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Southern Africa’s business-to-business magazine for the sport, outdoor and leisure industries • Vol 38 No 2 • Q2 2017

Can cricket regain players? Hunting and sport shooting is a huge market Trail running offers retailers many opportunities


Vol 38 Nr 2 Q2 2017

www.sportstrader.co.za

On the cover Arriving in spring/summer 2017, the brand new ladies Wild-Life Lux I Waterproof from Hi-Tec is packed with technologies that’ll make every adventurer light on their feet and ready for any terrain. Its premium leather upper provides support and durability, I-shield repels water and dirt and the rustproof hardware lacing system provides a secure fit. The Ortholite® Impressions sock liner delivers superior cushioning with instant and long lasting comfort. The high rebound XLR8>> CMEVA midsole offers you that extra support when taking on the mountains and getting to the top. Contact Hi-Tec SA on Tel: 021 506 6900. Publisher: Editor: Managing editor: Proofreader: Features:

Nicol du Toit Carin Hardisty Trudi du Toit Liz Milburn Antoinette Muller Carin Hardisty, Linza de Jager, Luke Jackson Rhianah Rhode, Trudi du Toit Design: Carin Hardisty, Trudi du Toit Photography: Nicol du Toit Advertising: Nicol du Toit Subscriptions: Carin Hardisty Printing: Novus Print Solutions Distribution: InsideData Sports Trader is published quarterly by Rocklands Communications cc. Reg. No: 1997/057165/23. Members: N. J. & G. C. du Toit & C. Hardisty

Contact details:

PO Box 12197 Mill Street 8010 22 Rocklands Avenue, Vredehoek, Cape Town 8001 Tel: 021 461 2544 Fax: 021 461 2549 Website: www.sportstrader.co.za Facebook: SportsTraderMagazine Twitter: @SASportsTrader Blog: sasportstrader.wordpress.com Advertising: nicol@sportstrader.co.za Editorial: trudi@sportstrader.co.za Subscribe: carin@sportstrader.co.za Publication information: The title and contents of Sports Trader are protected by copyright. It is a business to business publication compiled to inform, entertain and educate retailers, distributors and manufacturers of sports and outdoor equipment, footwear and clothing. It is available only to members of the sport, outdoor and activewear industries and is published quarterly. © Rocklands Communications.

Photo: Messe Friedrichshafen

Highlights: The good and bad of Q1 trading What to stock for trail runners Can transformation grow cricket participation?

Trail running accessories offer a wide variety of stock options for retailers (p18) plus outdoor technologies explained (p30).

Regulars

2 5 50 54 56

People on the move

News about people in the industry.

Brands on the move

News about brand activity in the industry.

Company results

International financial results

Shop talk

Specialized Bicycles Africa has introduced their unique retail concept to 31 African stores.

Trade show news

News about trade and industry shows.

Industry

8 10 12 14 17 52

Stuttafords business rescue

Suppliers are not happy with 25% payment.

Tekkie Town goes corporate

How this retailer grew from an independent to part of one of the biggest global retailers.

PUMA SA on fast growth path

PUMA SA MD Luke Barrett-Smith on their mission to become the fastest sports brand.

Reach the women’s market

How sport, outdoor and athleisure retailers can appeal to female consumers.

Brand and SA stores world leaders

Nike and five SA retailers are among the biggest in the world.

Mixed results from Q1 trade

Many retailers started 2017 on a more positive note compared to 2016 — for others it was worse.

Reach the huge sport shooting market

Outdoor

30 32 36

38

The A-Z of outdoor technologies

An alpahbetical glossary of what specific outdoor technologies do.

Father’s Day is a sales opportunity

Outdoor products that suppliers predict will have customers lining up at tills for Father’s Day.

Hunting and shooting is biggest outdoor market

We give an overview of the many varied and diverse organised sport shooting and hunting organisations, and the opportunities they offer.

HuntEx is the place to be

HuntEx has grown into the third biggest expo in SA and attracts nearly 40 000 visitors annually.

Sport

40 44 46 48 55

Cricket transformation unpacked

Will transformation initiatives give a kick-start to ailing cricket participation numbers?

Cricket equipment news

New bat size regulations and news about ranges for next season.

Understanding the skateboarding market

Deciphering the unique skateboarding market and how to succeed in selling products to it.

Base- and softball markets growing

How the market is developing and tips on how retailers can break into it.

2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour Expo Industry members were happy with support received and the new layout.

Clothing & footwear

18 22 24

What to stock for trail runners

What accessories retailers should stock to attract trail runners.

28

Must-have trail running shoes Trail running shoe range offerings.

Running round up

Running news — from sub2 to green

Trending kids wear

What will be trending in kids wear.

Will the transformation initiatives in cricket help to grow the market again? from p40


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PATIN RTICI A P T . 017 A ARY 2 AIL STORES U R B 1 FE RET FROM PUMA E S L E B D A U AVAIL , EXCL OFFER OCKS LAST E ST WHIL

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People on

p2 :: Industry

Duca del Cosma CEO ADOLF STOFFBERG is the new CEO of Italian golf-inspired lifestyle brand, Duca del Cosma, for South Africa and Africa. Towards the end of last year the brand was bought by Frank van Wezel, who also owns the distributorship license for HiTec in South Africa, and it is being run as a subsidiary of Hi-Tec Sports SA. Stoffberg is a familiar face at Hi-Tec, where he has been in charge of key accounts. “The brand is well established in European markets, making it an unbelievably exciting role for me to take on this start up in such a diverse market, and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities

ahead,” Stoffberg says. For the time being, Stoffberg will don both caps as CEO of Duca Del Cosma and in key accounts for Hi-Tec SA.

Richard Dixon has swopped the title and responsibilities of MD of Skye Distribution for the challenges and rewards of becoming an entrepreneur with his own retail and brand consulting business Brand Triangle Company (BTC). After more than seven years as MD of Skye Distribution, Dixon decided to use his 30 years’ experience in the athleisure and fashion footwear and clothing industry to start his own company. Skye distributes international and well-established in-house brands like Converse, Lyle and Scott, Dickies, Mille, etc. in South and sub-Saharan

Africa. Before joining the distributorship side, Dixon had extensive experience in retail, for example as COO of ladies fashion apparel retail brand Contempo, as well as Retail Operations Director at various wellknown companies like Scotts, Spitz, John Orrs, Select a Shoe, etc. He also previously held key executive and directorship roles on the boards of several companies. He also has a track record in business turnarounds. Building sustainable profit growth of international and local retailers and brands across sub-Saharan Africa will remain a key focus.

Makro sports buyer Stephen Carney has been in retail since 2010, but started to focus on the sports industry in August 2016 when he joined Makro. Before joining Makro, Carney worked for Pick n Pay, where he started out as a planner and later moved onto buying and looking after various categories. The position as buyer in Makro’s sports department is a “perfect match” for him, says Carney. “I have a passion for sport and I still play numerous sports.” He attended Jeppe High School for boys, which is very sports focused, where he participated in a number of sports. “My main focus was on soccer and I got provincial colours in soccer

playing for Eastern Gauteng. “So, when I heard the position at Makro was for a sports buyer I jumped at the opportunity.”

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

Hi-Tec Sports SA has appointed three new directors. While their titles are new, they themselves are far from new to the company — in total the board now represents over a century of Hi-Tec service. The new directors are Mike Farrer (Sales Director, second from left), Edson Cloete (Operations Manager, third from left) and Jo Esterhuizen (Marketing Director, right). Mickey Mallett (left) remains CEO and Esme Coetzee (Finance Director, second from right). Frank van Wezel is owner of Hi-Tec Sports and chairman. In December, he acquired the distributorship license for South Africa from the new Hi-Tec owners. All appointments are from within the company and “reflects the growth of young talent through the ranks of the organization,” says Mallett. “We are a blend of young and old, but with huge commitment and passion we are at the beginning of very exciting times, although the company has already been active in the South African market for 32 years!” Hi-Tec has appointed Mike Wallace from Mike Wallace Agencies as its agent for the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Garden Route and new customers in Cape Town. “Mike is very experienced and has worked in the industry for a very long time,” says Mike Farrer, national sales director for Hi-Tec SA. “He adds value to our brands and is just generally a good guy and great to work with. His work ethic is good and he fits our brand very well.” Farrer has worked with Wallace in the past and had been very impressed with his hard work, which is why he feels he is the ideal person for the job.

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has signed an eight year partnership deal with PUMA and joins the brand’s family, which reads like a ‘who’s-who’ of the sports world, many of whom are inspirational leaders in their respective countries and sporting codes. He will also launch his own product range, which will be based on Kohli’s own signature style and his sense of fashion, and will be targeted at Indian youth. It will be launched towards the end of this year and will include products for cricket, fitness and sports style.


the move Rassie Pieterse now heads two teams: TK Sports and South Africa’s national hockey team, where he is also goalkeeper. TK founder Thomas Kille appointed Pieterse as TK International MD early in 2016.

Above left: PUMA athlete and Blue Bulls player Trevor Ntando Nyakane will be seen on field this season in the new PUMA evoPOWER Vigor H8 rugby boots. He feels that the lightweight, and heavy-duty boot is suited to his game and just perfect for what he does. Above right: PUMA ambassador Kylie Jenner features in the brand’s campaign for its Swan Pack collection (see p14). Here she wears the white version of Fierce Strap Swan with the crop top and leggings.

Mountain climber and K-Way ambassador Robby Kojetin presented a talk in February at Cape Union Mart’s Adventure Centre in Canal Walk, Cape Town, wherein he shared details of his experiences through an audio-visual presentation. Kojetin has climbed and trekked all over the world, including nine Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest summits and through his presentation he took audience members with him through the trails and triumphs of high altitude and sub-zero temperatures by showing his images and video footage. The talk also covered advice on fitness, training and health considerations, gear and equipment needed, budget, and what one can expect on the adventure.

South African NGO Waves for Change won the Laureus Sport for Good award for using “surftherapy” to relieve the stress of living among violence and poverty in townships “one wave at a time”. Since the NGO was founded by Tim Conibear (above) in 2011, Waves for Change has taught coping skills and provided emotional support to more than 1 000 youths in six South African townships and recently also in Liberia. They have also trained more than 50 coaches in surf coaching, lifesaving, child protection, trauma counselling and computer training. Photo: Getty Images.

Industry :: p3

New Dunslaz division

brand manager BRAND ID’S new Dunslaz division brand manager, Jon Haughton, is very familiar with Dunlop and Slazenger from his days handling the sponsorships and organising tournaments. He takes over from Steve Gallienne, who has moved to the UK to head up the Karakal brand. For the past four years, Haughton had been Account Manager in charge of the Dunlop sponsorship account at The BLD Group (a sponsorship, media and PR company that consults to Brand ID) and for three years he also headed his own company that ran Slazenger tournaments. “The account gave me invaluable experience on both the local and international front and I received the opportunity to work with some unbelievable brands and at some incredible events. In 2015 I took on the Slazenger account as a personal project out of passion and love of the brand.” Haughton has worked with Gallienne since 2012, when he started on the Dunlop account, and considers him to be the ultimate role model. “I wish that I could have spent at least another year learning from Steve as he is a legend in the industry. To say that I have some big shoes to fill is an understatement. I am confident in my takeover and whilst I have come to terms with the fact that my new role is going to take some time to adjust to, I have some great support at Brand ID and I cannot wait to leave my mark on the multiple brands in my division.” He has a rich history in sport, having played multiple sports at school level and beyond (cricket, soccer, tennis, golf and hockey) and coached after school. He was chosen to represent his province in tennis from grades 8-12 as well as in hockey at U21 level. He enrolled at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) with the intention of studying accounting, but in his second year he was given the opportunity to work at the SA Open held at Montecasino. “After a week of working in a sports environment with ATP professional tennis players (a title I had always aspired to) I decided to change my choice of degree to BCom Sports Management,” he says. While at UJ he also captained

and participated in the tennis program and was a member of the university’s hockey teams. Haughton joined The BLD Group in a part time capacity while he was still studying. It was at this time that he started to work intimately with Dunlop as its sponsorship account manager. “My time and involvement with The BLD Group was invaluable and very enjoyable as it allowed me enough time and flexibility to complete my studies as well as to develop my other passion in life: coaching the sports that I love.” Over the years he has coached a variety of sports (cricket, tennis and hockey), but hockey grabbed his attention the most, “whether it was training, coaching or playing. I think this played a big role in my decision to specialise in the sporting industry.” The year after finishing his studies, he opened his own coaching business, through which he has organised hockey tournaments for Slazenger. At the time the brand wasn’t part of his consulting work at The BLD Group, but because he has a passion and belief in the brand he was given the opportunity. “I have taken on the development, growth and exposure of Slazenger hockey as my own personal mission and I have an incredible amount of passion for the brand.” Towards the end of 2016 Haughton resigned from The BLD Group, with the intention of going abroad. Gallienne, however, approached him to take on the position at Brand ID. “It came as quite a shock when Steve contacted me,” he says.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


A fighter to the end p4 :: Industry

C

ary Steele-Boe, who sadly lost the battle against renal failure on 10 February, is known in the industry as a crusader for justice and fair deals, as well as a fishing retailer of note. As founder of Recreational Fishing Services he tirelessly campaigned for a fairer deal for the recreational lobster industry and as head of the fishing section of Somerset Sport in Brackenfell — which became Kloppers Sport — he developed a loyal following among Cape anglers. Deemed too old to qualify for dialysis in a state hospital after being diagnosed with final stage renal failure in July 2014, his last battle was to stay alive long enough to qualify for medical aid cover of weekly dialysis sessions. Because of the pre-condition he had to wait a year after joining the medical aid last May. With the assistance of Just Charity, friends and family in the meantime organised fundraiser events to pay for monthly dialysis. His friend Russell Horne of Russell’s Angling and Patrick Franck of WET Sports kindly compiled this tribute to a member of the industry who will be missed by many. Born in Natal on 28 September 1962, Cary Steele-Boe grew up in a rural Zulu community, where Zulu became one of the languages he spoke while growing up. He and his father were always at the sea fishing and diving, and this is where his love of nature and the sea began. They moved to Goodwood in the Cape, where he went to primary school. His love of

nature continued. He loved snakes and always had a snake or two with him — and was sent home from school many times because he had a snake with him. This is where his nickname, snake child, came from. In his teenage years there was hardly a weekend when he was not at the seaside, diving and fishing. Cary matriculated from Fairbairn High School in 1980 and after his two year national service, he joined the navy, which he enjoyed. He left the navy in 1997 to start a tackle shop in Gordon’s Bay. He noticed a gap in the market for crayfish nets and started producing these for the crayfish season. His supply of crayfish nets to the retail sector eventually covered the Western Cape. In the early 2000’s Marine Coastal Manage-

ment and later the government departments responsible for fisheries started reducing the West-Coast lobster quotas for recreational divers and anglers. Steele-Boe started attending these meetings where he showed that the catch reductions for recreational fishers were either calculated incorrectly, or were unfairly biased when compared to commercial quotas. This had a huge detrimental impact on Western Cape diving, snorkelling, fishnet and wetsuit suppliers and retailers. Members of affected businesses — which included outlets providing food, fuel and accommodation to visitors — supported his crusade. He started Recreational Fishing Services and he and some of the 5 000 odd members continued attending meetings where quota allocations were discussed and even won a few court cases. He also wrote many letters to the government departments responsible, their overseers, and the press, to highlight what he considered unfair allocations. When Somerset Sport opened their branch in Cape Gate — which was subsequently bought by Kloppers Sport — Steele-Boe joined to start the fishing section. He successfully set out to prove that the fishing department was a crucial part of the business with consistently good turnover. He was a loving husband to Olga and devoted father to Kyle and Caryn. “Cary will be sorely missed and always be remembered as the big man with a small heart who loved his family and fishing and was willing to fight for nature and for what he believed in,” says Horne.

