Lacrosse continues to grow and that growth births new companies all looking to supply the booming industry with the newest equipment created with the latest advancements. When I started playing, there were two main equipment suppliers: Brine and STX, and you picked between the two. It wasn’t until David Marrow founded Warrior Lacrosse that there was another viable option in lacrosse equipment. Warrior made their name selling titanium shafts that proved stronger than their conventional aluminum cousins. Warrior grew and moved into equipment, and Brine and STX found themselves no longer facing each other.
From this competition grew other companies like East Coast Dyes, Epoch, Gait, Powell, String King and Tampa’s own Signature Lacrosse.
Yes, you heard me correctly. Tampa has its very own lacrosse equipment company. For part two of ILWT’s Florida-based lacrosse series, I caught up with Dan Soviero, founder of Signature Lacrosse.
AB: Dan, thank you for taking time to speak with us via social distancing. Can you tell us a little about your background? Are you from Florida originally?
DS: I grew up playing football in South Florida where I had a coach from New Jersey who came in and threw a bunch of sticks on the ground and said, “you guys are playing lacrosse in the off season.” At the time, I had no idea what lacrosse was, which I soon came to find out was pretty true for most refs, coaches, and players we would face that season. The sport was new to South Florida, and it felt like everyone was figuring it out. Fast forward a few years and now Florida is becoming a hotbed! It’s really exciting to see all the progress.
AB: You have a connection to the two coaches, Whipple and Burdick, in this series of Florida based interviews. Can you talk about that connection?
DS: I was fortunate to have some great coaches throughout my career, from growing up in South Florida with Andrew Bolger, Danny Loftus, Nick O’Hara and a host of other influences on my younger self to playing in college for Jason Miller at St. Johns and then ultimately with Whipple and Burdick when I transferred to Tampa. It’s a really amazing place to play lacrosse and I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity.
AB: How did Signature Lacrosse come into being? What went into choosing the logo? It is perhaps the most unique and recognizable in the sport today.
DS: Signature came to be to solve problems for the players, by the players. The logo is something we spent a lot of time on. We knew we wanted it to be different, like us. And we wanted it to be something that could scale with our business while keeping us connected to our roots. So the shape around the Flamingo is a rough lacrosse head, and of course the Flamingo ties us back to our FL roots.
AB: Who else makes up the Signature Lacrosse brand and how did you all come together?
DS: Our amazing team has come together over the past four years in all sorts of ways: Andrew G., our Director of eCom & Systems, and I met in an entrepreneurial incubator. Brian B., our Director of Sourcing & Sales played Men’s League with me. Madeline L. (the real boss) is our Compliance Officer. She and I met in college where we fell madly in love and are now engaged. She started helping us build the business a few years later. Kelcy Y., our wonderful project manager who has risen through the ranks, started as an executive assistant and worked her way up to leading her own team! Alex H. heads up our social media and found us through his childhood friend who was a former sales manager for Signature.
We also have a network of partners and vendors who are truly an extension of our team. It starts with an account team, 1 Source Partners that includes Lorri H., Tanya P., and Stacy K., who I met through a friend of mine from my Vistage group (a CEO peer-to-peer group). Stringer Society, Matt R. & Nick B., our SEO and blog team who we met through a cold outreach after I saw their awesome content. Our paid ads and email marketing teams, eCom Growers & Conversion Engine, as well as the amazing Advisory Board we have put together. This board includes Nick S., commissioner of the NLL and former Founder of the NLL. Pablo N., CEO & President of a number of noteworthy organizations, and Drew S., a hired gun, lacrosse aficionado, and key operating partner in an aftermarket auto parts PE-owned company.
AB: Your “ah-ha” moment led to the formation of your company, but when did you realize you had something special? I say special because your Facebook page shows some very impressive growth even with a Covid-19 shortened season. How did you manage that?
DS: In terms of balls, we really knew we had created something special the first time we heard a client react to the concept of a better ball… before us, no one had every even considered a what a “premium ball” could do. In terms of growth, it all starts and ends with our winning team.
