As a college student at Emporia State University, Jeremy Rusco had a simple goal – he wanted to find a way to pay for his newfound interest in disc golf. Discs aren’t that expensive on their own, but building a bag and collecting backups can add up on a student’s budget.
A College Hobby
One day, the idea came to Jeremy. He began buying discs, putting cool designs and dyes on them, and selling them on eBay for just a few dollars over retail price. It wasn’t much, but it was something. After talking with his girlfriend (now wife), Wendy, about company names, Dynamic Discs was born.
At first, Rusco only sold an average of one disc each week. But over time, one disc per week became two, two became four, and so on. The growth was constant and exponential, and eventually, it was too much work for Jeremy to handle by himself.
Our First Employees
As demand for the discs grew, Jeremy enlisted the help of a couple of friends to keep up with orders. Chris Wiggins and Clay Houser stepped up to aid in the dyeing process and shipping out orders, and the growth just kept on coming.
A Business Needs a Logo!
Rusco had been dyeing discs and shipping for a little while, and he was given an opportunity to advertise in an upcoming disc golf tournament (the Glass Blown Open), but there was one problem – he didn’t have a logo. The logos you see were drafted by a local Emporia State University student, and Jeremy’s choice has stood the test of time!
After a while, the dyed discs gained traction, and Jeremy decided it was time to begin making some apparel. Early shirts, hats, and towels were often hot-pressed by hand by Jeremy, and local players began to sport DD gear.
Wading into Sponsorship
Jeremy became friends with local touring pro, Eric McCabe, as he learned to play disc golf in Emporia. Eric and Jeremy agreed to have Eric become Dynamic Discs’ first sponsored player, and Jeremy often thanks him for representing the early apparel, because hand-pressed shirts don’t often have the cleanest, straightest logos and McCabe was happy to wear them and save Jeremy/Dynamic Discs a few bucks!
Rusco’s business continued to expand, so he looked for ways to become even more involved in disc golf. The next natural extension? Running disc golf events. Dynamic Discs’ first event, the Dynamic Discs Open, took place on November 11, 2006, and it was followed by a string of events in Texas at long-standing tournament courses like Cedar Hill, Lake Lewisville, and LL Woods. After running a few events out of Jeremy’s grandmother’s minivan and McCabe’s truck, Jeremy purchased an RV that became the mobile tournament operation headquarters.
If you haven’t already learned this about Dynamic Discs, we are very much a family company. One of the first examples of this came when it was time to trademark the Dynamic Discs logo. Jeremy debated the trademark’s importance and its cost, but Clark and Donna, Jeremy’s parents, gave the logo trademark to him as a gift. The importance of family isn’t lost on the Rusco clan, and it’s one of the reasons that family values remain a huge part of our DNA.
eBay Store Becomes dynamicdiscs.com
After some time, Dynamic Discs had outgrown eBay, and it was clear that sales and organization would benefit from a dedicated website. In 2009, Adam Searle, a childhood friend and football teammate of Rusco’s, joined the business and the eBay business expanded to dynamicdiscs.com. Loyal customers were happy to shop on the new website which ultimately saved Dynamic Discs the increasing eBay fees.
While Dynamic Discs was still dyeing discs, running events, and making apparel, we began to sponsor more and more players. Several local Kansas players, including Chris “Smitty” Smith, Nate Martin, and Jake Newell, began representing DD, but we also sponsored some of disc golf’s top professionals at the time, including players like Paul McBeth, Paige Pierce, Paul Ulibarri, Catrina Allen, Nikko Locastro, Phil Arthur, Ron Convers, Jr., and many more. These players along with our local ambassadors helped to put Dynamic Discs on the map in a big way!
Our First World Champ!
One of the biggest jumps in popularity for the DD brand came once again on the back of Eric McCabe. McCabe had been a touring professional for several years and was competing at the top level. At the 2010 World Championships, however, McCabe was on a mission, and his semi-final round moved him into position to claim his second major title. Utilizing his accurate drives and incredible putts, McCabe sealed the 2010 World Championships on top!
Custom Discs to the Next Level
Dynamic Discs brought another new innovation to the game in 2011 by introducing DyeMax discs. DyeMax is a proprietary process that allows us to design discs with full color graphics and custom images. If you’ve seen high quality, full color discs, it’s likely that they came from DyeMax!