THE SKECHERS PERFORMANCE GO Golf division has extended its partnership with US pro golfer Billy Andrade for five more years. Andrade, who has been with the brand since it launched its first golf apparel and footwear line, is currently the 13th highest earner on the PGA Champions Tour. He holds four PGA Tour titles and has been under the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings. Earlier the year, Skechers Performance also signed PGA player and YouTube sensation Wesley Bryan. He was part of the 2016 Web.com Tour — the developmental tour for the PGA Tour, where he was named Player of the Year and had three wins, which secured him a prestigious Battlefield Promotion and advanced him into the PGA Tour. He is one

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

of only 11 golfers to ever receive this honour. They join pro ambassadors like Matt Kuchar, Russell Knox, Colin Montgomerie, etc. in global marketing campaigns that place the golfers in a number of comedic settings, which debuted at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show. Skechers is also going back to where it all began by re-signing film and television actor Rob Lowe as well as Hall of Fame sportsman Joe Montana, who will appear in the company’s new global, multitiered television, print and digital men’s footwear marketing campaign launching later this year. Lowe helped the brand introduce its casual collection 15 years ago, while Montana was the first ambassador to promote the Relaxed Fit footwear collection in 2012.

Russell Knox, Wesley Bryan, Matt Kuchar and Billy Andrade.

Joe Montana and Rob Lowe.

Photos: Business Wire.

Skechers ambassadors on the campaign trail


Brand news

Industry :: p5

Skechers wins again

Skechers’ UK and Ireland MD Peter Youell (far right) and marketing/visual merchandising manager Will Cheung (second from the right) were among the members accepting the award. Image: The Imageworks.

Skechers wins awards SKECHERS IS staying on top of the game, as is evident by its hat trick at the Footwear Industry Awards. The brand made headlines by winning the Brand of the Year title at the 2017 UK Footwear Industry Awards for the third consecutive year in a row. Skechers was also highly commended in the Ladies Footwear Brand and Comfort/ Wellness Brand of the Year category. “It’s officially a three-peat!” says Peter Youell, MD of Skechers UK and Ireland. “This award continues to be a testament to the growing appeal of Skechers and its product to consumers across the UK and Ireland, who have become loyal fans of the brand. Of course this award wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support from our retail partners; together, we have elevated Skechers in their stores, making it an in-demand lifestyle and fashion footwear brand.” To be eligible for an Footwear Industry Award,

brands and retailers are nominated and voted for by their peers in the trade, which means that a nomination is a form of endorsement by the trade. It is supported by the British Footwear Association (BFA), the Independent Footwear Retailer’s Association (IFRA), Society of Shoe Fitters (SSF) and the Footwear Today trade magazine. Last year, globally, the company set a new annual sales record of $3.56-bn and now in its 25th year has revamped its footwear lines to include more youthful, trend-forward styles and amplified its successful comfort offering. “We’re thrilled that the Footwear Industry Awards continues to applaud our dual inside/out approach to product for today’s consumer — and look forward to building on our style and comfort innovations for years to come,” says Marvin Bernstein, managing partner of Skechers S.à.r.l.

adidas Blue Blast FOR THE first time, adidas’ soccer boot collection includes a street soccer shoe. The shoes and boots in the new Blue Blast collection cover wearers’ needs from the stadium to cage to the street. The on-pitch laceless ACE 17+ Purecontrol features an all-new Purecut Sock System that uses stretchable material to help lock the player’s foot in place while allowing it to adjust to even the most complex movements and provide the optimal fit. Because of its 360o Primeknit upper no wear-in time is required and its ultra-thin Non Stop Grip (NSG) film protects the upper material, while also improving

grip. The ACE 17.1 TR Street is predominantly constructed with a Primemesh material that gives it a lifestyle-focused look. The shoe, which is blue with pink details, has a Techfit colour coating covering the three stripes and a full-length Boost midsole that enhances its lifestyle look, yet also provides energy return. ACE Tango 17.1 TF, the cage boot in the collection, features a ballistic nylon upper as well as black EVA strips above the heel’s Boost, which create stability and energy return. It also features a rubber outsole for abrasion resistance and strong grip.

ACE 17+ Purecontrol for on-pitch, ACE Tango 17.1 TF for cage, and ACE 17.1 TR for street soccer.


p6 :: Industry

Brand news Fresh Fila sliders

The 2017 ASICS Frontrunner team members have every right to be excited: the final group of 30 was selected from a huge number of applications, 3 400, from across the country — a tough selection for the panel of selectors, which included Runner's World, ASICS FrontRunner core members and ASICS SA. “We were completely overwhelmed by the response received nationwide for the ASICS FrontRunner programme,” says Sarah Mundy, ASICS South Africa's Marketing Manager.

The Base, adidas’ new urban soccer centre in Johannesburg, provides a place where players can play multiple formats of the game, test products, and watch players and teams. It offers pitches, Pana court, media room, dedicated skills area and a game room. Like in London, this venue plays host to the South African branch of the adidas tournament, TANGO LEAGUE (see next page).

THE FILA sandal collection is here and summer 2017 belongs to the slider, says local distributor Footwear Trading. Fila is launching a fresh range of sliders, in men’s and ladies sizes, “for comfort seekers and fashion pioneers alike. Fila uses premium fabrics designed to radiate the sophistication of Italian craftsmanship, and the slider collection is no different!” Available in signature Fila colourways, the slider collection is “practical and unpretentious. Fashion forward consumers may wear their sliders with socks for an old school retro vibe, while the rest may pair it with straight leg cropped jeans for a chic minimalist look”.

The Fila sandal collection also features a selection of striking thongs. Whether you’re out for a hike, headed to the beach or simply embarking on an open-toed wander, the Fila thong collection with it’s classic colours and distinctive branding creates that carefree, relaxed look, says Footwear Trading. The EVA rubber outsoles are lightweight yet durable, while the uppers fit snug around the foot for a comfortable stride. The Fila sandal collection caters for a wide variety of tastes and preferences, with several styles and colours across the slider and thong ranges. “Summer sandals have never looked this good!”

Superga retro styles THE NEW Superga S collection is inspired by retro designs and a sporty tennis aesthetic. “We live in a culture that’s infatuated with the past and the Superga Club S is a collection that retro lovers will obsess over!” says the brand. These sneakers are made with premium quality materials in a classic design that features trendy yet functional perforated holes. They are as at home on the court as on the street, says Superga, which points out the sneakers look equally good worn with jeans and a bomber jacket, as with a suit. “Superga is well over 100 years old and still remains an influential shoe icon since the very beginning, transforming with current trends and inspiring many sneaker styles from canvas to flatforms (a flat shoe with a thick sole) and mid-tops that transition from season to season.”

The Bolton marketing and design team. Standing left to right: Lukholo Mambu, Ronnie Jacobs, Wayne Roos, Stuart Hopwood, Gary Gilder, Jody Henry, and Kiran Shunmoogam. Front: Fahiem Frizlar.

Bolton Footwear’s fashion show in the park

The Sharks (above left) and Cheetahs (above right) in their Columbia outfits. Photo of Sharks: Howard Cleland.

Columbia teams up with Sharks and Cheetahs OFF THE FIELD the Sharks and Cheetahs will now be able to enjoy the outdoors in clothing provided by their first outdoor apparel partner, Columbia. And their outdoor-loving supporters can copy the team look in dualbranded supporters’ kit. “We see a massive opportunity at the Sharks for the Columbia PFG range that is directed at the big fishing community in KwaZulu Natal,” says Du Toit Botes of local distributor Brand ID.

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

“Columbia’s outdoor specific ranges are ideal for the game reserves, farming community and general outdoor lifestyle embraced by the people of KwaZulu Natal. It makes this partnership a great fit for the brand.” Free State farmers love their rugby and Currie Cup champion team and the Cheetahs Columbia outdoor apparel range will therefore also speak directly to the needs of the large farming community in the region, he adds.

AFTER TWO successful retail trade shows in Johannesburg and Durban, the Bolton Footwear group showed its latest winter footwear ranges to the Cape Town media. Presented in the tranquil setting of De Waal Park, the shoes were shown off to their best advantage on podiums with glass tops, giving you a view of every detail.


Advertorial :: p7

adidas’ new TANGO LEAGUE begins

a

adidas’ new TANGO LEAGUE combines football skill with social media savviness to determine the winner

didas South Africa’s brand new series of football events, named TANGO LEAGUE, kicked off on the 25th of March 2017. The Tango League concept was initially revealed at the launch event of the adidas Football Base Jo’burg last month, an exclusive new football facility in the heart of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. The Tango League season started in March 2017 and will culminate in May 2018 prior to the FIFA World Cup finals taking place in Russia over June/July 2018. adidas is hosting a series of tournaments, with each tournament comprising of 8 teams that were selected via an online registration portal. The 8 teams will battle each tournament out in a 4 v 4 format with each match lasting 10 minutes. It’s not just football skill, ability and prowess that will set each player apart as adidas are looking for athletes who are also active on social media platforms. Football ability and social media activity will be key, as play-

ers earn points for the right to top the Tango League leaderboard. This ranking system will see players earn points for what they do on the pitch, as well as how active they are on twitter and Instagram. In addition, players will be also be vying for the right to be crowned the tournament MVP, which results in the event standout player winning an adidas boot deal and getting a points boost on the leaderboard. The ultimate Tango League MVP could win an exclusive opportunity to attend an adidas Global Tango League event abroad. Adrian de Souza, head of Football at adidas South Africa is excited about what the Tango League series will bring to the table. “This tournament will merge football talent, look for brilliant young creators and be played at a world class venue and we’re looking forward to seeing how all this comes together,” he said. “These young creators are active across social media on a daily basis and we have now added a digital element to football which

brings two passion points together in a very functional way.” Spectators are welcome from 10:00 at THE BASE, Unit 5, Cambridge Commercial Park, 22 Witkoppen Road, Paulshof, Johannesburg. For further information please visit http:// www.adidas.com/tangoleague or follow @ adidasZA on twitter and Instagram to join the conversation. For trade enquiries contact adidas South Africa on Tel: 021 442 6200.


p8 :: Industry

Stuttafords:

Suppliers are not smiling

S

tuttafords provided many brands in the industry with a first taste of a business rescue plan … and for several of them it was akin to Don Vito Corleone of The Godfather making them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Losing 75% of the debt owed after Stuttafords applied for business rescue at the end of October last year, was never going to go down well with suppliers. It is estimated that the retailer has R200-m worth of unsold branded stock. But, the terms of the agreement makes it even less palatable. They will only receive 4% of what they are owed up front, and a further 21% over the next 21 months, provided they continue to supply further stock during the period. And they must leave their store-instore fixtures in place. There is, however, an unspecified promise of perhaps some more if the retailer is sold or makes a profit. But, in the end it didn’t matter if they refused the offer, or not. Major creditors like Nedbank (owed R147-m) and certain shareholders like Ellerines, owed R37.49-m, had enough votes to approve a business rescue plan put forward by the Ellerine brothers at a creditors meeting on March 8.

Industry suppliers are the losers The biggest losers are some of the cosmetic brands like L’Oreal or Estee Lauder and directly imported brands like Tommy Hilfiger, which are owed more than R10-m each. But, distributors of brands in the athleisure industry like adidas, PUMA, Polo, Levi’s, Jeep, etc. are also owed amounts worth more than seven digits. The implication of the deal is that a brand that was owed R2.1-m at the end of October will lose R1.6-m; one that was owed R1.34-m, will lose more than R1-m and a distributor that is owed R800 000 will lose R600 000. All stock they supplied after business rescue commenced in October 2016, has to be paid for in full. Ironically, the purpose of voluntary business rescue, as defined in the Chapter 6 of the new Companies Act of 2008, is to provide for the efficient rescue and recovery of financially

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

There is international evidence that only 5% of business rescue cases are successful distressed companies in a manner that balances the rights and interests of all relevant stakeholders. The management of the company is placed under supervision and there is a moratorium on all legal action. A business rescue plan must be approved to restructure the company’s affairs, property, debts, liabilities, etc. to maximise the likelihood of the company continuing its existence — or, if that is not possible, to result in a better return for the company’s creditors or shareholders than would result from the immediate liquidation of the company. With the business rescue plan for Stuttafords, the benefits to the creditors who supplied their stock are not as obvious as the benefits to the people who created the problem in the first place, namely the management and owners (shareholders) of the business. But, since the amount owed to suppliers is less but a fraction of Stuttafords’ R836-m total debt, they had a minority vote, even though none of the suppliers at the final meeting voted in favour of the business rescue plan, says Alex Elliott of Hogan Lovells, who with partner Gareth Cremer, represented some suppliers. It can be argued that the business rescue practitioners (BRPs), Neil Miller of Mazars and John Evans of RS Advisors, had their eye on the bigger picture. A debt of say R2.1-m may therefore seem insignificant as it is but 0.25% of the total, yet it is a huge amount for any athletic brand to lose. Despite numerous attempts, Sports Trader was unable to reach either of the BRPs for comment before going to print. But, if Stuttafords had applied for liquidation, the tables would have been turned: it would have been the worst-case scenario for management, the employees and owners who would have lost their job and a company. All

creditors would, however, have got a representative proportion of what they are owed, which would have included assets like the fixtures and branding for store-in-store areas that Stuttafords now retains together with R200-m worth of stock. If the suppliers had not been satisfied with the terms of liquidation, they could have sued.

