A major in Sports Management, studies in marketing, and a fair amount of hard work really paid off for Paul Guarino. While a full time student at Sacred Heart University, Guarino created his own line of branded sportswear, PG Sports. It didn’t take long for PG Sports to gain traction followed by a Sacred Heart news story that cited this quote from Dr. Russell Engel, assistant professor in SHU’s department of Economics and Finance:
“We expect to see our students do well in the classroom, but to see a student taking the initiative to start being an entrepreneur is pretty impressive. Most of the business professors didn’t even know he’s been doing this, but now we’re all impressed with the level of effort he’s putting in, as well as with the outcomes.”
Another win for Guarino was getting support from pro athletes such as
- Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds second baseman
- Chuck Knoblauch, former New York Yankees second baseman
- Rob Jackson, former Redskins left back
- MarShon Brooks, Brooklyn Nets guard
- Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets center
In March 2014, Connecticut Magazine posted an article about PG Sports. At that time Guarino had already sold 600 t-shirts in a variety of themes such as Everywhere & Anywhere, Support Our Troops, and breast cancer awareness with proceeds going to Veteran Angler Charters and Susan G. Komen.
Guarino graduated in May with a degree in Sports Management. This past August he returned to Sacred Heart to pursue a masters degree in Sports Communications and Media which he anticipates completing August 2015. We caught up with Guarino to get the latest updates on his business and what find out what’s next.
You’re currently selling t-shirts and baseball hats. Do you plan to expand the line?
Yes possibly sweatshirts. I usually come out with beanies for the winter.
PG Sports founder and CEO, Paul Guarino
How many products have you sold to date?
Where do you find inspiration for your themes such as Everywhere & Anywhere and #TackleBreastCancer?
Everywhere & Anywhere came from the idea that I want everyone to wear PG Sports products all over the world.
Since this was my third breast cancer tee I had to change it up. Since it’s football season and breast cancer awareness month I put them together and created #tacklebreastcancer
Do you have any new notable supporters wearing PG Sports?
- Chris Antonetti, Cleveland Indians VP
- Rookie Billy Turner, OT of the Miami Dolphins
- Amobi Okugo, MLS player for Philadelphia Union
- Jeff Ruby, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
- WNBA player Renee Montgomery, Connecticut Sun
- Connecticut rapper Chris Webby
What do you enjoy most about developing and marketing your brand?
Seeing people enjoy it and hearing fan feedback.
What do you find the most challenging?
Coming up with different ideas and trying to find new patterns for tees or hats.
What is your ultimate goal for the brand?
After I graduate I plan to get a job in sports and invest my money in PG Sports. My ultimate goal is to turn PG Sports into an agency and then have my players wear PG Sports.
What advice would you give to college grads looking to start their own businesses?
You have to be motivated, consistent, and patient.