A Knox County native has seen his apparel line spread across the country since launching in 2017. Steelo Brand gear has been seen as far away as Los Angeles and on ESPN.
Zach Earls started Steelo Brand in 2017 while working as team manager for the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team. He and UK star Makayla Epps were throwing out potential names and “Steelo” stuck. “It means Swagger,” Earls says, “Everyone wants to make sure what they’re wearing makes them stand out from everyone else.”
Earls says the brand has grown tremendously since he started, going from purchasing wholesale tees to working with three factories overseas. Various travel teams and high schools from the local area and other states wear Steelo Brand jerseys. Earls has even worked with Jordan brand on jerseys for a Los Angeles based basketball league. Earls has also worked with legendary agent Drew Rosenhaus, who frequently wears Steelo apparel on camera.
“My goal for Steelo Brand is to help sports within our community,” earls said. He envisions local schools wearing Steelo gear and “showing everyone else that we don’t have to wear Nike or Adidas to have the best equipment or look the best.”
Earls wants to use the brand to generate buzz around local athletes. Steelo Brand was set to host its first 13th Region All-Star game this year before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Still, Earls wants the event to become an annual showcase of the region’s talent and eventually do the same for other sports too.
Right now, Steelo Brand is best known for custom sports apparel, making team jerseys and gear for all sports. The company does have a selection of t-shirts, hoodies, workout gear, and more online at Steelobrand.com. Earls also recently released a Steelo Brand shoe line also available online.