Have you ever heard of Blazer Manufacturing? If not, you’re not alone– and frankly, they didn’t really want you to.
Blazer is a leading athletic equipment manufacturer with operations in Fremont that has literally been flying under the radar for decades: They were founded in 1974, and only recently appeared on the scene as they’ve attempted to expand.
As a matter of fact, Blazer products were found at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and they’ve been growing tremendously ever since. However, in early 2015, new leadership meant that it was time for Blazer to grow, expand, and spread their name more than ever before.
Kirk Diers from Fremont and Brent Ogle from Columbus purchased Blazer Manufacturing in February, with the assistance of a $300,000 economic development loan for the Columbus City Council, according to the Fremont Tribune. Currently, Blazer employs 18 people in Columbus and 7 people in Fremont, but as part of the deal, Blazer will hire six new employees over the next six years. In 1974, Gordon Blaser started the company and sold it to longtime partner Roger Brackhan. Diers joined Blazer as a consultant in 2007, after leaving a position with an agricultural company in Fort Calhoun. Today, the company has a manufacturing facility in Columbus and a sales and service office in Fremont.
They’re a manufacturer, but with an industrial side. The company manufactures track and field items like hurdles, starting blocks, and pole vault standards, as well as is a leading manufacturer of metal track spikes for shoes. Their Rocker Hurdle, discus, high jump crossbar, and more have been featured on ESPN’s Rise Up!, and they even create actual high jump pits. Volleyball systems, soccer systems, baseball and softball cleats and equipment, football racks and training equipment, and more, are all part of their line up.
The industrial side of the business manufactures industrial storage tanks, fuel containment systems, and custom products for walk-in clients. The industrial division does work for companies like Valmont and Cargill, and Diers says that this combination makes for an interesting but effective business: “Even when the economy is down, we still do really well because one picks up for the other,” Diers says.
The two partners aim to make the business expand and grow while maintaining a level of high quality and service. “It’s a unique business– just a quiet company not on the radar,” Diers told the Tribune. “But there’s really no changes other than Brent and I are going to get in right away and start growing the business. They’re optimistic about this: “It’s a pretty seamless transition, really,” he said. “The people here, it’s amazing…It’s kind of a family and everyone gets along really well.”
We’re looking forward to learning more as this company takes their business to the next level!
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photo credit: Blazerathletic.com