For reasons unclear to me, the crew here at SportDOG believes I should write the first installment of our new blog. Maybe it’s an age thing. I’m thrilled to do so but I certainly am not the best writer you will read here, so come back for the good stuff. Now, onto blog one:
If you are a rollercoaster fan, then you’ve heard the warning “Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times”. A similar caution would have applied to SportDOG in January 2003 as we prepared to announce ourselves to the sporting trade at the SHOT Show. It has been, and continues to be, a wild ride. And fun. Why? Well, the wild part would have been hard to predict and has been a very cool surprise. The fun part was easy to predict. Build a business focused on sporting dogs and hunting? Uh, yes please.
More than a few times, I have been asked ‘what makes SportDOG tick’? As always, in my experience at least, it’s the people. Two things about the team at SportDOG are huge. First, we are a real team. Each member of our crew would just about rather lose a limb than let another member of the crew down. Second, the crew loves their dogs and would rather be sitting in a blind beside them, walking a field behind them, or following them on a scent trail more than doing anything I could mention here.
Personally, I just like to hunt. I’m not overly picky about what I hunt and spend most of my free time between October and February proving it. Given the choice though, I’ll bird hunt. I’m a bird dog guy and have old tri-color male (Ripley) and young orange/white female (Roxy) English Setters at home. Unexplainably, our marketing manager, (Gretchen), engineering manager (Chris), product managers (Darrell and Clay), and sales guys (Steve, Kevin, and Josh) all have labs. They all like to hunt too. Quite possibly the only people that like to watch their dogs in the field and hunt with them more than you are us. OK, maybe you and I can debate that one over coffee at some point down the road, but the fact that it’s a conversation is The Secret. Regardless of our breed of choice, we would be designing SportDOG gear for ourselves even if you weren’t the enablers that we are glad you are. Like you, we appreciate a tool that works and is easy to use and get royally pissed if it doesn’t or isn’t.
I sometimes wish the answer to the question ‘what makes SportDOG tick?’ was more noble and complex. Like we believe we could stop crime by inventing a better tracking system or that by ensuring our dogs are steady to flush our teenagers will recognize us for the wise folks that we are.
I also feel kind of like a parent that spends too much time showing you picture after picture of their child when one would have been good. Thanks for indulging me and allowing me to go on a bit before I get to the most important part of this blog. There is no way we do any of this without you. We would want to because selfishly we would use the gear, but without you the math doesn’t work. If nothing else I say sticks, please remember these two words:
PS. It might also be good to remember to watch your hands and feet…the ride continues…
Lance Tracy is the Vice President of SportDOG Brand®. Lance has been with SportDOG since its creation in 2003. He has been an avid hunter for over 30 years and in the sporting industry for over 18. Lance majored in Electrical Engineering at Indiana/Purdue University in Fort Wayne, IN. Prior to joining Radio Systems Corporation for the creation of SportDOG™, Lance was Vice President of Sales at Innotek. He is married with three children and two English Setters: Ripley, a tri-colored male featured in our SportHunter® 1825 ad, and Roxy, an orange and white female.