Three plans The business rescue plan that the shareholders and big creditors like Nedbank voted to adopt on March 8, had several facets to it. Apart from the debt repayment structure mentioned above, the main difference between this rescue plan and the previous two proposals concerns the future ownership and management of the store: • The Ellerine Brothers will invest R12-m in the company for a 76% stake. They previously had a 26.4% shareholding. The remaining 24 percent would be held by Stuttafords’ parent company. • The management team appointed by the other major shareholder, venture capitalist firm Vestacor, including CEO Robert Amoils, are to step down. • An unnamed retail expert would run the business until a buyer can be found. • They propose an 18-month period to meet performance targets and pay creditors back, or pay creditors back earlier if they find a suitable buyer. • The rescue plan would also be dependent on Nedbank giving Stuttafords a R60-m loan facility for operating expenses. At the time of going to print the name of the retail expert or potential buyer was still unknown, although Ellerines said they had been in contact with interested parties. “For all we know it could be the former owners,” commented a disgruntled supplier, who, like most others, was kept out of the loop. A previous proposal by the BRPs was rejected by nearly 30% of the creditors on March 2nd. Then, the terms had been as follows: • Unsecured creditors {suppliers) would have received 23% of what was owed to them: 5% up front and 18% over the next 19 months,


Industry :: p9

Many local suppliers of clothing and footwear brands got their first taste of the concept of business rescue from Stuttafords — and didn’t like it at all. Luckily, Edgars seems to be back in business. Words: Trudi du Toit

provided they continued to supply stock; • Vestacor, headed by current Stuttafords CEO Robert Amoils, would have contributed R10.3-m for a 56.12% stake. Some industry members would remember Vestacor as the former Fashaf and Moresport owners; • The shareholding of other shareholders (Including Ellerines) would have been diluted to below 15% in total, or 1% or less each. • The management of Stuttafords International Fashion Company would have 20.08% shareholding and Stuttafords Stores 13.9% The changing-of-the-guard differences between the two proposals elicited the cynical remark from a creditor that “it is mainly about a spat between shareholders — everybody knows there has been a fall-out between the Ellerine and Rubenstein families.” Which is costing the industry dearly.

In trouble before For business rescue to succeed, there must be a reasonable expectation that the financially distressed business would again trade profitably under careful management to reorganise and restructure it until it overcomes the special circumstances that caused the financial difficulties, attorneys Lawrence Whittaker and Henry Stubbings of Herold Gie Attorneys explain on their website. “One of the key criteria to qualify for protection is that it can be proven that the company has a fair chance of recovery,” says Whittaker. Even then, there is international evidence that only 5% of business rescue cases are successful, he writes. In South Africa studies are still being conducted, but the success rate is estimated to be 10-12%. Stuttafords has been struggling for at least thirteen years under various owners and managers and it would therefore be difficult to identify the current special circumstances. After the management buyout of 2004, high debt and inadequate funding had placed it on a path to commercial insolvency. In 2006 a consortium of shareholders came to the rescue. They were the Ellerine Brothers (26.4% ), Vestacor under CEO Gerald Rubenstein (20.1%) plus various smaller shareholders, including

Edcon back on track? Edcon’s dEBT restructuring has been finalised, the Competition Commission approved the acquisition by Parentco — formed by some of the group’s major creditors who were offered equity instead of full debt repayment — a new board has been appointed, and all seems to be in place to get the retail group back to profitability. Unfortunately, customers didn’t exactly respond to the retailer’s improved status by crowding the Edgars aisles over Christmas. The Edgars division’s sales for the third quarter of financial year 2017 (October to December 2016) were 2.5% down to R3.47bn, compared to the third quarter of 2016. October was the worst, with sales dropping 8.3%, but improving in November and December to about the same levels as the same period in 2015. Compared to the first two quarters, apparel sales also improved. Despite initiatives to improve credit sales, Edgars credit sales dropped by 10.2% in the third quarter, but cash sales increased 4.8%. Same store sales were 3.1% down when

other members of the Rubenstein family. The department store took a further knock in 2008 when former CEO Marco Cicoria decided to supplement their in-house brands by directly importing expensive international brands like Gap, Ted Baker, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. This strategy also proved costly for fellow department store Edgars — especially after the Rand came tumbling down and credit controls were tightened. More recently, by financial year end in June 2015, Stuttafords reported a R59.8-m loss, which it attributed to operating expenses and finance costs. In the following year, ending June 2016, their pre-tax loss was R17.5-m, despite making a gross profit of R299-m on revenue of R753-m. This was due to high operating expenses (R276m), finance cost (R13.8-m) and depreciation (R28.4-m) they reported.

compared to the third quarter of 2016. Profit margins dropped due to a focus on competitive entry price points and discounts offered to customers in the form of a gift card — but by the end of December 2016 only about half of the discount cost had materialised in the form of sales. The Edcon Group, however, estimated that during the next quarter, which ended 25 March 2017, sales would have been slightly better than guidance set in management’s internal planning budget and they are expected to improve even more during the next quarter. Stock clearances at Edgars are complete, and they have worked their way through 80% of the aging inventory, CEO Bernie Brookes reported. Remaining challenges are increased competition and tighter restrictions on granting credit. The new board members, under chairmanship of De Beers CEO Gareth Penny, further brings considerable management and retail expertise to the group.

Four months later Stuttafords was placed under supervision of the BRPs. For the next three months, over the 2016-17 festive season, all stores traded profitably, recording sales of R176.9-m, which is a gross profit of R82.8-m, they reported. When applying for business rescue, CEO Amoils said the turnaround strategy would include growing house-brands to 10-15% of sales and only concentrating on own international brand imports that are the most profitable like Ted Baker, Tommy Hilfiger and Banana Republic. They were also planning on closing some non-performing stores and no longer invest in shopping mall rejuvenations. After the adoption of the Ellerines proposal, this becomes moot. It now remains to be seen what the turnaround strategy of the new manager or buyer will be.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p10 :: Industry

Tekkie Town becomes corporate

From an independent store to part of one of the largest retailers in the world in just 18 years — the Tekkie Town success story is based on much more than luck. Words: Trudi du Toit

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ighteen years is a very short period in anybody’s life. It just about covers childhood and the school going years. Yet, it took Braam van Huyssteen less than eighteen years to grow one retail store into a subsidiary of the biggest retailer in Africa and the Middle East. If you want to nit-pick and only include the Tekkie Town stores in the countdown, the time frame comes down to less than sixteen years. Tekkie Town is a teenager who just became part of a very wealthy family. When its acquisition by Steinhoff International Holdings became official on February 1 this year, the footwear chain became part of a retail empire worth $25-bn*. In addition, they gain access to the legal, financial, tax and other services a corporate like Steinhoff can offer. Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste and COO Danie van der Merwe join Tekkie Town’s Bernard Mostert (CEO), Dawie van Niekerk (COO) and Van Huyssteen (Chairman) on the Tekkie Town board. Van Huyssteen gains a seat on the Steinhoff Exco and shares in the company.

Rapid growth Apart from that, it’s business as usual for Tekkie Town, says Van Huyssteen. Their head office remains in George, and they will continue trading as normal, making their own decisions about the best way to sell branded footwear at prices most South Africans understand. What will change, though, will be their rate of expansion. If you thought Tekkie Town’s growth had been rapid till now, hold on to your seat: they now have the ways and means to go into turbo drive. Up to now their store expansion had been financed internally and the pace accelerated as the group grew: they opened 100 stores within the first nine years after Van Huyssteen opened the first Sport City sports store in George in 1999 — or a mere seven years after he opened the first Tekkie Town in 2001. The stores later merged under the Tekkie Town label. Depending on which date you count from, they opened an average of 11 or 14 stores per year.

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

By becoming part of Steinhoff, Van Huyssteen and Tekkie Town shed the entrepreneurial mantle and entered the global economic leader space In the next nine years they opened 230 more stores. The rate accelerated after a substantial $65m investment from UK private equity firm Actis in 2014, which enabled them to open 37 stores in the following two years, 25 of them in 2016. By the middle of March this year they had 330 stores … and the tally is growing. Towards the end of March they added more stores in Springs Mall, Ballito Mall, Elukwatini Mall (Mpumalanga) and Steilloop Shopping Centre (Limpopo), with others in the pipeline. What makes this growth even more remarkable is the fact that until 2014, when Actis bought a 42% shareholding, Tekkie Town financed all their new stores internally, without any loans or debt. Apart from expanding countrywide, they now also have their eye on growth into Africa, and through Steinhoff’s international profile into areas like Eastern Europe — Poland, to be precise, where they might have to find a name that will be easier on the Polish tongue, he laughs. Investigating new store opportunities and keeping abreast of property developments is a portfolio Van Huyssteen now relishes in. It was, after all, his insight into the value of property that kick-started Tekkie Town: ownership of a huge warehouse enabled him to negotiate profitable deals with well-known brands for end of line and discontinued styles, plus a few new styles added as a sweetener. Thus, the stores advertising great brands at great prices drew customers in droves. Nowadays, Tekkie Town buyers can choose from the latest offerings of all the top brands — still at good prices due to the rebates their

huge footprint earns them. The fact that the athleisure styles they focus on come with a more modest price tag than the top technical footwear is a benefit in the current economy when money is tight everywhere. “The middle price tier we operate in is still nicely affordable and its going to grow even bigger in future,” he predicts.

Started as independent His roots as an independent makes Van Huyssteen sympathetic to the difficulties faced by smaller traders — especially with the growth of chains like Tekkie Town. But, he is also very cognisant of the fact that like him, several other South African retailers who started as small independents, have gained significant market share and are growing despite the economy. The unspoken implication is that perhaps a little less complaining and a little more initiative might breed success. Apart from the financial safety blanket offered by Steinhoff’s vast resources, as an Exco member Van Huyssteen regularly comes into contact with the executives from other subsidiaries in the group, where they naturally share information and discuss possible opportunities for example about retail space. Active in diverse fields like household goods (Bradlows, Russells, Hi-Fi Corporation, Sleepmasters, Incredible Connection, etc) and general merchandise (Pep, Ackermans, Shoe City, Tekkie Town, etc.) the Steinhoff executives share knowledge about just about every aspect of retailing in the country, including the best and to-be-avoided trading spaces. And following the downscaling and relocating of some stores in the JD Group, which Steinhoff acquired last year, many opportunities come from inside the group. It is this keen eye for spotting new opportunities that contributed to Van Huyssteen earning the title of Ernst & Young South African Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 and Tekkie Town being selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the 16 African global growth companies with a clear potential to become global economic leaders. By becoming part of Steinhoff, Van Huyss-


Photo: Nicol du Toit

Industry :: p11

teen and Tekkie Town shed the entrepreneurial mantle and entered the global economic leader space. The South African company, which operates in 29 countries, is ranked as the 72nd largest retailer in the world, according to Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2017 report* (see below). Following the acquisition of Pepkor in 2015, Steinhoff’s 39.5% revenue growth propelled it to the sixth fastest growing retailer in the world spot. To put their performance into perspective: Steinhoff is bigger than major US retail chains J.C. Penney (74th), Toys R Us (82nd) and Foot Locker (126th in the world). And that was in 2015, before the likes of the JD Group and Tekkie Town became part of the group. In December 2015, when Steinhoff listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, it was the largest listing of the year in Germany. The company generates about 60% of its income from Europe. Tekkie Town trades in Southern Africa alongside Pep, Ackermans, Shoe City, John Craig, Dunns and Refinery as part of the General Merchandise division, worth Є3.6-bn in gross revenue.

Make own luck There are some people who might say that Braam van Huyssteen was just born lucky.

Lucky that he did his army service as one of 2 men among 200 women doing accounts for the Women’s College in his homeground George. Lucky that he opened his first store in Mossel Bay in 1989 just as 10 000 contract workers arrived to work on the Moss Gas project. Lucky that he brought the Tekkie Town concept to brands just when they had sufficient returns on hand to fill his warehouse. Lucky that he has been able to find such good spots for his stores in retail malls. Lucky that in the current horse racing season he had 10 juvenile winners from 12 runners in every racing centre in the country. But, as American founding father Thomas Jefferson said: I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. Or to paraphrase another American, general Douglas MacArthur when he said that the best luck is what you make for yourself. Another way of looking at it is to understand that Van Huyssteen opened that first store in Mossel Bay with R20 000 he managed to scrape together himself. One should also appreciate that Van Huyssteen had the vision to spot a gap in the market and provide a solution that brands could just about live with. Also realise the amount of time he spends scouting for new locations and the homework he does before entering into negotiations with shopping

centre owners. And as for the horses? Well, everybody deserves a bit of luck in their hobby ... especially when the odds are 50:1. Another success factor had been Van Huyssteen’s ability to cultivate — and retain — a loyal management team, many who have been with him almost from the start. Current COO and board member Dawie van Niekerk had been with the Tekkie Town team since the first store opened in 2001; ditto procurement manager Michael Brown. Pojects and marketing manager Gert Claassen had been overseeing the opening of Tekkie Town stores right from the beginning and had been working for Van Huyssteen since 1996. CEO and board member Bernard Mostert might be a newer addition to the team, but he had been mentored by Van Huyssteen before being appointed CEO in 2014. “He is extremely very well qualified, and has a good understanding of finance — he was one of the top MBA students of his year,” Van Huyssteen said about him at the time. “He adapted to the company culture like a fish to water.” * Deloitte’s report Global Powers of Retailing 2017

identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world and analyses their performance and growth across geographies, sectors, and channels. Steinhoff’s results are based on their audited results for the year ended 30 June 2015, before the latest acquisitions, when they were still worth $13.6-bn.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p12 :: Apparel & Footwear

PUMA on Faster growth path Despite the economic upheavals of 2016, PUMA SA is moving to a new home to accommodate their Forever Faster growth. MD Luke BarrettSmith explains how they achieved this successs globally. Words and images: Trudi du Toit

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fter a year during which most brands were counting the costs, PUMA SA is planning a move to accommodate their successful growth. In April they’ll be moving into a huge 16 000m2 building in Durbanville, newly custom-built to accommodate all their growing warehouse needs as well as expanding office and showroom space. What’s more, it has been built with a roof that has enough extra room to accommodate their expected future growth. Growth and 2016 are not often used in the same sentence. But for PUMA SA 2016 had been a bumper year, says MD Luke BarrettSmith, with significant growth locally and globally. “Our products had been very well received locally,” he says. “They made a statement from a brand perspective and created a big hype in the market. We also had a very good year from a sporting sponsorship side. Our athletes are on a roll, they’re all ship-shape and it helps to sell product into retail.” For example, the surprising Leicester City triumph resulted in PUMA teams finishing in the first and second (Arsenal) positions in the Premier League. In the UEFA Euro PUMA players sporting the yellow-pink Tricks boots drew global attention: Antoine Griezmanno was voted Player of the Tournament for being the top scorer, Olivier Giroud ranked third on

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

Forever Faster means we are never satisfied with what we’ve achieved. We want to do better in terms of customer service, in our approach to work, we want to perform better in whatever we do the scoring table and Rui Patrício was voted the Goalkeeper of the Tournament. Members of the England Supporters club named Adam Lallana of Liverpool F.C. as the 2016 England Player of the Year. Cameroon won their fifth Africa Cup of Nations football title. Locally, two PUMA teams — Cheetahs and Bulls - vied for the Currie Cup in the final. In the 2016 Rio Olympics PUMA’s perennial performer Usain Bolt made history by achieving the triple three — three golds in three consecutive Olympics. Locally, the brand caught the imagination of potential future Olympic athletes through the innovative School of Speed concept, a global concept driven to a large extent by South Africa’s Brett Bellinger. Usain Bolt is principal for the participating countries (including Russia and Turkey) to inspire the local young athletes, and in South Africa the vice-principal is Henrico Bruintjies.

“The idea is to develop young talent with an eye on the future,” explains Barrett-Smith. “If you believe you are fast, you can enter a School of Speed event and stand a chance of winning a sponsorship.” The top finishers in each discipline get further coaching and the opportunity to progress to the next level. The eventual top athletes will be offered a sponsorship that will include coaching, clothing, footwear and equipment.

