This is the story of HOLDAT by Nate Robinson and Carlos Boozer.
For years, Robinson watched along as his personal catchphrase, “HOLDAT,” started to gain buzz. People were using it, especially as a hashtag on social media. The saying, which Robinson defines as “the perfect word for success or I accomplished something that you said I couldn’t,” originated from a postgame interview after 12-year NBA veteran Joakim Noah won the NCAA National Championship with the University of Florida. Noah told all of his haters to “HOLDAT,” and when Robinson joined the Chicago Bulls years later, it became the team’s mantra.
The phrase stuck with Robinson. It was a personal testament to his perseverance, and eventually, he wanted to create something tangible – a brand. However, it wasn’t until he met renowned entrepreneur and marketing strategist Gary Vaynerchuk that his outlook changed.
“You gotta have some doubts in your life,” Robinson said. “It’s just a part of every day. And I love that part because it’s like good and evil, up and down, left and right, yin and yang [and] day and night. You gotta have some downfalls to overcome. That’s the beauty of life.”
The HOLDAT clothing brand, a collaboration between Robinson and two-time NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer, officially launches Super Bowl weekend with a joint event at the Miami-based sneaker shop True North and House of Mac restaurant. Merchandise will go live online simultaneously, and the in-store experience is a chance for Robinson and Boozer to celebrate the milestone with their first wave of supporters, family and friends.
Being a father is the totem that ties Robinson to his authenticity. His family has always been a part of that journey. (When Robinson spoke to Forbes, he did so while driving his kids to school.) He frequently shares family moments with his two million Instagram followers, especially highlights of his children playing in sporting events. And now, he wants his pursuit of success in another arena – the HOLDAT brand – to be an example to his children of hard work, chasing dreams and expressing creativity.
“I want my son to understand that his life is gonna be different than mine growing up as a kid,” Robinson said. “So, his hunger is different than mine. His grind is different than mine. It can be the same by getting in the gym, working hard, believing in yourself and what you stand for. My son, being the oldest, has big shoes to fill as he has brothers and sisters that look up to him. So, I’m trying to show him what it looks like leading by example. One, creating something for yourself that you can start.”
“Just seeing one person wear something of HOLDAT for me is a win,” Robinson said. “That means at least one person [is] supporting you no matter what in the world. We manifested out of nothing. Nike manifested from nothing. We want to be something that started from nothing and then see where if we can get to the top of the mountain.”