I recently had the opportunity to spend a day and a half with college athletic directors and college athletic facility directors, and came away with a number of impressions.
First, they are a good group of people, real pro's who are very committed to their craft. They really know their stuff.
Facilities are very important to them. For safety and performance issues, of course, but also for marketing and recruiting purposes for their institutions. There is a real push to improve athletic facilities in colleges and universities nationwide.
Although I didn't hear talk of a lot of brand new construction, there is a significant amount of addition and renovation work going on. Adding to football stadiums, putting in club seating, redoing a gym or arena, putting seating in football or soccer stadiums, and lots more.
Seating is an important piece of the puzzle for these facilities - and it so happens that Hussey Seating is ideally situated to be the vendor of choice. We have a wide range of products, from fixed stadium and club seats, to Perma-Cap covers for benches, to portable Clarin chairs, and to retractable seating in all its versions. We are a solution-based supplier, meaning we can give these athletic and facility directors total support in both short and long term needs, and they can benefit from our many years of expertise.
Funding is of course always an issue. Most of them told me that instititional funding is down, but there are suprisingly some bond issues being done, and then lots of alumni and private fundraising. Booster clubs and alumni are having more impact than ever.
The college and university athletic market has long been a sweet spot for Hussey, and I enjoyed spending time with these great customers, who all had a great appreciation for our brand.