Sports Gloves Innovation: The Making Of The GaGa Glove
by ROGER HEUMANN on Aug 19, 2021
The founders of Talon Athletics were working at a local day camp when the idea of protecting players’ hands for the game of GaGa stung them like a bee.
Young players were getting hand injuries — the thin baseball batting and other fingerless gloves being worn in the GaGa pit were not protective enough.
A new, sport-specific glove was needed.
Sports Gloves: From Idea to Innovation
Throughout history, people have had new product deas … but how many actually act on them?
When founders Scott Blumberg and Willilam Perez approached us in the fall of 2012 to develop a better glove for the dodgeball-like sport, they had an idea of what was needed, but not how to make it.more
The main goals:
- to protect fingers and knuckles from scrapes and contact injuries
- to keep hands cool in the heat of summer
- to look great, so young athletes would want to wear them.
Breathable summer sports gloves existed, but the sport of GaGa required better hand protection, comfort, abrasion resistance, and youth sizing.
The solution was to create a new performance sports glove using better materials and construction techniques:
- perforated leather with a mesh insert for airflow.
- “flexible” hard knuckles for contact
- strategically placed, high density foam for comfort and protection
- a textured synthetic leather palm for “grip”
- neoprene wristband with secure velcro closure
- durable reinforced seams, branding, and other important details.
The new glove needed flexibility for fingers, traction for palms and support for the wrist.
After several rounds of design, production was fast-tracked to meet a summer delivery date.
Testing the New GaGa Glove
The biggest challenge was making a protective and comfortable sport glove that would be readily adopted by the young athletes.
The first prototype was field-tested in the summer of 2013 at Mount Tom Day Camp, where the enterpreneurial-spirited educators work.
When the first campers to wear the gloves wouldn’t take them off, even to swim — the founders knew they had a hit on their hands.
The glove also passed the durability and protection tests with flying colors.
A few modifications were made to improve comfort, and the GaGa glove was ready for market.
Takeaway: Inspiration, Determination, Sales
What began as a venture with one good idea has evolved into an ecommerce company developing and marketing innovative sports products to other underserved markets.
Talon Athletics is now the leading brand of GaGa gloves. The Condor Series — their newest line — features a gel palm insert, making them ideal for baseball, weight lifting, even wheel chair athletes.
We asked Scott to share some advice for other start-ups:
“… I believe an entrepreneur has to be passionate about their product and also have the determination to continue pursuing it. Since we started our company last year, at least a dozen people have come to us and said that they thought of that idea but never acted upon it. We even saw a nurse at a camp convention who said to us she had the glove idea for GaGa 15 years ago. Don’t be afraid of your ideas, embrace them”.
Do you have a glove manufacturing challenge? Our team of experts can help.
Partnering with a glove manufacturing company with over 70 years making sports gloves helped to turn Talon’s vision into reality. Let us know if we can help with yours.