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Basketball was very good to Mike Brown, and for the past decade he has been using the game as a tool to help others. What started as a mission to help others evolved into an apparell business that is producing an exciting new line of uniforms.
“I was the first person in my family to attend college, and that never would have happened without basketball,” Brown said. “When I graduated, I knew that I wanted to help other kids get that same opportunity.”
Brown landed a job with an advertising firm, and in 2004 he started Hoop Connection to help place young players with colleges.
“A lot of kids are in a situation similar to mine at that stage,” he explained. “They don’t really have the tools they need. I wanted to help them get an opportunity like the one I had.”
While trying to gain exposure for his Hoop Connection program, Brown realized that the HC paraphernalia was surprisingly popular.
“Everyone seemed to liked the logo, and more and more people starting asking if we sold T shirts,” Brown said. “I knew that we had to make money if we wanted to move the program forward, so we started making T shirts.”
The first T shirts were a hit, and the Hoop Culture apparel business was born. The brand has been growing rapidly ever since.
“We were fortunate that we were located in Orlando, where the AAU is based. That gave us our first big connection,” Brown said. “Gradually, we built relationships with tournament directors around the country. Now, on-line effort is growing, and that reaches worldwide. The next step for us is the retail sector.”
After being questioned by travel team coaches for quite some time, Brown began exploring the idea of producing uniforms in March of 2012.
“People at the events kept asking, ‘Do you do uniforms?,'” he said. “It took us two years to learn how to properly produce them — we always want to be sure we have a great brand. In everything we do, we focus heavily on design and quality materials. With the uniforms, it wasn’t an easy process to complete, but we finally found a facility that would produce the quality that we needed to be successful.
“We brought the uniforms to market last year, and we did 14 teams. This year, we would like to supply 50 teams, and we think that is realistic goal between high school and travel teams.”
If you are interested in learning more about Hoop Culture and their new line of uniforms, you can follow the company on social media @HoopCulture. Questions can be directly sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.