Memphis Business Journal – by Michael Sheffield

Sportsfloors, Inc., which installs and maintains gym and fitness floors, plans to move from its 3,500-square-foot headquarters on Tillman to a new 8,400-square-foot facility in Bartlett this summer.

The new facility, which is budgeted to cost $500,000 to build, is the latest bit of success for Sportsfloors, which has grown from a supplier of floors for local schools like Rhodes College and Le-Moyne-Owen College to a regional business that just completed a $125,000 installation for Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

That project was financed by former NBA star and Louisiana Tech graduate Karl Malone.

Bruce Gleneck, president of Sportsfloors, says Malone gave the school $350,000 to upgrade its basketball facilities. . Malone, now the strength and conditioning coach for Louisiana Tech’s basketball program, requested a floor manufactured by Connor Hardwood Courts that carried a $125,000 pricetag.

“I let all of my guys do something on that project and he was there, signing hats and basketballs for them,” Gleneck says. “They loved it.”

Gleneck says the move to the Bartlett location off Kirby-Whitten will be the first time in Sportsfloors’ almost 14-year history the company will have its own building. The new facility will include office space for the company’s 20 employees and allow it to recreate a better version of its 1,400-square-foot showroom.

That showroom allows customers to try out the 32 types of floors Sportsfloors offers, something Gleneck says is critical. It also includes basketball goals so clients can see how the different floors absorb shock from players jumping or balls being dribbled.

“This will give us something to really show them what they’re getting,” Gleneck says.

His company is also hoping to get new business thanks to a recent rule change by the NCAA that will move the three-point line for men’s basketball back one foot. The rule goes into effect for the 2008-09 season.

The line will stay the same for women’s basketball, so every college and junior college men’s program in the country will have to get new lines painted on gym floors, another service provided by Sportsfloors.

Gleneck says his company has sent out fliers to more than 200 schools offering to do the lines for free if the schools sign up for a three-year maintenance agreement with the company. So far, six schools have signed up.

“We can hold the cost down for them by locking it in at today’s price, and we know we have the business locked in,” he says. “We’ll see a lot of people in July who had forgotten about it that need to get it done immediately.”

The company had revenues of more than $2 million in 2006, largely due to rebuilding in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, with 2007 falling slightly from that point, Gleneck says. The federal government is scheduled to release more rebuilding funds for Louisiana this year, so he expects those numbers to be higher this year.

The company recently completed projects for Manassas, Southwind and Central high schools, and Gleneck says the city is bidding out five jobs he hopes to get this year.

“We probably do two projects a month, and this time of year, we’re usually slow, but we haven’t slowed down yet,” he says.

Chris Woods, president of Chris Woods Construction, which has worked with Sportsfloors on five projects over the last three years and is building the company’s new headquarters, says Gleneck and his team always deliver what they say they’re going to on time, which has helped the company grow beyond Memphis and Mississippi.

“Their growth isn’t just in the tri-state area. He’s more regional now, all over the Southeast,” Woods says. “He’s done really well with his business, and we’re honored that he chose us to build their new building out of the contractors he deals with.”