What started as a hobby and fascination with golf discs has transformed into a dream job for Great Bend native Jeremy Rusco.
Rusco owns Dynamic Discs, which markets its own line of manufactured discs and sells other name-brand discs in Emporia.
The son of Clark and Donna Rusco of Great Bend was a Shrine Bowl football selection at Great Bend High School who played football at Fort Hays State and Emporia State. Football became a chore during his time at Hays and Rusco transferred to Emporia State.
Jeremy said his best decision was to marry Ness City’s Wendy Fehrenbach after they met in Hays. Fehrenbach works as a chemist at Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation in Burlington.
Rusco said operating a home-grown business requires constant supervision. His degree in business administration has prepared him well.
“It’s definitely exciting. Every day is an adventure with something new happening,” he said. “There are a lot of things you would never expect to run into being a new business owner. It’s a mix of everything.”
Rusco said he’s learned to adjust his business plan accordingly.
“The industry is growing quickly and we’ve learned to not look too far ahead,” Rusco said. “It’s a good thing I have outstanding employees because things get thrown into the mix every week. We prepare our business plan and adjust it every few months.”
His most important business decision was signing a contract in 2012 with Latitude 64 in Skelleftea, Sweden to manufacture specially designed discs that will broaden Dynamic Discs’ brand and visibility.
Rusco discussed the idea during the 2012 World Championships with Svante Eriksson, Latitude 64 sales manager.
“Latitude 64 makes some of the most consistent and highest quality discs on the market,” Rusco said. “We wanted to bring their excellence of quality and consistency to the United States under the Dynamic Discs name.
“We realized that a partnership with Latitude 64 and Dynamic Discs might be the way to produce our own line of discs and ensure a quality product. Latitude 64 saw this as a great opportunity for both businesses and is excited to have more representation in the United States.”
Rusco made his decision for a partnership after making a November visit to the Latitude 64 plant in Sweden.
“I didn’t have much to worry about considering the quality and consistency we currently see in their products,” he said. “The decision to mold our own discs is another opportunity to brand the Dynamic Discs name into the market. We have support from the players and have established great relationships. We hope they choose to give the discs a chance.”
Dynamic Discs started as a golf disc retailer that sold a variety of brands. Dynamic Discs plans to continue to sell a full range of disc products from a variety of companies.
“I believe and hope that we can continue to purchase from the manufacturers who we have supported, pushed, and promoted for the existence of Dynamic Discs,” Rusco said. “If this is the case, we will continue to offer their full product line at all of our store locations, online operation, and two RVs that tour the country. Our current vision is we continue to do everything that we have been up to this point — except we will offer another product line or manufacturer to the table.”
Other retail outlets have similar arrangements with manufacturers. Innova is a manufacturer for Millennium and Discmania and Discraft is a manufacturer for the Disc Golf Association.
Rusco said he’s achieving his goal of expanding his business.
“Once you start manufacturing the discs, it opens a lot of doors,” Rusco said. “We’ve gone from a main retailer to a business that’s working with a manufacturer to help build our brand name recognition. We’ve got a great visible logo. It’s exciting to see everything fall into place where we can market all facets of disc golf.”
Dynamic Discs signed its first exclusive player contract with Emporia’s Eric McCabe. A Dynamic Discs trailer accompanies McCabe, the 2010 Pro Disc Golf Association world champion.
Dynamic Discs helps pay for McCabe’s expenses and pays him bonuses for performance and royalties for sales of merchandise associated with his name.
“Having a world champion as a sponsored player helps build your company’s name,” Rusco said. “Eric has a loyal following who support him. We get a lot of exposure being associated with Eric. Products are relevant when they know the player using the equipment.”
After Rusco pursued his disc golf hobby at Emporia State, he discovered discs were expensive for a college student.
“We ended up buying 15 discs on Ebay for a really good deal,” he said.
Rusco purchased 100 discs from manufacturer Discraft and started an Ebay store called Dynamic Discs. He sold 30 discs to a sporting goods store in Great Bend, and 70 for the online store. He also reached an agreement to sell discs from manufacturer Innova.
The business started in Rusco’s basement and has moved to a larger accommodating downtown location. Dynamic Discs also has opened stores in Kansas City and Dallas, Texas. The idea to open the Kansas City store came from professional disc player Pete Cashen.
Dynamic Discs sponsors the annual Glass Blown Open in Emporia. Jeremy Kindy and Rusco are the tournament directors for the 2013 Amateur World Championships in Emporia July 7-13.
Players pay entry fees and sponsors are able to market their merchandise at events. Dynamic Discs ran 50 evnts in seven states last year.
“Anytime, you’re a major sponsor at an event, you get your business name out there,” Rusco said. “We promote our product wherever we are through two full-time vans equipped with merchandise. It’s a matter of growing our brand and getting our name out there.”
Cooperation with local and area businesses and organizations helped Rusco’s bid for the 2013 Amateur World Championships.
“It took a lot of work and cooperation from the city of Emporia parks department, Emporia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Emporia Main Street and other businesses and groups to make this happen,” Rusco said. “There was a lot of excitement when we received the phone call that we were awarded the Amateur World Championships. That’s a sign that your hard work is paying off.”
Rusco said the Emporia disc courses are perfectly designed by McCabe. Some of the courses use golf course property at the Emporia Country Club and Emporia Municipal Golf Course.
“A good disc course uses a good piece of land that typically will feature trees and changes in elevation,” Rusco said. “Eric has designed top-notch excellent courses. Good courses are challenging with trees involved in the layout.”