For most coaches nothing is more important than constant productivity in practice. Players may not always have the most talent, but a commitment to focus on fundamentals and team play for a full practice period can be the difference between winning and losing.
Cue Triversible CEO, David Brown: "It was my fifth year of coaching high school basketball,” the former college, high school and middle school basketball coach says. "The way a lot of coaches conduct practices is to have three teams going through drills at the same time. It’s the best way to teach offensive and defensive spacing because the kids can get so many reps. It’s also a necessity when you have a scout team on the floor. Our practice jerseys were reversible red and white jerseys, and I bought the kids blue shirts to wear underneath for our third team color."
"In 2011, I was getting ready to buy the blue undershirts, and I wondered if there was a way to make a jersey with three colors,” Brown recalls. "I got out some t-shirts, cut them up and pinned them together. I took them to a local seamstress, and she told me, No. I don't think it's going to work," Brown says. "But, she said she'd give it a try. She sewed it together the way I had it pinned, and that was the first version of Triversible."
That "first version" happened to be the prototype for Brown's invention. Rather than waste time and money buying kids additional shirts to set them apart in practice, Brown put all three shirts into one garment. Athletes just reach inside the jersey to grab the top of whichever color is needed, pull it back out and then get right back to practice. Initially called the Triple Threat Jersey, Brown found more of a ring to the name Triversible Jersey and trademarked the logo and name in 2015.
From the many years and levels Brown coached, he always tried to manage the time in practice down to the minute. “I’m a big believer in working as hard as you can the whole practice and then not conditioning at the end. Because of this I planned out every minute and expected my players to be prepared and thinking ahead in drills and scrimmages. I felt like we all lost time when a kid had to go over to get his jersey after being on the skins team or borrow from a teammate – it just seemed like we lost intensity and focus as a group.” After 15 years of coaching Brown realized the real issue was the kids didn’t have the gear they needed to maintain the practice pace he desired.
"The whole process of securing a patent is just amazing from how long it takes to how thorough it is.” In April of 2015 Brown received the patent for his design. “To embark upon the patent process is also expensive, so you really want to make sure it doesn't already exist. Once you bite the bullet and go for it, it's a process, and you really have to be all in.”
“I decided to have my seamstress make three or four more samples just to try with the kids on my team to see what they thought. They said they were great.” He then took the official jump to become the CEO of Triversible, LLC, and he found a manufacturer in California to produce the jerseys in larger numbers.
"We wore those for a year, the second year we had more made. At that time, our manufacturer couldn't screen-print them. They would drop ship them straight to the customer, but then the customer was left to screen print on their own. Basically after our third year of the process, I got hooked up with Game Gear out of Salt Lake City, a made in the USA manufacturer. Game Gear can manufacture all the materials, cut the fabrics, screen-print them and drop ship them directly to the customer," Brown says.
The addition of Game Gear allowed Brown's product to reach much farther than he was able to take it himself. "Game Gear has dealers all across the nation, and all their dealers are now selling Triversibles on their own, so it was a good fit for us too at that time," Brown says. "In addition to connecting with Game Gear, we developed our first informative website, and the combination of the two allowed us to reach a larger market in the basketball world."
Triversible’s current plan is to move to the next level of offering online uniform designers for people to design their own jerseys. “Another large undertaking for us,” Brown says. “The concept is that we can get people their jerseys at a lower price point and also provide the exact colors they want. The beauty of Triversible is that people can get any three colors they want – Green, Pink and Columbia Blue let’s say… we can do it! And I think that’s a cool thing for teams, so we are going to keep that option and not just stock common colors. In 2015 Triversible will have turnaround times in the 4-5 week range because of the decision to not stock jerseys. We will move towards addressing that time frame in 2016 as we would really like to get things in line so that we can get people any color combo they want, completely screened, in ten days or less.”
So far, the Triversibles have been received very well in the coaching community. “We have sold all over the nation and into other countries in the past year,” says Brown. “It’s been really affirming to hear all the other coaches who say, ‘I need that third color!’”
"We have 19 players on our team this year, and it makes it extremely convenient for logistical purposes to divide into three different teams," Freeport, Pennsylvania High School boys basketball coach Mike Beale says. "Our upperclassmen agree that Triversibles are the best practice jerseys we have purchased over their careers."
As word spread about Brown's revolutionary basketball practice aid, more sports emerged where the need for 3 color options existed.
"The lacrosse version has come out just in the last few months, and there's a lot of interest in this design since lacrosse practices are similar to basketball where they need three colors daily to get through the session," Brown says.
In November 2015, Triversible will be unveiling the new soccer version which will allow the design to reach into the soccer world as well as physical education classes.
"The basic design for them all is the same. They're just different cuts, basketball versions need to fit the shoulders right, lacrosse versions need room for the pads, and the soccer versions have to be light and durable," Brown explains.
The use of Triversibles in academies and camps is another area the jersey's inventor would like to tap into heavily. "We're really trying to get into summer basketball academies where they have several hundred kids coming to the academy. The ones who use the design are starting to use the colors to their advantage for organizing – first graders in black/white/green, second graders in black/white/yellow etc. It’s awesome to see it unfold," Dave Brown says.
David Brown adds, “It’s a big boy business to try and stand up next to the likes of Nike and Adidas as a former physical education teacher and basketball coach! The process of getting to where we are now has taken a lot of strategic marketing and planning. We are committed to developing the Triversible brand in a way that will meet the needs of our customers, and every year we are progressing by listening to our many users who say, ‘We’re never going back to reversible jerseys again!”
Dave Brown - CEO