Adam Olalde, the CEO and Founder of Xtreme Xperience, grew his company’s revenue from $4.5 million in 2014 to $8.1 million in 2017, an 80% increase, and to around $10.1 million in 2018.
Xtreme Xperience is a provider of supercar driving, riding and racing experiences.
In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Adam shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:
- Finding new ways to grow their business naturally and via strategic alliances.
- Fostering a culture to provide their drivers with a remarkable and memorable experience.
- Maintaining their momentum by leveraging their youthful energy to impact the world in positive ways.
Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of Eversprint.com. I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Adam Olalde, the CEO and Founder of Xtreme Xperience, a provider of supercar driving, riding and racing experiences. Welcome to the show Adam.
Adam Olalde: Welcome. Thanks for having me.
Malcolm Lui: Adam, you grew your company's revenue from $4.5 million in 2014 to $8.1 million in 2017, a 80% increase, and in 2018 you hit around $10.1 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?
Adam Olalde: Sure. I would love to. As far as competition is concerned it's a niche industry. As you may be aware or you may have uncovered while you were doing your research about extreme experience. But I would say 10 years ago this industry never existed. And so we had the unique opportunity to to create something on our own which of course helped fuel our growth because we were ambitious and risky enough to do it. And we were confident enough that it should exist in the first place. So that was kind of our initial market entry tactic and it has worked and served us well over the past seven years. We'll turn seven years old in August. As far as our competitive advantages because of course over the course of time folks have come into the industry and said if all that we're doing is providing racing experiences how tough could that be. And my answer is it's a whole lot more complicated than you think to make sure that people stay safe that deliver the the nicest newest cars across the board at all times and to do it in as many locations as we do it. And that's our competitive advantage staying true to to safety and get services to make sure you have an amazing experience sets us apart from anybody else that may try to enter the industry. Anybody else in the industry and of course that is what we plan to leverage to be able to grow our business exponentially as time goes on.
Malcolm Lui: So you mentioned that before we started our interview that you're coming to Austin this weekend. How many cars would you bring with you. How many cars will your team bring to the racetrack.
Adam Olalde: We bring three semi trucks. I always try to quantify what we're providing from on a business level by the number of semi trucks right. I think that's how you demonstrate the size of a business. But we'll bring three semi trucks full of supercars to the event in Austin. That equates to about 15 to 20 supercars depending on specifics of the deals that size. And it will allow you to choose from the various makes and models for our Lamborghini Porsche McLaren all the way down to the Dodge Hellcat and we'll also be operating on multiple occasions at the same time. One of our other advantages that we bring that same setup to multiple cities at once we have a full time office in Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. And we have multiple tours going on across the country at the same time. So while you'll have the opportunity in Austin to enjoy 15 or so cars so Will Folks across the country
Malcolm Lui: Now do the number of cars vary with the size of the track and the size of the market.
Adam Olalde: Yeah yeah absolutely we have a very fluid fleet. We're based out of Chicago so I'm talking to you right here from Lincoln Park in downtown Chicago where we have a warehouse in all of our employees kind of acts as Central Command in our trucks pass through the city. They pick up the assets necessary to deliver the event size that they're headed to and into any particular market. They'll go on the road hit that market or maybe a couple of markets in a row and then come back to Chicago and get more equipment drop off cars get new cars whatever might be necessary. So yeah we're a very flexible organization that's also an advantage of ours that we leverage pretty pretty highly
Malcolm Lui: It's how many cars do you have in total
Adam Olalde: We were discounting yesterday. So that's a good question. In total we have twenty six supercars and I have a list on my desk of cars that we need to buy before we really get into the heart of summer when Will we'll be in full swing. So I think that by summertime we'll have close to thirty five
Malcolm Lui: Nice. And what's your most expensive supercar and your least expensive
Adam Olalde: Well to keep it. We pride ourselves on making our operation attainable and that comes in various formats. One of course being logistically we bring our show to you but the other one being economically so I can't charge you through the roof to drive something because there is a limit to what you'd be willing to pay otherwise you should just go buy your own supercar. So we try to keep the cars priced from my perspective between the hundred thousand and the three hundred and fifty to four hundred thousand dollar range which seems like a big swing. But when you're talking super earnings out of cars you can definitely get into the millions without breaking a sweat. So the most expensive car that we have is the Ferrari or ADHD TV. It came out a couple of years ago and SRP is just around four hundred thousand and the cheapest car we have is probably the Nissan GDR or the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and those come in at under a hundred thousand dollars so you can actually get yourself in a supercar should you decide one day for under six figures
Malcolm Lui: All right. So from a driving experience how different is a hundred thousand dollar Nissan DVR and a three hundred fifty thousand dollar four hundred thousand dollar Ferrari for 88
Adam Olalde: My opinion may be biased but I think that from a driving experience it's not as drastic of a difference as the average driver may assume. You could get behind the wheel of that sixty or seventy thousand dollar dodge that I just mentioned and the car has over 700 horsepower. The Lamborghini safaris are just getting to that range now for four times the cost. So as far as the drivers experience depending on what you're looking to get out of the car you can get that type of experience in a in a far less expensive car.
