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Who Says You Can’t Mix Business with Love of Sports?
18 Sep 08 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Opportunity Focus
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Business Opportunities for the True Sports Enthusiast! What if you could combine your love of sports with a full- or part-time job that you really enjoy? Check out these love of sports business opportunities that offer the most avid sports fan their dream job...

You’re a jock. You played. Maybe you still play whenever and wherever you can. No, you’re just a rabid fan. If your team’s having a great season, you’re in a good mood. They lose? Everybody knows to steer clear, at least until your wounds heal. Whether you’re a player or a spectator, the world of sports is your greatest passion, or at least one of them. You could be around ball fields, the golf course or even the local pool and racquetball club all day long, shooting the breeze about the latest scores and odds with people just like you. Admit it, just talking about “jock stuff” gives you a rush. You’re not a Little League coach for nothing! But, hey, we all have to work for a living, right?

Well, what if you could do both?  What if you could merge your enthusiasm for all things athletic with your desire to own and operate your own business, or even just make a little extra money each month? And, what if you could try your hand at it from home, part-time, for relatively little up-front investment in some cases…just to see how you like it?

There are many who say that if you own a business, choosing what you do dictates how well you will do. And, any good shrink will tell you that doing what you love or have an interest in is good for the psyche, not to mention the pocketbook. So, if sports are your thing, keep reading. There are a number of sports business opportunities out there that you might find are worth a closer look.

Mixing Business With Pleasure

Don’t Just Buy ‘Em, Sell ‘Em

Ted Nevins is the owner of SportsLife Enterprises. He loves to tell parents, “Don’t just be the person that buys your kids’ jerseys; be the one that sells ‘em!” Nevins speaks from his experience as a Dad, a sports fan and a man with years of experience under his belt. “I started right out of college as a dealer in this business selling customized apparel and accessories directly to sports teams and schools,” say Nevins.

By continuing to share all that he has learned in the past fifteen years, Nevins’ company has steadily grown into a nationwide network of as many as 1,000 dealers at any given time, all of whom he considers part of the SportsLife family. And a mighty powerful family it is when it comes to negotiating with some of the world’s largest suppliers of customized and other athletic apparel, accessories and memorabilia. By virtue of its size and its relationships of many years with these suppliers, SportsLife can get many athletic/sports-related apparel and other merchandise items at wholesale or oftentimes less than wholesale prices for its distributors. And those low prices mean their dealers can be competitive and extremely profitable at the same time when selling these same goods to their own customers.

In addition, being part of SportsLife means you are just a phone call or e-mail away from getting the support you need to start your business and sustain it, and membership costs just $30 a month. “We want our dealers to be as successful as possible and to have as much flexibility as they need to do what they need to do, when they need to do it, with our help, all at an affordable cost,” says Nevins.

Having been a businessman his whole adult life, Nevins knows that anyone who doesn’t have problems in business, especially when they’re just getting started, isn’t really in business at all. He prides himself on his ready accessibility, his assertion that no question is a dumb one and the fact that he has built such a tremendous network of support to sustain every member of the SportsLife family. “Most of our dealers are home-based, but we do have a number of people who have worked very hard and who have grown into their own storefronts as well,” Nevins says. So, whatever tack you want to take with your own sporting apparel and merchandise business, someone out there has already charted the course and is willing to help. However, he is quick to point out that if owning your own customized and other athletic apparel store is your ultimate goal, it is best to start small. “The first year or two of a new retail establishment can be a lonely one,” he points out. “It’s sure easier when you have an established customer base to get you started.”

At the end of the day, Nevins says, “Initiative is everything.” SportsLife can give you all the guidance, training, resources and tools you’ll need, and it can and does even help you set up your own fully operational website. But, it can’t make you do what you must do, which is to do your homework, make a business and marketing plan, set goals and have realistic expectations along the way. Growing a successful business doesn’t happen overnight.

According to Nevins, the hardest part is getting started. “If you don’t come to the plate, you’re not going to get a hit,” he says.  Nothing says it better than a great sports metaphor!

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