Key Sport has been a staple in Rolla for nearly half a century. Tom Green and his wife have been running the business for 40 years. The business started as Plaster Key in the 1970s. Tom Green, along with business partner Quintin Wallis, purchased the company in 1979. They remained co-owners until 1989 when Tom Green became sole owner of Key Sport.
Since then, the company has expanded to several locations. These include St. Robert, Springfield, and Fort Riley, Kansas. It has also had three separate locations in Rolla. It started at 1003 Pine Street and then moved to 1200 Pine Street. Finally it moved to its current location in 1994.
By the end of the month, the legacy of Key Sports will be divided into two separate business and Tom Green will no longer play a role in the business. Tom Green has been looking to retire for quite some time, but did not want the business to move out of Rolla. His main worry was that the business would be relocated, which would take away several jobs from the Rolla area. However, this week they pulled the trigger and sold their business.
Most of the business has been sold to BSN sports. They sold their team division, sales staff, and book of business to the company. BSN is the nation's largest direct marketer and distributor of sporting goods to the school and league markets. This part of the business will remain in Rolla at its current location and the transaction will become effective Monday.The rest of the business is being sold to Andrew Almany. The screen printing part of Key Sport will merge into Almany’s current screen printing business, the Heart of the Ozarks. This portion of the business will also remain at its current location. Although the legacy of Key Sports will continue, its retail portion of the business will not. The business had a liquidation sale in June, where they attempted to sell all of the Key Sports apparel.
Green was not ready to retire. In fact, he did not plan on retiring until he was 75. However, BSN made the right offer at the right time and then Almany came along, too. The best part of the deal was the fact that all 43 of the Key Sports employees will be able to keep their jobs without relocating. Only 4 of Greens employees lost their jobs, and this was due to the fact that the retail portion of the company was closing.
In the past, Key Sports sold sports equipment and team gear to local teams. Because of BSN, this portion of the business will expand. BSN sells everything from gym floors to basketball goals, so the new merged company will be able to expand their role in the area.
Hopefully, the transition from Key Sports to BSN and Heart of the Ozarks runs smoothly. Both companies believe that there will be no problem and that the transition will be easy. They think they will be able to work in harmony in Key Sports current location.