“To start, I want to express the genuine excellent experience I have felt from the beginning of my interactions with Kevin Zwart from Sport Court North. Initially I was very apprehensive that a court could be placed in my yard that would satisfy my overall size and cost needs. When I made my first outreach, Kevin was very upfront, professional and detailed. We spent time talking through expectations, realities and overall what the potential could be. Kevin arrived for my appointment during a time that fit my schedule. As a HS football coach and individual who works in downtown Mpls., Kevin was very willing to meet my needs when it came to meeting and exploring possibilities in my yard. I want to be clear, I was expecting the typical sales type person that would come out, give a quote and move on to other business, my experience was substantially better. Based on a couple of factors in my yard, Kevin listened to my ideas and then did an even better job of helping me understand how my thoughts might or might not work. His suggestions, detailed (including flags, measurements and visual placement) explanations and very personable passion showed me that he was very dedicated to his work and to the potential his customers need to make large decisions like a sport court. Never once did I feel like I was pressed into a decision. Ultimately it came down to a smaller size court that fit into a section of my yard that already seemed a bit crowded. I didn’t feel like there were better options so I verbally committed, Kevin told me to take a little bit and talk it over with the family, an approach of doing what is right for me.
After Kevin’s visit, many additional questions started popping up. My wife and I talked about reconfiguring our backyard, removing a play set, relocating a tree, cutting a tree down and planting a new tree, removing a beautiful fire pit and moving it to the opposite side of the yard. Through all of this family conversation, I was emailing Kevin quite frequently. I was asking questions about slope, additional size and cost, thoughts on layout, drawing pictures and piecing the backyard together. During all of the conversations with Kevin, he always listened intently, provided feedback and countered or created additional options as I created more space ideas. His replies were incredibly prompt, I never waited really. It all came to a head as I sat thinking about the actual size I wanted for my kids, a 3pt line! As I explained what we were thinking about doing to Kevin, he offered to come out and walk through additional options, laying out the court and how it would fit, basically giving me another visual. Remember, I was originally only going to go with a free throw line and squeeze it into an area that put the back yard into a lopsided area. When we walked through the vision, where to place the court and that I was really wanting a 3pt line, Kevin had a solution and a perfect fit. Kevin and Sport Court North took my budget, my vision, my situation and my needs all into consideration and made my court happen. Kevin and I sat at my kitchen table and slowly went through the paperwork and order, the whole time, I wasn’t stressed about a cost or ballooning budget. We talked about life, about families and kids, sports and overall just general friendly topics. Kevin didn’t come anywhere close to being a salesman, he was a family friend who wanted what was best for my experience and my family.
Work started on time, in some pretty intense heat and then thunderstorms. The crew was polite, very clean and they worked through everything. I would leave for the day and my wife would watch as they took the mentality to make sure things were done professionally and right. Foundation was cleared and that included working up and down minor hills to get to the back yard. Cement went down simple and clean, zero mess in the yard. The overall timeline blew me away, I thought it would take much longer but when I returned home on the day of completion, the court was pristine. I had requested a specific logo and coloring on my court to match a mentality and logo from the local high school, the same place I coached. It was perfect. I had very minor work to do around the court to bring the grass back just at the edges, it took my wife and me about 2 hours to lay soil and drop seed all over, super easy and fulfilling. The court was completed in the early part of June 2016. On the 4th of July, we had a neighborhood 2 on 2 tournament between 4 families, it was a riot. The kids in the neighborhood have used the court to improve for traveling basketball. Recently we shot some video’s on the court for the VP of boys and girls traveling basketball to get drills out to the community and ways to improve over the summer months. My court has been a huge conversation whenever it is seen. Facebook friends have commented, asked questions and inquired. I am patiently waiting for Google maps to update their satellite shots because I am so darn proud of the court we have.
