Company Closeup: Paragon carving its way in the disc golf world

As disc golf continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, if not the world, more and more businesses related to the sport pop up.

But it’s not easy to get by on disc golf alone.

There are many stores where you can purchase disc golf supplies — from discs and bags to clothing and videos. Do a quick Google search for these places and you’re choices will be endless.

Too, most of the prices at these places are similar, thus making it more of a personal feel or choice.

With seeing all of this, it takes a little bit of hope and courage to make the jump into the world of selling disc golf ware.

Or, it takes for the right situation.

Take Miles Parkhill, for one. Parkhill is the owner of Paragon Disc Golf, a name that is starting to become more and more recognized inside disc golf circles.

Parkhill found something he thought was needed and used those talents to build Paragon.

A disc golfer for more than 15 years, Parkhill said when he was part of a band he used to print shirts. Once he finished doing the band “thing,” he started seeing how much disc golf was growing. But not everything was good, per say.

Take, for example, the shirts for his local club. The person doing the shirts was “doing a horrible job,” Parkhill said.

That was all he needed to start putting the idea together.

“I basically saw a need for tournament directors and clubs for stuff that disc golfers want,” he said. “A lot of different things that your local guy may be able to do but doesn’t do all the time, so he won’t be able to give you the quality of stuff.”

Feeling there was a need for this, Parkhill took the next step and created Paragon, a place where tournament directors and clubs could go to get disc golf-related clothing and merchandise. He also took the step of sponsoring professional players and tournaments.

“So I’m a source for their merchandise and a sponsor,” he said. “It helps both ways.”

His prices are solid, too, which helps clubs make a few extra bucks. The clubs get a cheaper price to put the Paragon logo on the shirt. That helps the clubs because they get the items for cheaper, but can still charge whatever they used to charge.

The prices are hard to match.

One of Paragon’s top sellers is mixing a Dry Fit shirt, bag tag and towel for $12.00. These setups are often used for clubs to raise money. If the club charges its members $25 or $30 as membership, the club just made a solid profit and can use the money toward courses or whatever else it needs to do.

Besides things in that package, Paragon also prints sweatshirts, polo shirts, towels, golf pencils, key chains, lanyards and more.

“Pretty much anything that you’d want to put your club logo on, we can do it,” Parkhill said.

You’ll not find things like baskets and discs with Parkhill, however. He said he’d rather be a company that does what they know, not doing everything.

“I could make discs, but there are so many people out there that already do that,” Parkhill said. “I don’t want to get into their market any more than I’d want them to get into mine.

“I’m comfortable just staying with the soft goods and not worrying about hard goods such as bags, discs, baskets and such,” he said.

Parkhill said he is always trying to do new things and keep things fresh by pushing boundaries of what’s possible and try not to get bored with all the same old things.

Paragon also sponsors professional players. When the company got into sponsoring, the first two players they sponsored were Will Schusterick and 2011 Women’s World Champion Paige Pierce.

“We saw them as up and coming,” Parkhill said. “They took off a lot faster than the company.”

Sarah Hokom (shown here during the 2011 Vibram Open) is part of the 16 players Paragon has sponsored for the 2012 season.

Paragon’s 16-player roster for 2012 includes Sarah Hokom, who placed second in the women’s National Tour standings last season.

The setup for Paragon’s pros is that they give the pros some swag, but pros now expect to get paid, Parkhill said. The company now has a layout where if a pro wins a certain tournament, they’ll get reimbursed for fees getting into the tournament.

“Now, it really takes money to make a team,” he said. “Before, people would do it just for the free stuff. Now, it’s ‘hey, I’m traveling all over the country spending thousands of dollars on gas and food and I need something out of this in return.’

“And I totally understand,” he continued. “We’ve condensed our team a little bit to be able to take care of the touring pros and hopefully help them.”

However, he said he can’t support them 100 percent at this point and most of them have manufacturers as the main sponsor and maybe some other secondary sponsors.

“It feels good to see your stuff out there,” he said. “Especially seeing as you’re the small guy in the sport still. You’re still used to seeing other company names. … It definitely feels good to see (Paragon) make it way out there in the world of disc golf.”

Add everything together as the company continue to grow, the future seems bright.

“The biggest thing is having good customer service,” Parkhill said. “People expect that and that you are going to ship stuff out quickly and you are going to handle problems that might arise with delivery. As long as you have that in your grasp and you can think fast, you’re going to do all right.”

Being a disc golfer isn’t a bad thing, either.

“Disc golf is very community oriented and seems like everybody has a loyalty toward disc golf,” he said. “I think that’s why I’ve done well. Because the loyalty disc golfers have toward another disc golfer starting up a company.”

Paragon on the web:

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IF you are the owner or run a disc golf business — small or large — and are interested in being featured as part of a Company Closeup, please contact us to discuss!

P.J. Harmer is the lead blogger for Rattling Chains. If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj [at] rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitterand like us on Facebook!

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0 thoughts on “Company Closeup: Paragon carving its way in the disc golf world

  1. I recently purchased some swag through Paragon and can vouch for Miles. He was fast to reply to my numerous emails and has been wonderful to work with. Thanks Paragon!

    Like

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