Arts / Ecommerce / Sports

Can this South Jersey startup take on Nike and Under Armour?

Spun out of an athletic training center, Endeavor Athletic says its gear will keep you dry and cool.

Endeavor Athletic apparel in action. (Courtesy photo)

Colby Cohen thinks too many athletic apparel brands don’t deliver on their promises, especially when it comes to keeping you dry and sweat-free.
As a former professional hockey player who played for the Boston Bruins when they won the 2011 Stanley Cup, the Villanova native knows how gross sweaty clothes can feel during a training session. Now, as managing partner for Endeavor Athletic, he oversees the day-to-day operations for the startup that launched a line of performance sports apparel he believes can prove itself among the likes of Nike and Under Armour.
“We wanted a product that actually did what it said it did,” said Cohen, who lives in Northern Liberties.
Endeavor Athletic launched an ecommerce site last month and is based between its distribution center in Northeast Philly and the South Jersey office of Endeavor Sports Performance, the athletic training center that Endeavor Athletic spun out of. Because of its tie to the training center, the company hopes consumers will have faith that Endeavor’s line of men’s and women’s training gear are made with the athlete and fitness enthusiast in mind.
The pieces will run you from $58 (a men’s tee) to $95 (a men’s pullover hoodie).
Endeavor’s special sauce is a fabric originally developed for space exploration called Trizar, which helps regulate body temperature by pulling the sweat away from your skin and helping evaporation, as well as reflecting heat from the sun, said Jim Mohan, head of design and brand.
It was Mohan who decided to use Trizar in Endeavor Athletic’s apparel. Mohan was recruited onto the current team of five employees by Endeavor CEO Jared Beach for the design work he had done for companies like Nike and Under Armour.
What made Mohan want to work for a startup?
“It was the first time I had complete autonomy with a line, and it would be everything I always wanted to do but couldn’t due to various corporate restraints,” said Mohan, who lives in the Bay Area.
It also gave him a chance to develop products that truly fit athletes and their needs, something he felt the industry doesn’t pay enough attention to.
“When you’re more comfortable because of those things, you’ll do more and be more mentally ready to do more,” he added.
That mission has grabbed the attention of a number of people, like 2008 Olympic medalist and gymnast Samantha Peszek.

The company’s main focus at the moment is handling orders directly with consumers through the site, but there are talks of having a brick-and-mortar store or getting into some of the boutiques around Philly, said Cohen. The company’s most recent trunk show was this past weekend at Michigan’s Xceleration Fitness.

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