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May Small Business of the Month: Play It Again Sports

The team at Play It Again Sports, our May Small Business of the Month, rallies around three key operating goals:

  • Provide new and gently-used sporting goods at a reasonable price so athletes of all ages and means can participate in sports and fitness activities
  • Conduct all business in a fair and ethical manner and treat all customers with dignity and respect
  • Give back to the community by supporting local youth sports programs


The result has been a grand slam for owner Rich Messina and his Omaha-area customers.

“Our store offers a positive shopping experience and value to the customers that no other sporting goods store can,” Messina says.


Winning Insights from Our May Winner:

  • Providing an Excellent Customer Experience

“Good customer service means helping customers efficiently and in a friendly manner, producing the results desired. It's one of the things that can set your business apart from others of its kind.

“We greet everyone at the door – many by name – and try to find out how we can help meet their needs. Sometimes that's advising them what not to buy.

“We help parents fit their children with the right equipment at a reasonable price and offer many services at no cost. If someone purchases a bat and tape, we'll wrap it for them. The same goes with hockey sticks and many other items. We want to make sure each customer's individual needs are met in a timely manner by our friendly and knowledgeable staff.” 

  • Empowering Employees and Creating a Culture in which They Can Grow and Succeed

“I offer a profit sharing program that allows all employees who have accomplished requisite training to be vested in the success of the store. Since they directly benefit from the growth of the business, they are engaged in meeting the goals that drive that growth.

“It's great to have team members that know our daily, monthly and annual goals. They are passionate about our brand, the success of the business, and they do what they can to meet and exceed those goals.”

  • Best Practice Tip:

“A well-trained staff is your best asset so pay your good employees more than you think you should. In the long run, it's less expensive (and less of a headache) to keep them there than starting over with a new hire.”


  • Value of Chamber Involvement

“Increased networking opportunities are always a benefit. You never know when you can help someone you've interacted with or vice versa. Plus, the more people who know what you do the better – word-of-mouth is the best form on advertising. Being a member of the Chamber has also given me a chance to discuss with other owners how they do business. I always like to hear what products or processes are working and which to avoid.”


  • Community Involvement

“We give back thousands of dollars to many local youth sports teams and schools through our rebate program. We also donate a lot of new and used gear to organizations such as the North Omaha Athletic Association and the Police Athletic Community Engagement (PACE) teams that service underprivileged communities.”


Want to learn more about Play It Again Sports? Check out the store’s website.


United Republic Bank is the sponsor of the Small Business of the Month award. View more information or nominate a small business online.

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