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Adam Olalde: That's for sure
Malcolm Lui: I imagine you have to be a professional driver and pushing the cart to the limits before you would be able to really tell the difference
Adam Olalde: Absolutely. We have a whole team hundreds of professional drivers that work for us and they will tell you that. Sure they may not want to race the Hellcat as their daily racer. They'd much prefer a Ferrari but for the thrill of the experience which is what we're in business to provide. You can get it at all ends of the spectrum
Malcolm Lui: Right. So tell me how it works. Yeah. Your guys are coming this week in Austin they're gonna be at a racetrack. And I just simply show up and hop in a car just like that.
Adam Olalde: You can. You definitely can. We bring plenty of supercars for that particular reason but we do encourage you to go to our Web site x x speed dot com and make a reservation. That way you get to select not only the track you'd like to attend in your case obviously choose the convenient one but you also get to select the day that you'd like to drive the time that you'd like to drive and the car you'd like to drive. Because as you mentioned before we got on the phone that you had baseball and football and a number of other activities going on this weekend. So we value your time just as much as you do. So we want you to have your experience reserve your experience and then be able to get back to your regular programming after your experience. You're welcome of course to stay all day and drive with us. That's why we bring so many cars. And you're welcome to show up and just see what's available. But making a reservation is the best way to do it because you'll spend a couple hours of your time with us when you get to the race track from the check in process to the classroom process to safety equipment breathing process to your actual driving experience Midol takes about two hours
Malcolm Lui: So two hours to go through safety training equipment and so on. How much driving time to actually get
Adam Olalde: That's up to you every time that you make a reservation. It is for three laps three to four laps on the race track which comes out to anywhere from six to eight miles depending on the length of the configuration. We run road courses. We don't run ovals like in Nascar or exclusively ovals. Sometimes when we go to a NASCAR facility we will run kind of the road configuration where you're a little bit of the oval and then the infield road course as well. But three to four laps puts you on the race track from eight to 12 minutes or so driving in the car. But we also offer a ride along experienced before you drive so you can get out and see the configure configuration of the track where you drive it. So we make sure you get on the track a couple times and of course you're always welcome to look at our lovely buffet of super cars and select another one of you. If that wasn't enough for you
Malcolm Lui: Right and what's the typical price range for the experience
Adam Olalde: Experiences start as low as 50 bucks you can get on the race track for a ride along in one of our cars for as low as 50 bucks to go check it out and see what's going on. Driving starts at one hundred ninety nine dollars if you choose one of those cars that come in under the six figure range like the Dodge or the Nissan and they make their way up from there to drive it for your Lamborghini kind of at the top end your you're between three and three hundred fifty dollars. But of course you know I'd be remiss to say that we're not always we're always out there trying to get your attention one way or another with a fun dealer or a fun special so you can keep your eyes out for that or join our mailing list and probably get a good deal and take a little bit of cash out that number
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Yeah it's something to be a pretty interesting group event as well.
Adam Olalde: Fantastic group event actually. It was probably a year or so after we got started of course we were focusing pretty specifically on the to engagement and all of a sudden we started getting phone calls from businesses saying you know we've been golfing we've been to the baseball game we need something new to do. Can we figure out a way to come driving. And now we've got a pretty robust sales department that goes out and absolutely says hey if you've got a group to entertain golfing is OK but raising prices is a whole lot more of a group bonding experience and now we've got some very fun white glove ways to entertain a group small group all the way up to two big large groups and we do that at every single racetrack we go to
Malcolm Lui: Right. For sure. Driving a Ferrari is a lot more memorable than hitting golf balls for a day
Adam Olalde: And so we think
Malcolm Lui: Now. How about your clients how is it mostly men who are driving or have a good share of women driving as well
Adam Olalde: It's it's almost a split right down the middle. It still skews a little bit more on the male driver but it's not as it's not as skewed as you'd think it's more in the 60 40 range than it is in the 90 10 range. Because I'll tell you right now some of the fastest and most enthusiastic drivers I know are women and we love catering to them. And even if this experience was designed or was purchased by a gentleman he brings his family because why not your wife and your kids want to see what you're doing and how cool these things are and get close to them. And if you're ready at the racetrack it doesn't take long for that. That woman that lady that wife the daughter to decide you know what I'd like to try it too so we're big advocates of that. And by the end of the day it evens itself out. We're all passionate about them one way or another.
Malcolm Lui: Right do family right alongside your car is big enough to do that.
Adam Olalde: We do have a small fleet of Chevy abscesses which is a naturally aspirated eight cylinder engine car that it means it's powerful enough to carry more than just one other person like a supercar is limited to. But in the same regard you can fit a whole family it's a sedan in the car. And so we put those out on the racetracks if you want to ride along with a couple of your family members you can do that. And those right ones are only 50 bucks. Like I said. So everybody can go out there and hang onto the handles and go for a thrill ride as well because you're on track for hours and Lamborghinis same time as our professional driver kind of watching around and shows
Malcolm Lui: It's
Adam Olalde: You the fun and excitement that a racetrack can bring
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Now do you want our kids to do the right along.
Adam Olalde: Kids are allowed. They just have to be twelve. Twelve is the minimum age.
Malcolm Lui: Ok so I won't be able to take my kids along on this on this ride this weekend.
