YSC Gear (Yoder’s Sports Center) has not only done that but took the time to put together something that was always in the “business plan” but may have taken a little more time without the lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As soon as the Governor says it’s okay we will have the doors open and we will be opening our batting cage,” said Jeremy Price of YSC. “Honestly I would have preferred putting this all together in the chaos of being open but the opportunity presented itself to put together something that we already had a lot of the material for. You have to be creative in these days and do things that are going to create some opportunities to recover from all this.”
The shutdown order for all non-essential businesses has hit all merchants hard and YSC was certainly one of them.
“We took over in 2017 and things went well,” said Price. “We expanded the business and really felt like 2020 was going to be our year. We had just bought the bigger building to have more floor space for things that we were doing and eight months later this happens.”
The batting cage was always a part of YSC’s plan.
“Since we started we’ve always been thinking of ways to give back to the community and be involved,” said Price. “We want to keep coming up with ways to bring people downtown. We love the downtown and when we took over Yoder’s since it opened in 1970, it’s in its third location but it has always been downtown. We wanted to keep it downtown. Hopefully, this will give people another reason to come to downtown.”
In addition to bringing customers, downtown Price hopes it will be a boost to YSC Gear that has gone through what every small business has.
“This has been hard for everybody, not just us,” he said. “With all this, you have to find new ways to get things going again. I think when this is finally lifted there are going to be a lot of people that just want to get out and do anything. Hopefully, that helps us.”
The shut down couldn’t have come at a worse time for YSC Gear. While they do sell all sorts of sporting goods, including used equipment, another big part of their business is custom screen printing and embroidery.
No spring sports season, no spring sports teams, no spring sports teams shirts. The math is simple.
“We do things for a lot of little leagues, youth soccer, and that obviously didn’t happen,” said Price. “We do a lot of spirit items for a lot of schools around the county. It wasn’t a good time.”
Like many other businesses, YSC Gear found other ways to get their name out with some online offerings and other ways.
“We offered curbside pick up but honestly not a lot of people were looking for sports gear with all the seasons canceled or on hold,” he said. “We do have some t-shirts and screenprinting online (http://yscgear.com/). It’s really a way that you can get ahold of us right now. If you have a screenprinting order I’m happy to give you a quote if you like.”
“We’ve always tried to make things affordable,” said Price. “I’ve got three kids that all play sports. We know how expensive that is. The used equipment has been very popular. Kids will sometimes outgrow cleats before they get through three days of practice. Bring them back in, we’ll make an offer and you can put that towards some new ones.”
“We have expanded what we offer a lot but if you are looking for something in particular and you don’t find it, don’t just walk out, stop us and tell us what it is,” he said. “If we don’t have it we might be able to get it really quickly.”
A downtown batting cage will be a unique item.
“What could be better than a batting cage in a sporting goods store?” said Price. “What could be cooler than that?”
Public access to the cage and other details will be forthcoming, as everybody waits on the state of Indiana to give the okay.
“We’ve been in turbo mode getting it done, we just want to be sure that when it’s okay to open back up we can take advantage of the opportunity,” said Price.
There is a ready-made clientele close at hand.
“My boys are baseball guys,” said Price. “When they saw it their eyes lit up.”
Once the state gives the okay, information on cage availability to the public will be available on the website at yscgear.com and on the YSC Facebook page.