High Class Problems for Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, INC. yields opportunities and 12.5% increase in Sales, Boston Marathon Weekend.
Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, INC., Boston Marathon weekend once again was a success by every measure. Our Sales at the event were up 12.5% over last year, and are up 15.4% for the year.
Now in year three, after a long term contract extension, Boston Marathon was once again a tremendous challenge, but just as in the first two years, the Blue Diamond Team was up to the challenge.
With 2 years under our belt, and several lessons learned, this year’s event went very smooth. There were no last minute hiccups and only one surprise, and the booth and products were ready to roll on Friday at the opening of the expo at Hynes Convention Center. The BAA once again provided full support including additional email blasts and booth #800.
Just to the left, two booths down from the entrance to the Adidas Booth, in Booth #800 we were bombarded with traffic all weekend long and it is safe to say that the Blue Diamond Brand was a hit, almost too much of a hit when at peak on Saturday. Things got a lil crazy on Saturday almost “Black Friday-esque” kinda crazy! At the peak, we had a nice group from Bejing China desiring to pretty much buy us out of all of our Boston Marathon products that we had on hand.
How cool is that?
Chinese customers, desiring American small business premium products! I would call that a Win and a #goodtimesnoodlesalad story!
With 30 plus years of Manufacturing under our belt, American manufacturers can compete!!!
If you don’t believe it, stop by Booth #800 next year out at Hynes Convention Center, Boston Marathon Weekend. All doubters, turned believers, will be entitled to one complimentary “Orange Whip” (RIP John Candy) courtesy of the awesome Blue Diamond Team!
Just as in the first two years, Club Quarters Hotel was once again the home of Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, INC. during our stay. A big shout out to Club Quarters and their staff, they provided the “rock star” treatment again this year and we plan on staying there in years to come.
Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, INC. Boston Marathon Weekend 2016 Highlights:
- Steve Johnson from Kentucky, a Blue Diamond customer, who ordered his Display online stopped by to say hi and thank you. He was delighted with the quality of his Display, timely delivery and going the extra mile. With each shipment, Nell includes a thank you letter/welcome to the Blue Diamond family letter.
When customers/friends/athletes /partners take time out of their busy day to thank us, when we are so thankful for them, it is reminder to us that we are on the right path, a good path. The relationships that we have developed over the last five years have been without question the best part about our Blue Diamond journey.
- Sheree A. from the Boston area stopped by to say hi, and purchase three more Displays from our PSMS1 family or Powder Coated with Runner Tabs Family. In year one, she purchased two Displays from us. Last year, and 8 months pregnant, she made a special trip to Hynes to purchase two more Displays from us, and this year she purchased three more.
The greatest compliment we could possibly receive is either a customer referral, or a repeat purchase. Needless to say, Sheree’s purchases of eight total Medal Displays from us is an incredible honor for us.
- John O’Neil and his lovely wife, Blue Diamond customers and now friends stopped by to say hi. John’s wife originally purchased our SSMS2-BOSTON2, Medal Display, for John. Later John purchased one of our CIM (California International Marathon) Displays. While in Sacramento, John and his wife offered up their hospitality and assisted us in the preparations for the CIM event.
- Jen Tom, awesome body builder, marathoner, customer and friend stopped by to say hi with her boyfriend Jon Sato. Once again, Jen and Jon took time out of their busy day to say hi and they came at the very peak on Saturday. Given the frenetic sales activity that was going on, the picture of Jen surrounded by Blue Diamond love turned out nice.
- Runners are the coolest people on the planet. Our new friend and George from Windsor CA gave up his Medal Display to a gentleman from India because George was taking the last one of that particular part number. Collectively we decided it would be much easier to ship George his Medal Display to Windsor Canada than ship to India. George kindly gave up his Display to the gentleman from India and he was delighted.
- Our good friend Larry Rosenblatt stopped by to see us. Like the others, Larry started out as a Blue Diamond customer but is much more than that now. He and I seem to hit it off on several fronts. He knows the origination of my #goodtimesnoodlesalad and is a fan of Jack. He also is a baseball enthusiast, Met fan, personal friend of Tom Seaver. He is also a big basketball fan as well and he and his wife used to babysit for Luke Walton Assistant Coach of the Golden State Warriors and soon to be head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. I am pretty sure he and I could close down a few bars with Larry and talk forever. He is a familiar face around Boston as he has run several Bostons and seems to be everywhere and know everyone.
- Speaking of knowing everyone, in the Chicago running scene, that would be Dan Daly. Dan Daly stopped by to say hey! If one could vote for the Mayor of Chicagoland Area running it would come down to a few good friends of ours, headed by Dan Daly, Juan Valdez, and Sergio Arreola. If you are a runner, and from Chicago, there is a good chance that you know at least one of these awesome runner dudes. Dan was one of our first customers, now a fan, and even let us use his awesome Boston Marathon Medals, 21 in total, for some of our marketing material. In addition to being a very successful runner and all around cool guy, Dan has been a long time successful Cross Country at Chicago Latin HS. We have crossed paths at many CC Meets as some of his top runners have competed against my second cousin Jack Darrow of Fenwick HS.
