D-BAT Sports

Business View
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D-BAT Sports: Helping Nourish Your Baseball and Softball Skills

When it comes to sports in the United States, Baseball is one of the sports that make round in our grey cells. The popularity of Base­ball has seen greater heights in recent years. In the mid-19thcentury, it spread to a number of countries. The game is being followed with a lot of enthusiasm in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean countries, and elsewhere. Across the globe, the US has the maximum number of baseball fans. Every single kid in the U.S plays baseball or has the will to learn the game and dream to play in a major baseball league. The game has its own charm and makes the fans go crazy about it.

Realizing the potential for a cutting edge baseball and softball indoor training facility, Cade Griffiswith the help of his brother Kyle Griffis and Craig Penfold established a training academy name D-BAT in 1998. His training academy fulfils the needs and expectations of the players. It meets the requirements of a 7-year-old first-time child as well as an MLB player. It offers private lessons and camps for young players aspiring to polish their game. D-BAT’s average customers are mostly 12 years old. However, it has numerous older customers as well. This academy boasts several major leaguers as alums, including Dallas native and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

It is the world’s premier baseball and softball training franchise business, a $30 million company. As of now, it is operating at 101 open locations in the US and China. Apart from this, it has 13 under construction stores slated to open soon. D-BAT’s mission is to provide a quality, teaching environment with professional instruction to enhance the baseball and softball experience for players at all levels and help them reach their goals. The company takes immense pleasure in creating a positive impact on youth baseball and softball, not only in the United States but overseas as well.

D-BAT is an indoor baseball and softball training academy that offers private lessons and camps for young players looking to improve. The academy boasts several major leaguers as alums, including Dallas native and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Eyeing Major Emerging Markets

D-BAT also manufactures and sells baseball equipment which made up about $3 million of the company’s revenue last year. At one point the manufacturing arm of the company was more robust. According to Cade Griffis, “Rafael Palmeiro hit both his 500th homer and 3,000th hit with a D-BAT bat and at one time six of the Boston Red Sox starters used the bats. However, that portion has shrunk as major retailers have taken over the market from mom-and-pop equipment stores. That’s why D-BAT has shifted back its focus to the academies.

The company is eyeing major emerging markets such as China and Japan. Opening D-BAT locations in China will open up the door for expansion in the baseball-frenzy market of Japan. The company is also looking at venturing into Canada, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Griffis’s whole life has revolved around baseball. He himself was a star in high school and college at Dallas Baptist University. He played for a short time in the Kansas City Royals farm system. However, his body did not support him on account of his three knee surgeries before the age of 18.

D-BAT is about “Developing Beliefs, Attitudes, and Traditions” but Griffis initially wanted to call it “Yard Rats” or “Sweat Box”. Based out of Carrollton, Texas, the premier baseball academy, D-BAT is set apart by its comprehensive approach to baseball development. It believes each player plays his own version of baseball, and D-BAT tailors instructions to each person, all while teaching them the baseball basics that will last a lifetime.

In November of 1998, D-BAT opened its first location for $185,000. It did not decide to expand until 2009. Cade wanted to learn the business inside and out before expanding. The first location turned out to be very successful. D-BAT was actually able to turn a small profit in year one. In year two it doubled the profit and was off to the races. Over the initial years, the academy had many customers asking if D-BAT had considered expanding and if so they would like to invest. So this team of amazingly brilliant minds knew they had a model that they could grow and in 2008 they started franchising the D-BAT Model. The feeling that they do it better than anyone kept D-BAT in the race and then it started expanding eventually.

As baseball and softball are growing rapidly and top of the line, D-BAT is becoming one of the most popular platforms for training. Its unique facilities offer players of all ages and experience levels the ability to train year-round. There are always ways to make things better and ensure growth as an organization. D-BAT is growing consistently because of one believe that you cannot be satisfied with where you are, but continue to look for ways you can improve your company. “That’s how we’ve always done it” are the dangerous words by Griffis that he believes stunts growth.

D-BAT has grown 100% or great­er every year for the past 5 years. With the cor­porate support, the organization believes the key to this is to contin­ue to look for better ways to oper­ate and increase revenue streams for our franchisees. This amazing academy is currently looking for a partner to help them secure land and build their own buildings in the future. In 2008, the amazing base­ball and softball training academy was approached by a VC company called Suntex Capital. Ned Flem­ming, the CEO of Suntex had a vision for D-BAT to open up corporate stores across the US in hot baseball and softball markets. But in late 2008 with the market and Suntex was unable to provide the capital for D-BAT to grow, it decided to look at the franchise model.

Griffis spends most of his day work­ing on real-estate deals and talking to the Owners and GM’s discussing ways to improve the systems that D-BAT have in place. The team believes that they would definitely see D-BAT in 90% of the states in the U.S. and also in China, Japan, Mexico and a few other internation­al countries. D-BAT’s 5-year goal is to have 250 locations. The team sees themselves doing the same thing they have been doing the past 20 years and that is protecting and growing the brand of D-BAT.

The man behind D-BAT’s success

Griffis, or just “Cade,” as everyone calls him is the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the multimillion-dollar baseball training franchise, D-BAT. Griffis also worked with Adairs Baseball World along with Steve Adair and Bill Blakely. Cade Griffis himself was an All-American at Dallas Baptist University, then was signed by the Kansas City Royals and played for two-and-a-half years. Cade Griffis has been a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year ® Award in the Southwest region in 2018.

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