Lifetime Products - History

History

In 1972, Lifetime Product’s founder, Barry Mower, set out to make a sturdier basketball pole for his backyard. He purchased a small length of heavy-duty used pipe, a piece of plywood, and a basketball rim, and built his own basketball standard. Seeing the potential in what he had constructed, he placed an ad in the local classifieds and made his first sale.

His backyard business eventually became a modest sporting goods store, and in March 1986, became Lifetime Products, a name inspired by the goal of building durable and lasting products. Shortly after, the research and design staff created and patented the "Quick Adjust" basketball system, the first easy to adjust residential basketball system that used a broom stick handle to raise and lower the rim from 7.5 to 10 feet. The concept of adjustable basketball systems transformed the market, making non-adjustable systems obsolete in mass-merchant chains.

Lifetime Products was the first company to provide a complete basketball system in one package, allowing retailers to conveniently stock, display and sell basketball equipment. The complete package concept now dominates the market. After expanding quickly in the first year, Lifetime began to focus on producing more durable basketball rims, and consequently developed a hoop that withstood twice the load of the nearest competitor’s rim.

In the first three years, the company grew to 167 employees and occupied 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) of manufacturing, office and warehouse space. New equipment, including an electrostatic powder coating operation and a robotic rim welding system were installed to keep up with demand. A metal fabrication department was also formed to constantly update and improve presses and dies.

Utilizing its expertise in plastics and metals, Lifetime then invented the first blow-molded folding picnic table in 1995, the first blow-molded folding banquet table in 1998, and a steel reinforced blow molded outdoor storage building in 2005. They continue to develop portable basketball systems, height adjustments, tables, chairs, outdoor storage sheds, lawn and garden equipment such a wheelbarrows, carts, and revolving compost bins, and utility and camping trailers.

In May 2010, Lifetime acquired the assets of Dragonfly Innovation Corp., a producer of blow-molded kayaks, and kayak production was moved to Lifetime's facilities in Utah. Lifetime kayaks are popular among beginners and casual users, and are designed to prevent flipping. In November 2011, Lifetime acquired Pennsylvania-based Emotion Kayaks, making Lifetime one of the largest kayak manufacturers in the world.

Lifetime Products is still led by its original founder.

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