My mother-in-law used to say, "the days are long but the years are short" if she noticed a hint of fatigue while I wrestled my young children into submission. She was right. They are teenagers now and one has a job. Crests and valleys are expected when being a dad or launching a product but I was not prepared for the sustained, emotional wear of trying to develop something new and bring it to market.
In the beginning marketing was the least of my worries. My father is well known and has a long list of contacts. I also have many contacts and experience as a D1 head coach, D3 assistant and HS head coach even though it was many years ago. Little did I know that marketing would be the greatest challenge. This reminds me of my own saying; "the more I learn, the stupider I feel".
The best marketing strategy for us is to hand someone a stick with a Head Rock. It is admittedly an unusual concept (you don't use a ball?). I have found that there is nothing I can say or video I can make that is as effective as having someone actually feel it. I have had old teammates tell me "when I first saw this thing I thought good luck with that, Tillzy...but now that I have tried it out, I really think you have something."
That all said, I can report that our first two years have been an exciting adventure that has reached significant milestones. We were granted a utility patent that published July 2018. The Head Rock website went live and is in the top 25% of Shopify sites launched that month.
First prototype makes an appearance at Homewood field
There are currently over 800 Head Rocks in use. We made a good showing at Laxcon 2019 and have been enjoying enthusiastic response at tournaments.
I learned to use social media after shunning it all my life. Hey, I don't really care what someone I knew in college had for lunch. The lacrosse community at Instagram and Twitter have really educated me and kept me grinding. We have had some highly valued feedback from professional players. Early adopters are reporting increased shot velocity!
Partnering with like-minded lacrosse entrepreneurs like Rocket Mesh is also something I am very grateful for. Let us know if we can partner with you.
In the Media/Testimonials
- We made the front page of our local Hyattsville Life and Times. This is a really nicely written piece.
- The very first article by Stringers Society put us on the map. Thanks guys!
- We had a sales surge thanks to EDC Greg's Stick Accessories Vol. 2 video.
- Head Rock spotted in the UK.
- Head Rock Spotted in Mexico.
The Coming Year
We are currently investing in new tooling so we can make the leap to sell on Amazon and retail stores. The new tooling includes our logo on the face of the weight. We will also be better positioned for discounted team sales.
Future goals include developing a 10 oz. version. That will be like having two lacrosse balls in your pocket. The slogans will write themselves. We also want to create a version strictly for women (our current, "Model A" can be adapted for women's sticks), and a goalie version. Lets GOoooooo!