ACTION SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY DIVISION OF LIFETOUCH NATIONAL SCHOOL STUDIOS IS PURCHASED BY FOUNDER
Glossy Finish, formerly the action sports division of Lifetouch National School Studios, was repurchased by an investment group led by founder and CEO Haim Ariav and Matt Winer, senior employee and CTO. Ariav launched the business in 2006, and sold it to Lifetouch in 2013, where it operated as a division of the company. Glossy Finish is based in Jacksonville Beach, Fla,, and operates in 20 states.
“We are thrilled and excited to take Glossy Finish to the next level. Our new independence will allow us the opportunity to again focus on the people, process and product that has proven to be a successful strategy and poises us for continued success”, says Ariav.
In an interview with The Dead Pixels Society, Ariav states the separation from Lifetouch was an amicable one. He values the relationship with the company but business circumstances changed since 2013. Ariav said the on-location sports photography market was “too niche” for Lifetouch, but still a solid business for an entrepreneur.
“I’ll take that niche,” he declares. “Parents want what we do. Our first steps will be to stabilize what we have and then grow the business.”
GLOSSY FINISH BEGAN A STARTUP… AND IS ONE AGAIN
Glossy Finish is a state-of-the-art youth sports photography company, derived from a proprietary process Ariav developed. Unlike traditional action photography companies that are limited to post-event photo sales and delivery, Glossy Finish specializes in on-site printing of action photography through its Mobile Photo Labs and Photo Stores by enabling its customers to take home their high-quality printed posters and digital photos directly from the events it photographs.
Ariav adds the company is looking to expand other ways to monetize events, including use of digital technology and apps.
Glossy Finish already has prestigious client list, including American Youth Football National Championships, Cal Ripken World Series, Offense-Defense Bowl Week, Babe Ruth League World Series, USA Football International Bowl, The Ripken Experience and many other organizations.
Speaking further on the success of Glossy Finish, Ariav mentions their process of only photographing those players who register ahead of their games to be photographed. Customers can book the service with a nominal deposit and provide the game information of their athlete to the Glossy Finish team. Based on that data, photographers are assigned specific players to photograph, thus allowing the families many more quality photos to select.
“The process and technology we built, and continue to enhance, offers us a unique and stable platform to further grow our business. Our average order value is currently the highest in the industry and we continue to see increases year over year. We view the opportunity to get Glossy Finish back as one we simply could not pass on.” adds Winer.
In July, Lifetouch announced it was closing the location-based sports business, which accounted for less than 1% of estimated $1.5 billion in sales, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Earlier in the year, Lifetouch closed 136 Target store studios, saying it would concentrate on its core JCPenney studios and school-portrait businesses.