Jeff Robertson is the founder of Elevation Lacrosse, a leading uniform and team apparel company. Lucky for us, Elevation Lacrosse is also an advertising partner with LAS (Obligatory disclaimer). We sat down with Jeff to hear how Elevation got started and get some tips for working in the world of laxxxxxx.
Check it out:
How did Elevation Lacrosse get started? What’s the story behind it?
I think our startup story is similar to most success stories you hear for businesses. We found a niche in a market and made ourselves the best in that niche. In the case of lacrosse, it was custom uniforms, equipment, and team apparel. If you look at any lacrosse catalog out there today it is 95% retail equipment and 5% team gear. I was frustrated as a coach with the limited selection of uniforms & gear out there that I could get for my team and even more frustrated with the team ordering process. So we started our own “lacrosse company” with some innovative uniform designs, a broad selection of team apparel, and a 100% focus on a superior customer experience.
What is your background?
Prior to Elevation, my business partner & I were involved in the manufacturing side of promotional products and corporate apparel. Both my partner & I attended Indiana University. I played & coached lax over the years in Bloomington.
In my corporate career before starting Elevation I was a director of strategic marketing and product development for a company called Norwood. They are the largest manufacturer of decorated merchandise in North America. My experience in sourcing product, operations, and imprinting in that industry have uniquely affected our business model for lacrosse. We are the best at what we do and our ultimate goal is to give the customer the largest selection of custom lacrosse gear, at great price, and then deliver the goods on-time with no hassles for the customer.
When starting out, what were a couple of the main goals you had for Elevation?
1. Develop a national customer base. Done.
2. Have the largest selection of uniforms and team apparel in the industry. Done.
3. Provide goods and services at great prices so teams can use the savings to help grow their programs. Done.
4. Become one of the more prominent lacrosse companies in the country. In Process.
Is there a physical Elevation Lacrosse store, or do you only do business online?
We have a retail store right by Notre Dame in Indiana. The facility has a retail showroom, offices for team sales, accounting, & purchasing, and our warehouse.
Can you briefly describe your typical day on the job?
Mostly managing the day to day, lots of marketing & web work, along with constant product development. There are a lot of cool things coming out this spring. We’ll be sure to release all news first on Laxallstars.com
What’s the most rewarding part of running a company like Elevation Lacrosse?
The most rewarding part of what we do is helping teams. Teams need to focus on playing lacrosse, not all the headaches that can come from ordering team gear. We make it easy for the customer, save them some money, and our business is growing tremendously because of it.
How would you like to see the game of lacrosse grow in the future? What’s it going to take for the sport to go mainstream?
I think lacrosse will continue to grow at a great pace, but in order to become mainstream it needs to become popular nationally instead of just east coast hot spots. The sport is growing in pockets all over the country and if that continues, you will see growth at not only the college level, but professionally as well.
As an entrepreneur, is there any advice you would give to younger lacrosse players who are thinking of starting their own lacrosse-related companies?
Make sure you are well capitalized, be creative, and find something that no one else has.
What is your favorite product that Elevation offers?
Right now it is our line of sublimated uniforms & apparel. It gives the customer almost endless design options and the quality is amazing.
What are the coolest uni’s Elevation has ever produced?
The coolest uniform we ever made… now that’s a tough question. Check out our sublimated gallery online and you’ll see a ton of amazing designs. Plus look for our summer catalog in a few months that will give you a ton of options for your summer travel teams and camps.
Cool, we’ll be looking forward to it! Thanks Jeff for the interesting interview and best of luck with Elevation as it continues to grow!