It wasn’t invented here, but in some ways, Texas has made cheerleading the sport it is today.
In 1948, an SMU student named Lawrence Herkimer made a leap into the air that transformed cheerleading from the era of raccoon coats and pennants to the highly physical activity we’d recognize today. The Herkie jump is still a classic, and his Texas cheerleading camps were the first in the nation.
He also founded the National Cheerleader’s Association, which would go on to become part of of Varsity Brands, a cheerleading behemoth that hosts competitions, holds camps, and manufactures cheerleading uniforms. So influential is the brand that it has been more or less the only option for cheer wear – smaller competitors haven’t had a chance.
That is until an upstart emerged. Dallas-based Rebel Athletic has become so successful in such a short time that it’s shaking up the industry.
Karen Noseff Aldridge, founder of Rebel Athletics, says entering the market with little knowledge about competitive cheerleading actually worked to the company’s advantage.
“We didn’t know what couldn’t be done,” Aldridge says. “Our ignorance actually saved us.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– How Aldridge got into the business
– The challenges the company has faced
– How they’re going up against one of the biggest names in the industry