Dux Sports has already made its presence known in its home of Puerto Rico, but will now usher in a new era on the hands of Angels’ catcher Rene Rivera.
“It is a dream come true to ink our first Major League deal with a Puerto Rican player,” Dux Sports co-founder and CEO Richard Gonzalez said. “We are very excited to be working with an amazing catcher with many years of experience in the game. We cannot wait to see other players joining the club.”
The deal will put Dux batting gloves on Rivera. The Dux “SWAG” has made inroads throughout its native land with a combination of compression pants, arm sleeves, wristbands and headbands, along with training undershirts, sunglasses and custom uniforms.
Dux Sports started as a passion project, Gonzalez said, to provide free baseball clinics across Puerto Rico in order to inspire youth to chase their dreams. Over the past two years, Dux has sponsored Puerto Rico’s under-23 and under-15 national teams.
“Our commitment to Puerto Rico is our priority,” Gonzalez said. “We want to see fewer kids on the street and more in the field. We believe wholeheartedly that our SWAG program is making a huge difference in kids’ lives.”
The company aims for higher visibility by signing Rivera, a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and nine-year major league veteran.
The Dux glove uses a combination of sheep-skin digital leather and a flexible patent leather to offer a combination of comfort and grip. The shiny patent leather offers up a Dux swag and style, the brand said. Patent leather hasn’t proven a common material on batting gloves because of the innate stiffness, but by mixing in other leather styles, Dux created a fresh perspective on the glove.
“We want to become the brand that does not only create amazing apparel,” Gonzalez said, “but also the one inspiring kids to become the next superstars and the one that every Puerto Rican player wears with pride.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.