Sporting events have played pivotal roles in communities around the world throughout history. However, a decade ago, youth and high school sports were fragmented as compared to professional sports. Moreover, the important facets of personal development in youth, high school and college sports were often overlooked. Recognizing this need and aiming to help young athletes thrive, Doug Dickison established Destination Athlete® in 2008.
Since its inception, Destination Athlete® has been on a mission to build better communities through athletes. The company strives to help athletes get to their personal destination by providing a one-stop resource for all their needs —sports and field equipment, uniforms, spirit wear, varsity jackets, fundraising solutions, and more. “Our motto, EVERYTHING TEAM, EVERYTHING BETTER™ stems from being a true one-source solution for team sports and our ability to put a bow on the whole package by providing exemplary service.” asserts Doug.
The 360 DEVELOPMENT™ Program
Since the very beginning, Doug realized that the industry was lacking a focus on holistic development. Consequently, the need for a more all-inclusive approach to addressing athlete needs led to the inception of 360 DEVELOPMENT™ —a customizable development program led by a best-in-class team of experts proficient in various facets of personal development in areas often overlooked in youth sports. This program aims to develop successful teams and organizations by helping to create winning cultures, respected leaders, and connected people.
The 360 DEVELOPMENT™ approach allows these experts to embed themselves in a team or organization’s culture and become a part of it. The experts get to know the people and make personal connections, which allow them to provide a lens for the leaders to help reinforce their goals. These services are then customized to meet the needs of each client. The team of professionals of this program collaborates throughout the entire process to deliver transformational and sustainable results.
Fundraising Made Easy and Effective
Along with the development program, Destination Athlete’s innovative business model distinguishes it from its peers. The company’s latest distinction is its new digital fundraising platform. Through this platform, the company assists teams with fundraising solutions by creating awareness, raising money, and bolstering the team spirit. It has made fundraising easy and effective by developing an individual rewards program that is built for success. “The platform is entirely online with no upfront fees, no door-to-door selling, no delivery required, and no money to collect,” adds Doug.
A Zealous Entrepreneur leading from the Front
Being the Founder and Chairman of Destination Athlete®, Doug is driving the company forward with over 20 years of business leadership experience. He emphasizes on having the right people, the latest technologies, and appropriate systems –to set up plans for the future. Due to his endeavor to reshape the youth sports market, Doug caught the attention of Bank of America and was prominently featured as a success story in their Small Business Spotlight. Moreover, he was selected to the Forbes New York Business Council as a contributor to their group of forward-thinking business entrepreneurs.
Under his dynamic leadership, Doug has led Destination Athlete® to several awards and recognitions. The company has been ranked among the Top 500 Franchises in the world for five years in a row by the Entrepreneur Magazine. Additionally, this year, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Destination Athlete® as one of the fastest-growing franchises in the United States. Most recently, the company was featured in a book by author Michael Caldwell called Dynamic Entrepreneurs of the 21st Century featuring those visionaries whose intellect and drive brought them fast success.
Adapting to the Current Industry Needs
The COVID-19 pandemic has induced disruptive changes to businesses across the globe. Destination Athlete®, however, views these changes as an opportunity. In these revolting times, its astute franchisees are thinking outside the box. For instance, many franchisees have branched out to alternate businesses to offer apparel for business and corporate wear. “It has been a successful venture that makes sense for the company moving forward,” said Doug. The company is continuously expanding its portfolio of products and services to be able to adapt to the current industry needs on both the national and local levels.
Destination Athlete® has also added face coverings to its product range. Moreover, it has recently added the MVP Sprint Robotic Tackle Dummy to its product line. This innovative product simulates the size and performance of an athlete allowing players to practice on soft foam instead of their teammates. As a result, the injury rate is decreased, the number of concussions is decreased, and the player contact is significantly reduced which is vital during these unprecedented times. “We just keep focusing on delighting and caring for our customers as we always have. The team understands how we can help by being there and remaining secure and steady like a rock,” added Doug.
Making a Positive Impact
‘Getting you there®’ is Destination Athlete’s mission and promise to its partners and customers. The company believes that it can make a positive impact on the communities it works through sports. Community engagement is an essential part of Destination Athlete’s overall strategy of building better communities through athletes. The company achieves this through local community efforts, volunteering at charitable events, and also through corporate giving.
In the first ten years, Destination Athlete® focused on providing superior customer service and a fervent devotion to changing the conversation around sports. Their business partners and customers alike recognize the company’s high level of service and ability to execute. They can expect the next ten years to bring even better things to come.
Read full issue : The 10 Disruptive Franchises of 2020