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In Profile: Marquel Waldron

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Taking business to the Xtreme

  • What was your vision behind Xtreme Sports & how did it come to fruition?

In 2014, I was on a train in England, looking out the window and I saw people playing Bubble Football. I had watched a few clips of it on social media, but seeing it first hand, I thought it would be something cool to bring to Bermuda.

Once I started researching Bubble Football, I came across other similar games. From there I began brainstorming about how it could become a viable business opportunity in Bermuda.  June 2015, I started Xtreme Sports, with Bubble Football.  The vision from the beginning was to bring new, exciting games and attractions for the Bermudian public to enjoy.

  • Xtreme Sports Games has become a must-attend annual event on the island — what goes into putting on such a successful event?

There’s a lot of behind the scenes work; meeting with sponsors, coordinating teams, advertising and marketing, ordering supplies, working with vendors, working with location staff, and the list goes on. But to be honest, now that these relationships have been developed, it is a lot easier to plan.

We wouldn’t be able to put on the event like this without the help of our team and all of the volunteers. They are the real MVPs. Lastly, it’s about executing and thinking on your feet on the day itself. As much as you plan, nothing ever goes according to plan 100%, so it’s about adapting.

  • You’ve recently announced that Xtreme Sports will have a permanent home, a fun zone coming this year— what can you tell us?

I’ve been advised by my marketing team not to reveal too much! But what I can say is that I’m incredibly excited and proud to have our own permanent location. It’s been a long road, as we’ve been at this for about two years, and we’re almost there, in terms of opening.

The vision behind the location is to provide the Bermudian public of all ages with some much-needed fun and entertainment. The best thing to do is to follow our social media accounts so that you can get all of the announcements as they come out.

  • How has your experience been owning a business as a young entrepreneur in Bermuda?

Overall, I would say good, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. There have been plenty of ups and downs along the way, but they’ve all helped to shape the company and me.

When you first start a business, one of the driving factors is making money, but that quickly dropped down the list of priorities. Seeing customers having fun, helping to create memories and being able to offer young Bermudians with job opportunities, are the sorts of things that are most rewarding for me.

  • What advice can you give to those young people thinking about starting their own business?

Go for it! Obviously, do your research and due diligence beforehand, but if it seems feasible and you believe in your idea, don’t hesitate. People are often scared because they are stuck with thoughts like “What if it goes wrong?”, but on the other hand, what if it goes right?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of useful resources available such as other business owners and the Bermuda Economic Development Agency. Build those relationships and use them to your advantage.

Lastly, you have to have tough skin. There will be naysayers, angry customers, etc., but you have to remember to learn from your mistakes and keep the end in view. Don’t be so quickly discouraged if something goes wrong, it’s all a part of the learning process.

  • What do you have coming up in the next few months? Plans for the future?

Much of the focus will be on the Xtreme Sports Games, being held on April 13th, as well as the build-up and launch of the Fun Zone. I’m sure there will be some teething pains when the Fun Zone initially opens, but once we’re up and running, expect a lot more from us. The Fun Zone gives us way more flexibility with what we can do, so I’m sure the will be lots going on. Keep an eye out for that!

@xtremesportsbmd & @funzonebmd on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter / www.xtremesportsbmd.com / [email protected]

This article was originally published in the February 2019 edition of the RG Business Magazine.

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