On May 25, 2016 the Providence Businesses News (PBN) interviewed SquadLocker President Todd Grant, asking him five questions about the company’s history, funding, partnerships and the future of SquadLocker. Explaining the company’s focus on team gear and sports apparel, Grant enthusiastically shared the SquadLocker vision and the company's future ambitions.
An Idea with Family Roots
Grant explained to PBN the history of SquadLocker, which was an idea sparked by the parent of a young athlete – founder and CEO Gary Goldberg. Thinking from the perspective of a busy parent in a busy sports family, the idea of creating an easier solution for ordering, producing and delivering team apparel was formed. Before it became “SquadLocker,” the company was “Turfer Athletic” for ten years. Names aside, the vision has remained the same: to help the coaches and parents who volunteer for youth sports have more time to focus on helping young athletes. As Grant said to PBN, “…if we can make it easier for coaches and parent volunteers, they’ll have more time for mentoring and inspiring young athletes everywhere.”
That vision to help the parents and coaches of young athletes inspired the company to incorporate the latest technology with sports apparel buying. By developing an easy-to-use online platform, SquadLocker has been able to branch out to offer national sports brands products, partner with leaders in the sports apparel industry and begin to change the way that youth sports teams select and order their uniforms.
Enthusiastic Investors & Fast-Growth Partnerships
As Grant discussed in two of the questions with PBN, SquadLocker has been fortunate to gain enthusiastic investors and backers from the beginning. Some of the original investors (successful entrepreneurs like George Overholser and Jim Lombardi) have even joined the SquadLocker team as board members. The initial investor group for the company has an extensive network in the technology world, which Grant explained “will be an acceleration for the company during the company’s fast growth years as we build value for the business.”
Besides interested investors, the business model of SquadLocker has also drawn attention from several leaders in the youth sports apparel industry. Recently pairing with USA Football (a national governing body), SquadLocker has just begun to reach the national youth sports world. With partnerships with other leading brands in the industry like Sports Illustrated (SquadLocker is powering SI Play’s new team store MyGear), the company is on track for fast growth and expansion. As Grant told PBN, the new partnerships “will lead to expansion of the R.I. operation including adding dozens of new employees and then ultimately expanding to a second decorating and fulfillment operation in the Midwest.”
The Future of SquadLocker
SquadLocker President Todd Grant told PBN about the company’s five-year goals of providing tech-enabled solutions for youth leagues and sports teams across the entire country, and the anticipation the company has to provide an easy-to-use online software solution for as many team managers and league organizers as possible. With their seamless user experience, SquadLocker is aiming to take over the entire youth sports apparel industry, disrupting the market, as we know it.
As the company continues to expand (currently at 40 team members), SquadLocker will eventually have the manpower needed to fulfill their technology, production and manufacturing demands. Grant expects their total staff number to grow to over 100 employees in the next two years. Supplying a nation of youth sports teams and leagues as well as spirit wear, fan apparel and coordinating goods will take a whole lot of effort from a strong team of dedicated employees. But with the enthusiasm seen from the founding members, management team, investors and partners, the future of SquadLocker is looking bright.
“What was once the vision to start a fast-growth business to transform a stagnant market is now a company up and running, gaining traction and securing partnerships with market leaders… who are proudly presenting SquadLocker’s industry-leading platform to their customers.”> -SquadLocker President Todd Grant to Providence Business News, May 2016.