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        Newsroom — CEO

        Inventor Spotlight: Phenom Elite Is Ready to Partner with Your Team

        Inventor Spotlight: Phenom Elite Is Ready to Partner with Your Team
        Founded in 2013, Phenom Elite CEO and Founder Nathan Dorton was inspired to break down the process behind the creation of the gloves used by his college football team. Needless to say, he did it. What started as a $65 loan from his dad is now a company committed to providing the highest quality equipment to large and small teams at all levels of play, with Nathan still at the helm. Click the image to read more...

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        Columbia father-son duo take their sports apparel company to professional football

        Columbia father-son duo take their sports apparel company to professional football

        COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A local sportswear company, Phenom Elite, has announced their partnership with the Arena Football League for their biggest deal to date. The father-son duo behind the brand is now in charge of providing apparel for all six of the league’s teams. Custom-designed and produced uniforms for the AFL’s 2019 season were unveiled at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. last week.

        Nathan Dorton and his father, Wes Dorton, serve as Phenom Elite's CEO and CFO, respectively. They say that their company has only grown since its founding six years ago, beginning with 65 dollars and a dream.

        When Nathan left college football, he noticed that players were responsible for paying for their uniforms. He immediately began searching for ways to create his own.

        Nathan then used his father’s 65-dollar-investment to make his first pair of football gloves. It wasn’t long after that before he made his first official sale to a team that he had previously played on. “Our first order ever was back to the school I had just came from,” Nathan said, “and we sold like 20-something pairs of custom gloves. So after that happened we were like - wait a second, we can probably do this for every small school, college, high school and program in the country and then it just started to evolve from there.”

        Flash forward to today, the Dortons have expanded beyond football gloves to create a variety of items, such as jerseys and footwear. They say that Phenom Elite's increased business has only made their relationship stronger.

        “For me personally, I feel like I’m living the dream to work with my son,” Wes said as he beamed. “That’s just awesome.”

        As the apparel provider grows, the Dortons’ roots run deep in Columbia. Wes Dorton explains that since their family has embodied the “Friday Night Lights” lifestyle for over 20 years in Irmo, it is especially meaningful to them to see local teams wear Phenom Elite uniforms.

        “We lived Friday Night Lights. He was the captain, his younger brother played varsity, their baby sister was a cheerleader and I was on the sidelines. That’s what neat - to be able to go into the community and see our apparel on kids that are now playing on Friday nights,” Wes said.

        From a single pair of gloves, to creating every uniform for America's second oldest and longest-running professional football league, Phenom Elite is welcoming change. Whether it be for a high school in Columbia or the Arena Football League, the company plans to continue providing quality sportswear for all types of football teams in the future.

        Copyright 2019 WIS. All rights reserved.

        Columbia native’s vision now on players’ hands

        Columbia native’s vision now on players’ hands

        Original Article by: Cathy Cobb via The Columbia Star (khakico@gmail.com -- thecolumbiastar.com)

        Emmanuel Arceneaux, wide receiver for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) believes in the Phenom Elite glove. He played college football at Alcorn State University.

        “These gloves are so sticky, they should be illegal” –former NFL All-Star Randy Moss. But they aren’t, and Columbia resident Nathan Dorton is the man who can take credit for that.

        Dorton, a former collegiate football player who is now in his fourth year as part of the coaching staff at Palmetto Prep Academy, envisioned a custom glove had the “stick- ability” that college and professional athletes desired.

        That is how Phenom Elite became a reality. Using just $65, he made a prototype glove that was more effective, as well as adhered to the standards dictated by high schools, NCAA schools, and the National Football League.

        About six months into the process, Dorton partnered with Josh Ortegon, a sports performance coach and friend, to take the product to market. The gloves have grown in popularity on all levels. Local schools like Blythewood, River Bluff, and Lexington use the gloves, and the gloves are also being worn by players with the University of Southern Miss, North Carolina Central University, Alcorn State, and Elmhurst College.

        Right now there is a 10-glove minimum for custom orders, and a limited number of gloves are available through T&T Sports and other retailers, but Dorton is working to develop a higher profile for the gloves and related gear.

        “We have dreams to grow the company and possibly be bought out by a big company like Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour,” Dorton said.

        The growth has also reached the professional levels. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions out of Tennessee, and fellow teammate Brandon Copeland, wear the gloves. Canadian Football League’s Emmanuel Arceneaux is also a believer. And the aforementioned Moss has now endorsed the product and is partnering to take it to retail stores nationwide.

        “Phenom Elite is honestly the best uniform company I’ve worked with,” said Adam Barnhardt Former GM of the Bemidji Axemen, an Indoor Football League. “They provide uniforms that rival the likes of Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, but you get everything completely custom from the ground up. The customer service is outstanding,”

        Meanwhile, Dorton continues to work as an offensive coach and recruiter with his father, Wes Dorton, who has been coaching Palmetto Prep since its inception in 2011. The team in 2017 reached an important milestone when one of its former players, Jac’Que Polite, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.

        For more information about Phenom Elite, visit phenomelite.com

        Follow Nathan Dorton -- Twitter: @natedorton | Instagram: @natedorton