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Feature they can’t live without: Drag-and-drop email builder
The world of elite cheerleading is often misunderstood. For the people who are unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of what it takes to throw people in the air or successfully complete a tumbling pass, cheerleading looks like a high school football game. But for the people with a better understanding of athletics, or at least for the people who are fans of Netflix’s Cheer and the movie Bring It On (points directly at myself), they recognize that teamwork and grit are a necessity.
Likewise, teamwork and grit are also two of the main ingredients to running a successful business. So when Lisa Huck (a former high school cheerleader) decided to open Dynamic Elite Athletics, she was well-prepared.
From cheerleading to corporate work and back again
In the middle of her corporate career Lisa decided she was finally going to fulfill her dream of owning her own business. The question of what kind of business, however, was still up in the air. Truth be told, Lisa never intended to open a cheer gym. What she was really in pursuit of was becoming her own boss. After discussing her dream with her family she decided that a return to cheer was the best fit to build a business where everyone in her family could benefit.
Lisa opened Dynamic Elite Athletics in 2013 where they trained a small but mighty team of five kids. When their business was small, they were able to rely on each other to take care of training their students and used word-of-mouth to market their business.
Fast forward to today and they have brought on more family members to the team and added a new location in Geneseo, NY. Today, Dynamic Elite Athletics trains 130 kids involved in all-star teams and an additional 170 kids in their cheer and tumbling classes, as well as through their adaptive cheer program. The growth has also reached their staff — growing this tiny family team to 30 people with 5 full time staff members. The expansion of their business meant new roles and new marketing responsibilities in order to keep up with the demand of their students as well as informing current and potential clients.
Lisa’s son, Christopher Furnace, is the Director of Operations for Dynamic Elite Athletics. While he says “I was never a cheerleader, myself,” he takes care of the business side of Dynamic. That means taking care of logistics, marketing, and finance — the whole kit and kaboodle of what it takes to keep Dynamic Elite Athletics chugging along each day.
The way Christopher talks about the way he and his family run Dynamic Elite Athletics is all about teamwork. He says the business mirrors the sport they teach. “That’s what cheerleading is about, if one person’s not there, it’s the type of sport where many things can’t go because of that. You need every single person.”
Christopher’s husband, Trent, takes the reins as Program Director. Trent, along with Christopher’s brother and sister (Derek and Erica) train students in their elite all-star and tumbling programs. They even have their own cheer gear store, “World of Cheer”, to help outfit their students for success.
The team works hard every day to not only teach their students cheer, but to instill values like teamwork, conscientiousness, determination, and wonder. The values they teach mirror their own values.
“My core values working with children have to be, first: safety, then to make sure to have fun with the kids — I’m a really big kid myself so I feel like it comes pretty easy … coming from a gymnastics background, a dance background — it’s really easy for me to tap into the technique side of how to properly tumble,” Trent said.
Spreading the word
As a community-centric business, in the past Dynamic Elite Athletics relied mostly on word of mouth marketing — using the rapport between current students and their families as a catalyst to create trust within the community and interest in the training programs Dynamic Elite Athletics has to offer.
When Christopher and his team began to dabble with digital marketing they did so through the features offered by their business management software, Jackrabbit. While the software supports them in many areas of their business, they found that they needed more support when it came to designing their emails, managing their sends, and receiving reporting metrics that would help them make important decisions for their marketing strategy.
In May of 2021, Christopher took the initiative to invest in Constant Contact for his team.
“[Constant Contact] really assisted us in providing those perfect marketing emails. They have a lot of great templates … [our previous email software] just didn’t have the streamlined look that we wanted. So getting Constant Contact was a no-brainer. Once I started with it, it was just so easy, so simple, and it just made my work life so much easier.”
— Christopher Furnace, Director of Operations
Now that they have the look and feel they want for their email marketing, it’s time for a new challenge: managing email sends for multiple locations. With the addition of their Geneseo location, and their hope to expand to a third location next year, Christopher and the team have been experimenting with list segmentation as a way to solve their problem. By using list segmentation to create and manage separate lists for their audiences in Rochester and Geneseo, they make sure that they are reaching the right inbox, with the right content every time.
A Legacy of Success
The Dynamic Elite Athletics team works hard every day to set athletes up for success, but they’re also invested in building a better community beyond the floor mats. Between their locations in Rochester and Geneseo, NY, they have a big audience to attend to, so they use Constant Contact to help get the word out about their business. Beautifully designed emails and segmented lists help them to keep clients informed about how they are making all-star cheer, cheer camp, and tumbling classes accessible to the communities they serve.
Dynamic Elite Athletics: Ingredients to good marketing
1. Primary email marketing goal: Reaching current and potential customers
2. Types of emails they send: Course offerings, apparel sales, discount offers
3. Marketing channels: Email, social media ads, word of mouth
4. Feature they can’t live without: Email builder
5. Key analytics: Open rates and click through rates
Business advice: “Breathe. Really remember your ‘why.‘ Why you opened up the business, what your mission is — stay with that.”