Product Profile: Gripscholar Customized Overgrips
MSRP: $3.99 for a pre-printed grip; cost of bulk order varies depending on order size.
Facts: Long-time tennis player and coach Dan Griffin had an ambitious aim: To create an overgrip that would offer both tackiness and durability—along with logo customization for players, teams, clubs, and schools. A partnership with the Collegiate Licensing Company and Licensing Resource Group permits Gripscholar access to official logos of schools and universities. Gripscholar produced its first customized collegiate team grips for MIT and has since made them for Harvard, Yale, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
Tennis grips are the company’s top seller, though it also makes customized overgrips for badminton and squash racquets, as well as field hockey wraps and overgrips for golf clubs, baseball bats, and softball bats. There is a minimum order of 50 pieces, with discounts provided for orders of 500 grips or more, and a one-time set-up fee of $50 for customized grips, though Gripscholar says it waives the fee for high school teams, college teams, and charities.
Impressions: Some players can be as devoted to their grip as they are to their doubles partner. The challenge designers faced was finding the correct combination of material and dye to provide a secure grip without sweat and humidity conspiring to smear the ink into a multi-colored mess. Thankfully, like M&M’s, these won’t melt in your hand. The icons and logos don’t degrade rapidly, and the grips are available in a variety of widths and degrees of tackiness to accommodate the most sensitive handle holders. Team mascots, logos, or colors can be customized on the grip with motivational messages (imagine a “Vamos!” or “Dig Down Deep!”) in the near future. These grips add both personality—crossed racquets, smiley faces and, hearts are among the brand’s popular pre-printed graphics—and uniformity to an often overlooked piece of gear.
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