Gladiator Lacrosse was founded in 2013 by then-13-year old seventh-grade entrepreneur and lacrosse player, Rachel Zietz. Like every player wishing to improve his or her game, Rachel’s coaches advised her to play “wall ball” and practice her shot as much as possible. However, the quality of the products she purchased for use in the backyard would not hold up to the weather outdoors and were expensive.
It is through this experience in which Gladiator Lacrosse was born. Rachel saw an opportunity and founded the lacrosse equipment company in hopes to bring better lacrosse products to the market.
Now, Rachel Zietz is 15 years old and is ready to play in the big leagues. Rachel will appear on the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” on May 13, where she will pitch her business idea to the world famous Sharks in hopes to partner and take her business to the next level.
In reality, Rachel has already appeared on the show but she has just recently learned that her taped segment will be featured on the show.
“I was very scared and nervous, but I also felt prepared,” Rachel said. “I knew I had a great product.”
Rachel’s father helped her prepare for the moment. Sam Zietz, who is a Boca Raton entrepreneur himself and the founder of TouchSuite, said that he helped his daughter prepare by gathering friends and simulating the Sharks tough rounds of questioning. “I told them, ‘You can’t take it easy on her.’”
Of course, Rachel is not allowed to say whether any Sharks (or possibly more than one shark) gave her an offer for her business partnership, but she was relieved that she “was pretty much able to answer” their questions about her business. She has seen the Sharks humiliate entrepreneurs who are not able to answer basic questions about their businesses.
All of the Sharks “have their own way of looking at things,” she said. “I learned from them as much as the people going on the show.”
Lacrosse is still a new and emerging sport, so it is no wonder that there was an opening in the market. Rachel said that as a lacrosse player, she was unhappy with the quality of lacrosse products and felt that the price was too high for most of the equipment and gear.
Things are only looking up for Rachel. Recently, she partnered with Casey Powell and his signature equipment brand. Casey is a professional player.
Gladiator lacrosse has annual revenues of more than $1 million. The company now has three employees. A photo of the Sharks is already on the homepage of the Gladiator Lacrosse website, and Rachel expects to see a spike in sales once the show aires.
Sam Zietz and his wife Sheila couldn’t be prouder of Rachel. We give her the Boca News stamp of approval. Good luck to you Rachel. Go teach them sharks a lesson!
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