When spring came this year, there was a very minor shift in some of the tiles on the court, nothing impeding our ability to use but enough for me to reach out to Kevin. He was on vacation but I still got an email from another individual at Sport Court North, indicating that Kevin had asked him to contact me and they had a plan to correct the minor shift. They explained the reasoning behind it and took care of all the details. I returned home one night a week or two later and the court was back to normal. Recently after some pretty intense heavy rains and winds, the court had shifted an even smaller amount, I reached out and in less than 3 days, it was repositioned and a solution was implemented to minimize shifting. All of this was seamless, quick and with utmost priority. I wouldn’t expect something so minor as what I experienced to take precedent but Kevin made it a point every time to meet my needs and provide outstanding follow-up and care. Again, never as the “guy that sold it” but more as a person who stood by his work, cared about my experience and wanted my happiness to be true.
My family has posted pictures of the court on our Facebook accounts and also the main page for the company, talking about our experience and how great Sport Court North is. I don’t look at my experience and feel like a customer of Kevin’s and Sport Court North. I look at my experience believing and feeling that Kevin has a great heart, a sound professional approach and a genuine ability to connect with the people he works with. Thank you Kevin for being a great person, you are an asset to your craft.”
RT and Amy Taylor - Coon Rapids, MN
“At 34, I have always been in love with large trampolines but had reservations about buying because of the dangers. After reading several reviews, I immediately decided to buy a Springfree Trampoline. I cannot even begin to express the joy that comes from using this magnificent invention. Every single person, from the moment they step foot on to it, has the biggest smile on their face I have ever seen - it is an immediate euphoria creator.
I can't think of a better way to get outdoors, exercise, feel fantastic and do flips all at once. In the four days I’ve owned it, I have been on it more than 10 times a day. I am enamored by how genius the design is. Every concern that one might have about owning one has been eliminated. I own the S113 and it gets such a high jump, you would never know it does not have springs. I love that the base is hidden out of reach, I love that every single place you step on the trampoline is safe and that there is no metal anywhere, I love the net, and I love how soft the trampoline itself is.
I also have to say, that the customer service, not to mention any names… Shannon… Is outstanding. She immediately responded to any of my questions with the most friendly attitude I have ever come across. Every step of the process, including before making the purchase, during assembly and post assembly, Shannon was a dream to work with. She had no disappointing answers- Springfree really did think of everything. I am so impressed with this company, from the website design, to the genius invention, to the marketing, to the safety features. It is so inspiring and makes me want to start a third business.
Thank you Springfree for being an example of what a true small business can create and do for the world.”
Springfree Trampoline Customer
“My family and I are very pleased that we decided to put in a Sport Court in the summer of 2008. Kevin and his team were wonderful to work with from start to finish. Kevin was able to walk us through the entire process, so that we did not have any surprises. He even took the time to stake our backyard with flags, so that we could see the exact dimensions of the court. His installation team was very courteous to our family and did a wonderful job cleaning up each day - not to mention that the entire court was installed in three days!
We enjoyed our first summer with the Sport Court and even flooded the court this winter for a backyard hockey rink. The flat surface made for an easy rink installation, and the lights gave off more than enough light for playing hockey. I highly recommend the Sport Court product installed by Kevin and his team.”
Jeff Sorem - Minneapolis
“Working with Sport Court MN from the first contact to the final completion was the right choice for me. The sport court was a component of a larger construction project. The design advice from the start was perfect, communication was prompt, and when my project became a moving target, Sport Court MN was able to install and the exact date I needed. The quality of the finish product is very impressive.”
Jeff Stoebner, Chanhassen Home Gym
Sport Court Options
I entered the whole process of purchasing a multi-purpose court thinking that this was more of a dream than reality. There was little doubt that my two kids (son 16 and daughter 13) would be an easy sell but then again they were not putting up a dime either. Surprisingly my wife was more than on-board; she was the one who brought the idea up. We had been toying with the idea of putting on an addition to our home as well; doing both was not an option. Plus we had recently installed new windows in the entire house so cost was certainly going to be an issue.
I had first been introduced to Sport Court back in 1990 when a friend of mine brought me to his in-laws who apparently were the first Sport Court customers in the state of Minnesota back in the late 70’s. Playing basketball my whole life and at college I was immediately taken by the thoughts of 3 on 3 tournaments and just the opportunity to shoot on a perfectly flat surface. Surprisingly I was more taken by a game called Pickle ball which we played almost exclusively every time I was there. It was unbelievable how much fun I had. Well, 16 years later, for the first time I began to seriously research the possibility of putting one in my own backyard. I knew it would be expensive and honestly didn’t believe I would ever pull the trigger. I would categorize myself and my wife as very fiscally responsible, some would say tight.
