Dan Meinholz, Founder and CEO of A3 Performance, has been serving the sport of swimming for eighteen years. As a swim parent he’s enjoyed watching his children grow up in the sport, enjoyed working through their ups and downs which has resulted in great life experience. Dan swam himself. He was in a racing suit by the tender age of five and competed every season from that point on, until he finished his career at the University of Wisconsin.
Dan’s swimwear company, A3 Performance, was founded in 2004. When Dan launched his technical suit, The Stealth, in 2012, A3 Performance burst onto the scene, turning a lot of heads, attracting great talent. Here is The Stealth’s performance so far, by the numbers:
American Records: 5
NCAA Champions: 6
2012 Olympic Trials Finalist: 8
US Open Team Championships 2012: 1 (Tucson Ford Aquatics, Arizona)
2013 Individual Pac 12 Champions: 5
2013 Individual Big 10 Champions: 4
State Champions, High School Teams: 5
SwimSwam Spotlight Q&A:
MEL: Hi Dan.
DAN: Hi Mel.
MEL: Dan, talk to me about the swimwear market. It’s competitive, especially the performance market. When did you decide to launch A3 Performance and why?
DAN: We have been involved in swimming, one way or another, our entire life. This is the sport we love and the industry we wanted to impact. We were confident we could make great products and offer them at a great price. We chose to use the best fabrics, materials and processes available. Because we are a young company we can offer all of this at lower prices. We started by developing goggles and some equipment and eventually took on swimwear. The Stealth was 3 years in the making, but when we finally got it right, we received FINA’s approval…and so far the approval of the market. Our ultimate goal is to impact the sport of swimming at all levels and support learn-to-swim initiatives.
MEL: A3 Performance came out of the gate fast. Elites were wearing your product mere months after you launched. How did you reach some of the fastest swimmers in the world so quickly?
DAN: Because we have been on or around the pool deck our whole life, we were able to get some top athletes to try the Stealth. Once they put the suit on and swam in it, it sold itself. We are blessed to have the relationships we have which gave us access, but once athletes wore the Stealth and gained confidence in its performance, the word spread.
MEL: I know club swimming is close to your heart. Since I’ve known you, you’ve been pointing out exciting age group meets…
DAN: We are really excited to be involved in the Showcase Classic which is an Age Group National Championship for 14 and unders. It is a single age, age group meet which makes it even more exciting for the kids. It is in Clearwater, Florida which is a beautiful community, and the Long Center is the ideal venue. There are a lot of great ideas out there for meets and events, and A3 Performance is eager to promote and support these.
MEL: I’m glad you brought the Showcase Classic to our attention. With iconic coaches behind it, designing it, organizing it, and with it’s great history so far, we expect to see fast swims! A3 Performance has also been supportive in your area, Wisconsin, and in Arizona. I understand supporting the hometown crowd. How did the Arizona connection come about?
DAN: I met Eric Hansen, the Head Coach of the University of Arizona Swimming and Diving when we were swimming in college. We trained together over the summers. We eventually worked together while Eric was at The University of Wisconsin. Eric was considering options for his team and we provided some Stealth suits for him to try. We have been working together from that point on. It has been great to be able to work with Eric, his staff and his talented team. There is a great vibe on the deck at Arizona and we are excited to be part of it.
We also work with Darian Townsend who is an incredible person and exceptional talent. Darian is a 3X Olympian for South Africa and is a NCAA Champion and Former World Record Holder. Having Darian racing and training in A3 has certainly helped promote the brand, especially in Arizona. Aside from Darian’s swimming talents, he has been a great ambassador for A3.
MEL: A3 Performance’s off to great start. Where do you see the brand by 2016 Olympic Games in Rio?
DAN: On the medal stand. We are continually working on developing new fabrics, techniques and materials to make our racing and training products, the best in the world. I believe that as our brand grows and gains popularity, more and more athletes will trust A3 for their training and racing.
A3® Performance™ is a leading competitive swim brand dedicated to the development of swim products and training tools that optimize learning, improve technique and enhance the overall experience of the swimmer. A3® Performance™ has chosen to build our brand through committed, passionate professionals. This insures that our customers will be educated about the benefits and the quality of A3® Performance™ products. Whether you have an existing business or are planning a new venture, we are committed to helping you learn about our products, educate customers, and provide the highest level of service in the swim industry. Our business model is designed to make you an expert, make you profitable and allow you the flexibility to control when and how you sell. For a road map to success and to learn more about becoming an A3® Performance™ Dealer contact us
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A3 Performance is a swimswam partner and the title sponsor for the A3 Performance Weekly Poll.