Forever Faster There are cycles of difficulties and successes for all brands, he believes, hoping that the current resurge of demand for the brand will be providing momentum over the next couple of years. A successful company is the one that has the flexibility to make the changes that are demanded, believes Barrett-Smith. For PUMA the growth momentum started with the new energy and vision provided by Bjørn Gulden, who was appointed CEO in 2013. “We’ve changed from sport lifestyle brand to become a Forever Faster brand — we decided we wanted to be fastest sports brand in the world. I’ve seen the progress from 2014 to where we are today: we only got better and better.” Last year PUMA surpassed predictions of 9% annual growth by achieving 10% sales growth in a very difficult economic climate (see p13), prompting Gulden to comment: “2016 ended


as we had hoped, with revenue growth in all regions and product segments, as well as a significant increase in EBIT and net earnings. The year has confirmed that our strategy has been right and we will continue to invest in our mission of becoming the Fastest Sports Brand in the World. We feel confident that we will continue to see revenue growth and a significant increase in earnings again in 2017. (See Double digit growth for PUMA p52). Contrary to reports from many other international brands, the contribution from South Africa is not insignificant: with PUMA SA exceeded the global sales rate of 10% and grew by an excess of 20% locally. The Forever Faster concept is behind everything they do, Barrett-Smith explains. “It is not necessarily related to speed, but it refers to execution, as in being better (faster) in everything you do … in rugby it would mean faster to the tackle, faster to defend. Faster is a generic word in our terms.” The mantra means that the company wants to achieve results faster and better. “It means we are never satisfied with what we have achieved. We want to do better in terms of customer service, in our approach to work, we want to perform better in whatever we do.” In South Africa, their growth mainly came from huge increases in women’s product sales — especially fitness, where the gym meets the runway through sports and fashion styles that had been merged, says Barrett-Smith. This was backed by a global campaign to inspire confidence in women (See article Reaching the Women’s market on p20.) “The reactions to our Fenty PUMA by Rihanna runway shows during the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks have been overwhelmingly positive and have created major social media buzz,” the brand reports. “Our women-specific collections are among the best performers in terms of both sell-in and sell-through. Many major retailers provided additional space for

PUMA has a distinct personality: an out of the box thinker, challenging convention, colourful, but caring. our female collections. In many accounts, the success of our women’s line was actually a door opener to expand our shelf space with men’s and kids styles.” In the current economy brand growth can only come from growing market share, agrees Barrett-Smith, adding that they also had significant growth in athleisure. “We are now seeing retro coming back, which is favourable for brands that have had long histories of iconic shoes — PUMA and adidas will benefit because they are some of the oldest brands. We will also benefit from the return to athleisure as fashion has morphed into the retro basketball look, while the running-shoe-as-fashion looked has slowed down.” They are also looking forward to good growth in local football sales, driven by their sponsorship of Mamelodi Sundowns. “Last year (their first year) was too soon, but this year sales should grow.” They endeavor to give back as much as possible by “looking after sponsorships, looking after the teams, in the hope that they in turn have a good season so that we can benefit,” adds Barrett-Smith. “Like every other brand we try to ensure that we are visible and seen by consumers and that we do better than the others, whether on the sporting field or in athleisure.”

Out of box thinking According to several brand gurus consumers the personality and social responsibility initiatives of a brand determine how well it will be liked — and by whom. PUMA has a very distinct personality: an out of the box thinker, chal-

lenging convention, colourful, but caring. And giving back to society is a high priority, says Barrett-Smith. “There are some big brands out there with big marketing budgets and sometimes its outside the box ideas that make people think and take notice. It forces a company to come up with new ideas to attract consumers.” It is, after all the brand that convinced the conservative Blue Bulls board members that it is OK for the burly players of the team commemorated by a raging bull statue, to take to the field in pink or camo. And have the confidence that the fans of a team with a name implying that they will always be in blue, will turn out in pink ... as they did, by buying unprecedented numbers of the pink jersey. “The jerseys proved themselves and they (the board members) were happy.” It is also the brand that provided rugby and soccer players with Tricks’ boots in two different, very noticeable, colours like pink and yellow. Or supports Cape Town designer Daniel Ting Chong, who created a traffic-stopping exclusive range of vintage sneakers inspired by Zulu and Xhosa African mythology. “One of our initiatives is to provide time for staff members to do community service,” continues Barrett-Smith. “Whether it is in a community initiative, education, or the elderly, we give them time off to go and participate.” They prefer to engage with the people of Dunoon because they will be the closest township when they move into their new building. “We’ve participated in many events and you can’t imagine the joy of giving. We’ve, for example, been involved in providing Christmas stockings — PUMA socks — filled with gifts for the kids of Dunoon, and staff members provided 480 blankets out of their own pockets to donate to Dunoon residents for winter. We are happy to be reactive when the need arises, but prefer proactive planning to ensure CSR resources are correctly distributed To p16

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


Mother’s Day: A chance to reach the women’s market

p14 :: Industry

More and more women are becoming interested in sport and outdoor activities, and globally companies are targeting this fast growing market. RHIANAH RHODE explores ways local sport, outdoor and athleisure retailers can appeal to female consumers, especially with Mother’s Day almost upon us

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he days when men watched sport and women ballet, or men went camping while women stayed in hotels, are almost as ancient history as movies where everybody smoked. Even traditional male sports like rugby, soccer or cricket attract almost as many women spectators as men and a growing number of participants. Nearly half of women (46%) are interested in sport, and 43% of women are as keen as men to watch sport on TV, showed a major global research study on Women and Sport conducted by Repucom in 24 countries*. More than half of the women surveyed watch more than three hours of sport per week, with tennis and basketball the most, but American football is the sport most women are likely to watch in future, the report shows. Nearly half (46%) of the 100-m people who watched the 2015 NFL Superbowl were women. And about a third of the fans following traditional American male sports like football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey are women. But, strangely, for many years this large, growing and very lucrative market had been mostly ignored in the sport and outdoor retail space and brand marketing campaigns. Women had to be content with smaller sized men’s athletic or outdoor footwear, replica shirts or T-shirts. And they queued with men to try on performance clothing in ill-lit and often mirrorless changing rooms … if they were lucky enough to find any. This has now changed. In the US the woman’s athletic apparel market is estimated to

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

be worth $14-bn and has been recognised as one of the fastest growing sectors in sport and outdoor. More and more brands are focusing on women as a special category. This year’s ISPO Munich featured the women’s category as a key topic at the trade show. The show for the first time featured Experts4Women guided tours where experts took visitors to selected brands that exhibit and offered women’s products and explained the specification of collections to them. Other women-centred events included a panel discussion on women as a target group, where experts explained the opportunities and potential for gender marketing in the retail trade; a talk about consumer behaviour and future trends in women’s sport in China; and meetings with extreme sportswoman Isa Sebastiao at the Watersports Village.

Fitness brand campaigns Many brands and retailers are rethinking strategies to attract the female consumer and many innovative campaigns had been introduced to appeal to this huge market. But, the focus has shifted from the pretty and pink campaigns that might conform to the male fantasy of what the ideal woman should like, to what the modern, strong, active, woman who can outrun and outplay many men, pitch her own tent, hike for a day and then light her own fire, would actually find interesting. PUMA’s latest women’s ranges, for example, aren’t aimed at pretty little wallflowers, but are

made for driven women who know what they want. Their DO YOU campaign features New York City Ballet dancers Mimi Staker and Olivia Boisson as heroines wearing the new PUMA Swan Pack collection, on and off stage. Featuring strong women from a range of different fields, DO YOU (launched last year August) tells a story of bravery and confidence, encouraging women to focus on their strengths, explains the brand. The PUMA Swan Pack collection is inspired by ballet dancers’ freedom of self-expression as well as their strength and grace. It is therefore fitting that the brand worked with the New York City Ballet to create the campaign. The collection brings together the brand’s “fiercest sport and training styles” with swan-inspired details including a black-and-white colour palette, iridescent materials, and feather prints. Adidas’ new Unleash Your Creativity video campaign emphasises its pursuit of creativity that pushes the boundaries of sport. The shortfilm series tells the stories of women who use creativity to change and challenge conventional ways of thinking, create their own and new paths, as well as to inspire others to make a difference and push the boundaries of sport. Skechers, on the other hand, doesn’t currently have a focused woman-specific campaign as it has always been more of a woman’s brand, with 40% women compared to 30% men buying footwear from the brand, according to the local distributor Brand Folio LLC. Their comfortable, but very functional, GOwalk Performance range is a best seller among wom-


Industry :: p15

Image courtesy of OutDoor.

en, says Kim Aires. This popularity helped to propel Skechers into the number one walking footwear spot in America.

Changes in products for women Women now expect more than just a shrink it, pink it approach and want products tailored to their needs. Women are problem solvers and want products that make their lives easier, faster and cheaper — versatile, multi-purpose, products will therefore appeal, research by the NPD Group showed*. Women also appreciate those little details that improve a product, the research company found. Women furthermore want versatile apparel that is functional, but looks good, the research indicated. ASICS SA’s key story for this season is What Matters is You, which is driven by its women’s running and training apparel, says Sarah Mundy from ASICS SA. They are mindful that women want to look and feel great in whatever they are wearing, in addition to this and at the core of their collections is their focus on technology. “This essentially elevates our garments to something more than just a tight, or a sports bra for instance, underpinning the ethos of our collections being designed with the end consumer’s needs in mind.” Similarly, PUMA’s PWRShape training range has been designed so that women can both be supported and feel good while training. Their women’s training collection features clothing that offer the wearer everything she needs to look and feel good while training. The PWRShape range has been specifically designed and is proof that women can have control and feel good while training. The collection gives women the support they need, combined with the brand’s top technology. It’s not just a

Women now expect more than just a shrink it, pink it approach and want products tailored to their needs. good-looking collection — it means business.

Women going outdoors Outdoor brands are also paying special attention to their female customers. Hi-Tec SA has collaborated with local athleisure apparel brand MOVEPRETTY in a campaign that combines their footwear and clothing ranges to style women in South Africa in true leisure, street and fitness wear this winter, says Andrea Engelbrecht from Hi-Tec SA. The campaign is mainly digital and “while our product range already incorporates a greater selection in footwear and apparel for ladies, growth in this area and serving this segment authentically is a big strategy for Hi-Tec,” explains Joanne Esterhuizen from Hi-Tec SA. Black Diamond’s Forge Yourself video campaign features two of their very strong women athletes training in a gym and climbing rock faces on equal footing with men, showing how hard they work to forge themselves to achieve these climbing feats. An outdoor brand like Black Diamond and outdoor footwear brands like Boreal and Zamberlan offer women-specific products designed with a woman’s body shape in mind,” says Deidre Pieters from local distributors Ram Mountaineering and Traverse Outdoor Gear. Instead of women making do with lighter versions of men’s packs, helmets, trekking poles, clothing or shoes, these products now provide

more comfort as well as the best possible fit and protection in the outdoors.

Attract shoppers’ attention Brands have created the products and the campaigns to tell the stories, but what can sport and outdoor retailers do to attract women into their stores and to entice them to buy these women-specific products? Retailers need to create an environment where women will feel at ease and comfortable, says Mundy. As a starting point he suggests taking a truly women-centric view. “Traditional sports stores can be intimidating and I think we are seeing success in the creation of shopping environments designed specifically for women — from the decor and sales staff, to the product on offer.” Retailers could also create a dedicated section in their stores that is consciously marketed for the female consumer (whatever that may mean for each brand), suggests Aires. Women are willing to connect with brands via social media and like to share their experiences with friends on social media, the NPD study showed. Apart from listening to and learning from what women say on social media, retailers can also attract shoppers by joining these conversations around brand campaigns, recommends Scott Pringle from PUMA SA. Placing marketing merchandise, campaignrelated displays and products in windows, at doors, etc. will further help lure consumers into your store, say suppliers. “Many buying decisions are influenced by colour,” says Mundy. He would therefore recommend placing eye-catching colourful items in shop windows. “ASICS SA offers beautiful graphic tights in their range, which will definitely catch the eyes of consumers To p16

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p16 :: Industry

Faster PUMA cont. from p13

in the right volume to assist the plight of the Dunoon residents.”

Global community

Ballerina Olivia Boisson features in PUMA’s Swan Pack campaign. Image courtesy of PUMA.

Attracting women cont. from p15

passing by if used in shop windows.” Incorporating seasonal colours that tie in with garment displays is a must, he says, despite black remaining a staple colour for women’s garments. Skechers also offers various women’s products that would be ideal for window displays and placement at store entrances, says Aires. Cross-merchandising items on a table in the front of the shop also always catches the eye and attention, says Ben van der Westhuizen from Hi-Tec. “Colourful T-stands or tent cards with information about the promo or products are also a must and can be duplicated throughout the shop.” Group items that will go well together in the same display to create a story, suggest suppliers. You could, for example, incorporate apparel, footwear and accessories in top-to-toe displays, “essentially making the buying decision very easy as everything is housed in one place,” explains Mundy. Mannequins are a great asset for highlighting apparel, while on the footwear side

American basketball player Candace Parker features in adidas’ Unleash Your Creativity campaign. Image courtesy of adidas.

a shoe box on the wall is a great way to accentuate products. Where possible, retailers should also use call outs, he suggests.

Mothers’ Day opportunities An event like Mothers’ Day offers a retailer the ideal excuse — and opportunity — to advertise that his sport or outdoor store is women friendly. Special promotions on sporty or outdoorsy gift ideas will also catch the eye of family members shopping for mother, provided they are prominently displayed. Call outs at the products on promotion are a good way of attracting customers’ attention, says Derik van Wyk from Footwear Trading. He would, however, move these to the front of the store to attract passers-by and so that they are the first thing customers see when they walk in the store. The point of sale (POS) items should ideally be displayed on easels at shop entrances, he recommends. To help their product stand out even better in your store, many suppliers like Hi-Tec, Levi’s and Skechers have customisable display options, branded wall displays, risers, etc. that will help to emphasise and sell their products.

Gift ideas for the outdoor woman ITEMS SUCH as lighting products will appeal to the active woman. With a waterproof construction, the sleek and bright Cosmo from Black Diamond can take on a myriad of mountain adventures and offers 160 lumens of light, while the bright, compact Moji camp lantern has a simple design, but a durable construction and provides up to 100 lumens. The Eye Light USB, also from Black Diamond, offers 360o light and is handy for after dark use at home or around the campsite. Its 40cm bendable arm is made from strong ABS material and can be attached to almost anything. The Commuter Java Press French Press Coffee Mug provides an amazingly bold flavour of freshly pressed coffee or tea every time. This should appeal to the busy multi-tasking woman who has to take her morning coffee or tea fix on the go, says Pieters from local distributor Ram Mountaineering. Black Diamond’s beanies like the soft and stretchy lacey-knit designed Karina and the very soft and stylish Susannah winter beanies are the types of products consumers will most likely buy for their mothers or wives, says Pieters. Leatherman’s compact Micra tool appeals to the female consumer and has been the best-selling product in the history of their company, says Tim Leatherman, who owns the Leatherman Tool Group Inc. He designed the tool aimed at women because despite most tools ending up in the hands of men, they are often bought as gifts by women. It features ten useful tools, which can fit in a tackle box, pocket, purse, fanny pack, or sewing kit. It is also available in pink.

