If you ever played a youth sport in America, you remember the hassle of getting all of the equipment needed, making sure your uniform was correct, and your socks were matching your team colors. Well if you don't remember, you parents sure do.
Millions of kids across the country play youth sports, but the industry has been “stuck in the 90’s,” with long wait times for orders and inconveniences for busy parents. The idea of SquadLocker came from Gary Goldberg, who was a third-generation textile manufacturer. He knew the ins-and-outs of the industry and had an ah-ha moment like many other entrepreneurs. He realized that the sports industry was old, and he knew something had to change. Enter SquadLocker - Rhode Island’s #1-ranked startup - disrupting the hyper-local, intensely-fragmented athletic apparel market.
SquadLocker uses technology and software to help players, coaches and student athletes determine how to customize their gear, and then the company imprints or embroiders selected logos on brand-name apparel, brands like Nike, Under Armour and Adidas. The company has grown over the past years to not only help youth sports, but also to create merchandise for any brand that needs it. SquadLocker is the official merch partner of House Enterprise.
Founded in 2015, SquadLocker had raised about $40 million in investments and has revolutionized the game. Even when sports were paused for the pandemic, business was booming for SquadLocker, as they shifted their production to masks.
Gary joins the podcast this week (12:00) and discusses the growth of SquadLocker from an apparel manufacturer to a tech leader, how their business model was impacted and changed during the pandemic, how to pitch to investors, and what's in store for the company in the near future.