Adam Olalde: We just want to make sure that the safety equipment fits so the helmets in the belts and everything all need to be about that 12 years is when they get to the right size for that to be safe.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah it's kind of funny you're talking about riding in the car at the handles and remind me of a story about this guy 20 30 years ago told me you imagined me those hands got got. Oh my God handles right there holding onto it and saying Oh my God oh my god is it cruising around
Adam Olalde: Yeah I would say that when you're on the racetrack with us plenty of other expletives can be inserted into that that type of handle and we've got a great video system that records your whole experience. So share it at your discretion. But I've heard I've heard plenty of screaming and swearing in it all is all in good fun
Malcolm Lui: Yeah for the age range of that of your drivers. What's the what's the range and what's the core.
Adam Olalde: The core of our of our drivers are between the ages of twenty five and fifty five which seems like a broad market but but it's not it's everybody who has the opportunity to have had enough time to have their favorite car selected or maybe had that poster on the wall since they were a kid and finally decided it was time to drive it. So we offer a unique opportunity to access these cars that really wasn't ever it wasn't ever accessible or wasn't ever reality. You know even if you think back 10 years ago if you wanted to if you wanted to see your favorite card you might have to go to a car show or if you wanted to drive your favorite car you had to have a neighbor who maybe had one in his garage or something like that. But now we've got a lot of 20 and 30 year olds who are saying well why not test drive it. I've got two three hundred dollars to go do that. And you've got a lot of 40 50 60 year olds who are saying oh my gosh I've been waiting long enough for this opportunity I'm glad that you've made it possible. Now I'm going to come out to the track and drive it. So the point of my story is that really this is designed for everybody and so we get folks from all different ages
Malcolm Lui: Very cool. And are they from a variety of backgrounds as well or are they fairly well did you folks are doing this or good. Or is it across the board.
Adam Olalde: I would say it's pretty across the board. We visit so many different markets in the United States. We have so many different types of cars and other vehicles that we offer. This year we entered into a relationship with slingshot which is a division of Polaris and slingshot is their three wheeled auto cycle product that they launched a few years ago and so we're bringing those out to racetracks as well which attracts the motorcycle crowd. So we we really have an eclectic mix of experiences that come whether they're kids who got straight A's whether they're older gentlemen and ladies who grew up in Italy I've seen folks who grew up down the street from the Ferrari factory and never got to drive one and emigrated to America and all of a sudden they show up in our experience test drive a Ferrari that they've known existed for seventy five years so we have folks from all walks of life and all different types of interests and that's what really makes this a fun experience
Malcolm Lui: Sounds like a lot of fun. Definitely for your business when you grew it from 4.5 million in 2014 to ten point one million in 2018 so you more than doubled your business in four years. What were the drivers behind that growth.
Adam Olalde: Well you know sitting in my seat. I've always been very ambitious about what I thought our our potential was kind of the DNA of our business is unique and helped fuel that and what I mean by that is we were founded in Chicago where driving year round is not an option because of the weather of course. And so when we open when we open this business in late 2002 12 we said well for us to be able to offer our experiences at all in a capacity that can sustain a business we're gonna have to find ways to create revenue annually not just seasonally. So we took on the challenge the logistic challenge of bringing these assets and marketing in different markets across the nation and internationally now by 2019. We took that on since day one and so part of the driving factor was just that we were born with the DNA to accept these challenges and go find the business that was out there and because of that we just always leveraged the foundation of that to keep growing. And so over the years we would just add new markets we would pivot. We would alter markets we would drop markets we would create new opportunities and really going out and hunting for the next thing whether that was just a new market on the East Coast West Coast south of America or that was as ambitious as creating a relationship with a with a manufacturer like Polaris slingshot as I just mentioned and all the other things that we do that's really kind of been the secret sauce in what we do and how we've been able to to grow. We kind of believe failure is not an option our team is young and ambitious and we just look back to our roots and say that's how we started this is who we are. This is how we grow
Malcolm Lui: Right. So you that you touched on quite a bit of different things just now about how you grew. So if I were to summarize it summarize it it might be perhaps a mindset though you're not option and willingness to consider ways of growing and being open minded to that
Adam Olalde: Yeah it absolutely is. We have you know we've had this saying for a long time which evolved quite honestly because we were hearing our customers in their in their feedback and in their reviews and they said you know we think it's through experience for their cars the cars are nice and beautiful but we really stayed and enjoyed the experience because of its people. And if you look at all the different places where people have an impact in our business I know it's a saying is all this time that people are what drives everything but in our industry you know it was just as obvious because we were bringing families together and creating the opportunity for that to be possible. When you went to our classroom instruction you met our our people. They taught you. They talked to you. They demonstrated how this can be safe and exciting. And then most importantly throughout the experience particularly when you're in the car you know you have a complete stranger that you need to get to know pretty quickly because how much fun you have and how safe you are relies very heavily on that person. So all of the sudden you realize that a Ferrari is a cool thing. But what you are capable of doing with it and how your experience goes alongside with it has everything to do with that person. And so we leverage our values here pretty heavily because we believe that if you believe in the values and you have a solid culture then you're going to go out and deliver an amazing experience which just makes up for it that much more enjoyable and valuable
Malcolm Lui: Right. How would you define your culture in a nutshell.