It was actually my wife who was the impetus for doing the research. She felt that it might be something that we would use all together as a family and also something that would bring our kids’ friends over rather than them going elsewhere. I didn’t need too much encouragement to proceed.
Doing my due diligence, I searched the internet for sport court companies and options. Finding Sport Court and Rhino Courts right away and some companies that were easily dismissed based on their unimpressive websites. I contacted Rhino Courts first. The initial contact was friendly and was given the name of the Minnesota area representative. During my phone conversation with him I learned he was a high school teacher and basketball coach and was selling these on the side. In our conversation I went through a list of few questions I had planned to ask all the companies that was not necessarily clear from their website. In essence, I wanted to learn why they would be a better fit over the next company. He maybe unknowingly gave me a name of a third company Snap Court of which had some family ties from its origin to the other two.
After I talked with Rhino Courts and set an appointment, I called Snap Court and then Sport Court. I was clear with all three companies that I was looking at the others to know that they would be competing on all levels; quality of product, price, timeliness, and my comfort level. I will still fairly skeptical that this would really happen. Kevin Zwart from Sport Court made it clear that he was not going to get into a bidding war with the others because he felt they were a better company, had a better product, and gave better service. He also made that comment that he probably knew Rhino Courts and Snap Court’s product better than their reps did. At the time I honestly felt it was somewhat of an arrogant statement but it proved to be very true.
Rhino Courts was the first company to come out to give me a quote and talk me through the initial stages. Once again this was the high school coach that was selling on the side. He was energetic, enthusiastic and likeable. One of the questions I asked all three companies was of the two options for location of this court which did they recommend. Rhino Court’s rep said they could do it either and he really didn’t have an opinion. He talked about the process of how long it would take to construct but clearly didn’t have a total understanding of the site prep and concrete process. Within an hours time I knew that they would not be the answer.
Snap Court was the second that came out for a quote. Their representative was also doing this more on the side as his main business was resurfacing garage floors and was just getting into the sport court business. He had completed only a handful in the metro area at that time. I liked him, even though he definitely was not a salesman by trade but I could see that he took pride in his work. He would be doing a fair amount of the work himself along with a family member doing the concrete slab. He, like Rhino Court was presented with a series of questions, one being the location of the court. He did not have a strong recommendation which I really wanted to hear. It was more of “well, we can do it here or we can do it there…” Even though as stated before he was not a polished salesman or was particularly good at presenting his product, I liked him and felt he and Snap Court were worth taking to the next level.
Lastly, it was Sport Court’s turn. Kevin Zwart was the representative of which he is one of two for the metro area alone. This is Kevin’s job, full-time, not something he is doing on the side. He drove up in his Sport Court pickup which to me gave instant legitimacy. Kevin introduced himself and I asked if he wanted to come in. He responded, “Let’s go into your backyard and see what you have.” I appreciated that, he obviously had an agenda and had done this before. I let him know I was indecisive about the location of the court and what size I could have. Immediately he said, “Oh, I would definitely recommend this location, your hoop should go on this side because the sun will be at your back a majority of the day and won’t interfere with looking up at the basket…” Finally, here was someone who not only had an opinion but back it up with logical reasoning. Once he did that and we discussed the dimensions, he pulled out his tape measure and charted the court with little Sport Court flags. The other two didn’t bring a tape measure for the initial meeting but rather stepped of the dimensions. That might not seem like much but to me once again it told me they have done this before. It also helped me visualize the size of the court we are discussing and how much landscaping would be involved. Kevin gave detailed information of what would be done, who would be doing the work etc. He showed patience with the questions and made sure I was comfortable with process. Kevin displayed his expertise with his product, a true salesman, and at the same time not pushy.
Next we went inside to discuss the cost; Gulp. As anticipated he was higher but it was closer to the others than I originally had guessed. All along he gave decisive reasons why he didn’t need to match their pricing and why his product and service were worth the extra. After all, this is something that should last for many years and simply reducing it to price would be a mistake.
