Paul Guarino was ahead of his time when he started PG Sports as a Twitter page in 2011. Initially, the West Haven, CT native created a simple logo and shirts to promote the newly formed brand. As Guarino gained followers and interest grew in the shirts, he knew it was time for an upgrade.
After predicting the exact score of Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants vs the Patriots, Guarino connected with a graphic designer, Corey Jeppesen. Jeppesen created the logo PG Sports uses today. Once the logo was official, Guarino began reaching out to athletes via social media. The ask was simple, PG Sports would send the gear and in return the athletes would tweet it out to their followers or send Guarino a picture he could use to promote the brand. In 2019, this is a common practice nearly every brand uses, but in 2011 not many were doing it.
The first few athletes connected to PG Sports were former MLB All-Star Chuck Knobloch, former NFL player Rob Jackson (West Haven native), MLB All-Star Brandon Phillips and WNBA All-Star Renee Montgomery. Since then, Paul has made a lot of connections in the sports world. Today, PG Sports’ accounts have a combined social media following of 42,000 people. What started as a Twitter page has turned into a multifaceted brand, complete with custom apparel, a regular podcast, and a YouTube show called the My Why Series.
PG Sports’ slogan, Everywhere & Anywhere, is universal and relatable to almost everyone. That was intentional. “I feel like a lot of people like/want to be Everywhere & Anywhere,” said Guarino.
When Paul is looking for fresh apparel ideas, his life serves as the inspiration. At 10 years old, Paul was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). “I always knew I wasn’t physically the same as most when I was younger … Now it is what it is. I adapt and figure it out,” Paul said.
“The ‘Chip on My Shoulder’ tee literally has quotes on the back of the design with stuff companies said to me when I got rejected from jobs,” said Guarino. “I think you get inspiration from everything you do.”
Guarino’s business partner, Aaron Burrell, conceptualized the idea behind the “My Why Series”, a YouTube show that regularly features a variety of athletes. Guarino produces the show and sets up everything behind the scenes. “The interviews show the athletes in a great, relatable light which I think is very important because then people can relate to them more,” said Paul.
Aside from meeting Brandon Phillips, a “pinch-me” moment for Guarino was getting to interview David Beckerman on his podcast, Average to Savage. Beckerman is the founder of one of the 90’s most prolific sports apparel brands, Starter. “It was great to pick his brain,” said Paul of the fellow Connecticut local.
For those thinking about becoming entrepreneurs in the sports world, Guarino has some advice. “Consistency is key. You’re going to have ups and downs in business just like in life.”
Paul Guarino is still looking for his big “why” but in the meantime, you can find him Everywhere & Anywhere.