Power Pole celebrates 20 years in business
Power Pole shallow water anchors have become a necessity for thousands of anglers all over the world. TTW takes a look at how the concept came about and how it has developed over 20 years.
When new ideas are thought of, it takes a special kind of person to see these through to become a reality. Power Pole inventor John Oliverio was fishing the grass flats in Sarasota Bay and found that he needed to be able to stop his boat quickly and precisely to catch the fish that he knew were there.
From that necessity, he invented what would come to be known as the Power-Pole shallow water anchor.
By 1999, the idea had gone from a simple concept in John’s head to a working model made from LEGO pieces, to a series of prototypes constructed on his front porch, to a working model he built in his garage. The first production model was completed in 2000.
Twenty years later, John and his team of over 100 employees are manufacturing Power Poles and shipping them all over the world, from its headquarters in Tampa, Florida.
John said, “I never thought it would have such success and that it would be as well used by some of the best anglers in the world. It’s actually quite a dream for me.”
Of course, taking the plunge and starting the business was by no means an easy road. Like anything, a product that had never been seen before by the angling masses would take time to become accepted.
John enlisted the help of both Greg and Bryan Watts who were well-respected tournament anglers who agreed to use John’s invention in competition. The rest,as they say, is history as huge interest was generated in the Power Pole shallow water anchor.
Former Redfish champion Bryan said, “To watch this company grow from only ten or 12 employees to now [with] over 100 employees – I’ve been totally amazed.”
Both Greg and Bryan credited John for never losing sight of what made the company successful at its core from the beginning while carrying on its mission “to share a sense of adventure with the world through high performance marine products while instilling and inspiring consumer confidence with superior service.”
That success includes a state-of-the-art manufacturing and development facility in Tampa, where the business model went from selling the product out of John’s garage to being available through over 3,500 dealers, retailers and boat manufacturers. PowercPoleshallow water anchors are even considered standard equipment on many new boats being sold.
Greg said, “John has been the backbone of this company and, even after 20 years, he is still John. He still cares about every person in this company.”
That remains true even as the company has undergone exponential growth over the last ten years, starting with the introduction of the Power Pole Blade models at ICAST 2011 and the expansion into the current 48,800 sq ft facility in autumn2012. It was in that year when Power Pole angler Chris Lane lifted the trophy at the Bassmaster Classic, further raising the company’s profile.
As benefits of the Power Pole anchor were recognised across the globe and it began to be used in a variety of applications, it’s not an exaggeration to say that John’s invention revolutionised fishing at every level in every shallow water conditions. Twenty yearslater the product has become so ubiquitous that it is tough to go to any boat ramp in America and beyond and not see a boat equipped with a Power Pole.
The way things are going, the next 20 years look very good indeed for the business, as it continues to provide its first-class product and, of course,its first-class service.