After Chad and Kelly Simich acquired a business in the commercial park and recreation vertical, they began to search for another line of business to serve the market of recreation. That is when they came across a very unique product: SportaFence.
“When we encountered SportaFence — the only patented commercial grade and highly portable fence product for athletic fields — we knew we had found something special,” said Chad.
SportaFence was founded in 2010 after research failed to find any existing solutions for high-quality portable wheeled fencing. Patented in 2017, it has continued to grow in its mission to revolutionize the landscape of athletic fields. Then in December 2020, Chad and Kelly acquired SportaFence from founder Dan Gentry.
What is SportaFence?
To better showcase the innovative product, Chad noted the key differentiators of SportaFence that make it stand out from other fencing products:
- First, it is the only patented portable fence system manufactured using the same commercial grade materials.
- It has a similar usable life as permanent outfield fencing — i.e. a 10 to 15 year lifespan.
- Also, the high level of portability of SportaFence enables a facility operator to change field boundaries in under an hour. This means a single field can host multiple sports in a day.
- SportaFence helps ensure game outcomes will not be impacted by poor boundary performance.
- Finally, it improves player safety by allowing players to play right to the fence line.
“SportaFence is not just a portable fence,” said Chad. “It’s actually a tool for campus rec professionals faced with the infinite demand for more sports offerings and a finite availability of athletic fields to utilize. SportaFence unlocks new possibilities to offer more sports, increase field utilization, drive revenue and exceed the expectation of recreation customers.”
Increasing revenue and decreasing capital costs is made possible as SportaFence allows more regulation gameplay on every playing field, creating the ability to support major tournament play. Plus, it reduced the infrastructure costs needed to build out field capacity.
But the use of SportaFence doesn’t stop at sports. Chad shared at the end of a busy day supporting recreational sports on campus, the fence can also be used as a temporary crowd control barrier for varsity athletic events, parking and much more.
The creative use fits well with Chad’s advice for campus rec professionals to think outside the box. “Leverage innovative products like SportaFence to offer game-changing options for your facility and your customers,” he said.
A Behind the Scenes Look at the Company
Diving deeper into who SportaFence is, the company’s management, sales and marketing functions are in Minnesota. Manufacturing takes place in northern California. SportaFence is a ‘build to order’ company, with the fencing manufactured upon a placed order. SportaFence offers non-wheeled and wheeled options, both of which can be used on grass. In addition, most clients store SportaFence panels by simply rolling them out of the way. Finally, design allows the fence panels to fully rest on the ground. This closes any gaps to help ensure better and safer gameplay.
Since taking over, Chad and Kelly have used their corporate and small business management experiences to help improve product awareness and education surrounding SportaFence. For them, it is a product that can revolutionize the industry of broader recreation.
“What we appreciate most about SportaFence is that it bridges multiple critical gaps for our customers,” said Chad. “Feedback from our customers consistently reinforces this.”
The benefits of the product can also be felt by managers and players alike. “For facility managers, SportaFence provides the flexibility to optimize field use, offer more sports for their rec leagues and generate more revenue,” said Chad. “For players, SportaFence improves the quality of gameplay while simultaneously improving player safety.”
It is crazy to think it all started with an idea in 2010 after identifying a hole in the market. As Chad shared, in concept SportaFence is a simple product, but in reality it provides real value. “That’s what is most fulfilling,” he added.
The Future of SportaFence
As they move forward in 2023 and beyond, Chad shared what they hope to achieve with this product is simply being well-known. This would allow them to better support the industries of recreation. “Our vision for SportaFence is to become a highly recognized brand name for all athletic facilities, athletic field managers, players and coaches across all high school, college and amateur athletic venues,” he shared.
So, with simplicity and value SportaFence is continuing to revolutionize the world of fencing in recreation. It’s increasing safety, enhancing quality and providing durable portable fencing solutions.
It seems Chad and Kelly were right when they thought they found a unique product because SportaFence is just that: something truly special.
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