Home Run Dugout Business Model Hitting It Out Of The Park
May 9, 2019
A little more than one year ago, Glynn Bloomquist ’76 received a phone call from Reese Ryan— son of pitching legend Nolan Ryan—asking if he would be interested in meeting two young men who had a very interesting business idea.
Bloomquist knew the Ryans through the Round Rock Express team and was very curious about a concept that sounded like Topgolf®, but for baseball. Participants would have the chance to virtually step up to the plate and bat at their favorite pro-stadium. After seeing a prototype and meeting Home Run Dugout ®(HRD) co-founders Nick Hermandorfer and Tyler Bambrick, he knew the duo had something special.
Pictured L to R: HRD Co-Founder Tyler Bambrick, Executive Chairman Glynn Bloomquist '76, and Co-Founder Nick Hermandorfer.
“Reese mentioned to me that they really didn’t invest in startups or have the bandwidth to manage this endeavor, but if I committed to take the lead and have a management role then they would invest if I did, too,” Bloomquist, TLU Board of Regents member, said. “At that point I really didn’t have the time to become involved because I was overseeing a merger between my company Empresario and Dripping Springs Distilling. However, a few months later I called him back and asked if they were still around.”
Bloomquist is now the chairman and co-Founder of HRD, a Texas-based entertainment company featuring a baseball themed batting endeavor with a food and beverage component. In March of 2018, he partnered with Ryan-Sanders Baseball to develop and manage HRD so he could be on board full time.
“My next undertaking was raising money, developing a business plan, and deciding where to build the first location,” he said. “Several TLU graduates have also come on board as investors. We also knew we wanted a bar and restaurant concept too that had lots of local products since Austinites are very supportive of local brands.”
That first location ended up being Dell Diamond, home of minor league team the Round Rock Express. Complete with an upscale bar and what Bloomquist calls an “elevated” ballpark menu, HRD features all locally-sourced products like Dripping Springs Distilling and Nolan Ryan Beef. From the indulgent Hall Of Fame package to tacos and vegetarian options, there is something for everyone.
For Hermandorfer and Bambrick, HRD was founded on the idea of inclusivity, meaning anyone, no matter their skill level, could virtually experience hitting a homerun at a legendary stadium.
Whether it’s a birthday, a corporate event, or a bachelorette party, HRD can accommodate group outings from 15 to 500 people at a time with a full service bar and restaurant that caters to a millennial demographic that Bloomquist says is often looking for alternative ways to be social or interactive.
According to him, it’s been a big hit. Literally.
“Baseball truly is America’s past time and our mission is to make this pastime available to any age group and skill level,” he said. “This whole experience has been really humbling and flattering. We had a passion for this idea, but we never expected such a robust reaction.There has just been an outpouring of interest. I was in Houston recently and the Astros are interested. The Yankees are interested. It’s truly a unique concept where you’re combining baseball and an entertainment venue for all ages. I hope to see us in major and minor league parks in the near future, as well as 15- to 20-bay type facilities going into existing entertainment venues.”
A former Bulldog baseball and football player, Bloomquist has been an active and generous supporter of all things TLU.
“I am committed to all programs, but athletics has a special spot in my heart,” he said. “To go and see the baseball team play in the College World Series last year was a special moment for me and I want to strive to give all programs, whether it’s music or athletics, the facilities they deserve. With a school like TLU, you can do great things with the relationships you establish and you carry them with you for your whole life. My experience was certainly very meaningful.”
Article Written by TLU's Office of Marketing and Communications
More About Alumnus and Board of Regents Member Glynn Bloomquist ’76
Glynn Bloomquist is the former CEO, chairman and co-founder of Empresario, LLC. Empresario is the first Texas Spirits House and has a portfolio of Texas-based spirits, including tequilas, liqueurs and non-alcoholic mixers. In March of 2018, Bloomquist engineered the merger of Empresario with Dripping Springs Distilling.
He is also the former president and CEO of Current Solutions LLC, a leading provider of pain management products in the U.S. and Canada. In July 2009, Bloomquist led the acquisition of Koalaty Products, Inc. (KPI) and relocated the company from Tampa, Florida, to its present headquarters and warehouse operations in Austin.
In August 2008 until the acquisition of KPI, Bloomquist was the president and CEO of Austin-based Tejas Global Resources, an international provider of management services including sales and marketing, direct to consumer television advertising, manufacturing, outsourcing, product development, capital formation and business development services.
Bloomquist began his business career with Fox Photo, and during his 19-year tenure, he advanced through the organization with senior management posts in the retail and manufacturing divisions. After Fox Photo, he joined Back-In-A-Flash in Austin as president and CEO, and ultimately directed its growth and sale to Fuji Film in 1996. In 1998, Bloomquist led a group of investors in acquiring a stake in Barton Medical Corporation of Austin, a corporation with a single prototype product and no employees or sales. Barton experienced exponential growth and was named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America by INC 500 Magazine in 2004.
Bloomquist has been recognized with the TLU Distinguished Alumni Award and was inducted into the TLU Athletics Wall of Honor. He was elected to serve on the TLU Board of Regents in February 2007 and elected to the Executive Committee of the Board in December 2008, currently serving as the secretary. Bloomquist earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Lutheran College and has completed Stanford University’s Executive Program.
Filter By Topic
- All News
- TLU Stories
- Events News
- Torch Online