My daughter’s softball team the Battitudes finished top 15 in the country in 2015 so that group is pretty competitive. Our training facility closed down last year so we were really at a loss as to what we were going to do. While at a tournament, sitting in the lobby of a La Quinta playing poker and drinking beer with the Battitudes dad’s, it was decided that we would open our own facility. October 17th we had the grand opening for MVP Athletics. (mvpasports.com)
MVP is a 22,000 square foot training facility for baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, kick ball, dodge ball and any other sport with “ball” at the end of it. We have about $80,000 worth of training technology in there, which sets our facility apart from anything else in the area.
If you have been reading this blog very long you know that I value creative solutions vs. the typical approach to any business. I wanted to share this project with you but also wanted make some points that would benefit any business trying to make an impact, so I have included some broad level strategic thoughts at the end of each bullet that I think are important no matter what industry you are in:
- MVP will be a media company. We will create free content for our Facebook page and website that will help our kids get better in their sport. Think of short training videos, blog post for parents on how to be great fans, results from our tournaments etc. SERVE PEOPLE
- We will live stream all of our big games so anyone anywhere can watch from their digital device. GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO CONNECT TO YOU
- Our Most Valuable Phood bar (get it?) will feature a slow cooked pulled pork taco with a homemade tortilla, fresh cilantro, cheese and sour cream. If you don’t like that try the mandarin orange salad. It beats the hot dog and nachos you get at almost every other concession stand don’t you think? (Don’t worry, we will still have dogs and nachos.) DO IT BETTER/DIFFERENT THAN EVERYONE ELSE
- When our teams take the court, each player will be announced to loud music as if they were coming out of the tunnel at Allen Field House. EXPERIENCE MATTERS
- Our lounge area for parents to sit while their kids play ball features over stuffed leather sofas and a 20 foot projection television on the opposing wall. CONSIDER YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND SECONDARY AUDIENCE
- We have created an apparel brand that speaks to the attitude of who MVP is. In short, Train Hard…Be INCREDIBLE. Read more about that here. LOOK FOR THE BRAND EXTENSIONS AND GO FOR IT IF IT MAKES SENSE
- We will feature the coolest technology around that will motivate our players and make them better all at the same time. BE RELEVANT
So much of the MVP project parallels what I am doing with Spink and Edgar. I got into business with people I really like and respect, our concept is unique in the market, timing is fantastic, and I have a huge heart for the kids in this area. I also have a heart for helping people understand the connection between a mattress and a better quality of life. In other words there is purpose in what we are doing.
We will celebrate academic accomplishment on our MVP Wall of Fame featuring kids that make the honor role and we will celebrate sports accomplishments at our version of the ESPY awards. Bottom line is the message… that in order to get great results, you have to pay a price because we all know that there is no substitute for hard work. If you don’t like the position you are playing then learn another one. If you are not getting enough time on the court, work harder and beat the person playing in your spot. If you want to have a high paying job after graduation then build value in yourself so that you can earn the kind of respect that delivers a big paycheck. If you are losing sku’s on the floor to your competition then do something unique that makes you shark proof. If retail consolidation is shrinking your opportunities, then discover a new business model or innovate a product or service that your customers have to have.
I will be a business advisor to Travis Noel, our very capable General Manager, but will continue to focus my time on Spink and Edgar. My family feels very blessed to be a part of this project. My kids are excited to train and play their sports at this facility and my wife Bridget and I are excited to be able to help build something like this for the families in the area. Our hope is that the kids that spend time with us at MVP will get better and be the best version of themselves that they can be. Something I work at every day!
PS If you want to see a local news story on the facility you can watch that HERE.