September 6-8, 2013 | Orlando, Florida
September 5: Board Demo Day
From the stockroom clerk to the accountant and owner, the one thing every employee at BoardCo shares in common is a huge passion for wakeboarding.
Store Location: Provo, Utah
By Shelby Stanger
“It’s not a maybe or ‘nice to have,’ it’s a requirement that you have to have a passion for wakeboarding and a desire to share that with the community if you work here,” says BoardCo VP Mitch Mann, who has been running the wakeboarding powerhouse since 2002.
“If a kid working on the floor or behind the phone is passionate about the sport, it’s going to translate to the customer. We work really hard to promote the sport for the whole community,” says Mann.
Mitch’s father, Troy, originally started the business in 1989 as a boat dealership called M&M Watersports and then as a shop for waterskiing.
Over the years, however, as wakeboarding came onto the scene and Mitch became more involved in the sport and store, he took over the M&M storefront, changing the name to BoardCo in 2002, and keeping M&M Watersports as a boat dealership business.
Today, BoardCo’s main business is wakeboarding, not just in-store, but online as well.
“We have a great in-store and local business, but our online business has allowed us to grow really big nationally,” says Mitch, who adds that they have ten staff members dedicated just to the shop’s Web site.
Mitch’s dad, Troy, started the online shop in 1995, long before most stores even had a Web site. Troy worked for a rocketry company and insisted the company be technically advanced.
The online shop and BoardCo’s standalone metal building in Provo, Utah carries all the latest in wakeboard hardgoods, wetsuits, life jackets, ropes, handles, accessories, clothes and anything you need to get behind a boat and riding a wake.
Mitch, who tries to get on the water as much as possible, says his shops are busier than ever, mostly because of the fairly new craze for wakesurfing as well as the addition of several new cable parks letting people without a boat try the sport.
“Wakesurfing has been great for the sport, frankly because it’s just a blast,” says Mitch. “You don’t have to paddle back out, you can do it when it’s choppy, you aren’t strapped in, you can do it with family, and heck, you can be 70 and doing it!”
BoardCo sponsors a local grassroots wake team as well as professional riders from across the country. They heavily promote their team online, featuring videos of riders on their site. They also hold in-store contests and host movie premieres and events when anything big in wakeboarding happens locally.
“Most of our customers are heavily devoted to the sport, but we cater to everyone form the local shredder kid trying to win the Outlaw division of his local competition to the guy who is just trying wakeboarding for the first time,” says Mitch.
The online shop offers free three-day shipping on orders over $50, and is big on customer service. “The most important thing is providing the best experience for our customers, whether they are physically at our shop or behind a computer―even if that doesn’t help our bottom line in the short term,” says Mitch.
Besides being big on customer service and proud of how big they’ve grown their business online and in-store, Mitch is personally most proud of the fact that he enjoys what he does. “The best part of running this shop is that I get to talk to people about what they love. I love every day. I really have never worked a day in my life.”
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