[inline:video] While Bros hold down jobs of all types, there is no career aspiration more common among us than the prospect of becoming a successful entrepreneur. What Bro hasn't had an idea for a new business and dreamed of making it big -- and yes, striking it rich? And so every week BroBible picks the mind of a successful Bro entrepreneur and discovers what it takes to turn a simple idea into a thriving business. You've recently heard from TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, sports agent Doug Eldridge, Hollywood agent Ben Press, Tanteo Tequila founder Jonathan Rojewski, Bonobos co-founder Brian Spaly, 30 Words co-founder Andrew Kitchell, GearRx founder Jeffrey Pandolfino, and Ignighter.com co-founder Adam Sachs. Up next is Adam Werder, Director of Brand Marketing for lacrosse gear stalwart Warrior. The company was founded in the early 1990s by Dave Morrow, a "beast" of a Princeton laxer who kept denting and breaking his handles. Morrow and his father crafted the first-ever titanium shafts, the Tigers won the national championship the next year using them, and Warrior was off and running. Today, Warrior is owned by New Balance, has expanded into ice hockey, and is a major player in the action sports equipment -- and soon lifestyle -- world. They're also still having a ton of fun, whether engaging with the lacrosse community through Conner Martin's "Search for Flow" videos (above) or developing the latest technology for high on-field performance. BroBible caught up with Werder recently to get the inside story on the latest and greatest from Warrior. BROBIBLE: We just spotted in our Brommunity the latest Connor Martin video about Warrior's search for the best lax flow in the country, a topic we know and love. What's the goal of the campaign? ADAM WERDER: The goal is to celebrate the lax community's passion for pop culture and grassroots fun. Connor brought the idea to our West Coast mafia and we couldn't wait to partner up. He's a funny, talented guy. The flow is a good vehicle for players to express themselves. We don't take ourselves too seriously at Warrior, and we encourage kids to do the same. Win, but have fun doing it. How is Warrior harnessing your website, videos, and things like "Players Club" to promote the company? What about other online tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter? The brand was built on superior product, teams, endorsed athletes, and grassroots marketing. Digital and social are the next two hurdles for us. We're leaving our Amish community and launching our Facebook and Youtube effort this fall. We'll bring our brand pillars and youthful, irreverent style to these channels. The Warrior website has turned into a playground for young athletes to express themselves and interact with each other. In 2010 we'll use our site and Facebook to open a dialogue with these athletes. We want to gain better insight into their interests and expectations for our product and brand. Prioritizing our efforts, Twitter skews older than a good chunk of our target 8-18 year old male, so that's a project for down the road. It's been a busy past five years for the company -- New Balance bought it in 2004, Warrior Hockey launched in 2005, and Warrior acquired Brine in 2007. How has the company remained true to its roots throughout all these changes? There are two primary reasons. First, New Balance allows us to because they believe in the brand. It would have been easy to blow the Warrior idea up and put it in Wal-Mart and Costco to turn a quick buck. Instead, we've gone the opposite direction with our long-term strategy, keeping the brand tight and premium. The second reason is our people and culture. We live, breathe, and understand Warrior-ness. Starting with Dave Morrow on down, the organization is handpicked to make sure we stay true to our roots. It's a key challenge as the company grows and we've gone to great lengths to find the right people. What equipment and technology developments from Warrior are on the horizon for the coming seasons? What should the laxers and hockey players be excited about?
This is one of those WOW years. The #1 technology this year is our Noz head. We're using gas-assisted injection molding to make our heads hollow in places. It allows our heads to be noticeably lighter than the competition without losing rigidity. From a player perspective, it meets a major demand: lighter without sacrificing durability and stiffness. It's a huge advantage. In addition, we're launching a compression-molded protective line (called Nation) that is our lightest equipment and molds to the body over time. Really cool stuff. Keep your eyes peeled for the Trojan helmet, too. It's the most comfortable and best looking lid in lax. The NCAA will have new specs on heads starting next season. All of the heads most laxers have now are most likely illegal unless they're playing with old ones like the Edge. What are your thoughts on this and what efforts has Warrior made to deliver high performance heads to meet the needs of top quality players? Time will tell if it really has an impact, but I don't think we'll notice much of a difference. Guys will find ways to string their stick to minimize the spec change. In addition, the most important intellectual property that makes our heads superior isn't based on the throat. The offset, flared sidewall, gas assist, etc. still offer huge competitive advantages in our NCAA spec heads. We're offering three families of heads now. Traditional, X (universal for youth and NCAA), and X6 (NCAA only). We tried to make the transition as easy as possible for players, so whatever Warrior head you played with before, you should be able to get an NCAA legal head with the same features and benefits. We've heard reports about the new R-10 shaft. Anything you can reveal about this and if there is any truth to the rumors about what it stands for? The R-10 is out now and the feedback has been awesome. I can't reveal it's true nature (that's NASA classified stuff), but I believe R-10 technology was discovered in a basement at 3 a.m. while watching "Skinamax." Warrior has made serious strides in penetrating the footwear market in recent years (cleats, turf shoes, etc.). What qualities do lacrosse players look for in a shoe? Any new models coming out that players should be excited about? The name of the game in lacrosse is fast. Players want lighter, faster, more aggressive shoes. We've stayed true to their demands by being totally authentic. Our shoes are designed for playing lax... fast. That's it. Our uppers are lightweight and aggressive and the bottoms are designed quick cuts. Off-field footwear is another major initiative in 2010. We're launching training and lifestyle shoes. February 15: batten down the hatches. It's going to be a massive year for the brand and the excitement in Detroit is through the roof. The shoes are made for lacrosse players to train in or wear with jeans. Warrior styling with legit lacrosse-inspired training technology. Not guaranteed to get you girls, but close. Can you give us a little background on how Warrior was founded and its evolution over the years? Are there any other noteworthy ex-lacrosse players that are part of the company? Do you have to have lacrosse background to work there? Dave Morrow started the company in '92 when he was still at Princeton. The guy played like an absolute beast and his handles dented and broke because of it. He needed something lighter and stronger, and the titanium handle was born (the Tigers won the '93 NCAA Championship using them). Since then, the company has been totally committed to the highest quality product and extending features and benefits throughout the whole line. Younger players who use Warrior gear are getting a takedown version of the best stuff on the market. The two biggest changes in the last 10 years were the acquisition by New Balance and launching our hockey line. We've learned a lot about sporting goods and business by learning from outside our industry. Lacrosse as a whole has grown so much in the last five years, but we've stayed pretty true to our roots. Lots of lacrosse players work here. The lax thing is pretty well covered with guys like Morrow, Millon, Hubbard, Cattrano, Eichs, Lorne, Sims, etc., walking the halls, but it's not a requirement by any means. We want aggressive, young thinkers that are motivated to succeed in a growth environment. Our head designer cut his teeth in the football and baseball industry, but knows how to make bad-ass equipment and is never satisfied. Warrior is known for having very creative, artistic ads. What's the driving force behind these kinds of ads? What demographic do they appeal to? The image of Warrior came from filling a need, too. When action sports took off in the early '90s, team sport traditionalists spurned the youthful expression. Dave recognized the need for bridging the gap between action sport and team sport, essentially letting kids fly their own flag by wearing our gear. The brighter colors and product names are all about performance and individual expression. As the brand continues to evolve, we'll take a lot of our cues from action sport and pop culture. The great thing about Warrior is that you either get it or you don't. It's not for everyone, so it allows us to take more risks. If I had to give you a demo, it's 8- to 18-year-old-male athletes. To take it a step further, it's the guys that think winning is everything and the victory should be celebrated 'til the cops or parents break up the party.