AB: Was it just a better ball at first or did you envision sticks and goals as well?
DS: I envisioned solving the problem and then once solved we moved on to the next one.
AB: You are the official ball of several leagues. Can you tell us know which ones and how did those partnerships came about?
DS: NLL, MLL, WPLL, CLA Championships, CLL, MSL and a few others. We have been blessed to be the most chosen ball in the sport. It’s a nice for our team to be affirmed as the exclusive ball by such a decorated list of leagues.
AB: How do you manage to have your sticks ready to play right off the rack?
DS: A lot of trips back and forth to Asia, a 250-page pdf of all pictures, five 15-minute training videos, and a lacrosse training lesson while we were over in Asia to show the factory workers how to pass, catch, shoot and what the sticks would actually be used for!
AB: Anyone who has strung a lacrosse goal knows how long and tedious it can be. How did you come up with your current goal?
DS: Stringing goals sucks. While I was playing at UT, I was on the IR one day and coach Whip had a few of us string up a goal. An hour later and we were only half way through. We looked at each other and knew there had to be a better way. Twenty-two months later we were filing for a patent.
AB: Dhane Smith uses your sticks in both the NLL and PLL. He is one of the best players in the world and you used your platform to spread his “I belong here campaign.” How important was it for you to have Signature Lacrosse support and help spread his message?
DS: The credit really goes to Dhane. We are incredibly proud of Dhane for his courage and bravery. He is a true leader and one hell of a sportsman. Dhane’s vision for the I belong here campaign is in perfect alignment with Signature’s vision for a more accessible game where we attract more diversity and create a more inclusive game.
AB: Can you let us know any other players that use Signature Lacrosse sticks?
DS: As far as pros go, some guys we are proud to work with are Andrew Kew, Holden Garlent, Ryland Rees, Cam Milligan, Logan Monroe, Chris Boushy, David Smith and Dan Lomas.
AB: You offer a convenient equipment service for club teams. Can you explain how it works and are there any programs that use it?
DS: We just launched a simple 24/7/365 team store solution with the widest selection of custom fan gear (hats, windbreakers, shirts, even water bottles and phone cases) and fully sublimated premium uniforms. The whole idea is to solve the archaic uniform/fan gear ordering process – no more two-week order deadlines, no more minimums, no more headache. This is the ONLY team store with a 100% replacement guarantee and the best part, your program gets five per cent cash back on every purchase! Click here for a sample of what your team store could look like.
Signing up is super simple:
- Sign a Partnership Agreement
- Fill out a <10 min intake form
- We take care of the rest, and you are paid out monthly!
Reach out to email@example.com to learn more!
AB: Do you have any plans to move beyond those and into, say, pads or helmets? Cleats and shoes? Any surprises you care to drop on us?
DS: What I can say is stay tuned, follow our social media accounts, subscribe to our email list and you will be the first to know about it! We have some problem solving lacrosse specific products in the pipeline and a few bigger developments that will solve some problems across all sports!
AB: You recently had an impressive addition to your advisory board at Signature Lacrosse. Please tell us more about how Nick Sakiewicz got involved and how you see his appointment moving the brand forward.
DS: We have an awesome press release on it here. In short, Nick is an awesome person and fits really well with the core values of our team. He is going to be integral in catapulting the Signature brand into our next sport and will play a key role in deepening our brand equity in the lacrosse community!
AB: How can people support Signature Lacrosse?
DS: Visit our website or social media, or share our investment opportunity with someone you think may be interested: https://startengine.com/Signature. You can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
About Signature Lacrosse
Since 2016, Signature Lacrosse has revolutionized the game as manufacturers of the next generation of lacrosse equipment. Makers of the official lacrosse ball for the NLL, MLL and CLL, the company has also developed a patented line of sticks and goals and just launched its simple team apparel store solution throughout the US. Signature’s innovative products are designed to help advance player experience and performance, making athletes better and enhancing accessibility of the game. To learn more about Signature Lacrosse, visit: signaturelacrosse.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.