Jim Lindenberg, President, Lindy Enterprises Inc., parent company of
the Milwaukee Wave and NX Level Sports Performance
N27 W24075 Paul Ct., Pewaukee
Industry: Business consulting, professional sports
Revenue: $2.5 million
After selling World Class Wire & Cable Inc. for $60 million two years ago, Jim Lindenberg purchased the Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer team last year, saving it from extinction.
He also started Lindy Enterprises Inc. as a business consulting company. In addition, Lindenberg operates JML Holdings, a real estate investment firm.
In 2009, Lindenberg successfully completed the merger of World Class Health and Fitness and NX Level Sports Performance and became a majority owner of both sports performance facilities.
Lindenberg purchased the Milwaukee Wave, Milwaukee’s indoor soccer team, after he heard Keith Tozer, coach of the Milwaukee Wave, talking about the team’s need for new ownership. Lindenberg decided to take on the challenge of owning a pro soccer team and preserving its presence in the community.
“When you end up with a new business, you analyze the good and the bad,” said Lindenberg. “On the business side, the Wave, No. 1, lacked corporate sponsorships and, No. 2, lacked attendance at games. The Wave has been around for 25 years, and people began taking that for granted and people didn’t know what we were. The challenge was to increase marketing significantly.”
Since acquiring the team, Lindenberg has doubled the Wave’s staff and interns. Today, the team’s sponsorship is up 38 percent and ticket revenue is up 8 percent. Lindenberg increased the team’s merchandising and marketing.
“We brought back the V.I.P. area, dance team, concerts and free programs,” he said.
Lindenberg says he enjoys the challenge of being an entrepreneur.
“I love the chase, I love the challenge, and to find something you are passionate for and to grow it,” he said. “With the Wave, everyone told me the challenge would be to break even, and that is my challenge now.”
In addition to running his own businesses, Lindenberg and his wife, Nancy, started the Milwaukee Wave of Hope Foundation in late 2009 to foster a positive environment for children in southeastern Wisconsin. In his spare time, he also enjoys coaching youth football and basketball.
Almost a year after purchasing the Milwaukee Wave, Lindenberg is optimistic about the team’s future.
“I’ve laid the foundation and now I will continue sales and marketing efforts to get the good word out and continue to spread the good word,” he said. “We need the community to step up and rally around us. For Milwaukee to be a major city, we have to make sure we sustain our professional teams.”