Stephan Aarstol is an internet marketing professional who parlayed his knowledge and experience in search engine optimization to redirect online traffic to his own website, where he generated a lot of revenue selling premium poker chips.
In his research and ongoing internet marking experience, Stephan noticed a huge trend in people searching for stand up paddleboards. After conducting his own thorough research on the topic, he created his own product line called Tower Paddle Boards. He began to make online sales using the same type of digital marketing campaigns he used for his poker chip sales, redirecting online traffic to the Tower Paddle Boards website. It worked. As the sport continued to grow in popularity, Stephan saw growth in sales, making a profit immediately.
Once he removed his third party retailer and began selling Tower Paddle Boards directly to his customers, he was able to sell his paddleboards at half the price of his competitors who sell them in retail outlets.
Stephan felt it was time to bring in an outside investor to partner with him on Tower Paddle Boards. Armed with his stylish paddleboard, he jumped into the Shark Tank to see if he could get any nibbles for his business.
Tower Paddle Boards on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 3 Episode 9
Stephan Aarstol took to the Shark Tank stage looking for a $150,000 investment in exchange for 10 percent equity in Tower Paddle Boards. Hopping on a paddleboard is easy to master and can be enjoyed in just about any body of water. Paddleboards give people the thrill of surfing without the complications and dangers inherent in using a traditional surfboard.
After dealing with some technical difficulties that left Stephan a bit flustered, Daymond got him back on track by asking how the Tower Paddle Boards work. Stephan explains that Tower Paddle Boards sells paddles, boards, and related accessories. He sells his product line directly to his customers, generating over $100,000 in sales in the previous four months. The boards sell for $600 each, compared to competing retail boards sold for between $1,200 and $1,600.
Having experienced the paddleboard craze firsthand, Robert agrees it is an enjoyable ride with a host of health benefits that along with it. Aarstol confirmed that an hour on a paddleboard is the exercising equivalent to eight hours of surfboarding.
The secret of Aarstol’s success has been his mastery of digital marketing through search engine optimization and a dozen years running successful internet advertising campaigns. Because he was able to manipulate the marketing himself, it did not cost him any money in marketing costs. With his redirecting and SEO skills, Aarstol is able to get Tower Paddle Boards within the first few results for Google search terms like “the best paddleboards.”
Kevin admits that it would be easy for him to simply make is his own brand of paddleboards to a third party and someone else does all the work for his company instead of jumping into Aarstol’s company. After a testy discussion between Aarstol and a number of the Sharks, Barbs steps in to quell the argument. She observed that technical wizards like Aarstol speak in their own language that is hard for the average person to understand and more often than not, they will walk away with her investment money. Due to her lack of knowledge in the industry and past experiences, she says that she will not invest in Tower Paddle Boards.
Robert said that he really does enjoy the sport of paddleboarding and thinks Tower Paddle Boards are a high-quality product. His concern is about the valuation of the business by Stephan at $1.5 million. For that reason, he is out, too.
In response, Aarstol launches into a complicated, technical comparison that had something to do with water bicycles, Facebook, and cars, though it was not clear to the Sharks what the connection was meant to achieve.
John admitted that he did not see anything in Tower Paddle Boards that sets it apart from the large variety of competitors on the market. He feels Aarstol is over-evaluating the value of the company and he bows out, too.
The remaining Shark, Kevin tells Aarstol that he is not sure what the goals of Tower Paddle Boards are, but he likes him as a person, and feels he has the drive, skills, and experience to make the business work. Kevin makes an offer that includes the $150,000 that Aarstol asked for in exchange for a 10 percent cash royalty on each board until he makes his investment back. He offers to help Aarstol develop other business plans and supply capital where needed. Aarstol states that he is not interested in working with someone else. As he contemplates the deal and is urged on by the other Sharks to make a decision, Kevin makes it for him by withdrawing his offer and backing out of the deal.
Mark steps back into the fray and offers Aarstol $150,000 in exchange for 30 percent of the business, including the first right of refusal on any of Aarstol’s business ideas. Kevin returns to the table offering just 25 percent of the business for the $150,000 investment. It was too late for Kevin, however, as Aarstol is taken by Mark’s attitude and enthusiasm, and accepts his offer.
Tower Paddle Boards After Shark Tank
Mark later said that his deal with Aarstol’s Tower Paddle Boards was one of the best deals he ever made on Shark Tank. It took him just a few months to recoup his investment. The Tower Paddle Boards brand has continued to expand and remains hugely popular. People Magazine featured the Tower Paddle Boards and Inc. 500 ranked the business one of the best products of 2015. In 2016, Tower Paddle Boards showed an astounding three-year growth of 1850 percent and was recognized as the fastest-growing private company in San Diego.
Building on the success of Tower Paddle Boards, Aarstol launched additional ancillary businesses like Sunglasses by Tower, Tower Magazine, and the Tower Made Company that provides a wide range of beach-related products like snorkels and other apparel.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Tower Paddle Boards, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.