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

Globally economic uncertainties and surprises like the Brexit vote and US election affected all brands in 2016 — also in South Africa, where brands started the year with a further disadvantage due to the exchange rate going through the roof. But, within PUMA all the global subsidiaries work together as a group to achieve results. “Through the digital age everybody has come so much closer,” adds BarrettSmith. “You can Skype with someone in Germany, or wherever in the world, and communicate more than with someone in the same country. We can share strategies all the time.” What happens globally also has a positive local spin-off because the internet, social media and the availability of international magazines showing what celebrities do and wear keep consumers in the know. “Rihanna and Kylie Jenner have been instrumental in bringing attention to our product. But, the product has to be good: it is one thing to focus attention on the product, but if people don’t like it ... our product is good and by showcasing it a demand had been created.” The fact that the influential US trade publication Footwear News declared the Fenty PUMA, developed in collaboration with Rihanna, as the Shoe of the Year 2016, proves his point. Social media also had an impact on the timing of product launches, which are now available at the same time across the EMEA region. Shipping and distance might delay product arrivals in South Africa by a week or so, but as a rule, South African consumers can buy the products they see online and in blogs pretty much the same time as their European and Middle Eastern counterparts. As an athletic footwear brand whose followers are keen to see the latest cosmetic and design innovations, rather than winter or summer fabrics, the different seasons in Europe and South Africa no longer plays a role. Plus, performance products are pretty much in demand throughout the year as sports like soccer and running seem to go on throughout the year. Happy people ensure a happy business, which contributes to good results … and happy people stay with a company. “We have been able to hang on to our people,” says Barrett-Smith. This year he handed out six 15-year awards to people who had been with PUMA SA ever since the subsidiary opened at the end of 2001. And in the brand new building, close to MTB trails and other environmentally pleasing features, staff members will be even happier, he believes.


Industry :: p17

Steinhoff executives celebrate listing on the Franfort Stock Exchange: Bruno Steinhoff, Ben la Grange, Danie van der Merwe and Christo Wiese.

Brand stores in world top 250

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brand like Nike has a larger global retail footprint than major US sports stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, or a footwear retail chain like Foot Locker, according to the latest report of the world’s largest retailers*. Nike is the world’s 123rd biggest retailer, earning revenue of $7.86-bn in 2015. Dick’s, on the other hand, ranks 129th in the world ($7.27-bn revenue) and Foot Locker is the 126th largest (revenue $7.41-bn). Nike is, however, ranked behind France’s Décathlon (94th with $10.1-bn revenue). In addition, Nike’s Direct to Consumer retail division is the 17th fastest growing of all global retailers. UK-based sporting goods company Sports Direct International lags far behind its American and European counterpart in 221st place and $4-bn in revenue. But, it is one of the 50 fastest growing retailers in the world, ranked #44. Apart from Nike, other athletic or athleisure brands, have not been so aggressively involved in retailing. Abercrombie & Fitch Co’s retail arm just-just made it onto the list at #248 with $3.5-bn revenue. Companies were included in the report based on the revenue they generated for fiscal year 2015. For retailers to be listed among the top 250, their minimum retail revenue had to be $3.5-bn.

South African retailers South African household goods and general merchandise retailer Steinhoff was ranked #72 in the world — and is the world’s 6th fastest growing retailer (see p10). Four other South African retailers are among the world’s top 200: • Shoprite Holdings (110th) reported $9-bn revenue — with 14.4% growth, it is also the world’s 47th fastest growing retailer. • The Spar Group (155th) with $6.2-bn revenue and 34.6% growth, it is ranked as the world’s 30th fastest growing retailer. • Woolworths Holdings (197th) with $4.5-bn revenue and 15% growth it is the 22nd fastest growing retailer. • Pick n Pay Stores (171th) with $5.4-bn in revenue, is not among the 50 fastest retailers. In general, retailing in the Africa/Middle East region is on a high-growth path, reports Deloitte’s. The rising middle class in Africa has contributed to the modernization of the retailing sector, and many African economies are transitioning toward consumption-driven markets. The Middle East also remains an attractive destination for retailers. The Africa/Middle East region has been identified as the biggest retail growth hot point in 2015 with just over 19% retailing growth and just under 6% net profit margin for this sector — the highest of the five geographic regions. Nine retailers from the region (classified by where the company is based) are among the top 250 largest in the world. Aside from the five from South Africa, four other top 250 retailers in the region are based in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. *  The  Global  Powers  of  Retailing  2017  report  by  Deloitte’s  identifies  the  250  largest retailers around the world and analyses their performance and growth across geographies, sectors, and channels. Also see p10.


Hot on the Trail p18 :: Apparel & Footwear

Trail running gear consists of more than running shoes. Think weather, think terrain, and then think some more! LINZA DE JAGER asks retailers, suppliers and runners what is necessary,and what is simply nice to take along. Photo courtesy of Brooks

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rail running events can be as unpredictable as the Cape weather: it can be a sunny 5-10km run through verdant vegetation, an anything goes obstacle race, a multi-day mountain challenge, a muscle-burning beach run, a gruelling leg of a triathlon … the only common denominator will be that you do not run on a level road or on a nicely laid out athletic track. Apart from that, anything goes in terms of challenging terrain, weather conditions and sheer endurance required. Therefore, to attract trail running customers, a retailer should stock every item they would possibly require, Run Specialist Store owner Grant Bryant advises. Apart from the obvious trail running shoes and running clothing, this will also include essentials like waterproof jackets, hydration packs and systems, nutrition, base layers, running watches, headlamps, first-aid kits, etc. (see list of Must Haves). “The most popular trail running accessories vary with the level of expertise of the runner and the race being entered.” For beginner runners the most crucial item would be their shoes. “This is the starting point of their trail running journey,” Bryant says. As the distances the runner enters become greater and the races start having gear requirements, the level of accessories start to increase. The most popular items among his customers are hydration packs, nutritional items, functional scarves/headwear and waterproofs jackets. Dry bags are crucial to protect first-aid kits, phones and electronics, he says. They are also vitally important to keep your mid-layers and fleece dry. “Should you get into trouble, having wet warm layers end up being function-

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

less.” Technical socks are also extremely important in wet conditions like river crossings, whereas in dry sandy conditions gaiters become applicable. Shoe care and cleaning solutions for technical fabrics are essential for the longevity of your products — but items that trail running customers rarely think of or ask for, adds Bryant. “Washing or cleaning them incorrectly can significantly shorten their lifespan.” “The choice of path will dictate what accessory is required,” says Wayne Rossouw of footwear specialist The Athlete’s Foot. “Natural fibre products regulate core temperatures, which afford you a better run, and you won’t be in danger of overheating,” he advises. The accessories that are most in demand by his customers are good socks, hydration bibs and phone pouches. He must, however, remind customers about the importance of blister-proof socks, collapsible nutrition bottles, nutritional tabs and sun block, as they usually don’t think of these items themselves. Trail and Tar’s marketing manager, Noel Ernstzen, points out the importance of regulating body temperature, especially in summer. For this he advises UV arm protectors. Other items on his shopping list include photochromic sunglasses that can be used in all weather conditions, waterproof sunscreen and running caps. His customers often forget about buying nutritional supplements, which he considers to be important. “Considering that trail runners run in the most extreme weather conditions in rugged terrain, they need to be prepared for the worst,” adds the owner of The Trail Shop, Paiter Botha. For him, a hydration pack or race vest and

bladder is a must have as it keeps your customer hydrated on long runs and has space for accessories and food. These are also his bestselling trail accessories. He will supplement water with energy drinks and cautions that a minimum amount of water is required for endurance races. Food would include energy bars, energy gels and other trail food like nuts. Lightweight windbreakers to keep warm in cold, windy conditions and prevent hyperthermia, and lightweight waterproof running rain jackets to keep out cold and wet in harsh rainy conditions, are also essentials. Trail running sunglasses that relax the eyes, GPS running watches to track the distance, route and heart rate and gaiters to keep out mud, dirt and snow, are also nice to have accessories. “The thing that separates trail running from road running is exposure,” says PUMA’s technical sales specialist Rae Trew-Browne. In the mountains especially, the weather can turn from warm sunshine into thick cloud cover and high winds in a matter of minutes and a high quality packable jacket is an essential item. If the route is going into higher mountains and valleys, a beanie and gloves will be essential, she adds, and “if he is stranded it is much easier to attract help with a whistle, especially in high winds.” For Ram Mountain’s Deidre Pieters trail running is “very distance specific”. When running longer distances a backpack bladder and some kind of hydration will be must haves. “The terrain, weather and season play a big part in basic necessities,” she says. “If it’s cold, you will need thermals, gloves and head protection; if it’s steep, trekking poles are a must; if it’s dark, a headlamp; if it’s isolated you would need first- To p20


p20 :: Apparel & Footwear

Jan Ham

Brendan Lombard

Johan Jansen van Vuuren

Zeke Snyman

Top runners’ preferences Brendan Lombard, ASICS trail running brand ambassador says a hydration pack with water or electrolytes is a must have. “Not only does it help the runner carry important gear, it helps the runner to stay hydrated on often remote trails. It is also perfect to carry a phone as well in case of emergencies.” Nice to have items are an action camera and specialised technical apparel, which makes running on the trails more enjoyable. The apparel should be breathable and fast drying. Jan Ham, Columbia Sportswear’s trail running ambassador, says “trail running takes you off the beaten track, where small mistakes can have huge consequences.” A hydration pack that can carry water, a fully charged cell phone with emergency numbers, a space blanket, whistle, a waterproof jacket, first-aid kit and nutritional items like gels or bars and food.

Depending on the time of the year or the weather conditions other of his must haves include technical headwear/scarf, cap or peak, arm warmers or UV protective sleeves, moisture wicking clothing or base layers. A GPS enabled watch is nice to have. “It’s not only helpful as a training aid, it is also quite useful in races. It lets you know at what distances aid stations are so that you can plan accordingly.” Johan Jansen van Vuuren, Ram Mountaineering brand ambassador, packs his trail running kit with care. His essentials will include a backpack or waist belt — if the run is a short distance, then a waist belt is sufficient. “That being said, a backpack is more versatile and ideal for longer runs.” He will also include a water bottle, bladder or hydration pack. “The amount of water a runner needs depends on how far he is go-

Trail running cont. from p18 aid essentials and a survival kit.”

GPS Watches GPS watches allow athletes to monitor their heart rate, speed, distance, altitude and allow them to plan their pace, fuelling and stops along the way, says Bryant. A good GPS watch is really nice to have, agrees Rossouw. “It measures, plots and maps the runs, elevation, distance, speed and time. Your customer can even get messages on the watch, which saves him from having to scratch around in his bag to see who’s calling.” A GPS watch isn’t crucial, but it does make the experience a whole lot better, adds TrewBrowne. “Knowing how far you have gone and how many meters you have climbed is good to know.” A runner herself, she made good use of her GPS watch on Reunion Island. “While on Reunion Island I once mapped out a route on the laptop and then loaded the route onto my watch and enjoyed a stunning 5 hour long run through some incredible valleys and mountain tops, to finish at the coast.”

Keeping warm and dry A waterproof jacket is compulsory in some events. “Make sure it’s waterproof and not just windproof — there is a difference,” warns Rossouw. Calf sleeves not only aid recovery; they also prevent scratches when running

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

through thicker overgrown areas. A high quality jacket with taped seams, is a must have, says Trew-Browne. “It could cost a few thousand rand but it could also save your customer’s life.” Depending on where he is running, it is always a good idea to run with a packable jacket that is at least wind resistant, but if he can afford a fully waterproof jacket, this is even better.

Running in the dark “A headlamp is always necessary if trail running at night,” says Bruce Woodroff of Awesome Tools, local distributor of Ledlenser. A headlamp should ideally be over 100 lumen strong, with a wide arc, adds Ernstzen. Athletes often train during periods when visibility is poor, and they need high visibility items, adds Johlette de Jager of Glow Gear. “The majority of runners are forced to run early in the morning or late afternoon, and running during these periods pose challenges.” High visibility items need a certain amount of reflective per square meter on apparel to make the wearer fully visible. “High visibility colours like the well-known lime-yellow and orange are only day glow and add no value to visibility at night,” she explains. Therefore tops or shorts need good standard silver reflective to be visible during darker periods i.e. after dusk and before dawn.

ing to run. When heading into the mountains the runner should take along a minimum of 1.5 litres.” Essential clothing items would include a base layer, running shirt, shorts and a hat. A technical scarf can be used for sun protection or like a beanie. For longer runs the runner would also want a light waterproof (not just windproof) jacket, a first-aid kit, sun block, charged cell phone (with emergency numbers), space blanket, and scissors or a pocket knife. “I also like to run with a bank card or money, medical aid card and driver’s license,” Van Vuuren adds. “You never know what might happen.” New Balance brand ambassador Zeke Snyman’s list of must haves include a hydration pack, a headlamp for running at night, a cell phone, medical kit and nutrition.

Must-haves • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Arm band with UV protection Baselayer Beanie Cell phone (charged, loaded with emergency numbers) Dry bags Eyewear for running Energy drink First aid kit: small, compact, with safety blanket, bandage, pain killers, etc. Gloves in cold weather Gaiters in sandy conditions Hat Hydration pack or race vest and bladder: keeps you hydrated and provides storage space for accessories and food Long fleece tops Multi-functional technical scarf Nutrition: energy bars and gels, and other trail food like nuts Pocket knife or scissors Jacket: water- and windproof with hood Running shirt and shorts Socks, technical Space blanket Sun block Sweat blocker Trail shoes with a good grip that offers protection and confidence Watch: running specific with GPS and heart rate data Whistle


p22 :: Apparel & Footwear

Must-have trail running shoes T

rail running shoes are most definitely a must have for any trail runner. Suppliers give information on shoes in their ranges.

adidas The TERREX Agravic trail running shoe is “made for trail runs through rough terrain where flexibility and protection are needed,” says Michelle Fraser of adidas. “The revolutionary Boost cushioning technology provides more energy return than any other cushioning material in the industry and helps the runner to push his limits on steep trails.” The Boost midsole also offers “endless energy in the mountains and high adaptability on rocky surfaces, with an outdoor-adjusted EVA frame for stabilizing the tooling while traversing”. In addition, its breathable EVA tongue is integrated into the minimalistic, reduced design for a lightweight look and feel. The Continental rubber outsole ensures grip both on dry and wet ground, and “the new lug profile is inspired by the Continental Trail King mountain bike tyre and provides an extremely smooth roll-off”.

