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The market for sports merchandise extends beyond avid supporters, giving retailers the opportunity to rack up healthy sales through ‘franchise fans’, so the supply chain delivering everything from nodding dogs to garden gnomes tells David Pittman.
Now is the time for those retailers that haven’t already to take the step into the digital world, so systems suppliers tell David Pittman.
What does it take to start up as a sports retail business in 2011? David Pittman asked Yolanda Hinchliffe, one of the owners of London’s newest arrival Suka Sport, to find out.
While SMex may not be the archetypal tradeshow for the sports industry, there were plenty of opportunities for retailers to cash in on, as David Pittman found out when he spoke to exhibitors.
With next year’s London Olympics fast approaching, and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games not far behind, SGB Sports talks to the organisers of both events to find out what sporting legacy they hope the UK will be left with in the years to come.
David Pittman spoke to sports retailers across the UK to find out how they’d experienced business over the festive period, and to find out their hopes for the future.
For some sports brands, the changing face of China has caused problems in the supply chain. David Pittman spoke to those entrenched in the Far East, and those not, to find out what’s going on.
It’s been a busy year for Intersport with membership soaring and a strong branding and consumer marketing campaign rolling out across the UK. Yvonne Holberton talks to Susan Herbert, Intersport’s marketing and communications manager to find out how plans are taking effect to raise the brand profile.
The launch of Spearmark’s environmentally friendly EZ-Freeze Pure re-usable hydration bottles, combining patented freezer-stick technology with a water filtration system for chilled water on the go, has quickly caught the attention of retailers in the UK. Alex Bloom, commercial director at Spearmark talks to Yvonne Holberton about the benefits for sporting enthusiasts, retailers and the environment
Primal Lifestyle’s Matt Walden explains the intriguing logic behind minimalist footwear, for which demand is growing fast
With darts enjoying increasing global popularity, Yvonne Holberton spoke to Edward Lowy (pictured), managing director of Unicorn, to find out how the British company is maintaining its cutting edge
Why is Head jumping into the swimming pool?
The Head Group [includes] the brand Mares - a leading player in the sub-aquatic category. Our strategy was to use the expertise of Mares designers to move laterally into an associated aquatic area, leading naturally into swimming. Out of this challenge grew Head Liquidskin Swimwear. The technical expertise of Mares married to a global brand in Head – a label renowned for innovation and design – it is a powerful combination!
Aqua Sphere’s new Ironman Speedsuits were launched at the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship at Kona, Hawaii in October, but what is wrong with Bolton? They have a perfectly good Ironman event there!
Firstly, Hawaii is the ‘Big Daddy’ of Ironman events and receives massive coverage worldwide. Hawaii is where the original Ironman championships were founded so the heritage is there. It is the pinnacle of the sport to compete in an Ironman in Hawaii.
You're heavily involved with sports personalities. Do you think brand owners serve the needs of independent retailers with these sponsorships?
Brand owners certainly make a serious effort to keep the retailer top of mind. The key issue is that brands should focus on the authenticity of their chosen ambassadors and in truth some brands don't always get a good match.
Brett Elliot, Managing Director of Kookaburra Reader in the UK, spoke with SGB's Paul Clapham about the brand, its position and its future...
SGB: How do you position the brand, what are its key selling points from a retailer's perspective?
Brett Elliot: Kookaburra has always been perceived as an innovative dynamic brand. We pride ourselves on providing well presented, technically advanced and functional products to meet the demands of the sport as it evolves. We have an in-house design department which is the envy of the industry as it consistently provides cutting edge graphics to lead the market at every turn.
SGB: Skins is very well recognised with consumers and retailers for doing one thing really well; is there any worry that the new ranges - ie cycling gear - might weaken your core brand and the principles you're recognised for?
Ian Reid: It's important to point out that at the core of our brand and product proposition is gradient compression. We operate across many sporting categories and we provide a product that above all, delivers more oxygen to your working muscles. Whether you're a cyclist, play cricket or football, it's the same principle - if you have more efficient oxygen delivery, then you can perform better and also recover quicker.
It's genuinely not often that you see a completely new product, so Cleatskins are quite a refreshing sight. The idea came from Marianne and Rick Kay, an American couple with a sporting son, who wasn't allowed in the house in his cleated shoes; in the UK, we call them studs. So the idea was born to create a product which meant their son could enter the house without taking his boots off; the end result is Cleatskins, almost like a rubber cover which slips over the boot to create a flat, non-slip sole for the wearer. Marianne Kay takes up the story...
As brand names go, 1000 Mile is a trusted and widely recognised name among runners. But there's so much more to 1000 Mile Sportswear Ltd than their socks, with the distribution of great brands like Thuasne, Compeed, Mueller and Nathan (among many others) under their wings, too. Jack Galaun took the time to talk to SGB about the company's excellent staff training and tells us what makes the company tick...