A year later, the company has grossed $2.1 million and gone public. "The Net's so wild because you can be in business overnight," he says. And be successful the next day.

Thus far, BigPros.com's roster boasts 100 players, including the Cleveland Indians' Dwight Gooden and the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa. The 15-employee Tampa, Florida, company also helps R Kelley and Adam Sandler maintain their sites.

Now a lofty ad campaign should heighten Crockett's word-of-mouth-fueled buzz. By taking care of clients' ordering, warehousing and shipping needs, creating and sending out press releases, and offering real-time accounting access via proprietary software, Crockett should be the industry standard in no time.