Adam Olalde: Well our culture you know we leverage five values here flexibility integrity respect drive and communication. So those five values that we've all agreed and defined together first and foremost create the foundation that don't forget we always have to work with each other talk to each other. We have to be adapting to the changing landscape where a lot of millennials I'm 33 years old and most of the folks that work for me are a little bit younger than me so what's important to us is that we have purpose and what we do we we ask ourselves quite often Lee or we remind ourselves why we do what we do why we do what we do wasn't just to to create a business create revenue create profit but why we do what we do is to deliver the experience a lifetime to you to your family to your friends and and leveraging those five values that lie that purpose really helps define our culture of people that are out there delivering something new. Creating something fun and helping you create a memory post really that that could that could live with you for the rest of your life.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah you definitely remember those thrilling experiences that you have more so than the ones that aren't so thoroughly.
Adam Olalde: Right. Right.
Malcolm Lui: Yes I remember my my current wife a fiancee way back then took me on my first track keys experience and it's pretty thrilling. Literally you know swinging around and doing transfers and then I do recall my wife. Yeah she's fine I can like me saying this but she won the screamer screamer of the day award from that experience and
Adam Olalde: The
Malcolm Lui: I'm sure sure at your events have similar awards as well.
Adam Olalde: Was going to say you just made me think that maybe we need to implement some awards but you're right. You know the way that the human brain works is that it creates these memory posts around thrilling experiences that fill a void in something you've never done before we never felt or experienced before. So if you are racing a Ferrari your brain's going to remember this because of what you feel and the adrenaline the endorphins the excitement and then everything around that experience you're going to remembering more clarity the rest of the day the rest of the week et cetera. So we have a lot of folks that come out to our experience and I say this with the most positive tone as their as their bucket list. You know we have a lot of older folks who have a lot of folks who may be sick. This is on their list of things that they would like to check off this that we have a lot of engagements. We have a lot of fun really creative ways to leverage our experience and the memories that it creates to also tie into really positive life experiences as well. And we're pretty honored and humbled that people choose our experience for that reason.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Yeah definitely. It's you know it's it's awesome that you're able to have allowed and to check off those things that they've been wanting to do for a long time and nothing's
Adam Olalde: Exactly
Malcolm Lui: Worse than
Adam Olalde: Tackled
Malcolm Lui: Not doing what you've wanted to do all your life
Adam Olalde: Right.
Malcolm Lui: So the drivers drivers I said we talk about one where your teams open minded for finding ways to grow a second one talking about a culture that emphasizes providing a find a member experiences or allows for your team to deliver a fun and memorable experience. Is there a third driver behind your success
Adam Olalde: Well I mean those are quite honestly that's what we. I think that's what we focus on pretty heavily. I don't know that I have another one I try to keep it simple silly sometimes. And so I think I think that I think that I've kind of touched on what's gotten us to where we are and where we're pushing to be simply based on that which quite honestly leaves a whole lot of open room to to say if we just are good people who believe in delivering top notch experiences that will give us purpose and brands and people will see the purpose and want to continue working with us. You know I think that if anything else the third driver is simply that we're young we've got a lot of time to figure out how we can keep impacting the world in positive ways so we're not going to start slowing down yet because we still have youthful energy
Malcolm Lui: Right. Definitely fantastic. Now for 2019 What are your plans. I know you mentioned talking about going international. So how does that work into the picture
Adam Olalde: Well that is part of the picture already. Actually 2019 was a big year for us. Or is going to Pitt is a big year. But I say was because it's already started in 2019. We in We we introduced about twenty three new markets to our tour which is how that number supercars is climbing so rapidly. But we had historically operated our full time location in New Orleans as well as our tour operation. This year we introduced the second tour operation so that we can be operating in three cities at any one time which is pretty impressive but also obviously increased the opportunity for us to do business from the corporate entertainment and private entertainment side as we were as we had touched on it a lot as to immediately enter into some relationships with national brands because they saw the scope of the distribution and the exposure that they could get by working with us and move in on the international. We had gone and entered into a relationship with a group of businesses in Guatemala and Central America. The tour was designed to go through El Salvador Dominican Republic Mexico and Guatemala. It ended up going to Guatemala staying there for a few months instead because that's where most of the business was and this happened about habitat two thousand fifteen I believe. So almost four years ago now we have not since gone back to out of Malibu we're up in Canada now.
Adam Olalde: Now we have relationships with the racetracks in Vancouver Montreal Toronto and so expanding that North American footprint of course. We have a lot of interest overseas in Europe and in the Middle East as far as how can we franchise or develop this business. Not something I think we're going to get into in 2019 but definitely something that in the next few years will make its way onto the business plan because unlike a retail organization we're service based and we have to figure out how to scale our people and our services. And so we're we're doing that very proactively in the United States by essentially scaling to all of the markets that can sustain what we do based on population race track location et cetera and bringing that into Canada and then kind of taking that model and figuring out if overseas is is a good option for us in the near future. But I would imagine it is with obvious the obvious hype around Formula One and all the other driving circuits in Europe and all over the world. And then of course there are plenty of racetracks for US leverage as well so I would anticipate that's not that's on the not too distant horizon.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Sounds like logistically we could a different challenge and a bigger challenge going overseas.
Adam Olalde: Yes.
