One of the more memorable lines from the movie Talladega Nights comes when Reese Bobby tells his son, Ricky, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
The fact that the movie centered on racing is simply one way the line applies to long-time professional driver Caesar Bacarella. That belief is also evident in everything Bacarella undertakes. A self-described perfectionist, Bacarella wants nothing more than to do every aspect of every task as well as possible so that everyone involved can benefit from the end result.
That philosophy is front and center in everything Bacarella is doing as owner and CEO of his two new clothing companies, Alpha Prime USA and Alpha Prime Sports. Featuring state-of-the-art apparel for the modern athlete, Alpha Prime USA focuses on everyday fitness-related clothing. Alpha Prime Sports, meanwhile, is centered on uniforms and products for team sports.
“The one thing I learned as a race car driver is you always want to be first,” said Bacarella, who raced successfully for 12 years in the Florida grass roots stock car arena before competing in the NASCAR Xfinity and Truck series. “Second place in racing is not taken very well; it’s considered to be the first-place loser. In competitive racing, you strive to be the best.
“That’s what we’re doing on the apparel side. When you’re wearing Alpha Prime products, we want you to know that you are wearing the best of the best. That’s our entire focus--to be better than everybody else.”
Getting to that point is not an easy track to navigate. Countless twists and turns require deft handling and the willingness to take detours when necessary. Bacarella and his team, including Alpha Prime USA (Vice President) A.J. Astiazarain, realized that fact from the starting line. They understood that getting everything in order and as close to perfect as possible before launching their products would have its reward down the road.
“When I get involved with anything, I want perfection,” Bacarella said. “You have one shot in life to make a positive first impression and I believe you have to give the customer everything he or she expects and make them 100 percent happy.”
“I can tell you that Caesar is a perfectionist,” added Astiazarain, who has spent his career in marketing. “I’m sitting on 2,000 pairs of women’s leggings that he refuses to let out because he doesn’t like the stitching pattern. Most people probably wouldn’t even look at it, and to be honest, I didn’t catch it. But it’s to that detail that he wants perfection. We want people to know that if you are paying for our products, you are getting the highest quality we can possibly provide. Like Caesar said, we believe that first impressions are everything. You get one shot to impress people.”
Given Bacarella’s drive, it should not come as a surprise that creating the perfect name for Alpha Prime took more than a year. So many terms are registered and trademarked, and many other early ideas were related too closely to other companies. The complicated and tiresome exercise, however, led to the desired results, which has set the tone for everything else Bacarella, Astiazarain and their team have undertaken.
“I love the name,” Bacarella said. “Alpha is perfect because everybody wants to be an alpha and a leader. Sports are more competitive than they have ever been because of the way people train and take care of their bodies nowadays. That’s where the prime in our name came in. Prime is perfect because in today’s society, everyone who’s in shape believes they are in their prime, regardless of how old they are. They are taking their bodies to the max, and that’s what we’re doing with our products and all of our marketing efforts.”
As the initial Alpha Prime products were launched during the final quarter of 2017, the company trademarked its name in approximately 40 countries, including Australia, all of Europe and most of South America, in addition to the United States and Canada. Going global with the name required a sizable investment, but the upfront expense is expected to pay off significantly given the impact Alpha Prime wants to make on athletes everywhere.
“We needed a name that lent itself to a great logo that was classic and nice,” Astiazarain said. “In addition to looking great on our fitness apparel and uniforms and products, the logo had to be one that could be on a polo you’d wear to the office and look professional. We’ve accomplished that feat. I’ve been wearing some of our items and it’s pretty exciting when a total stranger comes up to you and says, ‘What’s that logo? That looks great.’”
When Bacarella and Astiazarain were at the drawing board forming their ideas, the initial focus for Alpha Prime centered on the fitness market, which is the largest segment of the athletic-related industry. After all, both men and women want comfortable clothing that looks good and wears well, regardless of whether they are going to the gym or making a trip to the mall.
Alpha Prime accomplished its goal by creating a line with its own private brand and the work of professional fashion designers with extensive experience with well-known companies in the industry and talented graphic designers. Alpha Prime USA features all types of high-end fitness apparel, including t-shirts, shorts, women’s tops, leggings, compression shirts and pants, tank tops, hoodies and lifestyle caps. The company uses a variety of special fabrics that are lightweight, breathable and wick sweat. Alpha Prime also has taken special care to ensure that the same sizing is employed consistently between different products, so that a large in one item is also a large in another article.
“Everything we do is centered on quality,” Bacarella said. “We want our customers to get what they pay for and more. At the same time, we want to keep everything affordable. It’s a tough combination to create. But we believe by putting so much time into researching every item we make, we have produced a line of clothing and products that is second to none. We want customers who become loyal to Alpha Prime, and the only way to do that is to give them the best product at the best price. That way everyone wins.”