Sjoblom’s start in the hot tub industry is a familiar story, with a work-through-college role at a local swimming pool builder and retailer.
“One way or another, you get started with a pool and spa company, and before long, you’ve got value that’s specific to this industry, and you end up sticking with it,” Sjoblom says. He left the industry for a short time but returned to manage one of Bullfrog’s factory stores. After moving into a sales role for the manufacturer, he became its director of marketing, a position that wasn’t even on his radar.
“I had the education for it but not the background,” Sjoblom says. At the suggestion of a colleague, he met with Pasley to discuss the opening. “We talked about what this brand could become, and we both got really excited; the rest is history. With an incredible team, we took this lesser-known brand and turned it into something very relevant.”
Sjoblom’s first directive was to “immediately elevate and look like we belong,” he says. His goal was that, “Anybody considering a brand/dealership would look at [Bullfrog] as one of the two or three they would consider. We were small at the time with limited resources. But we had an amazingly scrappy team and amplified them through creativity and c And side deals — we traded a lot of spas for services.”
Going forward, Sjoblom says the biggest challenge for him will be retaining the culture of Bullfrog Spas as it grows.
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“I view that as my most important role,” he says. “Keep that human element that Bullfrog is always easy to work with, does things the right way, invests in its business and innovation and is focused on serving our customer.”
I look forward to putting my fingerprints on this, which is building a brand that is meaningful and high value for our dealer partners, so they have a tool available for them that is really powerful when they go to compete.”
Dan Sjoblom, Bullfrog Spas
While Sjoblom started in retail, it’s not where he intends to end up, addressing a persistent industry rumor that Bullfrog is transitioning to a consumer-direct model.
“Let me do my very best to kill that rumor,” Sjoblom says. “We’ve grown this dealer network every single year, and we will continue to grow it. Our overall vision is to create access and availability. When there are cases where we can’t get that access figured out, we’ll consider opening stores in those markets. We believe people should have a Bullfrog Spa available to them so that’s what drives us.”
For Bullfrog Spa employees and customers, the leadership change will mostly go unfelt and has been part of a long-term plan.
“I’m a different person [than Pasley], different leader,” Sjoblom says, “So, sure, there will be things over time that are different. I look forward to putting my fingerprints on this, which is building a brand that is meaningful and high value for our dealer partners, so they have a tool available for them that is really powerful when they go to compete.”