During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, United States swimmer Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly. But it wasn’t by a large margin.
In fact, Phelps won by the smallest margin of victory possible in a swimming race: 0.01 seconds.
To the naked eye, it appeared Phelps had lost. But the timing and scoring equipment said otherwise.
With so much relying on these pieces of equipment, it’s no wonder Colorado Time Systems (CTS) has been working for 50 years to provide exceptional timing and scoring products.
“We are all committed to honor the commitment of athletes worldwide by crafting, serving and supporting the precision timing systems that accurately record and preserve scoring and offer exciting, customizable experiences to each facility we serve,” said Rick Connell, the vice president and general manager at CTS.
The History of Colorado Time Systems
However, that mission began in a division of Hewlett-Packard (HP). HP was looking to explore opportunities in the sports timing industry, choosing an aquatics focus as it required precise measurement.
In 1972, four HP engineers stepped away from HP and founded CTS. Since then, the display portfolio of CTS has grown to include:
- LED full color video displays.
- Sport-specific scoreboards.
- Portable scoreboards and more.
In fact, CTS can provide scoring, timing and display solutions for almost every sport.
It was in 2000 that CTS recruited Connell to join its sales team. This was after his stint with both GE Capital and Colorado Rockies Baseball. “It was an exciting proposition because I saw it as an opportunity to impact student athletes in their quest for excellence,” he said. “My very first campus rec customer was the University of Minnesota, and I’m pleased to say they are still our customer today.”
Over the years, Connell has been building relationships around the world. In fact, he shared they have been one of the most fulfilling parts about being at CTS.
Plus, Connell appreciates the impact he can have both internally and externally. “I’m honored to support my team through servant leadership, and seeing the successes and growth each of them accomplish daily,” he said. “I also love to follow student athletes through their journey and be part of an organization that celebrates their accomplishments no matter how large or small.”
In 2012, CTS saw another change. It was acquired by PlayCore, a purpose-driven company committed to building stronger communities around the world by advancing play and recreation.
During that transition, Connell was promoted from sales manager to vice president and general manager. “It was an easy decision to say yes because I believe in the company wholeheartedly,” he said.
CTS’ Role in Promoting Health and Wellness
That belief is both true for PlayCore and CTS. Serving thousands of facilities worldwide, CTS plays a role in promoting health and wellness for athletes of all abilities and levels of competition.
In fact, one can find CTS products nationally and internationally at events like:
- USA Diving
- European Junior Championships
- China Swimming Association
- SEA Games
“We support the aquatics community through long-standing partnerships with organizations like U.S. Masters Swimming, USA Water Polo and USA Diving, to name a few,” said Connell.
But the word “exceptional” doesn’t just describe CTS products. It also describes its commitment to relationships, quality, continued innovation based on feedback and customer service.
And customer service is CTS’ biggest differentiator. “We problem solve more than anybody — our team can find solutions and it takes the stress off people who have not been in the industry for long,” said Connell. “We listen to our customers and often come up with creative solutions to fit their needs based on facility requirements or budgets.”
In addition, it allows them the ability to implement a personalized approach from the top down. This supports customers in whatever their needs may be.
“Whether it’s bouncing around ideas for their ideal facility, making suggestions for upgrades or supporting the systems they currently have in place, someone is always available,” said Connell.
Every Competition is a Chance to Learn
The knowledge of the CTS staff is unsurpassed in Connell’s opinion. It allows them to be deeply committed to the industry. In fact, CTS treats every competition and every event as a chance to learn and explore an unknown space.
Just like any athlete, CTS is looking to compete and get better every single race. It strives to produce exceptional products and service, and it isn’t afraid to test the unknown waters.
It’s a company that is looking to get better every single day, even if it’s one small change at a time. Because as Phelps proved, CTS knows and lives out the fact that sometimes the smallest of margins can mean the biggest triumphs in continuing the legacy of providing exceptional timing and scoring equipment.
For more information on Colorado Time Systems, visit coloradotime.com.
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