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For the Love of Sports
New Owners Expand
Play It Again Sports

By Audrey Hanes, Photography by Kayla Broadway

Jimmy and Cameron Campbell are no strangers to owning and operating small businesses in Jonesboro. Recently, the father-son team added Play It Again Sports to their repertoire, moving the local new and used sporting goods store to a larger and more-visible location and adding even more amenities and services.

Steve Curry originally opened the Jonesboro location of Play It Again Sports in 2009. After close to 10 years in business, he decided to sell the store to Jimmy and Cameron, who also own and operate Artents, a tent and event rental company that opened in 2005, and Super Sam’s Fireworks, a successful fireworks business that has grown to include 30 locations in Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi over nearly three decades.

“I’ve always loved sports and had a dream of opening a sporting goods store, so when Play It Again Sports became available, we jumped at the chance,” said Cameron, an Arkansas State University graduate. “It was a daunting task to think about starting a store like this from scratch. As we started looking at new sporting goods, we realized there was a need for both (new and used) – and we would be opening ourselves up to a couple of different markets. It would fit better and give us that many more opportunities to make a sale. We saw the Play It Again Sports model and thought that it would work and be a better fit, and it has been.” 

Despite a great relationship with their now former landlord, the store was in dire need of more space. The franchise owners decided to move the store to the Highland Square Shopping Center, alongside Ross, Tuesday Morning and Bargain Hunt, where they feel it is a great fit with more visibility. 

“The location has provided an awareness for people, because they see it better,” said Cameron. “It has opened up the door to have more people come check us out.

“A lot of people are surprised we carry new, and some people are surprised we carry used, but we really specialize in both. Our biggest category is baseball and softball, but golf, fitness, basketball, soccer – just about any team sport you can think of, we have bits and pieces of that. We even carry tennis and lacrosse stuff.”

Play It Again Sports carries top brands like Wilson, Rawlings, Easton, Demarini, Marucci, Spirit Fitness, Callaway, TaylorMade, Adidas and more.

For customers who wish to trade in used gear, the owners expect it to be clean and in working condition. Customers will then have a choice of receiving cash for their items or an even greater value if they choose to trade-in and use the credit towards shopping at Play It Again Sports.

“It especially works well with young kids,” said Cameron of the benefits of shopping for gently used sporting goods. “It’s tough to spend $40 on a pair of shoes they’ll wear one season. It’s very helpful to be able to spend less – budget-wise and in terms of practicality – to spend $10 on something they’ll only wear a few months at that age anyway.”

In addition to growing by 7,000 square feet of retail space, the move also allowed the Campbells to use an additional 5,000 square feet to add Jonesboro Batting Cages to the store.

“We used some of the new space we have to open Jonesboro Batting Cages; that was a big addition,” said Cameron. “To use the cages, it’s basically set up to be all online. People can go to jonesborobattingcages.com to book their time in the cages. Two are 70 feet, and we have one that’s a shorter cage. It gives 30-minute or one-hour session options, and a team can also rent out the whole place.”

The Campbells would also like to offer more services to their customers, which would allow teams to be able get everything they need at Play it Again Sports.

“We have always been in the custom jersey and fanwear business, but that is one of the big things we are going to work on,” said Cameron. “We are offering more for our customers to be able to choose from that we can do in-house. We want to be a one-stop-shop for the teams we work with.”

At the same time, Jimmy and Cameron want to continue to make their customers feel like Play It Again Sports is a business that knows and cares about them personally.

“I want to have the big box stuff but the feel of a mom-and-pop shop,” said Cameron, who wants to be able to pass down his business legacy to his three small children, Sutton, Emma Kate and Eliza, with his wife, Tara. “We know our regular customers and want to be able to chat about their kids and know what’s going on. We love that when a customer walks in, we can ask how their arm is healing for baseball because we remember it was in a sling last time. 

“We have been able to expand on the customer base we already have, and Jonesboro has been right there to come back and say, ‘We are going to support this business because they support our teams.’ The community has really taken on the shop local and support local mentality with us.”

Play It Again Sports, located at 2004 South Caraway Road in the Highland Square Shopping Center, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30-5 p.m. For more information, call (870) 336-0056 or find Play It Again Sports – Jonesboro, AR on Facebook.