San Diego Entrepreneur Dasean Cunningham Unveils New Company
• Where Protection Meets Expression •
San Diego, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2015) – When it comes to protecting your teeth while playing contact sports, athletes, coaches and parents alike know that mouth guards are essential to ensuring one’s smile. But what if that smile, that personal expression, could be featured right on the mouth guard itself? That opportunity has now arrived in the form of LOUDMOUTHGUARDS, the brainchild of a former San Diego high school wide receiver and track star who has maintained strong ties to the local sports scene.
Dasean Cunningham, 30, is now in his fifth year as a financial advisor at Wells Fargo. He’s also a dreamer with big ideas who earned a full ride to USC on a track scholarship. As a high school senior in 2003 at University City High, Cunningham set California's top time in the 400 meters with a mark of 47.58. But it was his connection on the gridiron – namely with former Helix High, USC and now San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush – that turned his vision for creative sports expression into a reality.
“As a close personal friend of Reggie’s, I was right in the middle of the national hysteria he created in 2005 [as a junior running back at USC] when he started inscribing ‘619’ [his area code] on his eye black strips,” said Cunningham. “It both fascinated and infuriated me that my friend had started a national trend but wasn’t in a position to capitalize on it. Then a few years later when my nephew and some of his buddies started coloring in their mouth guards to resemble shark’s teeth, I knew I was looking at a winner and didn’t want to see that same mistake happen twice.”
Teaming with 38-year-old Kevin Gniadek, a former standout receiver and return specialist at Worcester (MA) State University and a one-time product developer at the Upper Deck Company in Carlsbad, Cunningham is now the co-founder of LOUDMOUTHGUARDS.
“We did our due diligence,” he said. “We found out that not only is our concept unique, but that there’s a genuine need for something like this in the marketplace. Right now we just need to get the word out.”
The San Diego-based company’s mission is simple: Produce quality constructed athletic goods that provide a platform for unique personalization and customization for consumers. Its target demographic: athletes ages 5 to 18. In less than a year’s time since the product’s debut last fall, LOUDMOUTHGUARDS is already proving popular with youth football leagues, as well as many high school and college programs. Last December, in fact, LOUDMOUTHGUARDS brain trust donated more than 400 mouth guards to the four college football teams participating in the two bowl games staged in San Diego – the Poinsettia and Holiday bowl games played at Qualcomm Stadium. As a result, players from Navy and San Diego State (Poinsettia Bowl) as well as Nebraska and USC (Holiday Bowl) were wearing the custom-designed mouth guards.
“We collaborated with members of both Bowl Committees and were granted the incredible opportunity to share our designs,” said Cunningham.
Word has moved up the ranks as well. NFL players including San Diego Chargers wideout Keenan Allen and Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman have been spotted wearing LOUDMOUTHGUARDS in multiple games this season.
Even Bush himself has placed a large order for his Alma matter, Helix High School in La Mesa. “They’re cool, fun and different,” said Cunningham. One element that makes LOUDMOUTHGUARDS different from its competition is that it offers a lip protector style with a detachable strap. Its mouth guards also boast dual action breathing holes and are 100% customizable with team logos and team colors. What’s more, LOUDMOUTHGUARDS do not require boiling as they are made of medical grade silicone that also makes them “braces friendly.”
“We believe we have an enthusiastic brand with its finger on the pulse of today’s young athlete,” added Cunningham, who has conducted multiple focus groups locally to improve the product. “We have and always will listen to what the athletes have to say. Their feedback will help us stay ahead of the curve in the mouth guard market.”
Competitively priced at just $14.99 per unit, LOUDMOUTHGUARDS can also be purchased in bulk by youth teams and schools, which will result in significant cost savings. A minimum bulk order must consist of 100 or more units. The company’s tagline sums things up perfectly: “Where Protection Meets Expression.”
For more information on LOUDMOUTHGUARDS, or to place an order, please visit www.loudmouthguards.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For spring 2016 fulfillment, orders must be placed by Friday, October 16.