- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: James Logan
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Chris Daniluk founded Deluxe Athletics (Deluxe) in 2004 as a small horizontal contractor. “I turned down going into pharmaceuticals after college,” explains Daniluk, founder, president and CEO of Deluxe. “I did an internship with a track installer where I was a lot more computer-savvy than the older guys. When I got the offer from a pharmaceutical company, I decided to stay in Pennsylvania and began working full-time in project management, sales and marketing for the sports contractor I was with. I learned the nuts and bolts as well as what to do and what not to do. I founded Deluxe while I was still with the other business, but we had some growing pains. I first came to Georgia with my business to help set up a project, but we found a lot of natural growth here.”
The company continued to expand organically. Daniluk financed Deluxe on his own and is proud to say he is currently debt-free. “We grew from a small installation business to having our own site company,” he explains. “We added a track division, design services, site work and general contractor services. We can tackle major track and field projects with a few reliable subcontractors. We work with a few different manufacturers as their subcontractors. In Georgia, the market is very price competitive. We offer turnkey solutions and being able to do design-build and private school work sets us apart from the other companies doing this kind of work.”
Deluxe has the capabilities to self-perform much of the work on projects, a quality that can save time and money for the business and its clients. The business offers installation of track, fields, turf, lights and irrigation, and often works with local subcontractors for a hand in larger contracts. “That’s dependent on the project,” Daniluk explains. “General contractor work has become competitive. Our goal is customer service so we only go after profitable projects in that area. We’ve done some high-end subcontractor work such as our project at North Carolina State with Field Turf. We have worked with Astro Turf and ProGrass as well. We aren’t always the general contractor, but as long as we continue to provide leading performance, we can pick and choose our projects.”
Originally from Pennsylvania, the company has expanded southward. “We did the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania and have been as far south as Miami,” says Daniluk. “We are all over the Southeast, in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Maryland. We recently opened an office in Philadelphia. Our goal is to cover the entire East Coast. Last year we redid the Steelers and the Jaguars practice field. We had a project at Scholner College, a $2 million track and Field with an all-new events center. We renovated their whole small stadium and they helped us boost our presence in that market. Another large project was for Parks and Recreation in Atlanta with field turf. We upgraded parks with a $3 million contract. That included a baseball diamond as well as lacrosse, soccer and football fields. There was also a full resurfacing of the track. As a multi-field project for a client we maximized our profit while offering value to the client.”
Paving the Way for Growth
With the new office in Philadelphia and a growing presence in the southern states, Deluxe is positioned for continued growth. “We are very strong in Georgia and we hope to expand more in the mid-Atlantic region,” says Daniluk. “The more options we offer and the larger the area we can cover will offer us a better selection of projects. There is a lot going on, even in this economy. We are also always looking to expand what we can offer to our customers. Last year we became certified to perform G-Max Safety testing on our own fields. We are expanding our maintenance and upgrading our equipment to handle more on the service side. Our goal is to offer continuing care for our customers and their new sports fields.”
Above all the team can offer, Daniluk notes that the company’s greatest asset is people. “When you bring one somebody who is good at their job and cares about the work, you don’t want to lose them,” he explains. With 25 employees and more in the summer, Deluxe has a solid record for retention. Daniluk will continue to reach out, recruiting new talent with expertise that matches up with his unique brand. With a continuing tradition of excellent performance, leading service and expertise, Deluxe Athletics will continue to grow, offering additional services in a growing geographic footprint.
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