With a deep-rooted love for baseball propelling his ambitions, Alex Cannata ’24 was inspired by the entrepreneurial drive of his childhood best friend. When that friend launched a groundbreaking company specializing in premium, long-lasting batting gloves, Cannata saw an opportunity to be part of something extraordinary.

Bruce Bolt, founded by Cannata’s friend Bear Mayer, initially began as a way to address the issue of batting gloves deteriorating after repeated use. Starting with pine tar and grip enhancers, the company swiftly evolved into a thriving business, with batting gloves emerging as its flagship product. Cannata eagerly embraced the chance to join the small yet dynamic team, which included Mayer and his parents. Initially tasked with various responsibilities like order assembly and customer service, his role expanded as he familiarized himself with the company’s operations. Transitioning into overseeing product operations and managing social media campaigns, Cannata’s dedication and passion have solidified his indispensable role within the company.

“Watching this company grow has been really cool,” Cannata said. “The team has grown so much from the beginning, and being able to be a part of and build a brand that’s expanding super fast and becoming a household name for baseball is the most exciting part of working there.”

Cannata’s Southwestern education has served as the foundation for his endeavors at Bruce Bolt, providing him with a valuable skill set and a comprehensive understanding of business dynamics. As a business major, he is equipped with practical knowledge. He says courses like digital marketing have empowered him to spearhead effective social media campaigns and enhance the company’s online presence. Moreover, the emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving inherent in Southwestern’s curriculum has honed his ability to navigate challenges with confidence and creativity.

“Alex’s experiences working at Bruce Bolt helping to build the brand awareness and brand equity of a new brand were evident in my classes. So much of marketing is telling a story, whether it is the story of the founders or a story about the impact of the brand. Alex has a terrific ability to grasp the integral qualities of a brand, product, or service, which was apparent in my digital marketing course,” Associate Professor of Economics and Business Debika Shi remarked. “Southwestern offers a business degree within a broader liberal arts education. Thus, in addition to his business classes, Alex has taken various humanities, life science, and fine arts courses. His holistic education will give him the knowledge and critical thinking skills to adapt to new contexts. Alex is brilliant and has embraced his Southwestern education in a way that will likely pay dividends long into his future. I was lucky I was able to be a small part of his journey.”

As Bruce Bolt has flourished and expanded its reach beyond amateur players, Cannata has found himself at the forefront of exciting collaborations with professional MLB athletes like Harrison Bader, Brandon Nimmo, and Ian Happ. Through the Signature Series initiative, he has worked closely with these athletes, facilitating the design and production of custom gloves tailored to the players’ specifications. This collaboration highlights the company’s commitment to excellence and is a testament to its dedication to bridging the gap between amateur and elite athletes. By allowing professional players to craft their own signature gloves, Bruce Bolt elevates the players’ experience. It also enhances the brand’s prestige and credibility within the sports industry, solidifying its position as a trailblazer in the world of sports equipment.

Looking ahead, Cannata envisions a future filled with possibility and opportunity. As he prepares to graduate in the spring, his journey with Bruce Bolt is a launching pad for his entrepreneurship and sports management aspirations. Whether it’s expanding Bruce Bolt’s market reach, spearheading new initiatives, or venturing into other aspects of sports business, his trajectory is marked by ambition, determination, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.