Todd Grant, co-founder and president of SquadLocker Inc. in Warwick, discusses the company’s 2017 expansion plans. The private company, which was founded in 2015, offers custom-branded sports apparel online.
PBN: Are you going to remain in your current location at 240 Bald Hill Road, or will you need a larger location to accommodate your growth?
GRANT: The company’s innovation is the easiest-to-use online workflow enabling coaches across the country to manage decorated apparel and gear purchasing for youth athletes. Combining next generation Cloud tools with the best of American manufacturing, SquadLocker proudly employs 50 team members, with an additional 30 contractors on staff as well. Thanks to the entire team’s hard work, we anticipate adding more new employees in 2017.
SquadLocker is growing fast and will continue to add new employees as the company’s revenues expand. There are no plans to move from our current location, as we can significantly expand capacity in the Warwick facility. In the future, to meet the needs of an ever-growing national customer base of coaches, league administrators and players, we may consider expanding to a second operation beyond the R.I. facility, likely near a FedEx or UPS hub in the Midwest.
PBN: How many more employees do you plan to hire in 2017?
GRANT: Plans call for an additional 50 employees to be added in R.I. in 2017. Thanks to coaches and league administrators across the country wanting to use the company’s innovative online tools and our many great new partners in the league-management software space, we are continuing to experience a surge in demand that will likely call for new recruits to our team. Early indicators are clearly showing this to be a business that will experience hyper-fast growth. Our business will likely need to rely on the best and the brightest in the R.I. employment market to join our team.
PBN: What were SquadLocker’s sales in 2016? If you cannot reveal numbers, can you talk about some of the initiatives/partnerships that led to its triple-digit growth?
GRANT: SquadLocker is currently experiencing year-over-year growth that exceeds 800 percent. Going into 2017, we plan to govern revenue growth, not to exceed 500 percent year-over-year. This five-fold growth expectation will primarily be the result of deep integrations of SquadLocker’s online tools and workflows for managing decorated apparel purchasing with the country’s leading league-software providers. There are many industry leaders in the league-management software industry sector. Among them are household names like Sports Engine owned by NBC Sports, Sports Illustrated Play, owned by Time Inc., Blue Star Sports, TeamSnap, LeagueApps, Active Network, Team Sideline and others. These companies support millions of youth teams and tens of millions of athletes in the U.S. SquadLocker intends to be the “Intel Inside” brand for managing decorated team apparel in partnership with such companies.
PBN: How would you say SquadLocker is transforming the team-apparel industry?
GRANT: Decorated apparel for teams has been managed for decades in the U.S. by corner store sole proprietors. These businesses, making up an $8 billion market in the U.S., will continue to exist but will likely need to modify their business models and innovate to be sustainable. In the meantime, SquadLocker is transforming the $8 billion market by having developed and launched the easiest and most efficient set of online tools helping coaches and parent volunteers manage decorated apparel ordering for teams and athletes. SquadLocker’s unique integrations with league-management software platforms are making decorated gear available for sale to parents of youth athletes exactly when seasons are starting, when parents are registering and paying, and when tournaments and events are being organized.
SquadLocker’s online tools, embedded seamlessly within the web platforms of America’s leading league-software providers, ensure the best possible user experience for parents registering their son or daughter athletes for participation in youth leagues. This is a massive change from how business is transacted today. We have designed our platform and online tools to be as easy as possible and in so doing, we are winning thousands of new customers each month.
So far, we have been delighted with the reaction of so many great partners, coaches, league administrators and parent volunteers supporting youth teams. With a strong commitment to customer satisfaction, we strive each day to make the best product from the world’s best brands like Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, Champion and countless others, and we’re doing it right here in R.I.
PBN: Are you still raising funds?
GRANT: SquadLocker is continuing to capitalize the company’s fast growth with equity financing. Interested investors can learn more by emailing Todd Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Total investment in the company has been $5.25 million, with the Slater Technology Fund’s portion totaling $600,000.