Now, it was time that I needed references from the two to actually go out and view their claims.
Snap Court had some difficulty in lining up a court for me to view. There was one in the south metro and one in the northwest. We visited the northwest home and were encouraged by the family and their positive comments. As we walked to their backyard but still a distance away I was struck by the appearance of the court which was not perfectly flat. I could see that from the free throw line extended the courts pitch changed. I wanted to be careful how I asked the couple about this so I waited until we heard their story. As I walked around the court I noticed that the concrete slab was not perfectly square; where the tiles ended at one end about 1 inch was exposed as I looked down the sightline to the other I could see about 4 inches was exposed. Finally, I had to ask these questions. To Snap Courts defense, they revealed that the neighborhood association did not permit major landscaping beyond their guidelines and they were limited on all they could do. There was a man-made creek running through the neighborhood and the restricted bringing in large amounts of fill. The contour of their property was extremely undulated making this project less than ideal for that property. These issues bothered me but like I said they had their reasons for it being less than perfect. In my mind, the final straw was the painted lines were not crisp. What I mean by that is that it wasn’t a clean line, I don’t know if they roll these or how they were applied but paint seemed to seep under their straight-edge/tape and left a small but noticeable leaking of paint. It was time to move on to Sport Court.
Kevin was able to give references in my area that would be convenient to visit and that were roughly the size that we were considering. After all, they have installed these courts for the past couple of decades and have them all over the metro. The one that we selected to visit had their Sport Court for a little over a month. Kevin had contacted the customer to ensure they were willing. When we arrived they brought us right to the court and in no time did it become clear to us that they were thrilled with every step of the process; from Kevin’s initial visit, presentation, to site prep and finally the installation. I looked over every inch and was very impressed with the attention to detail from the concrete to the overall appearance. I am pretty picky when it comes to my own work and certainly expects the same when I am paying someone for a service. What I saw gave me no reason to doubt that Sport Court could do the job to my satisfaction. The owners were ecstatic about how their people were done in a matter of 4 days and were very impressed by how their workers cleaned up at the end of every day. After my experience in looking at Snap Courts imperfections, I was quick to view the same items. I was totally impressed with the exactness of their work; perfectly squared slab, cleanly painted lines, and a great overall appearance. Obviously this was the direction we were to go if we were to pursue this project and that we did.
We finalized the project with Kevin and let him know that we would like it done within the month since my son’s birthday was coming. No problem, Kevin clearly communicated when the crews would be coming and sure enough they did. The day before they arrive, I rented a sod cutter to salvage the sod for landscaping after Sport Court was done. We were having a 45’ x 28’ court installed so I cut and additional 5’ around. We started to roll and haul the sod with a friend but got to the point of total exhaustion. This was the first week of July and the weather was in the mid 90’s all week. When Butch (the contractor) and his crew arrived in the morning with their bobcat, I apologize and said that I didn’t get all the sod moved; in fact only 1/3 of it probably. No problem, they loaded their bobcat and moved all the remaining sod and even stacked it. I had them transplant a 15’ maple tree which they did. They had the site prep done in maybe 6 hours and once again, totally cleaned up even washing down our driveway that had dirt on it. This was something they did everyday. The next day the concrete was poured; I did not watch them that day but when I got home from work I immediately went in the backyard to look. Once again no surprises, it looked great. I was able to start laying the sod back within less than two days of it being cut.
The third day the forms were removed and they cut the cement with stress joints. The fourth day, they laid the tile, installed the basketball hoop, light/net pole and painted the lines. Job done!
Our experience with Kevin, Butch, his crew as well as the product itself had been outstanding. We know we made the right decision by going with Sport Court. We know they stand behind their product and what little extra we paid for this comfort and quality workmanship has all been worth it. As I stated earlier, our house is the place to be with our kid’s friends and it has been a great source of family togetherness, not to mention great exercise.
I would encourage anyone considering putting a sport court in their yard to do what we did; do your homework, interview whatever companies you are considering, and absolutely get a reference and go view their court. I am confident you will come to the same conclusion that we did; Sport Court is the answer!