Team Sport Acquisition of Pole Position Indoor Karting
TeamSport is a rapidly growing business, having opened 7 new tracks in only 2.5 years. As Managing Director, the majority of my time is spent focussing on new projects and acquisitions and building our all important pipeline for the future growth. Together with the highly experienced management team we have also invested a great deal of time and energy in developing our overall business strategy and ensuring regular, meaningful engagement with all employees company wide.
As Managing Director, most of my time is spent on new projects and acquisitions, and building our pipeline for the next few years. The other key aspects of my role are working on strategy with my management team and generally overseeing the business, talking to our great people and hopefully inspiring them to achieve more.
In terms of what makes us unique, we tend to invest more in our facilities than other tracks in the UK, so the core product we offer is really strong. Perhaps more importantly is the focus of our people on delivering exceptional service. In my view, this is what really sets us apart from other leisure experiences.
Since our inception, we have been a growing company adding more and more tracks across the UK. We began in 1990 under the banner of ‘Go-Karting For Fun’ in Guildford where we set new standards for go karting events and unparalleled centre facilities. Since then we have gone from strength to strength, establishing ourselves as a leader in our industry and looking towards sustaining and building upon this success. Our acquisition of Pole Position is a testament to this success, and will inevitably lead to further opportunities down the road.
We believe that this deal gives us a springboard into the North of England. We already had a track in Warrington, so to have a second in the North will really build our reputation in this region. With new tracks due to open in Nottingham (December 2015) and Liverpool (early 2016), the Leeds acquisition has enabled us to start building a team in the North for further growth.
Pole Position in Leeds had been operating for over 10 years and had a really good reputation. It is a massive track, with a great team who were all really committed and proud to work at what many thought to be the best track in the north. Leeds itself is a great city and with the location of the track so close to the City Centre as well as having great access to the motorway network, this made it a really appealing opportunity for the company.
Pole Position will also now benefit from a refit and rebranding of the hospitality areas. We are putting in a new bar and restaurant area, as well as new conference and meeting rooms for events. We think it will give the place a real lift. Trackside, there was not much to do as the circuit itself is excellent, and a really good driving experience.
The process of getting the deal done took about nine months to complete, beginning with my first conversations with the vendors. There were a few minor challenges along the way, but nothing we couldn’t work through. From our experience, good communication between all parties seems to be the most important thing in maintaining the momentum on deals.
Looking ahead, we plan to be quite aggressive in expanding our services over the next few years. In terms of new builds, we have a really strong pipeline of new opportunities, and I expect us to have at least 20 tracks in the UK by the end of 2016. We are also looking at a couple of acquisitions that could accelerate this growth further.