Fort Collins, Colorado (CNN) – For more than a decade, a business that sold and delivered high-end sports equipment has been struggling.
The Fort Collins-based company, Sport Equipment Corp., had long had an eye on the future, but it struggled to stay relevant in the fast-moving sportswear market.
That changed last year when it bought a company called Wahoo Sports that sells gear for the NFL, NBA and NHL.
In a year, Sport is poised to double sales of its high-performance gear, which has been sold for millions of dollars at a time when the market for high-tech gear has exploded.
“We see this as a big opportunity,” said David Schulkin, who oversees the business for the company.
“It’s a good time to be a sports equipment seller.
You have this market of very affluent consumers that are buying high-quality, sportswearing equipment, and we have a lot of the consumers that don’t buy high-profile gear.”
Schulkin said Sport has been expanding its products into high-value sports like basketball, tennis, and swimming.
The company has sold a few hundred pairs of shoes, he said, and expects to sell more in the future.
But he also said Sport’s stock price has been volatile.
“For a long time, we were the only company that had this in-house manufacturing operation,” he said.
“So we were kind of the first one to really go through this and get a foothold in this business.”
Then we have to sell the products we produce to our distributors and our customers and then sell the rest of the equipment to the manufacturers.
That process is going to take us some time, but we believe we are going to be in that spot.
“In recent years, Sport has taken on the role of the “gatekeeper” to high-priced sports equipment.
That has made the company one of the most profitable in the industry.
The stock price soared from $5.95 to $9.25 after the sale of Wahoo to the NFL.
The stock has soared since.
Schulkins said the stock price of the company is up $10 a share in the past year alone.”
Our sales have been tremendous,” he added.”
This has been a tough market for us to sell products to, and it’s really tough for us as a company to stay afloat.
“It’s not just high-performing products that Sport sells.
Scholts also makes tennis shoes, lacrosse equipment, soccer equipment, basketball equipment, golf equipment, wrestling equipment, hockey equipment, track and field equipment, snowboarding equipment, tennis equipment and ice hockey equipment.”
When you see that sort of growth in sales of high-spec products, then it becomes a competitive environment for the companies that are competing for that business,” Schults said.
Schulkins, who has been in the business since 1997, has seen his share of bad times, but he said he’s been able to stay focused.”
I don’t know of any other company that is so financially stable, and so profitable, that I’ve been in,” he explained.”
There are a lot more competitors that have a higher margin of success than we do.
“Scholts said the company also sells its equipment through its subsidiary, Sport-Gear.
Schuulkins doesn’t sell products directly to his customers, but instead sells it to distributors.”
A lot of these distributors buy the equipment from Sport-Gears and then send it to the distributors who sell the equipment,” he continued.”
The distributors are getting the product at a discount from the sales.
The customer pays less than what the sales would have been.
“And that’s not always true.”
Schuults also said his company’s sales are growing as more consumers are buying sports equipment online.
“As we’ve seen with our basketball equipment in the last three to four years, a lot (of consumers) are not using our online store, they’re not using the online catalog,” he told CNN.
“So it’s not that they’re avoiding us, it’s that they are not going to use our store.”
Schurkss company sells gear in more than 60 countries.
He has helped bring in $2 billion in revenue for the past five years.
The future looks bright for Sport Equipment.
Schurks is optimistic about the company’s future.
“To me, Sport’s a winner,” he exclaimed.