On My Mind…One Thing and One Thing Only: Coronavirus

I had originally written a pithy editorial for this issue of TeamInsightExtra on the demise of Modell’s Sporting Goods and the sudden departure of my friend Cathy Pryor from Hibbett Sports, but in light of all that has happened in the world this week – and influenced by the comments by team dealers around the country in the first article in this issue – I felt compelled to reach out to our readers personally. (Perhaps in a few weeks or months the situation will calm down enough for me to go back to being clever.)

Because as we navigate through the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 virus, we are, as always, opening our pages and our resources up to you. Team dealers are impacted greatly by the cancellation of pro, college and, most importantly, youth sports in America and we are feeling your pain.

We can be your way to communicate with your vendors and customers – through the pages of Team Insight and in this TeamInsightExtra newsletter every two weeks. Feel free to let us know what you’re doing to protect yourselves and your businesses, what you’d like to be reading more of and what kind of coverage will help you the most, and what we can be doing to keep our community connected and supported.

You can write me directly at mjacobsen@formula4media.com or give me a call at 201-396-7005.

It’s been a chaotic and unnerving time for everyone, and I know a lot of us are worried — about our health, about our businesses, about our customers. The speed at which the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded has seemed to accelerate daily, and I know a lot of you have revised your plans on an hourly basis. Heck, there’s a chance this editorial will be obsolete by the time you read it — things are moving that fast.

We still don’t know what the longer-term impacts of this crisis will be, and I know from the last few days that I don’t know enough to guess. So in the meantime, I want to send our thoughts out to all of the team dealers, vendors and reps I’ve been talking to, following on social media and observing as they rise to this challenge. You guys impress me and, not to sound too maudlin, we will all be able to get through this together.

There will certainly be a “new normal” on the other side of this crisis, and some businesses will not be around to enjoy it. Others will be vastly different than what they were at the beginning of 2020. The one thing that is certain is that things will never be the same again – in our neighborhoods, around country and, yes, even in our world of team sports.

I’ve been inspired by the creative things I’ve seen dealers around the country doing — and how their vendors seem so far to be working with, not against, their dealer partners — to keep serving their customers while protecting their employees and community. That’s what our very personal business is all about.

Stay safe. And wash your hands.