Local sports entrepreneurs give advice to students on starting business
By Drew Drohan
The John C. Pace Library hosted “Sports Entrepreneurship & Leadership” Wednesday night with a panel discussion.
The discussion featured three entrepreneurs with a presence in the Pensacola area.
Three panelists, Briana Knight, Tim Fox, and Tristesa Osborne provided their opinions on how their active lifestyle-centric businesses have got to where they are at today. The crowded area on the library’s first floor featured business students listening in to the panelist’s advice.
Panelists discussed commonly faced issues with young graduates such as how to start a business and how to deal with the inner workings of one.
When asked what should be behind a person’s desire to start a business, Knight, owner of Lululemon retailer and yoga studio Disko Lemonade downtown, shared with students what to possess when you do.
“Have a mission first and foremost,” Knight said. “We’re selling a product but a feeling as well. Have sense of community that’ll make people want to get behind your brand.”
In relation to their businesses focusing around a certain activity or sport, Fox, the organizer of the Subway Class Bike Race, cites his love for a “community” around his love for cycling.
“One of our races a few months ago featured riders from 22 states and four countries,” Fox said. “Our revenue from these races been given back to the Pensacola community, something I’m proud of.”
Establishing a distinct brand and targeting a specific audience was also discussed. Osborne made a point to tell students that you need to know the type of people you’re trying to reach when starting business.
“Our audience is primarily women 25 and up, but we still try to attracted secondary audiences such as young women and husbands, boyfriends, etc.,” Osborne, owner of Pensacola-based fishing apparel supplier Fishin’ Chix, said.
A Q&A followed the panel, with students being given the ability to ask the panelists some questions of their own.