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Beginning our next chapter

October 18, 2014

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Highlight Center Plans

Our beginnings were incredibly humble. After moving on from a dorm room, our first office space was in Banbury Place, the old Uniroyal Tire Plant in Eau Claire, WI. It’s difficult to share the feelings we had walking through there for the first time, but we felt we were in the presence of craftsmanship and hard work. We saw an empty space, but we felt inspired.

Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.
Johannes Brahms

That original office space helped us start what would eventually become the SportsEngine that everyone knows today. We were lucky to realize very early that being surrounded by beautiful industrial architecture, with open brick and timber spaces, helped everyone on our team thrive in a creative and collaborative environment. Being surrounded by the historic craftsmanship of those who occupied before us, no doubt inspired us to build sports technology in a way that hadn’t been seen before.

As we outgrew our original space in Eau Claire, and moved our operations to Minneapolis, we searched for a new home that had the same type of history. We ultimately settled in our current home in the amazing Van Buren Building in the historic Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis. So much has happened to us here. Too much to mention really, but we have really become a part of this community. Over the past 6 years, we have become friends with so many coffee shops, breweries, restaurants, merchants, bars, and other local businesses.

The time has come where we need to boldly embrace change. With change, you often get to look at new ways of doing things. You also have the opportunity to continue to embrace the values and environments that have made you successful.

A question that we’ve been asked a lot recently is “What’s next?”

The short answer is, “we’re moving.” The long answer is “we’re moving down the street.”

Minneapolis, and more specifically Northeast Minneapolis, is home. It will be for a long time. We’ve had so many offers to move into shiny new buildings, in really cool “hot” areas. But when we looked at every single blueprint, drawing, chart, or picture, none of them gave us the same feelings we had when we first walked into that Uniroyal Tire Plant- and all of them brought us to a different community.

Then we toured the Highlight Center just down the street. For decades, it housed an amazing lightbulb manufacturing company. Such an important technology that over time, has brought amazing craftsmanship to solve really big problems for people. As we scanned the room, we saw brick, we saw timber, and really, we saw our new home.

In June 2015, we’ll continue in a new home. But more importantly, we’ll be in an incredibly creative, open environment where we’ll be inspired daily by the craftsmen who were there before us. We’ll also be just down the street from our special friend Kim at Ideal Diner, and so many of the other friends we’ve made in the Northeast community. We’re excited to be a part of building a brand new community at 807 Broadway.

Ultimately, every decision in this move was made while also asking ourselves “how does this impact the volunteers and administrations we serve everyday?”. For them, we’ll now have the space to continue to host SportsEngine User Group events, workshops, presentations, and national conferences. The entire SportsEngine Community will call the new space home. When we talk to coaches, volunteers, registrars, parents, administrators, and directors, we know they are also teachers, restaurant owners, baristas, factory supervisors, and a million other things. Each day, we’ll continue to work in community along side them, in a building showcasing their craftsmanship, every minute inspired by them.

It’s because of them and their love of sport that our world is a better place. We hope the craftsmanship we showcase will be a part of improving theirs.

Follow along as we build out our new space at community.sportngin.com/construction-blog