Malcolm Lui: Because
Adam Olalde: He would give even going to Guatemala. Because even though we may be attached by land the car started to get on ships and they had to go sail around and get put into the crates and deliver it out of a port and then shipped on trucks throughout the country to the racetracks. So logistics like I said is part of our DNA and it doesn't scare us. I think more than anything what we have to be considered is the fact that we have person capital and we have we have supercar capital and those are things that we have to invest appropriately and very strategically when we're selecting growth markets because once a person in a fleet of supercars is somewhere that's kind of where they are so we vet our markets carefully and we try to grow to them in a way where we know we'll be successful. But of course we have to be flexible with how that all changes and we as we learn more about each of the markets that we operate in.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So when you take it you go on tour or do you also bring on a team of mechanics and you have a supply of parts and tires and things that typically get worn out over the course of
Adam Olalde: Absolutely
Malcolm Lui: The event
Adam Olalde: Yep. We've got to be prepared. We found our way back in the day that the only way to do this the right way the way to do this consistently to deliver that safety and that level of excitement and guest service was for the same folks to travel. So everyone spends a lot of time on the road if you work first trip experience because I want you as the consumer in Austin to have the same experience that the consumer had last weekend in Charlotte or in Albuquerque and that only happens if I have the best people trained and at each of these locations. We of course have rotating teams so that everyone gets a break but we've got a pretty robust team of managers and get service people. We have a huge team as I mentioned two hundred plus instructors and professional drivers and then yeah kind of the backbone behind all of that is the is the tech team that travels with all the cars some people will laugh about you know how long are your cars going to last. And I say well if you own a supercar you parked in your garage drove it a few times over the summer maybe took it to the dealership once we have a professional mechanic look at your car every three laps. So our cars are actually in pretty good shape because they've had constant eyeballs on them. But yep that team including the techs have to travel every weekend to a new location to watch over our fleet and watch over our customers
Malcolm Lui: Right now on the service side or the mechanic the mechanical service side. Is their team capable of fixing big issues that arise or do you just take the car out of commission and fix it and get back to that back to headquarters
Adam Olalde: New. You'd be surprised what these guys can do out there on the racetrack. I mean I could go on for days and days about the stories that they've in the hurdles that they've overcome because obviously with this many moving parts anything can go wrong. You asked me a moment ago to carry tires and brakes of course we carry tires and brakes and fluids and circuits and lines and all that type of stuff. But the luck of the draw of course we'll have that whenever we carry is not what's going to break. So then we have to get creative and figure out new ways to fix things. Six months ago just as one anecdote we were driving a Ferrari 458 Italia in Michigan and the start stop button on the dashboard failed to continue working. So we took the dashboard off and say we I don't mean me I mean these guys took the dashboard off rerouted the electric from the starter to a new button that they installed in this new button was almost like a it was almost like a trigger and got a handheld electrode device and then they put the dashboard back on. So we for a period of time operated the only Ferrari 458 Italia in the world that you didn't push to start but you triggered to start. So our customers would get in and they get to pull a trigger to start a Ferrari. So we create new extreme experiences. But yeah what these guys can do is pretty impressive
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. And it would be kind of sad to have a car sidelined simply because a button failed
Adam Olalde: I agree with you from time to time it happens. There is no way you know these things are machines and machines break and we try to mitigate that as much as possible but every once in a while something does break and that's why we've got to have enough supercars. So that is what you wanted to drive broke. I think of something just as cool to offer you
Malcolm Lui: Yeah definitely. So for 2019. What problems these C challenges you see that your you and your team need to overcome to have a have the kind of year that you're looking for.
Adam Olalde: Well as any business will probably tell you when it's trying to scale you of course are asking more of your people. That's that's always the people capital problem. You know we're all really good at what we've done and what we've been able to do. But suddenly you ask you ask everyone everybody to do more and you start to really see their strengths and their weaknesses. Hiring more people isn't just the answer because those people have to be trained they have to be the right people they have to have the knowledge and the skill to be able to accomplish what they've been hired to do. So the bandwidth of our existing people to then become managers and leaders to the new generation of people has definitely been a challenge. One that we embrace head on because it's fun and watching people develop is very rewarding. But at the same time there are some days when you bang your head on the wall and go wow I never never anticipated this would happen I guess the family's just big enough that you're going to get a little bit of everything. So that's one of the challenges. And the other challenge you know economically speaking is simply that we are going to new markets and I'm not always sure what's going to happen. You know you open 23 new markets all of sudden and you go oh my gosh you know Albuquerque New Mexico perform differently than Los Angeles perform differently than Portland and why why is that. Why do the consumers have different buying habits. How are they reacting when are they reacting to our marketing team is definitely here late at night trying to run enough data to understand the answers and take some calculated risks that we hopefully see the outcomes that were that we were that we were rolling the dice for
Malcolm Lui: Right now I take I imagine that if you do allow pre bookings you kind of get sense before your cars even show up in the city
Adam Olalde: We do. Yes I would say that ninety six plus percent of the reservations that we will do in any one given weekend are pre reservations. So very very minimal percent just show up and ask to drive which is great because that allows us to deliver the appropriate size experience to that market the appropriate number of supercars and personnel etc. but of course you know as any business would we would love for each market to be a sell out market. That's not always the case. But but yes we're able to kind of forecast and that allows us to be more strategic keeping our business healthier.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Now how far in advance that people book typically
Adam Olalde: They typically book anywhere from we can we look at things in a week perspective so we could do some math but they typically book anywhere from four to 24 weeks in advance. So one to six months in advance is kind of that sweet spot because that allows them to plan without doing some too far in the future that they forget to actually sign up for the first place
Malcolm Lui: Yeah now have you ever had an event where people just not enough people book it was the reservations were coming in slower than anticipated and then you know if that has occurred what did you guys do. Do you still go ahead of the event or do you just reschedule for later.
