2008 Builder/Contractor of the Year: Boston Tennis Court Construction Co.
In the eight years we’ve named a Builder/Contractor of the Year, we’ve noticed certain phrases that keep coming up: “dedication,” “conscientious” and “quality workmanship.” Those words, and more, describe our 2008 Builder/Contractor of the Year — Boston Tennis Court Construction Co. of Hanover, Mass.
“You couldn’t meet a nicer, more dedicated group,” says Nova Sports USA’s Bill Righter. “It helps us tremendously when we deal with people like Dave Marsden and Bruce Mahler.”
BTCC was started in 1968 — Marsden started working seasonally for the company in 1969. When he graduated from Babson College in 1971, he was offered a full-time job. Mahler, a USPTA-certified pro for 38 years, joined in 1969. He was a two-time New England No. 1 junior player and played No. 1 for Duke University. By 1981, Marsden (at left in photo) and Mahler had bought the company, and both have been Certified Tennis Court Builders for more than 20 years.
The company doesn’t bid any public work. “If you build courts for a private club and they’re pleased with the job, then you strike up a relationship that’s ongoing,” says Mahler, adding that 90 to 95 percent of their business is on a referral basis. Mahler’s tennis-playing credentials bring a unique dimension to the business, allowing him to address customers’ questions from a player’s perspective.
“Service is probably our strongest point,” adds Marsden, who has been heavily involved in the American Sports Builders Association, including three years as chairman. BTCC also sells and services (often on-site) Playmate ball machines. “This really gets us in a lot of doors.”
“Dave and Bruce are committed to the industry and the sports construction business,” says Randy Futty of Lee Tennis. “They’re really great guys.”
- Get involved beyond your corner of the business. “Working with the ASBA really opened my eyes and helped to educate me,” says Marsden.
- Be honest and up-front with customers on all aspects of construction. “Educate them so they know what they’re getting and appreciate the quality of the work,” says Mahler.
- Don’t badmouth competitors. “It will turn people off,” says Marsden. “Tell them what you offer.”
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About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.