Jason Blake is the synthetic product manager at Robbins Sports Surfaces. He shares how he got his start in the industry, keys to the company’s success and what makes Robbins different from the rest:
CR: How did you get your start in the industry?
JB: I began my career in the flooring industry with a commercial carpet tile company called Interface, and eventually moved to a sales and project management role with a commercial flooring contractor. After moving to Cincinnati, I started with Robbins which began my expansion into the sports flooring industry. Having come from the commercial contractor side and the manufacturing side, I was able bring my knowledge of both worlds to Robbins and hit the ground running in the sports flooring business.
CR: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
JB: Recent years including the recessionary period saw many people jumping into an already crowded sports flooring market. There were times when the product was becoming commoditized. Robbins had to be very tactical about positioning our product as a superior product even when competing in a inferior market. To overcome the issue we leaned heavily on our longevity in the business as well as the longevity of our floors. We have floors in the marketplace that are approaching a half century in age. Competing in a price-driven marketplace has driven us to who we are at our core; we lead the industry because our products outlast and outperform our competitors. We don’t compromise those principles and it is what keeps us from getting complacent and pushes us to drive change.
CR: What are the keys to your company’s success?
JB: Robbins has been an industry leader for over 100 years. We have introduced concepts to the marketplace that revolutionized the industry. Our continuous efforts in research and development are product improvements geared toward performance and safety.
CR: How does your company differentiate from competitors in the industry?
JB: Our dealer network. We have relationships that are now on fourth generation family members and average over 15 years in the Robbins network. We have the strongest partners in the industry. We spend valuable time and resources making sure we have the most quality installers in the industry. Robbins continues to develop and acquire regional leaders in both sales and installation to promote our products. Robbins continues to make sure we equip the marketplace with certified installers and arm our dealers with the most innovative product line in the industry. Without our dealer partners, we simply could not exist.
CR: What is your vision for your company’s future?
JB: Robbins has a vision to remain the industry leader and to continue designing and developing the safest, best performing floors in our industry. Our wood and synthetic floors should guarantee your facility first-class performance, as well as longevity. Robbins will continue our efforts in research and development around safety and performance. By focusing on these two critical parts of the floor we can continue to meet the expectations our customers have on Robbins to provide the best floor in the sports flooring Industry.