Soccer Locker Review: Pleymkr Launches Customized Shin Guards – Not Only For Professionals Anymore
Shin guards. They are a required part of any soccer uniform and normally a boring afterthought for players. Pleymkr has changed that world. Now players can be creative and express themselves through customizing their own shin guards.
Local southern-California based Pleymkr Athletics LLC has recently launched, bringing the ability to customize carbon fiber and plastic shin guards with any picture, color or design to the US Market. Previously only available to professional players, Pleymkr’s advancements in shin guard manufacturing now make it easy for every player to have their own personalized shin guards at a price equivalent to the generic shin guards available from traditional large retailers.
“We have entered an age where, due to an explosion of social media and advancement in technology, there is a strong desire for individualism among youth soccer players” said Matt McCausland, Pleymkr’s FOunder and President. “We provide a way for them to stand out from the crowd and be individuals” commented Business Development Manager Darren Weber.
After three years of research and development, Pleymkr has developed a proprietary method for printing, molding, and shaping carbon fiber. Each pair of Pleymkr carbon fiber shin guards is hand made in America and provides the ultimate protection. Currently the only company of their kind in the United States, Pleymkr has already fulfilled orders from all of the world.
Growing up playing youth soccer in San Diego, McCausland knows how hard the coaches and administrators of youth clubs work and how hard it is to generate revenue for travel, scholarships, and operating costs. In order to help ease that burden, Pleymkr had developed a profit sharing program where clubs receive a percentage of any sales to their players or parents. As part of the uniform package, this has the potential to generate significant revenue for local clubs.
With an easy to navigate website, Pleymkr customers can design their own shin guards with a few clicks or can email pictures and a description to firstname.lastname@example.org to have a digital proof sent to them free of charge. Pricing is set for $40 for Pleymkr Standard Shin Guards and $80 for Pleymkr Carbon Fiber, both with full customization.
Diane Scavuzzo interviewed McCausland, to discover even more on this one of a kind product:
Diane Scavuzzo: Why/what inspired you to launch your company?
Matt McCausland: Pleymkr was born out of an entrepreneurial assignment in 2009 while obtaining my MBA at the University of Southern California. The assignment was to ideate, develop, and launch hypothetically a business over a 3 month period.
Because soccer is my passion and something I am very knowledgeable in, I focused on a business in this sport.
Those were the early days of NikeID and adidas customization on shoes so I looked at what else could be customized. After completing the assignment, I felt passionately that there was a market for this and began the R&D phase to make the dream a reality.
Diane Scavuzzo: Are your unique shinguards popular?
Matt McCausland: So far the reaction has been amazing. People have never seen a product like this before and are blown away at the quality and possibilities. Because of the unique nature of this product, we have found that most people need to see many different variations of pictures and designs to full grasp the idea.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
In terms of sales, our online sales have steadily increased every month and our website traffic has doubled over the past 2 months. I believe in the quality of our product and feel that slow, organic growth through word of mouth is the best way to build the company.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who has bought your shinguards?
Matt McCausland: Players from the Australian A-League, MLS, MASL, NASL and Women’s Professional League
Diane Scavuzzo: Why should anybody want anything other than boring simple useful shinguards – they’re hidden under socks – why do you think they make a difference?
Matt McCausland: This is an interesting question and one that is no doubt a hurdle for us to overcome. That being said, it is very cut and dry.
If you are a soccer player or an athlete and enjoy competing and winning, you understand. If you are a parent, you may not see the reason for having your own unique pair of shin guards but for an athlete but it makes perfect sense. It ties in to a players confidence, and confidence is one of the biggest drivers for success in sports.
Every time a player looks at his/her Pleymkr shin guards before he/she puts them in his socks, they know they are unique/special and that will have a direct impact on performance. It gives a player the opportunity to have their parents, girlfriend/boyfriend, lucky symbol, or anything image they want with them while they play.
This also taps into the superstitious nature of athletes.
Diane Scavuzzo: And a lot of very famous soccer stars are superstitious!