Adam Olalde: It definitely has happened. There's kind of three ways that we go about it. If it's an emerging market that we want to continue going back to that of course we will go and we will host the experience because we hope that you know a commitment to what we said we were going to do is is a show of good faith and we know the market has potential so we got to go and deliver the experiences to build the awareness. The other option is to maybe combine it with another market if there's one nearby. So sometimes if a market doesn't perform well in you know in the Midwest we can you know if it's not performing well in one city in Michigan we can combine it because we run three events in Michigan or something like that. And that way you know we kind of acknowledge that hey we we tried to come really hyper local for you in western Michigan but if you could meet us Mid Michigan we'll give you a little bit of incentive and that is good for our business as well. Infrequently we've had to cancel the event altogether but that's only if the turnout is so poor that that some some external factor must have affected it and it wasn't going to be good for us ever. That happens few and far between but. But as in business Anything's a possibility
Malcolm Lui: Yeah so the key for you to go on tour is I imagine is is reserving track time more than
Adam Olalde: It
Malcolm Lui: Anything
Adam Olalde: Is
Malcolm Lui: On
Adam Olalde: High. I know the owner of almost every single racetrack in North America
Malcolm Lui: A hand is it. How does that work and things get for your company because you're essentially booking the whole day right.
Adam Olalde: Yeah. We've not only booked the whole day we're essentially booking the whole week or the whole weekend depending on the amount of time that we're in town. So every year around June we start to get on the phone. I start to get a phone and call my friends who own racetracks and I call my friends now because I've been doing this long enough that I know who they all are and they know who I am. So we get on the phone and we start to talk about what weekend's extreme experience would prefer because I have to like my weekends based on what's good for you obviously because that's how I attract you two are events and then we just do some calendar negotiations that's really all that it comes down to there. How many good racing weekends in a year at any particular location and then how many companies are interested in renting track time and based on my history and in my relationships. I of course get pretty good track time from all these different racetracks. Some of them of course like the one in New Orleans have gone as far as saying you should set up a permanent shop here which you can get to in a moment. But but yeah well we start in June we start laying out the calendar set by September October we can launch the next year's calendar and everyone can start thinking about where they'd like to drive
Malcolm Lui: Right. And when you set up your track time you're you're committed to it right.
Adam Olalde: Yeah yeah we signed contracts all the racetracks.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So if you decide to pull an event it's still somewhat costly like you already booked the track time.
Adam Olalde: Yeah there are definitely implications
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Okay. Got it. So what sort of strengths do you see within your firm that you would like to leverage further
Adam Olalde: Well go and also just kind of bring it full circle to the people there are most powerful asset. I look at most of our challenges and our opportunities these days and it all boils back down to the people I was having a conversation with my chief operating officer the other day and I said to her I said Look I don't. I can't go into every department and answer the particular questions that they may have because that's not what I do every day and there's they are specialists in that particular area for a reason but what I can do is create the forum I can create the environment I can support the values and the culture of the people that work within those systems so they can get their jobs done more efficiently and more effectively and quite honestly that's what my biggest challenge is. That's my biggest opportunity. Good thing that's probably also my biggest strength. Otherwise I would be in trouble. But you know when when the marketing department needs help I don't leverage my my knowledge of the market. I know I leverage my knowledge of how an efficient team works together to take chances to be flexible to pivot on certain things and understand how to achieve results in the face of adversity or face of unknown or ambiguity as well. So quite honestly leveraging that leadership tactic and the evolution of the human as it pertains to the efficiency of the team and of course then the subsequent results. That's what that's my strength. That's our strength and that's definitely what we're using to help scale the business because at the end of the day that's kind of the foundation of what you got.
Malcolm Lui: So you can get your company sounds almost like a pit crew
Adam Olalde: Our company is a picture where we are. We are a pit crew of folks that get our hands dirty move fast. We break some things along the way but we try to break too much and then we just put some duct tape on it. Keep going. But that's kind of you know my ever jokes about how I run a business or how millennials run businesses and you really kind of take a step back and say well we just believe in and seeing results for sure and and not cutting corners of course but it's OK to stub your toe in in pursuit of those results and so we're like that we're young we're ambitious we're having fun
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Now you mentioned very briefly about the new orleans track talking about heavy having a permanent presence. What's the story there.