Growth = Opportunity
Over time, Dynamic Discs began to need more and more space to operate, and Wendy put her foot down – Dynamic Discs needed to find a new space. The business had outgrown an attic and three basements, so it was time to establish a storefront. DD’s first store was located on W Hwy 50, but we moved to our current location at 912 Commercial St. in 2011. We thought we would never need any more space than we had for stock and offices at the Dynamic Discs Emporia store!
More Growth = More Opportunity
Dynamic Discs’ growth continued, and Rusco began to explore options to expand DD’s presence outside of Emporia even further. That expansion came in the form of a new retail store in March of 2012 – Dynamic Discs Kansas City, owned by Pete Cashen “The Godfather” and managed by Scott Reek. We also added the Chasin’ the Chains RV to our fleet, manned by Stevo Storrie, with the intention of growing disc golf and promoting Dynamic Discs across the United States. As if managing a tour across the US wasn’t enough, Stevo wanted more, and another retail store was born – Dynamic Discs Lewisville. DD Lewisville was managed by Bradley Crow while Stevo was on the road, and Stevo and Brad continue to run Dynamic Discs Carrollton today!
The Big Jump
During 2012, after dyeing discs and creating custom stamps for years, Rusco and the Dynamic Discs crew decided that it was time to jump into the disc golf game as a major player with both feet and begin creating our own discs. After several discussions with multiple manufacturers, Dynamic Discs partnered with Latitude 64 in Sweden to produce our first four discs – the Trespass, Escape, Fugitive, and Judge. Just like that, our disc line was born!
Yet Another Big Jump
Anyone who knows Dynamic Discs knows the famous (or infamous) words that Jeremy is known to say: “We’re always working on something.” After our disc launch, the next big undertaking for DD was a new lineup of bags. Continuing with the family theme, Rusco reached out to his uncle and secured a $50,000 loan to develop prototypes, production samples, and fulfill the first order of three bag types – the original Sniper, the original Commander, and the Ranger bag. Though the Ranger has undergone some small improvements, the original design remains nearly the same and has been a fan favorite for years!
Our First Time Hosting a Major
Dynamic Discs loves running events, but we were ready to take the next step and run a major championship. We submitted a bid for and won the right to host the PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships in 2013 with nearly 400 players in attendance. Some of the top finishers in their divisions are competing at the top professional level today! As Team DD grew and our events required more staff, Rusco hired Jeremy Kindy as Events Coordinator and Team Manager. The DD family continued to grow!
Out of Space
After launching our disc line, we quickly realized that our retail store space wasn’t big enough to hold all of the shipments of our discs that we were receiving. After exploring Emporia for an appropriate space, we created Dynamic Distribution in October of 2013. This 10,000-foot warehouse on the southwest side of town was massive and had all the space we would ever need, until…
Out of Space…Again
Dynamic Distribution was bursting at the seams during our second year of Dynamic Discs sales. Even after pallet racks were installed, we ran out of room, so we took over the other half of the 20,000-foot warehouse for inventory, hotstamping, and receiving.
Bringing the Rusco Family Together in Emporia
By 2014, Dynamic Discs’ growth required a dedicated sales team, so Jeremy hired his brother, Jamie, as National Sales Director. Clark and Donna Rusco had just purchased what they believed was their forever home, but upon learning that their sons were both planning to be in Emporia for the long term, they picked up and relocated to Emporia as well. When we say that Dynamic Discs is a family company, we really mean it!
The Glass Blown Open continued to grow year after year, and we began to realize the need to hire a dedicated event director. Doug Bjerkaas met that need in 2016 by relocating from Denver, CO to step in as the Tournament Director of the Glass Blown Open. Each year, the tournament continues to grow and still adds new events and courses for players to enjoy.
The Largest Disc Golf Event in History!
Fast forward to 2018, and the Glass Blown Open expanded once again – this time to nearly 1600 competitors, making it the largest disc golf event ever! In fact, several years of the Glass Blown Open top the largest events list, and we don’t have any plans to slow down soon!
Even More Majors
Doug would also be instrumental in running our next major championship – the 2016 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships. He also worked with or ran to begin the first standalone Junior Disc Golf World Championships, which we ran in 2018 and 2019.
Who We Are Today
Today, Dynamic Discs serves as home to nearly 50 employees between the retail store and Dynamic Distribution, over 100 sponsored players, a full bag lineup from beginner-friendly to the professional-grade Ranger, several cart options to haul your bag and other accessories, baskets that range from portable and affordable to tournament-standard, and a disc line of more than 30 molds to complete any player’s bag. We’re constantly working to help players become better disc golfers through our social media presence, YouTube videos, and educational programs.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about our journey, and we hope to share in your disc golf journey with you!