Brooks Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning in its trail running shoes dynamically adapts to every stride. Brooks is locally distributed by SBR Agencies. It’s new trail shoe, Caldera (below), is for the outdoor adventurer who wants to test his endurance on technical trails. “The responsive shoe provides energy and a stable ride even as fatigue sets in,” says the brand. Additionally, gaiters can be secured to the integrated Gaiter Tab at the heel with a hook and loop. Brooks’ lightest and fastest trail shoe, Mazama, “makes the most of every effort on rocky, rooty, and undulating terrain”. It brings their

best-in-class fit and biomechanics technology to the dirt and couples it with strategic protection and a grippy outsole. Its decoupled midfoot allows independent movement of the heel and forefoot that generates a powerful push-off, and the propulsion plate creates a stable platform for powerful and aligned toe-offs whilst also protecting wearers from hazards. Mazama and Caldera each features a protective, double-layered mesh with strategic stretch and structure (for improved fit and a nearly seamless upper) and a sticky rubber outsole with high surface area lugs that provide up- and downhill traction and allow the outsole to flex. For cushioning, versatile traction and adaptive fit, look no further than Cascadia 12 with its evolved pivot post system that creates a stabilising suspension system for improved overall cushioning and flexibility at toe-off. The fulllength Segmented Crash Pad creates a smooth heel-to-toe transition, the Ballistic Rock Shield protects against surface hazards, a rugged outsole improves midfoot traction on wet surfaces and tricky terrain, and the mesh upper has moisture-management. The durable, lightweight Puregrit 5 is built for enhanced proprioception, features the Ballistic Rock Shield technology, and has a dust shield that keeps debris out. It also has Omega Flex Grooves (increased flexibility), reinforced 3D Hex Lugs (added durability), and a rounded heel (provides better alignment and helps minimise stress on the joints).

Hi-Tec “The Speed-life Breathe Ultra (left) is designed as a trail runner that’s so good looking your customers will be wearing it to drinks with the boys,” says Hi-Tec. It provides feet “personalised comfort and a secure fit with its floating lacing system,” and the PU ergo frame “adds extra ankle-support as your customers adventure along the tougher terrain”. “One might even say you’ve hit the trifecta: a value for money, slick design and techpacked all-in-one shoe.” The i-shield technology repels water and dirt, its Ortholite Impressions sockliner with slow recovery foam provides cushioning, and the multi-directional traction gives the needed grip when treading tougher terrain.

The high performance synthetic mesh upper and microfleece moisture-wicking lining keep the wearer’s feet breathable, and its nylon fork shank and improved gait help keep feet stable and secure on more adventurous terrain. The moulded impact-absorbing EVA midsole ensures long-lasting cushioning and comfort.

Merrell With Merrell’s new Dexterity athletic and low trainer (above left), “tough just got easier,” says the brand. It combines fabric, mesh and a UniFly midsole for rugged performance on mud-covered courses. To p25

Medalist’s trail accessories THERE IS hardly a trail running accessory that’s not available from Medalist, distributed by De Wet Sports. The hand strap on the Hydro Grip bottle and the angled bottle on the Hydro Flow hip bottle holster make it easy to keep liquids on hand. The two nutrition belts, Hydro Gel 2 and Hydro Gel 4, hold two and four 300ml bottles respectively. There are several reflective options to help runners in low light: Lunar Glow (a reflective wrist runner), reflective snap bands for wrists, ankles or on the pack, and Flux, an adjustable, lightweight LED arm band that can also be worn on the legs and has two visibility modes. One lightweight, breathable runner’s pack has red LED’s in two modes (continuous, flash) and an adjustable elastic belt to hold smaller items in, while the other two (Supernova and Speed Lite) each has a mesh pocket and reflective belt with an ID card pocket. Medalist also has a high visibility adjustable, elastic reflective belt. Runners taking part in races will appreciate the race number belt and the four magnets that help runners to attach their race numbers without the use of pins. The number can be attached to the adjustable, reflective belt with lace locks, and the belt also has elastic loops for gel packets. The adjustable, reflective Tailwind visor (with a moisture management inner sweat band) and adjustable Fast Track and Air Vent caps (made from moisture management fabric with mesh inserts for ventilation) will keep the head protected. Other useful accessories include the reflective shoe pocket that attaches to any laced shoe, the sport band that allows the runner full use of his holstered touch screen MP3 player or phone, and the touch screen compatable, reflective Volt gloves with silicone palms for better grip.


p24 :: Apparel & Footwear

Running PUMA’s Speed 600 Ignite 2

Technical sponsor ASICS is celebrating the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon’s new IAAF Gold Label Status with its new golden Mexico 66 limited edition shoe (above left), which select guests showed off at the press conference to announce the gold status. With the marathon awarded this prestigious title, the first in Africa to gain it, it’s a win-win situation for everyone and all guests received their very own “medal” in celebration. Above right is ASICS’s Sarah Mundy with her medal. The marathon takes place 17 September and it’s expected that with the new status even more elite athletes will be interested in taking part.

ASICS’ urban-inspired running shoes ASICS’ METARUN AND FUZEX RUSH running shoes are both inspired in different ways by the urban landscape. Inspired by Japanese culture and the iconic city of Tokyo, ASICS’ new MetaRun 2017 — which features MetaRun 2017 leading technology — follows in the steps of the brand’s best ever long-distance running shoe. Originally launched in 2015 and developed by the ASICS Institute of Sport Science over three years, the MetaRun retains the same qualities of the original shoe and still caters for all levels of runners. “It continues to score higher than industry benchmarks in performance for runners in the four core long-distance running attributes: lightweight, stability, fit and cushioning,” explains the brand. The colour palette of the MetaRun makes the runner feel that he is stepping into Japan. The concrete grey represents its urban streets, the hazy white represents Tokyo’s famous skyline and the Shu-red represents the ancient traditional Shu-iro colour that is used on temples and shrines across Japan and symbolises good fortune. The shoe’s sockliner also features a Tokyo train station design, which enhances its connection to Japan. MetaRun features FlyteFoam, ASICS’ lightest and durable midsole with organic fibres for high-level cushioning. Its sloped DUOMAX dual density midsole adjusts smoothly to dynamic motion and it has an optimised upper with a glove-like, one-layer Jacquard Mesh and MetaClutch exoskeleton external heel counter with built-in memory foam. Other features include ASICS’ newly patented carbon reinforced AdaptTruss adaptive stability system and X-GEL hybrid high-tech gel. ASICS’ new fuzeX Rush is “the perfect running shoe for all urban adventures,” says the brand. “FuzeX Rush is a no-frills, performance shoe designed for the wide-ranging urban explorer. The legacy of this shoe lies in the cushioned midsole, which offers a lightweight, responsive ride.” Its ultra-light fuzeGEL in the midsole (from heel to toe) means the shoe has responsive flexibility and bounce, ASICS’ fuzeX Rush and seamless mesh

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

PUMA’S SPEED 600 Ignite 2 running shoe features a “three-punch combination of new technologies that’s sure to leave the competition behind,” says the brand. It is designed to cover runners’ needs: a dual layer midsole with Ignite technology provides longer lasting cushioning and responsiveness as well as great Speed 600 Ignite 2 women’s (top) energy return. An engineered and men’s models. forefoot propels the wearer forward and generates more speed through the toe-off phase, and the EverFit+ technology locks his foot on to the platform for a smooth fit and secure ride. The Speed 600 Ignite 2 also features a lateral release groove and decoupled heel that slow down the rate of pronation and creates a more gradual transition from heel-strike to mid-foot stance for the runner. Additionally, a moulded EVA Supreme sockliner provides step-in comfort and the upper features reflective detailing that makes the wearer more visible in low light conditions. The shoe features EverTrack+ — a lightweight injected blown rubber that PUMA claims is 43% lighter — and because of this lightweight quality only weighs 295g. It also offers added cushioning and durability for a smoother toe-off. The model is available in men’s and ladies’ versions. “The Speed 600 IGNITE 2 Women’s Ignite v3 is PUMA’s pinnacle women specific performance running shoe, now even faster than before with the new and improved upper,” says the brand. Several features of the women’s shoes have been designed specifically for women: the newly engineered lightweight mesh upper provides breathability and support without hindering the bunion zone area, the woman-specific last has a wider forefoot and narrower heel, and the high-rebound sockliner provides arch support that accommodates the biomechanics of the female body for a smooth transition. An external, asymmetrical heel counter also improves heel support to lock down the ankle with additional medial support. To build the Ignite franchise, PUMA has also launched the updated Ignite v3 running shoe. The new Ignite men’s v3 running shoe’s upper mesh stretches over the middle and outsole. The new shoe, which has a 12mm heel-to-toe drop, has a split colour midsole and features enhanced energy return, increased durability and breathability. It also has the added benefit of upper mesh over the middle and outsole.

ensures a snug and comfortable fit. The shoe, inspired by the aesthetics of the urban landscape, offers urban adventurers versatility and style, and it is backed by the humancentric science of ASICS’ research and development. “The new generation of ASICS consumers is more creative, more social and more adventurous,” says Sarah Mundy, Marketing Manager of ASICS South Africa. “Fitness today should be fun and spark a sense of community. The fuzeX Rush is the perfect running shoe to help cultivate the spirit of adventure within the South African running community.”


round up

Apparel & Footwear :: p25

Will the sub2 marathon fall? Nike vs adidas

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he sub-2 marathon has become something of a holy grail for the long distance running world; a glowing beacon that brands are striving towards and pushing their athletes to reach. In this quest, sports brands such as adidas and Nike are developing shoes that they say will help athletes break the two hour barrier. Seven of the men’s and three of the women’s top 10 fastest marathon times were achieved in the Berlin Marathon over the years, including the current fastest time of 2:02:57. It seems like brands should especially be aiming at this year’s event to set new records. In last year’s Berlin Marathon, adidas’ Wilson Kipsang was only 10 seconds behind Kenenisa Bekele who won in 2:03:03 (the second fastest men’s marathon time). At this marathon, Kipsang joined Emmanuel Mutai on the 2:03:13 mark (joint fourth fastest marathon time), a time which Mutai also ran at the Berlin Marathon, but two years prior. The adizero range has already been involved with breaking four world records. Will adidas' adizero Sub 2 shoe (below) be the next? It certainly did well for Kipsang, who wore it in its premier race earlier this year (the Tokyo Marathon) — he won it with a comfortable two minute lead over the rest of the runners. He

didn't break the 2 hour mark, but he recorded a personal achievement by breaking the sub2:04 mark for the fourth time in his career. The prime weapon in adizero SUB 2’s arsenal is its new Boost technology, the Boost Light, which adidas says is lighter than before while retaining the energy return properties. “Independent sports science research has shown that the new adizero Sub2 can provide 1% improvement in running economy, the overall 100g weight reduction also enables an additional 1% improvement in running economy and its Continental Microweb rubber outsole provides more grip and reduces slip.” Other features include a lightweight, reinforced mesh upper and its Microfit technology gives support, comfort and good fit. Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly Elite (below right) also works to improve running economy. Its ZoomX midsole cushioning is lightweight, soft and responsive, has a 21mm forefoot stack height, and it is designed to give energy return and protection from the road. It also has a curved carbon fibre plate, similar to what Oscar Pistorius used on his Nike blades. It “critically serves to add bending stiffness, tuned to improve stride-by-stride efficiency and minimise energy loss over the course of the race.” The extra spring in his step might not have resulted in a win for Pistorius, but Nike is hoping it will propel either Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia or Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea to break the 2 hour barrier during a special attempt at the Monza F1 racing track in Italy in May. It’s this carbon fibre plate and its energy conserving rebound that has sport scientist

Ross Tucker questioning the shoe’s legality. He was a vocal critic of the decision to allow Pistorius to run against able-bodied athletes because his carbon spring blades reduced muscle fatigue. “The elite athletes who have worn [Pistorius’ blades] report that they have no muscle pain after running, which suggests the shoes unload the muscles, exactly as a spring would do,” he writes in an article for The Times. “Are they legal? That’s the big question. My opinion is that they should not be. I don’t think any device added to the shoe, acting as a spring, or providing energy return, should be legal. “The current regulation says that the shoe must not be constructed so as to give an athlete any unfair additional assistance, including by the incorporation of any technology which will give the wearer any unfair advantage. “Curved carbon fibre plates that add to energy recoil, in my opinion, contravene both clauses. They provide additional assistance, and they do so by incorporating a curved carbon fibre plate. “Where the argument will happen is the definition of unfair, a loophole big enough for a lawyer to run through. Until then, we count down to May, when the attempt is due to take place.”

Must-have trail running shoes cont. from p22 The shoe features a fabric and mesh upper, traditional lace closure system and bellows tongue that keeps debris out, as well as a padded lycra collar, neoprene lining for padded comfort in the heel area, and an integrated EVA footbed. Dexterity’s UniFly midsole connects wearers to the trail while protecting them from the terrain. The TrailProtect pad provides additional support when off road. Merrell is locally distributed by Medicus Shoes.

PUMA PUMA’s Speed 300 Ignite TR is built for speedy trail running. “Built to perform, it is designed to make the runner feel light and fast on his feet while giving him the protection he needs on the toughest terrains,” says PUMA. Its dual layer midsole features Ignite Foam in the heel, which improves energy return and

provides step-in comfort. This PU foam also helps to reduce ground contact time and increases cadence for the wearer. The midsole also has the Rock Protection sockliner, which consists of hardened foam that has been moulded to the removable EVA sockliner to give a personalised fit and protects the wearer’s feet. The engineered forefoot Propulsion Zone in the outsole propels the wearer forward generating more speed during toe-off, and its Multidirectional lugs on the outsole also provide extra grip for a secure push off on uneven or slippery terrain. The Speed 300 Ignite TR’s strong abrasive and lightweight mesh upper enables 360 degree water release. It features 360 degree reflective print for extra visibility in low light conditions, a U-throat Gaiter

O-Ring that enables the attachment of a removable gaiter accessory to keep debris from entering the top of the shoe as well as a gusseted tongue wing construction that improves the upper fit and further prevents debris and water from entering the top of the shoe. Furthermore, it features a lace garage pocket with an internal key ring holder loop and protective toe cap that provides lightweight protection.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p26 :: Sport

Skechers LA Marathon Left: Skechers created the limited edition GOmeb Razor with graphics to commemorate their Los Angeles Marathon sponsorship. Photo: Business Wire.

SKECHERS PERFORMANCE returned as title sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon in March, and South Africa’s rising young triathlon star, Nick Quenet, was invited to participate in a VIP experience leading up to the race. Prior to the race, Skechers launched its global Road to Los Angeles marketing campaign, which culminated in 60 international partners from 35 countries taking part in a VIP experience on the marathon course known as the Stadium to the Sea. The aim of the campaign was to create further global awareness of the marathon in Skechers’ international markets. Apart from Quenet represent-

ing South Africa, India’s 10km national record holder Kavita Tungar also participated, as well as amateur runners, retailers that stock Skechers, and media members and personalities. Skechers Performance kept track of runners’ journeys as they trained for the marathon on SkechersGOrunLA. com and via #GORUNLA. “Our inaugural title sponsorship of the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon was extremely successful and this year we wanted to build on our record-setting international growth by creating an experience for as many international partners as possible,” says Rick Higgins, senior vice-president of merchandising/marketing for Skechers Performance. The brand also supplied the expanded official race apparel collection featuring technical running wear, casual t-shirts and running accessories.