Adam Olalde: It was a few years ago I think in 2014 or 15 we were passing through New Orleans as it as any tour stop no different. And I struck up a relationship with the CEO of the track at the time and she said to me that she would love to have more experiences at the track full time. They had a beautiful carding facility in event center a two mile north track and they were doing more construction there. I I agree with you I think that as far as your market is concerned it represents a really good opportunity. If you look at cities in the south that know so you can drive around in even Texas unfortunately gets its its share of cold weather so I kind of ruled out Texas and we looked at Southern California the desert New Orleans and south Florida and Southern California had no racetracks. Las Vegas did have some racetracks and a lot of other experiences and so at the time I want to enter the market as another company so I said let's pause on new orleans for. I'm sorry Las Vegas for a moment. South Florida didn't have a track and you run out year round it has to NASCAR so very complex and NASCAR tracks like Daytona Sebring homestead but they wouldn't be ideal for a private year run experience and this brand new seventy five million dollar racetrack in New Orleans was just sitting there and I said you know what. This could be a really good opportunity let me put together the appropriate amount of assets because at the time we were only a few years old.
Adam Olalde: I don't have enough cars to spare or people to spare but over the next twelve months we did and we made these investments to put a few cars much smaller fleet than our normal 20 car fleet or so down in New Orleans and we opened up an office right there on the racetrack. We built out about 3000 square feet of classroom and retail space and we set up a couple of different track configurations. We had a sprint like an auto cross circuit. We had a North track circuit. We even had something called the supercar Academy where you could go drive for six or seven hours with the same instructor and review video and really work on driving technique and all the vehicles. So it gave us the opportunity to put a place holder in somewhere where you could drive around a tourist destination a beautiful new racetrack and kind of offer a number of different experiences that we didn't have the luxury of offering on tour because we are attracting so many people in the timing and scheduling was a little bit more rigid. So that happened in twenty sixteen or so. We spent a couple of years operating that way and recently we've been going back and forth down there to increase our personnel at some marketing and sales staff down there and improve our performance and our overall delivery in New orals as well so we're excited that that represents a fun opportunity for us to keep growing our brick and mortar location to complement our traveling locations
Malcolm Lui: So the way it works down there is how how would you set up your track times. You have a permanent presence there. Does I mean that can drive any day of the year
Adam Olalde: Yeah. So going back to a previous topic of conversation that we talked about as far as how to make your reservation or if you should just arrive and walk up. Same scenario applies in Louisiana you can make a reservation online and we still encourage you to make a reservation online but it's probably closer to 50 50 walk up or make your reservation online because we are open five days a week. We are open Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday and Monday closed Tuesday Wednesday. That way we can be there for the traveler for the business folk and we're open all through the weekend and of course on Monday. JR You got a late flight out so you can get your driving and before you go. We know it's a lot to do in New Orleans and so whether you want to walk up and just pop in and say hi or you'd like to make the reservation that we can accommodate both
Malcolm Lui: And the track is exclusive for your use or they still have other race events. And you guys work together to find track time
Adam Olalde: Yeah. They have other events going on. We are the number one provider on the on the race track there. We actually help. We've moved into a position to really help manage the racetrack as a whole and it's been a fun addition to kind of the business model that we have but. But there's still other events that happen from time to time on the racetrack driving clubs pass through and use the race track and we've got a really solid partnership those groups in that Gulf Coast region and so we cooperate and we're able to share track time with them as well.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. And just some discussion now. But I can see how track owners probably would like someone like yourself right. If it gives a bit of a steady flow of business for them.
Adam Olalde: Yeah well you know back in the beginning this year you know all all goes back to where we really were when we got started and where we really where was. I was a twenty seven year old kid who didn't own any of these cars I had to find them be a unique methods and all legitimate of course but I didn't show up with a lot of money and a lot of cars we were figuring out how to build this program from the ground up organically and so the first time we went to a racetrack and I asked permission to rent and they quite honestly looked me in the eye and said No I don't have any faith that you're going to do this right or be able to pay your bills. And when a thousand people showed up for the first event they looked at me and said I don't know how you did that but congratulations. Now keep keep keep evolving and keep making it better and safer. And and we will keep working with you. And that was that was probably two hundred racetracks ago.
