Memphis Business Journal – by Michael Sheffield

Sports Floors, Inc., which installs and maintains gym and fitness floors, has moved into a new $500,000, 8,400-square-foot facility in Bartlett, a move from 3,500 square feet on Tillman.

Bruce Gleneck, president of Sportsfloors, says having its own building allowed the company to build a new showroom just under 1,800 square feet. Customers can try out the floors to pick which surfaces best suit their needs.

Connor Sports Flooring, which supplies the floors, is currently marketing a floor called Green Play, which is made up of recycled plastic, wood and rubber. The floor is specifically designed for LEED certified projects, Gleneck says.

Despite a sinking economy, Sportsfloors was able to maintain its level of business in 2008, thanks in part to the NCAA.

A new NCAA rule pushed back the 3-point line for college basketball from 19.9 feet to 20.9 feet. That meant every school had to have lines in place by the basketball season opener in November.

Gleneck and his sales staff sent out fliers reminding schools of the rule change early in the year, which won them early business. Sportsfloors ran some promotions that gave the lines away for free if the customer got other services like sanding or a new floor. Floors typically start at around $10 a square foot. A typical high school floor is around 15,000 square feet. A floor done for Louisiana Tech University in Ruston cost $125,000.

Chris Woods, president of Chris Woods Construction, has worked with Sportsfloors on numerous local projects and built the company’s new office.

“The customers can see what they’re really getting and try it out on an actual floor instead of a sample,” Woods says.

Gleneck expects the company to feel an economic crunch in 2009. It had revenues of just under $2 million in 2007 and saw a slight decline in 2008. The company had 13 projects with Memphis City Schools; this year he anticipates five.

Because of that, the company gave up some territory between Nashville and Cookeville to expand into Arkansas and Louisiana. So far, the move has paid off, with the company doing floors for Louisiana State University. It has installed 16 floors for the University of Memphis.