WICHITA — A father’s basement project to help his son better his baseball swing has turned into an entrepreneur’s foray into a new business called the Launch Laser.
Justin McClure, who owns Justin McClure Creative and played baseball in college, is the father and entrepreneur.
“It’s no secret … I love baseball,” McClure says. “I have a huge passion for baseball.”
So does his son, Bradyn, but he had trouble with his swing for a while.
“When my son was 7 years old, he was struggling,” McClure says. “I just needed a way to show him how to swing properly. I really wanted to create a visual aid for my son.”
They were in their basement, and McClure took a foam bat and attached a laser pointer to it.
“It was a great visual aid for him to see and feel where the bat was,” McClure says. “I didn’t want to make it too complex for him.”
He started sharing it with other people, including his son’s team.
“Most people thought I was nuts,” McClure says.
Then he started hearing comments such as, “This is pretty cool,” and “This really works,” and McClure says he started realizing its potential.
“When you have a visual aid, when you can show somebody something … it just makes it that much easier,” McClure says.
He began to shop around the idea to find a company to manufacture what he’s calling the Launch Laser.
“The Launch Laser is a device that attaches to the knob that attaches to the top of a baseball bat,” McClure says. “It basically projects a laser.”
He says he was met with the verbal equivalent of eye rolling.
Garnett-based HayesBrand Molding liked the idea, though.
“They love baseball, too.”
McClure has gone to a couple of coaching conventions and given the product away.
“We’ve had rave reviews,” he says. “Our next step is to start producing these mainstream. … We’re going to be hopefully retailing them in stores. We’re still kind of getting to that phase.”
For now, McClure is taking preorders for the product here. Preorders are $19.95. This spring, the Launch Laser will sell for $34.95.
Though he invented the product for his son, McClure says it can be used for older players as well, including college players.
“There’s flaws in a lot of these guy’s swings,” he says. “The laser can pinpoint that.”
Bradyn, who is 8, has gotten more out of the Launch Laser than merely an improved swing.
“He loves it,” McClure says. “He’s in all the videos.”
He has other entrepreneurial ideas as well.
“I have a whole bag,” McClure says. “We’re going to get this up and running first, though.”