Malcolm Lui: Very cool. Now I could go to your web presence fired up my tools and I see that you are spending quite a bit on it. Get a good amount change on paper click advertising and not so much an NCO side. What's your take on paper clicking a CEO comes to generating business for your company
Adam Olalde: Well I would say that most of our eggs are in that basket as any is any small the mid-sized business like ours would. We find value in investing in direct call action type advertising because at least we can monitor those those KPI eyes and and understand what our costs are per click and costs are per acquisition and what our return on ad spend and all those types of metrics are. So you know we've invested and scaled that investment in all of the digital advertising so of course you'll find this very heavily on the social media channels everything that Facebook holds or that Google owns MCO. No no no different kind of the long play obviously we invested in it seven years ago and just made sure that it was it was strong or as strong as it could be. And then layer that digital advertising on top of it. We've done some traditional or out of home advertising in the past some radio ads some billboards but not significantly because we still feel that the amount of exposure that we forfeit digitally by investing that budget in traditional medium is less trackable and therefore a little less qualified. So we always kind of go back to that digital advertising spend and how we can make it more efficient. And that's something our team is working on every day.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Do you do all your marketing in-house city partners to help you with that
Adam Olalde: We have a couple of partners we have an agency here in Chicago that helps us with the street. Some of the strategic ad buying. But otherwise we do all of our marketing in-house our marketing department is over trading 12 or 15 members that do everything from we have an in-house ad buying we have in-house PR we have in-house email strategy and digital strategy. We have a whole content team of course to bring that presence to life photographers and videographers and graphic designers and content managers and things like that. So we have a pretty robust team that can do it all and then just with the support of a couple outside agencies as comprises the advertising and marketing strategy that you see
Malcolm Lui: Right. So what's your plan for getting out your your business to business events. The group events the corporate events
Adam Olalde: We have right now we have two or three I think we have three sales people who focus on different aspects of that that process and different aspects of that funnel and they do a really good job of both entertaining customers and then turning them into repeat customers as well as prospecting for new customers to to simply get the word out there and say hey all these other companies are doing it because it's that much fun you need to you need to do it with us as well. So we've got an evolving sales department and I'm pretty excited for their potential
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Now are you finding that that paper slick ads are helpful in that regard as well
Adam Olalde: They are yes they are and coming from a from a sales background myself I graduate from college on the southern and merely went into a sales job where I was handed a phone book and a phone and they said go find leads to fast forward you know a few years. And when we started extreme experience we hired our first salesperson a few years after the business was founded and we said you know what this is this might be odd but thinking your millennial thinking but what if we run some ads for corporate sales on LinkedIn and on Facebook and got some of those decision makers to call and ask for quotes something that we just had not. It didn't really seem to wasn't part of the corporate sales paradigm for the four decades for generations and immediately started to return some results which is really cool. So we found ways to continue to grow the funnel size for our corporate sales departments so that you could go to our website and you could download pricing guides you could request a quote you could schedule a time of talk to our sales people and they would auto populate the calendars. So we found that that being one of the quicker growing areas of our business there are a lot of technologies and advertising methods and mediums that can support a sales department in a pretty fantastic way. And we're always looking for new ones but that's that's a place where we see a significant our way. Of course
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Yeah. Have you tried cold e-mail marketing
Adam Olalde: Yes of course you know like I said since I was of the generation of salespeople I was given a phone and a phone book. We always have a portion of our sales teams Day which is just going out there and being called prospecting. I think that it's less the yellow pages these days and more linked in but whatever is affected
Malcolm Lui: All right. What works right. That's kind of how I met your mantra your mantra
Adam Olalde: Let's
Malcolm Lui: That your company
Adam Olalde: Do it works and evolve quickly because the world is moving faster than we know. And those who acknowledge it will be OK and those who don't will fade away.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Three final questions for you if you were to have a billboard and imagine a billboard along a race track. Typically I say yeah you know what would be your six second message. Since people only have six seconds to read a billboard along a race track might be shorter. So what would it be or to the point billboard message for extreme experience
Adam Olalde: Well one that we've used in the past and I think still rings true is it's your turn. Simply put these things exist. They have existed. You've often said that's not that. That is for me. But but when and why and how well extreme experiences here to say it's your turn.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Why not now
Adam Olalde: Why not now. Exactly
Malcolm Lui: So stick and two final questions. Who are your ideal drivers and what's the best way for them to book a time and drive when you're supercars.
Adam Olalde: Are ideal drivers are pretty much everybody modern. That's the most fun part about this is once they're 12. Of course like we talked about but I want to see people at the race track who are enthusiastic about life. I want to see people there who are who want to reward themselves with this opportunity that we've that we've provided and that we've created. And I want to assure those people that this is nothing. You know one of the biggest concerns that we always get is is this is too fast or this is too expensive or this is this is too scary or whatever it might be. Well we are in business because we thought of those things and we've found a way to address them. So all you have to do is go to our Web site pick your favorite car pick the most fun look and race track or the one that's closest to you and come out and have a good time with us. Whether you are a kid who's into cars whether you're a lady who thought that you had to drive a minivan but really always had your eye on a Ferrari or whether you're the dad who is has been looking at Porsches all his life and wondering when he would have his. I don't care who you are. We've made it safe. We've made it fun we've brought it to you. So come out and spend the afternoon with us at the racetrack.
Malcolm Lui: Sounds like fun and the best way for them to make a booking what's their Web site
Adam Olalde: Our Web site is w w w x x speed. Dot com right there on the home page you can see the map of all the locations that we will be at for the remainder of the year. Just click on one of those locations and click the dates that work best for you or go to our car section right at the top of the web page click your favorite car and you can see which tracks it will be at. And you can select that way as well.
Malcolm Lui: Awesome. And how about for the corporate customers out there who are interested. Do they contact your team the same way.
Adam Olalde: Yeah absolutely go to our Web site and there is a corporate entertainment tab that you can click on it will drop down and allow you to to enter the size of your party or what you're looking for even your budget. And one of our salespeople will reach out to you within 12 or 24 hours or you can pick up the phone and call us 8 6 6 2 7 3 7 7 2 7 and we'll direct you right to our sales team so that we can answer any questions you have. We're always here and we've always always got people on the phone because we know that sometimes you just want to talk to somebody
Malcolm Lui: Yeah sometimes that's the way it works better that way for sure.
Adam Olalde: You know
Malcolm Lui: Adam it's been awesome having you on my show today. I really enjoyed hearing how you agree. Companies have asked
Adam Olalde: Well Malcolm Day for having me.
Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Adam Olalde, the CEO and Founder of Xtreme Xperience, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit Eversprint.com.
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