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Plant City Observer Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 1 year ago

Out of the Park: Sport Clips expansion hits Plant City

Sport Clips Haircuts is set to open in Plant City in July 2017.
by: Emily Topper Managing Editor

Last summer, Mike Long walked into Sport Clips Haircuts expecting a quick cut. 

What he got, he said, was an experience. Besides a cut, the company offered shampooing and neck and shoulder massages. While stylists gave customers updated ‘dos, clients watched sports games on televisions across the salon. 

“It was awesome,” Mike Long said. “The staff is energized and fun.” 

For him, the experience was the male equivalent of a woman’s typical salon experience. 

“We don’t like to admit it, but we do like that kind of thing, too,” Mike Long said. 

This summer, he’s bringing that experience to Plant City. Mike Long and his wife, Lyndi Long, will soon be opening their own Sport Clips store on James L. Redman Parkway. 

The store opening is expected to create 10 to 12 new jobs for stylist and management positions, including both part- and full-time work. 

The couple’s 1,000-square-foot store will follow the Sport Clips model that has seen a track record of success. The sports-themed shop will include seven hair stations with televisions showing baseball, football, hockey and more, and four stations for head massages and shampoos. Steamed towels are also offered to clients. 

Walk-ins are welcome, and the store will be open daily. 

Mike and Lyndi Long are targeting the month of July for the store’s opening. To promote the new business, they are handing out cards for a free MVP Haircut Experience, including a haircut, neck and shoulder massage and shampoo. 

For the couple, Plant City was the perfect location for what they hope will be the first of a few Sport Clips stores. 

Mike and Lyndi Long met while they were working for the same company. A native of England, Mike Long was still living in the United Kingdom when the two started dating. After dating long distance for over eight years, the two made Lyndi Long’s Plant City home their permanent location. 

“We wanted to put (the store) here,” Lyndi Long said. “It just means a lot to us. We want to get more involved in the community.” 

The sports theme was an added benefit. While Lyndi Long grew up playing basketball, she prefers watching local teams and major sporting events. Her husband, on the other hand, watches everything — from baseball and hockey to the recently completed March Madness. 

 “It’s a fun and exciting environment,” Mike Long said. “The company also offers a staff and management development program. We want our employees to be able to manage future stores.” 

Besides the development programs, the company’s training center will also teach stylists how to cut men’s hair. 

At their new location, Mike and Lyndi Long hope to continue to promote a culture where men can both feel welcome. Their goal is modeled after Sport Clips creator Gordon Logan’s vision for his company. 

Founded in 1993, the company has since expanded to have over 1,600 stores open across the United States and Canada, according to its website. 

Mike and Lyndi Long plan on contributing to those growing numbers. After the Plant City store is established, they hope to open additional shops in the Valrico and FishHawk communities. 

“We’re just excited,” Mike Long said. “It’s a nice, fun atmosphere.” 

Contact Emily Topper at [email protected]

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