Sportswear performance company ZGuards has launched its inaugural product: the ZGuards SmartSleeve, a customizable protective, sweat-absorbing compressive sport sleeve worn on the forearm that is embedded with a proprietary chip that can be scanned with a smartphone to download content.
The introduction was staged in a corporate box at Yankee Stadium, with ex-New York Yankee Rubén Sierra and ex-New York Knick John Starks in attendance to testify to the athletic benefits of the SmartSleeve, while company principal Albert Spies showed off its benefits as a data receptacle and potential marketing tool for retailers. Spies was a 9/11 first responder whose resulting illness inspired him to develop a product that would help to protect others.
At the product launch, Spies, along with Craig Rizzieri, marketing manager for retailer Jacob & Company, demonstrated how that company’s costly and voluminous full-color portfolios of luxury jewelry could be contained on the SmartSleeve’s chip and simply downloaded onto a smartphone by clients not interested in lugging around two thick books printed on heavy stock. Rizzieri said the SmartSleeve serves as “an effective marketing tool for our product line, benefiting both the consumer and our brand. It allows us to express and promote our brand and our entire portfolio like never before.”
As for its utility for athletes (both amateur and those hoping to go pro), they can wear the sleeve for support while also using it to digitally carry around statistical data such as personal highlights videos, which can then be shared with teammates, friends and talent scouts.
The SmartSleeve will be sold at first through pre-orders on the company’s zguards.com web site, and there are plans to promote and sell them through an As Seen On TV campaign beginning at the end of August as well, said Spies; customization will also be available as an option.