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Over 25 Fulfilling Years of Play It Again Sports

Scott Ward has been the owner of the Play It Again Sports store in Roswell, Georgia since 1991. Play It Again Sports is North America’s largest used sporting goods franchise with over 400 stores in the USA and more than 40 in Canada. It offers a wide range of new and used sports equipment, clothing and fitness gear.

Name: Scott Ward
Franchise: Play It Again Sports
Location: Roswell, Georgia

Scott Ward has been the owner of the Play It Again Sports store in Roswell, Georgia since 1991. Although Scott has enjoyed long-term success with his store, his previous background as an advertising professional meant that the worlds of franchising and sports goods were new to him when he first decided to open his business. It was Scott’s determination to enjoy the freedom of being his own boss that led to him consider his options, and the recession of 1991/92 meant the decision had to be a very careful one. After becoming a customer of a Play It Again store in Wisconsin, he realised the brand could be right for him.

I thought, “What will never go out of style? What will always maintain a steady business no matter what during a recession?” Kids, sports equipment in the USA, and recycling, those are things that you just can’t argue against.

“The other reason that I really liked the idea was the buying group. The buying group is really the reason that I can always tell someone in the store, “Hey, I can have the same price as Dick’s or the internet or Walmart, and I can match any price because of the buying group.”

In addition to the benefits of the buying group and the recession-proof business model, Scott says one of the best aspects of owning a Play It Again Sports store is the level of community engagement he is able to be a part of.

“There’s so much you can do to help an organisation without writing a cheque. I’ve actually run fundraising clinics. Have people come in before the store’s open, free coffee and donuts, and have everybody just come in and just start a conversation on PTAs and charity groups and travel ball teams, and they’re all in it because all the parents are under the same pressure of, “Gee, who’s going to do it next year? I did it this year, I’m done.”
“And so, this really relieves a lot of pressure when they can share ideas that way. And it becomes again a community, synergistic type atmosphere.”
Most importantly of all, the ownership of his store has allowed him the freedom he was seeking from the beginning.

“I like to be able to manage my schedule. That has enabled me to manage my home life. Being round my kids is really important while they were growing up. I wanted them to have a home town and a place to be. I moved around a lot as a kid myself and so that was one of my major goals owning my own business, to have a home town.”

“When you have a place of business that you can go to where you feel like you make a difference, no matter what you’re getting paid, you will go, and you’re many more times likely to enjoy the experience.”

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