Editor’s Note: Welcome Jimmy Ciccone back to the LAS Mothership. He got the chance to speak with Parker Anger of Adrenaline and Parker provides one heck of an interview! Thinking of starting your own lacrosse business? This is a must read!!!!!!
What’s up guys? This time around I got to talk to the President of Adrenaline Movement, Parker Anger. This guy has been producing some of the sickest lacrosse apparel around while growing the game out on the West Coast. Wait till you see what he’s got in store for LAS faithful. NO PEEKING! Don’t spoil it, it’s sick. To all those aspiring lacrosse entrepreneurs out there, sit down and take notes.
How did Adrenaline start out as a company?
Parker Anger: Former University of Maryland lacrosse star Scott Hochstadt created the Adrenaline logo – “the guy,” as we call him – for a class in College Park, Maryland. Eventually, Scott moved out west with the guy in tow, and started a lacrosse camp business with Alex Cade and Steve Sepeta called “Adrenaline.”
Shortly thereafter, I came on board as a coach and naturally gravitated towards the apparel portion of the business. I have always been fascinated by trends and culture. More generally, I love to study people. As a coach and product developer at Adrenaline 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to witness first-hand the players’ reactions to our designs and overall aesthetic. Being immersed in California lacrosse culture also exposed us to the brands kids out here were in to.
Initially, the clothing was strictly a marketing component for the Adrenaline Camp Co. We were creating designs and selling them at camps to kids all over the West Coast. We didn’t realize we had a legitimate apparel brand until we started to receive calls from East Coast retailers wanting to carry it. We were like, “Really? Yeah we will sell you Adrenaline clothes!” At that point, we expanded our product line, started doing photo shoots, and focused more on selling Adrenaline apparel.
In 2007, an investment team from a company called SKLZ approached us and purchased the apparel portion of the business. I moved in to my full time role with the company, and things got really serious. The brand was born a long time ago, grew organically, and blew up in 2007 with the support of SKLZ who has been an incredible partner.
What influences your designs?
Parker Anger: Many things influence the creative process at Adrenaline. Much of our design inspiration and vintage/athletic style references come from authentic west coast culture, which is really the foundation of our company. Music can play a role, too. In fact, many of our designs have their genesis in trends that run in the same vein as emerging artists. But our style is also inspired by some weird things.
For example, I have a file of pictures of mobile homes that I snap with my iphone because a lot of the color palettes are interesting and emblematic of the west coast. That file is one of many weird reference files on my computer. Danny McCormick, our creative director, has some really weird files that are the catalysts of some designs. He is a little more out there and I tend to be more conservative than him which makes for a nice collaboration. Our entire staff, who reside on the west coast, participates in the design process. We have the best staff in the business. Each member of the Adrenaline team is in tune with what players are in to, which is important. We also make sure that our players embody our culture, core values, and are involved in the community of lacrosse.
As we design stuff, we are respectful of the sport, and try to create a timeless feel that incorporates trending fits, fabrics and tasteful style. Gorilla & Banana print garbage just isn’t our idea of innovation nor is it tasteful. You won’t find gimmicks with Adrenaline and you won’t find us knocking off another company’s stuff. We respect other brands who are innovative and try new things, and we wouldn’t just poach an idea, slap our label on it, and call it our own.
Were you surprised at how big this company has grown in the lacrosse community?
Parker Anger: Yes and no. Yes, because I never really realized until a few years ago that we could be having so much fun and also be successful. It wasn’t until recently that I realized those things go hand in hand. No, because we have some of the best, most loyal, and innovative people in the business involved with Adrenaline. We all stay humble and hungry because no one internally considers us “big” yet.
What would you say to lacrosse players out there trying to start their own business? (Ex: Stick stringing, making shafts, dying heads or even trying to make their own apparel)
Parker Anger: First of all, believe and immerse yourself in that idea. If you have any doubt, it’s not going to work. Second of all, develop your network, which includes friends, employees, ambassadors, and family. You can be an incredible visionary, but you will need help. When you do develop your network, keep your vision, concept, and core values simple because the root of every business can usually be stripped down to a simple formula.
Having a simple formula will help you make decisions faster and will help your network spread your message more clearly and effectively. Last, wear Adrenaline clothes!
What big things do you have planned for adrenaline this year? (Tourneys, product launches etc.)
Parker Anger: Adrenaline is growing at such a fast rate that it’s even hard for me to keep up with, much less effectively outline in this interview. I will try to keep it simple and fill you in on some of the highlights. We are on the verge of signing some big names from this college class in addition to signing some current huge names in lacrosse. Additionally, we have added several designers from various action sports brands who will help take us in a direction never seen before in the lacrosse industry.
We have also developed the most unique web content in the industry with our feature presentation The Adrenaline Chronicles of McGonigle. We are on the verge of releasing several other things, and Lacrosse All Stars will be at the top of the list to receive this stuff. Basically, we are going to turn this industry upside down – in a good way.
Thanks for the time, Lax All Stars! You guys are rad and we have some more ADRLN gear to bomb out in your contests. Let’s do an exclusive item together! Let’s let the readers decide what we should make for Lax All Stars! Check with them and get back to us.
(Editor’s note: You heard the man! If you’ve got an idea how LAS and ADRLN can do a custom item together, let us know in the comments! We need your ideas, readers!!!)
Big thanks Parker! We know you’re busy and we appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule.
LAS FANS, leave your suggestions for a shirt in the comment box and you may see yours made in the future. Thanks for reading guys!