Sky Zone's Purchase by CircusTrix Adds Capital, Rules
Jeff Platt sold Sky Zone to CircusTrix last month, and remains an executive at the seemingly more buttoned-down parent company.
CircusTrix Holdings of Provo, Utah, bought Sky Zone last month, bringing the 195-unit trampoline park chain under its umbrella and changing the game for Jeff Platt, former CEO of Sky Zone. Platt is now president, reporting to Case Lawrence, founder and CEO of CircusTrix. The investment adds both capital and new rules to the once-free-wheeling Sky Zone.
The last time I visited Platt at Sky Zone’s Los Angeles headquarters, in 2015, he was padding around the office wearing orange jumping socks, like they give customers at their trampoline parks, and for our photo shoot he bounced on a trampoline while one of his staffers shot him with a Nerf gun. It seems the new owners have a more buttoned-down approach.
In the past when I wanted to talk to Platt I’d call him or his outside PR firm and we’d be on the phone within hours or days. This time, the PR firm let me know CircusTrix would prefer to conduct interviews about this acquisition via email, something that rarely results in meaningful content so I passed.
Here’s the word from the press release: The combination of CircusTrix and Sky Zone creates the largest indoor active recreation trampoline park company in the world, with nearly 300 owned and franchised locations. CircusTrix bought Rockin’ Jump in March 2017 following an investment in December 2016 by Palladium Equity.
Sky Zone, founded in 2004, “launched our industry when it created the first indoor trampoline park almost 10 years ago. They have since grown to become the largest brand in the trampoline park market,” said Lawrence in the statement.
Back in 2015 when Sky Zone ranked No. 2 on the Franchise Times Fast & Serious list, Platt told me he credited his father, who had owned a scrap-metal business, for “having the guts” to invent the sport of Dodgeball on trampolines in the first place, and his board of directors, including two outside directors for keeping the company on track.
Platt said he hired carefully at Sky Zone, requiring each prospective employee to meet with many current staffers, who are charged with assessing the cultural fit. “You don’t want them to just fit in the culture, you want them to add to the culture,” he said back then.
He agreed at the time the open workspaces, without any offices, and the general chaos weren’t for everyone, but those who fit, thrive. Here’s hoping the new culture at CircusTrix will keep the spring in the step of this engaging and youthful entrepreneur for years to come.