By: Hikari Matsuo

While most kids were outside playing with their toys School of Information Studies (iSchool) junior Dan Goldberg, was in the gym diligently practicing combat martial arts sport Muay Thai at only 12 years old. Day in and day out, Goldberg would receive several injuries at once, both minor and major. Some would be so severe that he would have to miss fights to recover. Instead of dwelling on bandages and bruises, Goldberg said, “These injuries can be easily prevented with the proper gear. There have to be others out there with the similar, or the same experiences.” His entrepreneurial thinking and innovative ideas gave birth to his successful company, Golden Gear MMA, in 2009.

Golden Gear is a combat sport equipment company born from Goldberg’s desire to make the world’s best gear for athletes to train harder, faster, stronger, and with high performance. With 11 years of combat sports experience, Goldberg knows firsthand how it feels to fight without the proper equipment, recalling those early constant injuries that would prevent him from becoming the best athlete. Prior to creating his first glove, Goldberg rigorously researched how athletes could be protected with the best gear while simultaneously promoting individual performance enhancement. 

Golden Gear has a unique mission to cater to each athlete’s safety needs. Instead of aiming for mass production and corporate-level sales, Golden Gear strives for custom orders for serious or professional athletes. Each glove is handcrafted to fit an individual athlete’s hand in its natural stance, a fairly new feature to most mass produced combat sports gloves. Certain athletes are even so used to this unnatural position that they prefer it. Goldberg believes in the human hand’s natural protective stance and found it effective with considerable research. 

Golden Gear currently does not have any sponsorships and does not intend to pay for any in the upcoming future. However, professional athletes sponsored by other companies have come to Goldberg asking for last minute equipment to use for fights. These athletes openly shared the lack of quality of competing protection, making it difficult to fight to their fullest potential. Testimonials of professional athletes found on the company website prove to Goldberg how effective his philosophy behind Golden Gear is. 

Goldberg is currently spending his summer full time in New York City with Golden Gear and Diamond MMA, his newest partnership. Diamond MMA provides groin protection equipment for high-impact sports. While the two companies are not directly connected, Goldberg joined the team because of their similar sport protection philosophies and vision. Both companies strive to bring the best protection for athletes. 

Close to his home in Long Island, Goldberg chose NYC for its various connections in the fitness and combat sport industry. As part of his job as CEO at Golden Gear, Goldberg frequently travels across NYC to visit local gyms to sell his product line to those gyms and talk with serious athletes. While Goldberg does not intend to advertise both Golden Gear and Diamond MMA at the same time, he often finds himself promoting both based on their similar intentions and goals.

In August, Goldberg and his team will be introducing Golden Gear’s new locking and fastening system for the product line. This is not just another feature to separate itself from competitors, but it helps to define Golden Gear’s vision to physically protect athletes so they can train harder with limited risk of injury.

Currently, Goldberg has three Syracuse University students on board and one non-SU affiliate on his team with Golden Gear. With sales increasing every day, Goldberg points out that he hopes to steer away from quantity of sales and increase the value of equipment through custom orders and more innovative technology. Goldberg hopes to eventually incorporate a boutique style approach to Golden Gear by putting an emphasis on individual value.

With Golden Gear and Diamond MMA, Goldberg appears more determined than ever to continue improving company sales and branding, and his passion for entrepreneurship through combat sports remains constant.