2016 was definitely the year of changes in the cheer world and with it came a multitude of new opportunities. A few extraordinary notables include great new brands like SpiritBox and Cheer and Dance Lyfe; the construction began on the new cheer facility at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World and of course the International Olympic Committee’s announcement just this month that cheerleading has been given provisional recognition, the necessary first step if cheerleading is to be added to the Olympics in the future.
As exciting as all of this is for cheer, there’s one cheer product that slayed: ONEx50, the new hairspray which cleverly uses the time of a routine, 2.5 minutes reduced to its lowest denominator 150 seconds, in its name to reinforce its “competition hold” moniker.
It’s my honor and pleasure to present ONEx50 hairspray as CheerMAD’s selection of Best New Cheer Product of 2016 and also present it with the Certifiably CheerMAD seal of approval.
As tweets, posts and Instagrams flooded social media last spring, CheerMAD’s curiosity was peaked. It took a couple of months to track down the people behind ONEx50 and when we did, loved what we found.
Yes, the people who sit behind that auspicious table from early morning to late evening, watching performances all weekend long, only to take their breaks and walk through convention center lobbies and auditorium halls into a cloud of hairspray.
All of a sudden it made sense.
“The kids were doing their best with what they had available to them, but by the time they got through check-in, warm-ups and under the bright lights, most of the hair we were seeing didn’t hold up to the rest of their competition presentation.” said Kyle W. Gilbert-Hansen, founder and managing partner for ONEx50 (One Fifty Corporation LLC). Kyle is seen in this photo, far left, at the very competition in 2014 where the idea of ONEx50 was conceived with friends and co-judges (and ultimately ONEx50 co-founders) Tricia Howe-Schramm and Raphael Heller-Williams. After commiserating about their combined 100 years in the cheer industry and all that cheer means to them, it led to thinking about how they could give back to the community they love.
Originally from Texas, now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Kyle (photo right) has been involved in cheer and dance for more than 25 years. In addition to being a choreographer and cheer music producer, Kyle is considered among the top cheer judges in the country. Companies such as Allstar Games, Cheer America, Aloha Spirit Championships, Golden State Spirit Association, Jamfest, The Majors, NCA College Nationals, UCA Allstar Championships, Cheer Pros, CHEERSPORT, USA Allstar Championships, USA College and High School Championships and the Cheerleading Worlds.
Even better, Kyle is the proud father of a two-year-old daughter, Parker Elizabeth, and will be a stellar CheerMAD as the plans for her entry into the Allstar Cheerleading World are already underway.
Tricia is the managing partner for One Fifty Corp. and it's brand and marketing strategist. She has more than 30 years experience in cheer as a former coach/captain at Western Illinois University and camp director with Dynamic Cheerleaders Association and spent several years as a coach/choreographer for Allstar, Pop Warner and High School cheer. During the last 11 years, she has been a panel, safety and head judge for competitions including the Cheerleading Worlds, The Summit, Cheer America, Jamfest, The Majors, NCA, UCA and Australian Allstar Cheerleading Federation. Tricia is also the proud CheerMAD of daughter Genevieve.
Raphael rounds out the founding team of One Fifty Corp. with a focus on business development and logistics. A graduate of Ohio State University, he was a member of the varsity squad from 1995-98 and a proud member of the team selected to perform in the 1996 Olympics opening ceremony. He has more than 30 years of cheerleading and coaching experience and was involved with senior all girl and coed for ten years. Also a judge for the past 22 years including Champion Spirit Group, CHEERSPORT, JAMZ, NCA and UCA.
But what do these prestigious judges know about hairspray?
“Nothing," said Kyle. "But we knew we wanted to give back to the community we love and we were convinced that we could do better than what is out there."
“Passion goes a long way and when you have three people who are as passionate about the cheer world as Tricia, Raphael and I are, and have the help and support that we have, you can do great things.”
At the heart of ONEx50 is three founders that are cheerleaders but are also a bank vice president, a product marketing manager and a dealer business manager at highly ranked firms.
“We are trained first as performers and second as problem solvers and take great pride in the impression we leave with others, including our dress, smell and how our hair looks,” Kyle said.
The trio researched and teamed up with expert chemists to develop what they considered to be the perfect formula to do everything they designed it to do: Have a strong hold, be long lasting, with a great smell that washes out easily leaving hair better than before it is used.
“We’ve created a professional, salon grade, high quality hair product exclusively for cheer athletes,” Kyle said. “A professional brand that is driven by the love of cheer.”
When they got the formula that met their criteria, Kyle said they started visiting gyms and providing educational sessions with parents.
“We also tested the product on many cheerleaders and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” he continued.
Members of Maryland Twisters' Blackout
“They love the smell, hold, no flake consistency and overall feel of our hairspray. And they are especially excited to see a product that is just for them.”
The biggest difference cheerleaders found is no matter how much is sprayed to hold competition hair in place, (ONEx50) brushes out after awards leaving hair softer and infused with natural elements that improve hair. It washes out easily and doesn’t leave hair feeling dried out, damaged or weighted down.
Seen left is Emily Jones, former Stingray and current USC cheerleader, and her experience with ONEx50.
(NOTE: Although Santa brought a couple of cans of ONEx50 to our house and I’ve seen the great results myself, CheerMAD received no financial or product compensation for this award or story).
Not willing to settle for “giving back” with "just" an amazing new product, Kyle, Tricia and Raphael felt it was important to implement a more service-driven component.
Through ONEx50 *Allstar Tuition Scholarships, athletes who represent "Strength," "Endurance," and "Image" will be recognized. Athletes that excel in their educations, give back to their own communities as well as cheer or dance. The new company is also building strong relationships with gyms that promote these attributes in their programs.
“I wanted to be able to do more but we’re just starting out and for now are only able to award $150 scholarships in keeping with the ONEx50 brand.” Kyle said. (Seen right, ONEx50 Allstar Tuition Scholarship winner Brandon Lamar Robinson from Top Gun All-Stars Large Coed).
“I was just so humbled when the mom of a ONEx50 scholarship winner from Premier Athletics told me, through tears, that this would allow her child to take the required tumble class at their gym, but (until now) she didn’t know where the money would come from.”
“We’ll always award “150” and add as many zeroes as our growth allows,” Kyle continued.
“It’s a great feeling to have been embraced by our community and do everything we set out to do and give back to cheer.”
*Athletes are selected for ONEx50 Allstar Tuition Scholarships by meeting the following criteria:
-Represent "Strength," "Endurance" and "Image."
Searches will begin for those athletes the founders feel meet the requirements of doing well in school, give back to their own communities and participate in cheer and dance. To be eligible, hopeful recipients need to follow ONEx50 on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as this is where information will be released. As always tag @onex50 and use #SlayTheSpray.
For more information and to order ONEx50 competition hold hair spray, visit www.ONEx50.com and check out Kyle's explanation of the can design below. We love it!