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        Newsroom — nathan dorton

        Phenom Elite Gloves Will Steal the Attention

        Phenom Elite Gloves Will Steal the Attention

        Phenom Elite Brand Founder Nathan Dorton is a former walk-on wide receiver at Appalachian State. He admits he was never the most athletic player on the field. So, he looked for ways to gain an advantage on the competition. One way he did that was to deck himself out in the most technologically advanced football gloves on the market. Since his playing days, Dorton has started a company that produces those very gloves. Click the image to read more...

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        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.

        Phenom Elite partners with the Arena Football League

        Phenom Elite partners with the Arena Football League


        For the Custom Design and Production of The New Uniforms, The League Partnered with Phenom Elite, An Up-And-Coming Manufacturer of High-quality Uniforms & Apparel 

        PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (April 8, 2019) - Today, the Arena Football League (AFL) officially unveiled new uniforms for their 2019 season during a press conference at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. For the custom design and production of the new uniforms, the AFL partnered with Phenom Elite, an up-and-coming manufacturer of high-quality uniforms and apparel. 

        During the event, new uniforms were presented for all of the teams in the league, including the Albany Empire, Atlantic City Blackjacks, Baltimore Brigade, Columbus Destroyers, Philadelphia Soul and the Washington Valor. Remarks were also provided by Randall Boe, AFL Commissioner, Nathan Dorton, CEO of Phenom Elite, Ted Leonsis, CEO of Monumental Sports and Ron Jaworski, Chairman of the AFL Executive Committee. 

        “Phenom elite has designed exciting uniforms for the AFL that fit perfectly with the league’s fast-paced, exciting, high-scoring games,” said AFL Commissioner, Randall Boe.

        Teams had the opportunity to design their respective uniforms in a distinctly unique manner, incorporating their own original concepts. To ensure long-lasting quality, the new uniform designs were all dyed directly onto the jerseys and pants to prevent cracks, peels or fading. 

        “Growing up, I was always a fan of the Arena Football League, so to have the opportunity to collaborate with them on this initiative is really special,” said Nathan Dorton, CEO of Phenom Elite. “We’re honored to be working with a professional organization of this caliber, and look forward to seeing the new uniforms in action during the upcoming season.”

        The unveiling of the new uniforms coincides with the AFL’s recent push to become the most innovative league in sports. With a strong emphasis on delivering a high-quality, action-packed entertainment experience for fans, the league continues to expand its reach and fan base. The AFL’s 32nd season officially kicks off April 26th and 27th.

        For more information, or to request an interview with a representative from the Arena Football League, please contact Devan West directly at dw@neffassociates.com or (610) 428-3166. Professional photography is also available upon request.


        The Arena Football League (AFL) enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to a significant number of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, O.H., the League totals six teams, all of which will play 12 regular-season games in2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Columbus, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The League can be found on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.

        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