Whether by training harder, working out longer, or using better equipment or apparel, athletes at all levels (high school, college, professional) are consistently seeking ways to gain an edge over their competition. Even non-athletes, who simply go to the gym for fitness/health reasons, are constantly looking for ways to ‘increase their results (i.e. – calories burned; muscle development) while decreasing their time in the gym.
Starting in 1996, Under Armor, which grossed over $850M in sales in 2009, gained popularity and financial success through its game-changing tight moisture wicking “Performance Apparel”. This then-revolutionary apparel was designed to make athletes lighter and faster during athletic competition.
In much the same way, Edge Athletics is once again changing-the-game, doing so by introducing a new line of proprietary sports clothing called “Resistance Training Apparel”. Instead of making athletes lighter and faster during actual competition (which is the goal of most current market products), our apparel is designed to do the opposite: provide significant resistance to athletes during their sport-specific training sessions in preparation for their big games. This added resistance during training will help to build greater strength, speed, and endurance, in much less time. As a result, when athletes remove the apparel for actual games, their overall performance will dramatically improve. Similarly, when non-athletes wear this Resistance Training Apparel during their normal workouts, they are able to accomplish their goals (i.e. - weight loss, muscle growth, etc.) in much less time, allowing them to spend more moments enjoying their lives.
More specifically, Resistance Training Apparel TM is a proprietary combination of (a) moisture wicking material, which provides coolness and fits closely to the body; (b) wetsuit-type neoprene, which provides durability in key areas; and (c) iron-sand, which provides heavy resistance to key muscle groups (i.e. – shoulders, biceps, quads, etc). These materials, when uniquely combined in our Resistance Training Apparel, provide athletes with a cool, yet significantly resistant, piece of sports apparel.
Exhibit 1 (see attachment): The base of the clothing, shown in grey, is made of the moisture wicking compression material currently found in the sports apparel market, and it is designed to keep the body cool and comfortable during training. Key muscle groups, shown in black, are made of the neoprene/iron-sand material, designed to provide the necessary resistance during training.
Our target market is primarily athletes at a high school, college, and professional level. This market produces over $5 Billion in sales for the sports apparel market. Under Armor alone, for example, grossed $850M in sales in 2009 alone. In addition, we will also target the everyday person who works out for health/fitness reasons, allowing them to achieve their goals (weight loss, etc) quicker by using our products. This additional market of men and women will dramatically increase our potential.
COMPETITION & DIFFERENTIATION
There is no sports apparel currently on the market that provides the type of resistance found in our Resistance Training Apparel. However, athletes/consumers have long shown a desire for resistance equipment through the frequent use of ankle weights, weighted vests, stretchy resistance bands, etc. Since these products are bulky, loose, and separate from an athlete’s clothing, though, they can only be used for a small portion of their workout. For example, due to the bulkiness and looseness of weighted vests and ankle weights, these products can only be used during exercises such as squats and leg lifts). However, they cannot be used during the most important portion of an athlete’s workout: the sports-specific training. It is during sports-specific training, where boxers are throwing punches or basketball players are shooting the ball, that resistance is most important, as it trains the body to work harder at the action being performed. Edge’s Resistance Training Apparel differentiates itself from these products by providing a form-fitting, non-bulky solution that allows athletes to gain resistance throughout the duration of their training, as opposed to only during small portions.
OTHER KEY POINTS
- Different weight options: the Resistance Training Apparel will come in different sizes and weights, allowing consumers of all size and strength levels to comfortably wear our apparel.
- Safety: Edge Athletics is working with a sports-science team to ensure that our product is tested and developed in a way that does not cause strain or injury to our consumers. Our products will be heavy enough to provide resistance, but still light enough to be able to move freely during sports-specific training.
- Prototype: We have a complete prototype developed! By investing ~$15,000 of our own money, and by partnering with a design expert and a sports apparel manufacturer in China, we have a prototype that we’re excited to show to the DSC judges.
- Intellectual Property: We have successfully completed a patent search covering the combination and usage of materials for our product, and we have submitted a provisional patent.
- DSC $50,000: this money would be used for further product development, tradeshows,
- Funding for exit: we anticipate receiving ~$2 million in funding, needed to finalize product, gain sales, grow the company, and then be acquired by a major sports apparel company such as UnderArmor, Nike, or Reebok.
Kenny Osakwe: I am a Duke student (Trinity ’12) with a background in finance and accounting. I work on general product development and finance for Edge Athletics.
Rasheed Wiggins: I am a Duke (’99) and Fuqua (’10) graduate with a background in marketing, having worked for major marketing companies such as P&G and PepsiCo. I am working on the product development and marketing within the company.
Ashley McPhison (partner): I am an experienced clothing designer with significant manufacturing connections in China. I am a partner with Edge Athletics, and I’ve worked to develop their first prototype. I am looking to continue development on their future orders.
Kenny Mitchell (advisor): I am the Director of Sports Marketing at Gatorade (a division of PepsiCo). I am an advisor to Edge Athletics, who can provide significant research and athlete connections.
Note: we are also in talks with another Duke Law student who has a focus on sports and entrepreneurship. He has a strong interest in Edge Athletics, and he would work on future patent needs and potential promotional-deals with athletes. We are close to adding him to the team.
Starting March 21st, vote for us on the Duke Start-Up Challenge Facebook Page! And be sure to join us for the Grand Finale on April 20th at 7:30pm ET in Geneen Auditorium at the Fuqua School of Business, or live on Duke's Ustream Channel. RSVP for the event on Facebook