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building the brand of a youth entrepreneur

Situation Analysis

Prolific entrepreneur Sam Zietz has successfully launched several businesses in the financial technology and solutions space- an achievement, it soon became clear, that was a source of inspiration for his children as they considered their own career paths, especially his 14-year-old daughter Rachel. During a Junior Entrepreneur program within her Boca Raton community, Rachel was tasked with creating the concept for a service or product for the consumer or b2b market. An avid lacrosse player who was frustrated with the lack of affordable, quality equipment options, Rachel had an idea to create a higher-quality lacrosse training equipment line at an affordable price point. But Rachel didn’t stop with conceptualizing the business- she actually built it.


At 14 years old and with the support of her entrepreneur father, Rachel found herself building her first business, Gladiator Lacrosse. Within months on the market, her line did in fact become one of the best-selling and top-rated products on Amazon. As the father of a 14-year-old founder and CEO with a successful company, Sam, our existing client, tasked us with supporting the growth of Gladiator Lacrosse.


We knew that uniqueness of the story of the brand was in the impressiveness of the age and accomplishments of its young founder, and that this would be the hook that media would grab onto. We created a public relations strategy that would not only create greater visibility for the Gladiator Lacrosse brand and its profits, but also one that would elevate Rachel’s reputation as a young, successful entrepreneur. 


We created the messaging around the product line and the significant accomplishments of its bright young founder. We conducted media outreach for feature stories on Rachel and her company in everything from national business and consumer media, to regional and community newspapers. We also nominated and secured wins for Rachel in entrepreneur and young business leader awards across the country, and coordinated speaking opportunities for her at regional business and youth leadership events. 


Some of the earliest media placements we secured for Rachel included Entrepreneur, Forbes, South Florida Sun Sentinel, and South Florida Business Journal, but most notably, we were able to secure a major feature story in The New York TImes that focused on entrepreneurism as a family affair. Sam, Rachel and the entire Zietz family appeared on the front page of The New York Times business section, sitting in the living room of their Boca Raton home under the headline: “Entrepreneurs Raising the Next Generation of Chief Executives.” 


Soon after some of the earliest coverage on Rachel’s success, she received a call from the producers of Shark Tank, presenting her with the opportunity to appear on the show, which she gladly accepted.


Our PR program for Gladiator Lacrosse began about eight months into its first year on the market- a year that ultimately saw $200,000 in sales for the company. After our PR program and resulting exposure, Gladiator Lacrosse grossed more than $1.5 million in sales by the close of year two. In 2016, Rachel was named one of TIME Magazine's Most Influential Teens and Fortune Magazine’s list of Entrepreneurs Under 18. To this day, the profitable sports line continues to thrive, and Rachel continues to receive recognition and notoriety for her early success and ongoing entrepreneurial journey.

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