After a life spent working either in or for the military, it was bittersweet when Ruben Mejia finally hung up his boots. But if he hadn’t done so, he’d never have joined SportsArt.
Meeting his wife Carina at an e-commerce company, she eventually left it for SportsArt. As such, they moved to Seattle so she could be closer to her work. “I’m not sure how she did it, but she convinced me to join SportsArt shortly after we moved,” said Mejia.
Starting in the company by taking care of its internal IT, Mejia found himself brought into conversations with customers to talk about the products’ technology. “I went from being a small part of the conversation to leading conversations with engineers about how our tech could work in their environments,” he said. “My experience eventually led me to having a lot more influence on how our tech was developed.’’
Evolving at SportsArt
The power of conversation hasn’t left Mejia. In fact, in 2019 he was promoted to his current position, the executive vice president of SportsArt America. Sales, marketing and technology fall under his responsibility.
With this role change, Mejia said he’s had the privilege of speaking with not only campus rec professionals about the brand’s products but also those they serve. “In the past couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with more and more students who have a passion for sustainability,” he shared. “These students have a genuine interest in our company, our values and our eco-friendly products. Some of these students are gathering information for a proposal to get funding for our products.”
Connecting with Today’s Student
It’s no secret the new generation of college students are thinking green. Mejia shared professionals in the industry are aware today’s students arrive at college ready to be connected to a cause they care about.
SportsArt is a solution to one of those causes. “We are focused on bringing to market beautiful, smart, innovative products and technologies that play a role in sustaining the health of the planet and the people,” said Mejia. “Our vision is to be the global choice of fitness and rehabilitative exercise equipment for individuals and organizations looking to change the world.”
With that in mind, SportsArt equipment connects with today’s student. Its full line of cardio equipment generates useable electricity with every workout. Mejia noted a lot of people are aware of solar panels and LED lights. Now, many are seeing how fitness equipment can play a role in impacting the planet.
Impacting Facility Use
But, its effect goes beyond just doing good for the environment. “Now, campus rec centers can have a relatable reason, besides fitness, for today’s students to visit the gym more,” said Mejia. “Campus rec operators can create events — such as a weekend where the goal is to generate enough electricity to offset what the lights consume — that will give students an extra reason to workout.”
It’s not a new goal of SportsArt’s to have that sort of impact. Since the company was founded in 1977, Mejia said their values have remained the same. And their main differentiators are their keys to success as a company:
- They are a privately-owned company still operated by the founding family. This means freedom from answering to shareholders and being driven by the bottom line.
- SportsArt equipment is built to last. You don’t buy new equipment because it falls apart; you buy it because you want to.
- The ECO-POWR line of cardio equipment offsets a gym’s electricity consumption by using human energy.
- Plus, they have a line of equipment used in physical rehab. It includes an elliptical that helps people learn how to walk.
“As you can probably tell, I’m very proud of what we have accomplished in our 46 years of existence,” shared Mejia.
SportsArt Truly Cares
For Mejia, the power of SportsArt is, like its cardio equipment, human powered. He loves to work for a company that truly cares. They are flexible and willing to cater to the needs of clients. It’s a powerful notion that’s been passed down through the years, and one that empowers him each day.
“I am most fulfilled when I talk to someone outside of SportsArt who believes in our brand as much as I do because of the values we share,” explained Mejia. “Together, we can come up with a solution that meets all the needs of their project, even those needs that go beyond specifications. There are not very many jobs where you can say the products you sell help people be healthier, reduce a university’s or college’s carbon footprint, and connect students with a cause.”
To learn more, visit gosportsart.com/.