Organised runs go green THE ORGANISERS of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) and Merrellsponsored trail runs are upping their efforts to reduce the waste generated through events. OMTOM, sponsored by adidas, is introducing an antilittering and waste management campaign, #GOGREEN, that offers a sustainable way to collect and process the A runner in the Merrell Autumn non-organic waste generated Night Run enjoys her functional medal. Photo: Erik Vermeulen. during race week by athletes and spectators. Along the route there will be a series of GREEN ZONES where athletes can throw away their waste into large branded troughs. Alternatively, Old Mutual is asking that athletes hold onto their waste until the end of the race. There will be penalties for athletes who continue to litter outside of these zones. The waste that is collected will be converted into Green Desks — it is estimated that it will contribute to the manufacturing of about 500 school desks — through a partnership between Wildlands and NGO industry body POLYCO (Polyolefin Recycling Company NPC). This way the waste also won’t end up in landfills. For over a year Mountain Runner Events, organisers of the Merrell trail runs, has been serving water in enamel cups at water stations, instead of throw away cups. For the past four years they’ve also handed out Gidgitz bottle opener keyrings on lanyards as finisher medals, which many people appreciated as functional medals, says race director Graham Bird. Starting this year, however, they are giving finishers functional medals in the form of reusable Merrell-branded bottles that they hope will accompany the athletes on future runs. The bottle medals premiered Merrell Autumn Trail Run, which took place in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens and offered 20km, 12km and 6km routes.

Grip the ball with Mikasa YOUR NETBALL CUSTOMERS won’t easily drop the ball with Mikasa’s new netball ball series. Previously the full focus used to be on durability, but while this is still an important factor for Mikasa when designing its ranges, grip is now the feature that everyone is asking for, says Nick Wiltshire of local distributor Pat Wiltshire Sports. Not only does the machine stitched HSNT Ultra Grip series offer excellent grip with the ultra From Mikasa’s HSNT Ultra Grip series. grip technology, it also has raised dimples for even more improved grip and handling. The 3550 Rubber Dimple series also features dimples on its top quality rubber covers, which won’t let the ball slip out of the hands easily. Recommend the moulded Ultra Durable series to those players who play in Africa’s harshest conditions, advises Wiltshire. It is durable, makes use of Mikasa’s wound ball technology and has a traditional 32 panel design. All the balls in the range conform to IFNA’s official size and weight regulations.

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2


EXCITING NEW

MIKASA 2017 NETBALL SERIES MIKASA HSNT ULTRA GRIP SERIES • • • •

Mikasa superior championship ultra grip Machine stitched technology Raised dimples for improved grip & handling IFNA Official size and weight

MIKASA MOULDED ULTRA DURABLE SERIES • • • •

Mikasa wound ball technology Traditional 32 panel design Designed for Africa’s harshest conditions IFNA Official size and weight

MIKASA 3550 RUBBER DIMPLE SERIES • Mikasa improved dimple grip • Highest quality Mikasa rubber cover • IFNA Official size and weight

Pat Wiltshire Sports (Pty) Ltd EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR Tel: +27 11 466 1800/1/2 Fax: +27 11 466 1960 info@pwsports.co.za www.pwsports.co.za


Trending kids wear for Easter and Eid

p28 :: Apparel & Footwear

During Easter and Eid holidays parents will often buy new clothing and footwear for their kids. RHIANAH Rhode asked suppliers what will be trending over these periods

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arents tend to spend money on their kids for special, religious occasions like Easter and Eid so that they will look their best. While Easter always takes place during autumn, this year Eid also takes place during this colder time of the year, which will affect how parents shop for their children; during this period parents will be interested in buying products that can be used for layering suppliers point out. With Eid now falling in winter, items such as hoodies, sweats and tees used for layering will sell for both girls and boys, says Casey Watermeyer of adidas. For their boys, parents will also want track pants, zippered track tops and also tees, which are worn underneath other clothing, she says. “Layering is important to ensure that items are transitional from autumn to winter,” agrees Kate MacLennan of Skye Distribution. Any bulk and discomfort should be eliminated to ensure all day comfort, she points out.

Trends are important for kids Parents are, however, not walking into stores looking for a specific look from years gone by in mind, and retailers can’t just rely on what sold well last year to sell well again, caution suppliers. It’s important to stay up to date on the latest in trends, even for the youngsters, says Watermeyer. “Kids are now becoming more aware of trends and demanding that their parents buy what is hot at the moment.” In their range, footwear styles like the Superstars, Stan and ZX flux are popular for this time of year. Energy lights and rechargeable sneakers are among Skechers’ hottest footwear trends for kids, says Kim Aires from local distributor Brand Folio LLC. Other trends such as sneakers with easy-on Z-straps (that make fastening and loosening shoes easier) icy aqua colours and emoji icons, glitter and satin, as well as boots featuring pom-poms, glitter, faux fur in suede and sweater knit materials; are also at

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

the top of the list of Skechers’ vast range for kids, she adds. With kids footwear comprising about 30% of their sales they provide just about every possible style and innovation parents can wish for. Their gimmicky styles — like games that can be played on shoes — are more popular than formal or smart-looking footwear, adds Aires. Commercial footwear fashion styles are performing at the moment due to affordability and alignment to trend, says MacLennan They have also seen an increase in popularity of different designs within the same footwear models, which answers the need for diverse product offerings alongside

the classic silhouettes.

Colours Canvas sneakers continue to lean towards white, says MacLennan. “This creates a blank canvas on which kids can allow their creativity to come to life. In addition, the white canvas sneaker is extremely versatile.” White and black are popular choices for them, but other colours are also doing well depending on the style of shoe trending at the moment, says Watermeyer. PUMA’s new Basket Heart lifestyle shoe — an updated version of its court classic — is available in both white and black patent as well

Planning ahead FOR THOSE planning for next year’s winter, there are four new international clothing and footwear trends for kids, say style forecasters of the Magic fashion trade show. • Poetically Romantic: Kids’ fashion will feature romantic and whimsical prints, rich Dutch floral oil painting inspired prints, ruffles and lace. It is based on a time when young ladies’ and mens’ clothing styles were prim and proper, and includes items such as tailor fitted denim trousers, boxy fitted jackets, Cashmere sweater vests, pleated skirts, spencer jackets, and blouses with big bow high collars. It will also include fabrics like wool, gabardine, tartan prints, felted wools, and herringbone. • The Pop-Con trend features gender-neutral silhouettes, smart textiles, graphics, interactive prints that glow and reflect, reflective high-gloss wet coated fabrics, sonic waves graphs, geogrid shapes, dimensional mesh and heat transferred iridescent foils. The 3D printed design elements will make products seem like an extension of the virtual world and prints and graphics will replicate gaming motifs of the 80’s, computerised mesh-mapping, oversized fonts prints, quotable tech humour, popular memes, personalised emojis, as well as action-packed heroes and villains of comic books, Magic predicts. • Wild Wild West: Think western motifs on denim and shirts, embossed hand-tooled leather with ornate patterns, personalised ranch branding, fringed edges, and western medallions. Designs will be inspired by the diverse landscapes including tumbleweeds, cacti, streams, mountain ridges, and valleys found in the West. Simple Liberty florals prints, conversational western prints such as horses and horseshoes on button up cattlemen shirts will also be key. • The Urban Utopia trend will create an utilitarian wardrobe that combines the performance of CrossFit and graffiti of street skaters. It will feature remixed camouflage prints, artistic graffiti motifs and distressed textured denim that reflects the grit of the streets. The colours used are inspired by city landscapes like concrete walls, asphalt pavements and public walls with modern day artistic installations and neon expressions. The next Magic fashion trade show — covering apparel, footwear, accessories, and manufacturing — takes place 14-16 August in Las Vegas.


Apparel & Footwear :: p29

Image courtesy of OutDoor.

as in pastels, with satin, suede and denim finishes. It has a feminine twist and connects with the brand’s sport heritage by staying true to the OG silhouette, says Robyn Frick from PUMA SA. “With two lacing options it enables wearers to either create the perfect bow with a satin ribbon or funk it up with chunky laces.” These kicks help drive PUMA’s DO YOU campaign message (see p14) that inspires women to show off their confidence and style. These shoes can be paired with cropped pants, jeans, leggings, etc. and come in toddler and infant sizes, she adds.

Parents want mini-me’s Whether for clothing or footwear items, take downs from adults’ to kids’ styles will be a popular feature that parents will look

Kids are now becoming more aware of trends and demanding that their parents buy what is hot at the moment. for, say suppliers. Their main product priority is designed for the kid, engineered for the parent, says MacLennan. “Take downs from adults to kids remain important in range assorting, as parents are always looking for mini-me clothing.” This concept is also filtered into footwear to ensure they are offering kids product that is cool and convenient, she adds.

Although many of their styles are specifically designed for kids, take downs are also popular purchases from Skechers ranges, says Aires. She finds that their most popular styles for girls and boys are not only Twinkle Toes and Light ups, but also take down from men’s and women’s styles. Sport shoes are also among the popular styles suppliers expect consumers to purchase. Performance features will appeal to parents buying shoes for their kids who play a variety of field sports, but also want to use them on outdoor adventures, says Sarah Mundy from ASICS SA. Features such as aggressive, rugged trail-specific outsoles that can handle rough, uneven terrain are useful, as well those that provide features like cushioning and support.

Another award for Skechers Kids THE SKECHERS KIDS COLLECTION has received a design excellence award from the Footwear Plus trade publication — its ninth award for footwear design excellence and the third for its kids division. These awards are nominated and voted for by thousands of footwear retailers and consumers globally and gives recognition to the industry’s most compelling product offerings. Since 2005, Skechers has won the Footwear Plus Company of the Year award seven times and seven Plus Awards for design excellence. “We’re exceptionally proud of our boys’

and girls’ product and some of our latest innovations are currently found in the Kids’ collection in our lighted footwear, says Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “We’re delivering great product for every age from toddlers to tweens with fun, bright and lightweight designs that kids everywhere love for school and play. And the collection is strong not only in the US, but around the globe as well — we can’t wait to build on this with amazing product coming later this year for back-to-school.”

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p30 :: Outdoor

ABC of

outdoor technologies Bi-Flex: a technology developed by Boreal to improve the forward and lateral flexibility of mountain boots by carefully positioning panels of soft pliable materials in specific areas of the upper. These soft compressible panels act like hinges to allow the natural articulation of the ankle in both the lateral and fore/aft directions.

-CClimachill keeps you cool and dry in the hottest weather. Used in adidas’s outdoor Terrex range, this cooling technology is based on ultra-breathable moisture-wicking fabric and aluminium cooling spheres. It absorbs and wicks away moisture fast, in under 2 seconds. Climalite is an adidas textile technology that wicks perspiration away from the skin to the outer fabric for quick evaporation, enhancing the body's natural temperature regulation. Climaproof: the adidas technology keeps you dry from inside out in all weather conditions. It provides breathable protection against weather conditions like harsh wind, rain and cold by optimising the body’s temperature and allowing moisture to escape easily. Climastorm is a textile technology from adidas that protects from wind and light rain by acting as a barrier to the eleadidas Outdoor’s new TERREX Agravic Alpha Hooded Shield jacket is lightweight and offers wearers more protection than the average wind jacket. The jacket – made from lightweight, stretch-woven, durable and windproof Pertex Quantum — features Polartec Alpha insulation with breathable heat regulation, which keeps the wearer warm in cold temperatures and dry in wet conditions.

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

ments, while allowing heat and sweat to escape through evaporation. Climawarm is a lightweight, breathable insulation technology from adidas that keeps the wearer dry and comfortable in cold weather conditions by using densely woven synthetic.

-DDri-Tec: an advanced, waterproof, breathable membrane developed by Hi-Tec to provide waterproofing in even the wettest of environments. Millions of microscopic pores in the membrane allow water vapour to escape without allowing water droplets in, keeping feet dry and comfortable. Dry-Line: a waterproof lining system developed by Boreal that combines the waterproof laminate Sympatex 337 professional and a leather or synthetic outer layer to enable horizontal as well as vertical breathing. Moisture vapour in the boot enters an air space between the membrane and lining and is pumped out of the boot during normal walking action. The Sympatex 337 membrane has a breathable micro-fibre lining and since it is made of polyether/ester copolymer it has no pores to clog, so its performance does not deteriorate with use. DTA (Dynamic Transition Aid): a nylon lightweight shank that offers the same rigidity of a steel shank in Hi-Tec footwear.

-FFIST: Flex Insole System Technology from Merrell designs insoles around the way a shoe will be used. Stiffer soles provide the stability needed when carrying heavy loads through rocky, uneven terrain, while lighter, more flexible insoles enhance agility while speed hiking. By using different materials and configurations — like steel shanks of different lengths and thicknesses and tapered

injected nylon — the manufacturer can finetune the flex of each insole, so that it’s just right for its intended purpose. Flexconnect from Merrell was designed to resemble and support the ligaments and tendons in the human foot, the Hyperlock heel provides a precise heel lock for quick descents and sharp turns. Anatomically-inspired dual-directional flex grooves support the natural motion of the foot by promoting upward and downward flexibility for agility and stability on uneven terrain. A sticky, durable, rubber outsole with skeleton-like lugs and flex grooves moves with the foot to offer a full range of flexibility for superior grip and traction on wet or dry trails. Foam Tech Cushioning is provided by foam material in Jeep footwear to provide structural support, stability and shock absorption.

-II-Shield: a Hi-Tec technology that provides an invisible protective layer to repel water and dirt to keep shoes clean and lightweight. By reducing water uptake the shoe stays lighter and the inherent stain resistance also protects against oil and stains.

-MM-Select DRY technology in Merrell footwear provides protection for footwear in wet weather conditions. The products shed external moisture from precipitation and wet ground conditions, while allowing moisture from physical activity to escape. For extreme wet weather there is M-Select XDRY that delivers added protection. M-Select GRIP: outsole technology by Merrell that offers superior grip. The outsoles are slip-resistant on wet and dry ground, and over mixed terrain, and releases dirt and debris with specialized lugs. GRIP+ delivers added traction and WET GRIP provides maximum grip on wet surfaces. Highly angled lug designs channel excess water away from underfoot while the razor siped rubber increases surface contact for


Outdoor :: p31

The unique technologies in outdoor clothing and footwear help protect the wearer, keep him warm and dry, cool and comfortable, amongst many other benefits. But, some of these technologies have even more unique and difficult to remember names. In this alphabetical glossary LINZA DE JAGER unpacks the meaning behind the outdoor technologies used by brands

The latest outdoor technologies will be seen at the 2017 OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen, held June 18-21. Photo: OutDoor Friedrichshafen.

better traction.

M-Select Move: the footframe from Merrell has been anatomically designed to follow the natural flex and contours of the foot. It integrates resilient Return Foam cushioning and contoured support to offer an ideal combination of natural freedom of movement, stability and all-day comfort.

-OOmni-Heat Thermal Reflective: this warming technology from Columbia regulates body temperature with little silver dots that reflect and retain the body’s heat. The patent-pending OutDry Extreme waterproof membrane keeps moisture out, while the abrasion-resistant material on the outside provides permanent water repellency and durability. Omni-Shield technology from Columbia resists the absorption of liquids into the yarns to prevent stains and water penetrating. Blood ‘N Guts goes further to prevent and remove stains. It provides long-lasting stain repellency without affecting the breathability or feel of the fabric Omni-Tech from Columbia is a technology that provides 100% waterproof and air-permeable (breathable) apparel that allows perspiration to escape. The membrane is windproof, waterproof and breathable while Omni-Shield offers protection on the face-fabric.