- Mary and Tom McManus of Boston, once again prior customers, current friends made a point to stop by and say hi. Mary has been dealt some tough hands in her life and running for Mary is not as easy as it is for most and she has conquered all her hurdles in fine fashion. For more on Mary’s story, you can read her testimonial on our page. I have the unique honor and pleasure of sharing my first Boston Marathon finish with Mary. We were both first time, Boston Marathon 2009 Finishers. Although, Mary and Tom are far from being teenagers, it is clear they are wildly in love and inseparable. It is rare to see that in couples as they get older.
Throughout our Blue Diamond Journey we have met many, what I would refer to as “running rock stars”. One such rock star is Genaro Gonzalez of Mexico. He is the proud owner of our three largest Boston Marathon Medal Displays. (SSMS2-BOSTON1-1, SSMS2-BOSTON2, and INMS1-BOSTON1) He stopped by with a couple of his friends Boston Marathon weekend and his friends purchased a few Displays. A couple weeks before Boston, Genaro was skiing in Colorado and after Boston, he ran Big Sur. We are a huge Genaro fan and he is a fan of Blue Diamond and we are grateful.
- As we were on the campus of University of Notre Dame, having lunch on our way home from the Glass City Toledo Marathon event, another successful favorite of ours, Tony Rich, a new customer of ours posted an awesome picture on our Facebook Wall. Take a look. Turns out that Tony is also known as “Iron Tony” as he is a highly successful triathlete, triathlete coach as well as runner. I remember Tony at the event as he came when things were a little crazy at our booth. We appreciative or customers who are delighted with our products and then share pics and or stories. In an IM exchange with Tony, Tony wrote, and I quote:
“Whoever came up with that Boston Marathon Displays is a Genius. It is beautiful. My photographer snapped a great pic!”
- Prior to last year’s Boston Marathon, we cut in a new design in the 11th It is currently our largest Display to date and it features the infamous Boston Marathon elevation chart and the point to point Boston Marathon route. One of the first customers we sold this product to was Chris B. of Minnesota. He stopped by this year to say hi and he also shared a pretty cool picture of his Medal Display with us. Once again, visits from customers like Chris make our journey worth it.
When I set out to write this blog entry, I was not quite sure where it would lead and the more I recalled the event as I was writing, it has become quite clear to us at Blue Diamond that we truly have some of the coolest, nicest, most competitive friends/customers/athletes on the planet.
On the Personal Side of things:
Once again our dear friend and awesome sales person “Big O” or Orsola was terrific on all fronts throughout Boston Marathon weekend. She has been with us since the beginning and does an outstanding job working the event with us. In addition to being a terrific sales person, Orsola serves the role of our social director/Boston tour guide.
Big O also took part in the Blindfold Challenge Boston 5K on Saturday. I had the honor of being her guide. Orsola ran the 5K on Saturday blindfolded to raise money for the Perkins School for
the Blind in Boston. She was one of the top fund raisers and ran courageously as we finished in approximately 30 minutes. Racing 3.1 Miles among thousands of runners can be challenging on its own.
Now try and do it blindfolded!!
At about the two mile mark of the 5K as we were running up Boylston Street, Big O yelled out
“HEY, Am I WINNING this Thing?!?!?”
Orsola was inspired by her good friend Kurt Fiene who is blind. In 2011, Kurt was the top blind runner at Boston finishing in a time 2:44. Runners World did a special feature article on Kurt in 2011. Both Orsola and Kurt are members of the Elmhurst Running Club in Elmhurst IL.
It was a new experience for me, guiding Big O. I have a much deeper appreciation for Blind runners as a result of experiencing almost firsthand what they are up against.
Getting ready for the Boston Marathon is no easy task for us. It typically involves high stress levels, deadlines, allnighters, unforeseen problems that need to be dealt with on-the-fly. We truly put our heart and sole into our business and would not have it any other way. On Sunday night after all the work was done, we celebrated by going to the Omni Parker House where the Boston Cream Pie was invented. By then we were all running on fumes and were in good spirits and were making the most of our night out. There were plenty of laughs to go around and one point I thought we might have been approached by management to keep it down. It was so nice to see my wife belting out a number of belly laughs. The cream pie, the jokes, the laughs, the friendship and love were the rewards we treated ourselves to after a successful Boston Marathon expo.
It was a another #goodtimesnoodlesalad event for the Blue Diamond Team.
Thank you for reading,
Ken, Nell and the Rest of the Blue Diamond Family!