What Do Celebrity Athletes Really Need in a Training Facility?
I grew up in a small town in Northwest Louisiana where sports were a large part of my family and community. I played shortstop and point guard for baseball and basketball teams, respectively, at local school practice fields and gymnasiums. I also enjoyed running along the bayou and learned to endure the humidity without getting winded. Weekends were spent at the ballpark, eating hot dogs and nachos-which fueled the need for even more laps and pushups. Our workouts were tough, but high-tech training it wasn’t.
Stay in the Game
These days, kids, teens and adults alike can train alongside professional athletes who partner with Nashville-based D1 Sports to run their own training facility franchises. The first D1 Sports Training facility opened in 2003 just outside Nashville; it was only 4,000-square-feet but had all the essentials that attract so many athletes to the brand. Today, A M King and Sports Med Properties have established a specific development, design and construction formula for the growth and expansion of D1 Sports. These cutting-edge training/medical facilities have grown both in size and complexity with the addition of high-end training and equipment and physical therapy suites that can include routine outpatient services, MRIs and even cryogenic therapy services. Chris Paul (Houston Rockets); Jeff Teague (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Aqib Talib (Denver Broncos) are among the investors in A M King/Sports Med Properties locations, which include D1 Denver, D1 Winston-Salem, D1 Birmingham, D1 Louisville, D1 Omaha, The Factory in Speedway, IN and A+ Athletes Powered by D1 Sports in Carrollton, TX.
Benefits to Athlete Owners
The brand new A+ Athletes Powered by D1 Sports in Carrollton, TX offers a 2-acre outdoor football field with natural grass, lights and a high-performance track. It’s meant for amateur and professional athletes to train, but will also be used for Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib’s own off-season training–allowing him to focus on the speed and agility that is necessary for elite football players. In addition, each location brings new business to local communities and provides an excellent opportunity to participate in outreach programs such as fundraising events and competitions. Both Jeff Teague, owner of The Factory in Speedway, IN, and his father Shawn, regularly sponsor events such as the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge, scheduled for April. Finally, the D1 facilities offer a sustainable source of income for the owner athletes. The global health club industry was worth $84 billion in 2016, according to Statista, with the U.S. claiming $28 billion of the fitness center revenue pie. Membership at fitness clubs in the U.S. has soared to 54 million people.
A M King works closely with every athlete owner to determine specific needs and requests and to establish goals for the facility. Using the Design-Build delivery method creates opportunities for solutions. The bottom line? We allow the athletes to focus on their careers and leave the building of buildings to us!
- Design, planning and permitting. This is huge for these guys. Since we have done so many of these, we also understand the complexities and intricacies of a D1 facility, and will guide the athlete and owner through the process and assist them in making decisions.
- Financial considerations. We develop concise and accurate financial information, allowing the owner to understand the financial resources required, and the costs for adding amenities such as basketball courts, yoga studios, outdoor turf fields, or speed tracks.
- Specialty vendors. We coordinate all vendors on the project, including any vendors that may be under direct contract with the athlete/owner, and provide on-site management ensuring schedules are met, and quality measures are in place.
- Special requests. Jeff Teague wanted to add volleyball courts to diversify The Factory. A M King traveled with him to the equipment manufacturer to ensure he was getting what he wanted, and that the nets would work in conjunction with the other systems implemented in the facility.
- Facility maintenance. AM KIng understands the wear and tear these facilities take. In order to better protect the facility from future maintenance issues, we ensure wire guards are put on all thermostats, lights, and signs within the indoor field areas. The walls surrounding the fields and any “high performance activity area” are plywood to take the repetitive beating of balls and other objects.