Mid Florida Sportswear leverages CEO Peer-to-Peer Coaching to Advantage
January 21, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or email@example.com
Orlando, FL – John Koberg had an opportunity and wanted input on how to take advantage of it. As CEO of Mid Florida Sportswear, he had worked hard to become an approved vendor with Sam’s Club several years ago. The company was initially brought in as a supplier of officially licensed Daytona Bike Week shirts. Over the years, Mid Florida Sportswear had grown its relationship with Sam’s Club by expanding the number of clubs that carry Daytona Bike Week shirts as well as securing licenses with other rallies such as Sturgis and Myrtle Beach to grow into other Sam’s Club markets.
During that time, by working closely with the local Sam’s Club manager, Mike Mitchener, Mr. Koberg had been trying to develop an apparel line that would appeal to more than just the clubs surrounding the area of the rally. In fact, over the past three years Mid Florida had tried several different design approaches, but none of them took off. Mr. Koberg knew he had to do something that would get the attention of customers nation-wide, but just could not find success.
In September of 2013, John Koberg joined the Florida SBDC at Daytona State College’s CEO XChange, an executive roundtable program offering a confidential setting for top executives to discuss vital business issues, opportunities and trends with a group of peers. Coincidentally, he and the local Sam’s club manager had been discussing a possible new direction to take to increase Mid Florida Sportswear’s exposure in Sam’s Club.
Looking to take advantage of the brainpower of the members of CEO XChange, the opportunity to grow his business with Sam’s Club became a topic of discussion at one of the monthly CEO XChange meetings. The group began bouncing ideas around. The CEO XChange members focused on what would make Mid Florida’s product unique and saleable. Several parameters were agreed to: it had to be entirely made and designed in the USA on an American made t-shirt; it had to be a soft style comfortable t-shirt; the designs had to be branded and trademarked with pride from the Daytona Beach area, yet appeal to a larger audience; and it had to have an eye-catching hang tag capturing that pride.
The CEO XChange group offered input on all of those items and more. One item directly attributable to the group, with unanimous agreement, was to make use of the Daytona Beach brand. Everyone agreed that Daytona Beach is an underappreciated brand that is widely known outside of Florida and the United States. After bouncing around several ideas, they settled on the name “Authentic Beachstyle Daytona”.
With the final samples in hand, it was off to Bentonville that Mr. Koberg and Mr. Michener went. In July Mid Florida received notification that Sam’s Club was going to run a test order on its Authentic Beachstyle Daytona made in America soft style T-shirt line; it was one of the single largest orders in the company’s history. In September 2014, one year after joining the CEO XChange, Mid Florida Sportswear began shipping the order and currently its new line is in virtually every Sam’s Club in Florida. Mr. Koberg credits much of this success to the close working relationship with the local Sam’s club manager and the significant guidance and input from the FSBDC at Daytona State College’s CEO XChange group.
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.
About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.
In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue