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Why You Should Consider Opening a Pro Shop Inside Your Sports Complex


Get the most from your sports complex with help from Sports Facilities Advisory.

Whether your sports complex specializes in tennis, golf, soccer, baseball or a combination of activities, your patrons will likely need some type of equipment or apparel to fully participate. Bats, gloves, racquets, sport-specific shoes, protective padding and helmets – these are all things athletes will need before taking the field or court. Your clients could visit a sporting goods store to purchase these items, but have you considered offering a full-service pro shop as part of your sports facility? In addition to creating a new stream of revenue for your business, it also adds an element of convenience your customers will appreciate.

Pro Shop Plans for Your Sports Complex

As is the case throughout the entire planning process for your sports complex, thorough research is the key to a successful pro shop. Consult your coaches and other industry experts to see what equipment and apparel is most popular among athletes. What are the best-selling tennis racquets and golf shoes? Is there a certain brand of baseball bat players and coaches seem to prefer? Which mouthpieces and rash guards are the most popular in martial arts training? Determine which products you want to carry initially and acquire a relatively small inventory. It is important to make sure the products sell at a reasonable level before you commit to a large shipment of merchandise.
How much space can you afford to dedicate to a pro shop within your sports complex? Even if a pro shop wasn’t part of your original facility planning process, adding one to an existing recreation center might be easier than you think. A relatively small room within your indoor sports complex can be converted to a pro shop with a little work. If you have outdoor facilities like ball fields or tennis courts, you could consider acquiring a portable storage building to house the retail portion of your business.
If your sports complex doesn’t have the space necessary for a pro shop on site, consider offering a selection of sports equipment and apparel online. People probably visit your sports complex website for information about activities offered, hours of operation, facilities reservation and event registration. Adding an online store could put your website over the top. Even if you have sufficient space for a physical pro shop, adding an online store is still a great way to monetize your website. You don’t necessarily have to sell a lot of high-priced equipment; you could offer t-shirts, water bottles or gym bags emblazoned with your company logo, for instance.
One of the most important aspects of sports facility management is finding ways to differentiate your sports complex from the competition. Offering a pro shop is a significant step in that direction. It takes more than square footage or website improvements, however. Diligent research, efficient handling of merchandise, and constant networking with coaches and athletes are all components of a successful pro shop. It’s a lot of work, but your clients will appreciate it, and you’ll appreciate the impact on your bottom line.

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