Blackpool family business's amazing year of sporting gadgets

Tom, Charlotte and Patrick Daniels from Second Chance based at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone
Tom, Charlotte and Patrick Daniels from Second Chance based at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone

A family business, inspired when its founder saw someone collecting lost golf balls on a course for resale,  has just enjoyed its 30th year – its best year ever.

Second Chance was originally started in Florida. Founder Tim Daniels, originally from Garstang, was working there with his brothers running a posters business but got interested in the sports equipment and launched a new retail branch.

Charlotte demonstrates the Livall smart helmet

Charlotte demonstrates the Livall smart helmet

The firm has grown to become one of the largest sporting goods distributors in Europe specialising in digitally connected technology and gadgets.

This year it has signed a deal with Halfords for a bicycle helmet which connects to the rider’s smart phone and this month its ski helmet is to appear on the TV Gadget Show.

The Livall helmet has LED lights for visibility, two-way audio to talk on the phone or listen to music without masking ambient sound, an in-built SOS alarm linked to GPS satellite and indicator signals.

The firm has also seen success marketing the I-bobber, a floating sonar device for anglers, which links to their phones and gives depth readings and positions of fish.

And its best seller is the Puttout an economically designed golf training device to improve putting.

Patrick Daniels, son of Tim, said Second Chance was a true family business with brother Tom and wife Charlotte as directors, and which had international reach from its base at Pipers Court on the airport enterprise zone.

He said: “It has been our best year ever. We are into our 31st year since dad founded the company. It has been through many changes, the family used to have the Boots and Racquets stores here and was the first to bring in the Nike Oregon shoes.

“We were then at Poulton Industrial Estate but as we grew, we needed to move to purpose built premises and came here five years ago. We now employ 25-30 people.

“We work with innovators and new tech start-ups to market and distribute their products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

He said the firm imports from the manufacturers to its storage facility.

“The containers come in from China and we market it and send it out internationally. Some of the products are amazing. The Livall helmet is typical, combining safety and technology.”

He said it had really taken off and Second Chance had won an award in China from Brian Zheng the owner, for best marketing and sales.

One thing has not changed though. Founder Tim, 76, still turns in a 8am each day.

Patrick said: “He is heavily involved all the time and he has picked some of our best recent winners.”