Founder of top grip company speaks to UVU students

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Robby Poffenberger | Assistant News Editor | @robby_poff


Provo-native and founder of the sports accessory company Lizard Skins, Brian Fruit, spoke on Sept. 3 to a packed Ragan Theatre as part of UVU’s Executive Lecture Series.

In a way, Fruit has hit home runs in Major League Baseball—not as a batter, but vicariously through players using Lizard Skin batting tape on their bats.

By that same standard, Fruit’s legacy is also resting in the MLB Hall of Fame, clinging to one of David Ortiz’s bats.

He told the story of his company’s rise to the top of the sports grip pile (his company is No 1. in the world in its category) and credited the lecture series he was speaking in with his success. While he was a BYU student in the 90s, a friend who studied at then-UVSC invited Fruit to attend the lecture series with him weekly, where Fruit eventually made a valuable connection.

“That year, (Dr.) Rick Farr, (then UVSC Entrepreneur-in-residence) had tapped into a group called Young Entrepreneur Organization … I ultimately ended up joining that business group,” Fruit said. “I think that’s the real reason our company has experienced continued growth for the last 10 years. So you see how those things come full circle.”.

When a student asked Fruit for advice, he said, “Learn how to get by without sleep.” He also said to become knowledgeable about patent law, since an early patent mistake cost his company at least $1 million in the long haul.

He said his company is an example of why local entrepreneurs can dream big.

“We’re not Nike. We’re not Under Armor. We’re located less than two miles from (UVU) campus here. We’re a local Orem, Utah company and we changed Major League Baseball.”