-QQ FORM: Merrell developed this footwear technology especially for women’s feet. It combines properly sequenced cushioning with a supportive and naturally aligning midsole to provide proper support, cushioning,

and corrective positioning for women to ensure a balanced, natural stride. It provides a soft landing, a little guidance, transition, support system and all-day cushioning.

-SStratafuse Cage in Merrell footwear comprises of injecting a TPU foot cage into the mesh upper, fusing it together for a lightweight, glove-like fit, that enhances natural movement, and increased durability. The process also reduces manufacturing waste. Stealth Rubber from adidas provides unbeatable grip, high friction and optimal shock absorption. Super Comfort is a feature of Jeep footwear that offers relief of foot pain and tired feet related to standing or walking on hard surfaces for extended periods. A removable innersole, that may be hand washed or aired out to allow trapped moisture between the innersole and foot bed to dry, adds further comfort.

-TTecproof: an invisible waterproof membrane from Hi-Tec that serves as a protective layer on rain jackets. Thermo-Dri is a waterproof insulation technology exclusive to Hi-Tec. It integrates Thinsulate insulation from 3M with Hi-Tec’s Dri-Tec waterproof membrane, keeping feet both warm and dry. Traxion: this technology from adidas offers maximum grip by combining an optimal lug pattern with the most appropriate rubber compound. It offers an optimal alignment of cleats, maximum outsole grip on specific

ground, as well as maximum propulsion.

-UUnifly from Merrell is a footwear technology using premium, uLeathera durable, lightweight EVA foam that is 20% softer than standard EVA foams. Strategically placed heel and forefoot shock pods are made of a special formulation of firmer EVA foam that distributes impact and provides feedback from the ground. This provides a strike that is soft to the ground for cushioning and terrain absorption, and firm against the foot for stability and agility.

-VV-Lite technology in Hi-Tec shoes reduce weight and increase comfort through construction and lightweight performance components through the minimum use of rubber while retaining outsole performance.

-XXLR8>>: Hi-Tec’s lightweight midsole technology gives 10% better rebound and 10% better energy absorption than regular EVA. It is also 10% lighter than regular EVA. The midsole is very comfortable and significantly boosts performance.

-ZZenith Rubber: a high performance rubber developed by Boreal for no-compromise performance, which features incredible friction properties combined with an ability to hold micro edges. Prevents feet slipping when climbing on very small rock features.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p32 :: Outdoor

Photo courtesy of HuntEx.

Father’s Day gifts offer

great sales opportunities Outdoor accessories are the ideal gift options for Father’s Day. With consumers looking for new and interesting products to surprise their loved ones, outdoor retailers can use the lead up to this day to their advantage. RHIANAH RHODE found out what products suppliers predict will have customers lining up at the tills

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our customers will want to treat their fathers on the 18th of June with a special gift that says I love you. There is no shortage of interesting new products available from local suppliers as gift options that cater for a variety of consumer tastes and stock options for outdoor retailers. Lighting products, especially, are popular gift options for fathers.

Lighting gift ideas While enjoying the outdoors your customer’s father will be without electricity and away from overhead power sources — it’s after all one of the drawcards of getting away from it all. But, he’ll still want to be able to see in the dark. Outdoor lighting products have therefore become popular gift options for fathers because they are so versatile and cater for so many different needs. Whether in the forest, atop a mountain, or on water — Ledlenser’s new outdoor series will

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

ensure fathers are equipped with the right light on any of his outdoor adventures. “Their functionality, design and use have been specially developed for experiencing nature at night,” says Bruce Woodroffe from local distributor Awesome Tools. The lightweight MH10 headlamp can produce up to 600 lumens of light, enables adjustment between close-up and distance vision through its stepless focus function and offers up to 120 hours of battery life. The MH6 headlamp, which can be relied upon to light up roads and paths, intuitively operates between several modes at the touch of a switch and offers up to 200 lumens of light for up to 120m. It features an integrated charging indicator that warns users when the battery is running low, as well as a replaceable and washable headband. The entry-level MH2 headlamp is a handy companion for short or spontaneous adventures and offers consumers high performance at a low price, says Woodroffe. It can run for up to 40

hours and produces up to 100 lumens of light. The MT18 torch is the brightest torch of the series and features a USB connection through which it can be charged in just eight hours, says Woodroffe. It produce 3 000 lumens of bright illumination, provides a lighting range of up to 540m and is excellent for illuminating paths, caves and expanses, he explains. The MT14 torch offers a lighting range of up to 180m and can stay lit for up to 192 hours after a single charge. It features the Speed Charging and Smart Light technologies, which help ensure it is fully charged within eight hours and provides ideal lighting function at all times, says Woodroffe. The lightweight MT10 torch is suitable for illuminating narrow spaces or rock crevices can easily fit in any of dad’s jacket pockets. Its battery operation and speed charging system ensure that it is fully charged in just six hours and offers up to 144 hours of uninterrupted light. The stable, robust and compact MT6 torch is To p34 the most cost-effective torch in


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With double-walled vacuum insulation and a no-sweat design, Thermo Steel’s stainless steel tumblers will keep drinks colder for longer — perfect for summer days when your customers

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just have to have a cold one. BUT not only do they keep drinks cold … they do just as good a job to keep liquids warm. This versatility makes selling these tumblers

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an easy task throughout the year, and the perfect addition in just about any situation: camping, travelling, picnicking, supporting the kids next to the field, in the car, at the desk, etc.

For more information, contact Lite Optec: Tel: 011 462 6986 or sales@liteoptec.co.za


p34 :: Outdoor

Father’s Day gifts cont. from p32 the range, says Woodroffe. It produces up to 600 lumens of light and is suitable for night-time hikes or walks. Its one-handed focusing ability makes it easy to use and like all other lights in the series it can be used in temperatures ranging between -20°C to 40°C. The father who is constantly on the go will welcome Black Diamond’s smallest and lightest rechargeable headlamp, Iota. It’ll not only lessen the worry about phones, etc. running flat, whether he’ll have the correct type of plug point, if travelling outside of South Africa, for the various chargers for his devices, and it also means he can travel lighter (no extra chargers!). The Iota can produce up to 150 lumens of light for use during fast moving training sessions, morning trail runs, post-work evening hikes and urban adventures, says Richard Turkington, key accounts manager for Ram Mountaineering. It also features the brand’s unique PowerTap technology that enables fast and easy brightness adjustment, and offers two to four hours’ run time for up to 40m’s at a time. “Our headlights and torches are always popular gifts for Father’s Day, especially fathers that love camping and the outdoors,” says Kevin De Wet from Medalist distributor De Wet Sports. The brand’s variety of headlamps and torches offer an array of sought-after features like tiltable bodies to adjust the beam angle, adjustable head straps for the perfect fit, as well as several useful modes. The Spark headlamp not only has one 3W white LED, but also another two red LED’s — combined they can generate up to 80 lumens of light. It has two modes (full and flashing) and comes with three AAA batteries. The Starburst headlamp features an LED light that generates up to 180 lumens, has a beam range of 150m and a zoom function. It can be used in full, low or flashing modes and comes with 3

There is no shortage of interesting new products available from local suppliers as gift options that cater for a variety of consumer tastes and stock options for outdoor retailers AAA batteries. Similarly, the Meteor and Nebular torches also have the full, low and flashing modes. They can also provide up to 120 lumens of light with a beam range of up to 150m, and each has a built-in zoom function and aluminium body. The Meteor runs on a rechargeable Li-ion battery, and on three AAA batteries — all are included. The Flare 9 torch features nine bright long life LED’s as well as an aluminium body and convenient wrist lanyard. It is powered by three AAA batteries. With its emergency red flash mode Nebo’s Big Larry light is ideal for distress signalling or roadside emergencies, says Brendan Lambert from local distributor Lite Optec. It produces up to 400 lumens of intense light through its new C.O.B. LED technology and also features a low (160 lumens) mode. Furthermore, the anodized aluminum body and recessed LED housing ensures that the BIG Larry can handle any situation, says Lambert. Kaufmann offers fathers a range of lighting products with various versatile options. The high powered and rechargeable spotlights are ideal for hunting, fishing or general outdoor use whereas the headlights are multi-adjustable and useful for freeing up the hands while dad does what he does in the dark, explains Peter Nieuwenhuizen, from distributor Agrinet. The LED lantern range (T200, T400, T600) has

FIVE STAR LIVING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

adjustable brightness settings and optional 360o light, the LED flashlights (T300, T350, T650, T700) feature adjustable light beams, and the LED spotlights (T600, T650) offer rechargeable capabilities. AceCamp’s waterproof flashlight is also a powerbank, says Andrew Robinson of distributor Outdoor Supply Company. The flashlight is available in 600ML and 1000ML, made from aircraft grade aluminium, and has three modes (high, low and flash). “It is ideal for those who love the outdoors, but still need the convenience of staying connected with technology.” Venture Outdoors’ beanie with headlamp, locally distributed by Outdoor Supply Company, is ideal for the keen fisherman, camping enthusiast and the perfect gift for any dad who likes to braai, hunt or do adventure races in the winter, says Robinson . It produces a 60 lumen light output and can cover a 20m work zone. It can toggle between three light intensity levels and the integrated LED light can be popped in and out so that the premium quality polyester beanie can be washed, she explains. This product provides up to one and a half hours of run time and can be recharged via USB.

Drinking outdoors The main man in the house will love Thermo Steel’s Big Daddy drinking cup that holds up to 890ml and keeps drinks ice cold or piping hot, says Lambert. “He’ll be the boss with the biggest mug around while manning the Braai with a Tonglite braai tong!” Kaufmann’s steel beer mug is the perfect size to hold a 375ml drink and will keep the drink colder for longer, Nieuwenhuizen adds. In addition, their high quality and stylish stainless steel flasks feature unique double walled vacuum technology that provides optimum insulation to keep drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. “These bottles are durable and lightweight, can take a beating and still provide you with an ice cold drink,” he adds. Their slim design means

GO VISIT KAUFMANNOUTDOOR.CO.ZA TO VIEW OUR RANGE For more information on the range, contact the Agrinet team. Samrand: T. +27 12 657 2000, Bellville: +27 21 959 5420 or enquiries@agrinet.co.za, www.agrinet.co.za Exclusively distributed by


Outdoor :: p35

Photo courtesy of HuntEx.

they fit most vehicle bottle cup holders and the stainless steel inners allow for easy cleaning. “These flasks are perfect for use in a gym bag, car, bicycle and backpack to enjoy drinks during long hikes, trekking, hot yoga class, long load trip, or any other outdoor activities,” he says. They are available in their 500mm, 750mm and 1 000mm sizes and come with a five year guarantee. The durable Glacier stainless steel Vacuum Bottle from GSI has an insulated design that provides superior heat and cold retention for up to 30 hours and is ideal for camping, commuting, a picnic and sporting events, says Turkington. It also features a non-slip foot, a solid pour-through insulated stopper, a double walled cup/cap’s stainless steel liner for better taste and an insulated plastic exterior that protects lips and hands from heat.

For coffee lovers These days there is no excuse to not be able to enjoy a good cup of coffee – no matter where your customer finds himself. Jetboil’s coffee press will appeal to outdoorsmen as it can be used to turn certain Jetboil camping stoves into French Presses that make the perfect brew, explains Turkington. For the coffee enthusiast who prefers to grind his own beans and enjoy freshly ground coffee anywhere, GSI’s Javamill is the perfect gift, says Turkington. Its rugged and compact design integrates an adjustable ceramic burr grinder, which provides unequalled brews during travels. This device has a foldable handle and nesting design that makes it compact, its silicone handle provides good grip and it has a high performance, durable co-polyester build. It’s not only outdoorsmen who want to take their coffee with them. If a cup of coffee makes the dad’s morning commute to the office more bearable, then GSI’s Personal Java Press is just the right gift. “An incredibly clever, sliding inner carafe replaces the rod from classic French presses for unencumbered drinking and a double wall of insulation rounds off the perfect coffee on the go!” The Personal Java Press is made from BPAfree Copolyester, dishwasher safe, impact resistant and has a 444ml capacity. Other features also include a spill-resistant top with an attachment loop and sealable spout, a cloth-wrapper, foam sleeve that insulates the user’s hand for a secure grip and a non-slip foot that fits most car holders.

Eating accessories Medalist’s four person picnic set and the De

Luxe cooler bag will help make the father’s picnic trip even more enjoyable. The picnic set enable him to keep his cans cold at the same time as carrying enough cutlery, goblets and plates for four people as well, a cutting board, can opener and salt and pepper shakers. It also features carry handles that make it easy to transport, adjustable shoulder straps, and a wine bottle holder. The De Luxe cooler bag, on the other hand, has a 600D nylon construction and is available in size options that can carry six or up to 24 cans. It also features adjustable straps, two storage pockets and has a flip lid that enables easy access. Lite Optec’s Tekut biltong slicer will make another great gift, says Lambert. It not only slices biltong super thin, but could be used for lemons, peppers or salami. An item to slice biltong with is a great gift for Father’s Day, agrees Robert Beamish of Brentoni Distributors, local distributor of Dog of War (DOW). Its Biltong Buddy is in the form of a biltong knife in a stylish display box. “It’s always a winner: simple and small, but something that lasts for years.” It features a 420 stainless steel blade, solid brass bolsters with rosewood scales and brass pins.

cool outdoor necessities New range availible

Other nifty gift ideas • The Oregon Scientific weather station will enable a father to plan all his outdoor activities ahead, while taking the weather into account. “Oregon Scientific is all about smart living,” says Lambert of Lite Optec. He believes that the WMR series of weather stations are a must for any outdoor active lifestyle and the RGR126N Wireless Rain Gauge will appeal to men who want to know how many mm’s their garden received last night. • Once he’s enjoying Kaufmann’s range of folding outdoor chairs, the customers’ father will not want to get up again any time soon, says Nieuwenhuizen. The chairs are ultra-compact and lightweight, making them convenient and easy to take along on any occasion. The new innovative Ultra Compact lightweight folding director chairs are convenient and easy to take along to any occasion, and are therefore especially popular, says Nieuwenhuizen. • Nite Ize’s Steelie secures any brand of mobile phone in the vehicle, but still provides easy access. “Dad will wonder how he managed without it,” says Lambert from local distributor Lite Optec. The magnetic phone holder is great from a safety perspective and enables easy viewing of the user’s mobile device on his office desk or in his vehicle. • Daiwa’s BG Series Spinning and Black Gold Multiplier reel, as well as the Saltist Surf Casting rods, will be great gifts for fishermen. An additional motivation for sourcing these products from local distributor The Kingfisher is that retailers may offer a free Daiwa cap or sports scarf with any of these products sold during their Father’s Day promotion. The new 2016 BG is big on looks and big on features, says Mike Philip. It offers a powerful combination of performance, strength and reliability and is one of Daiwa’s most renowned names in heavy duty spin reels, he says.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader

View our full range at:

rammountain.co.za


Hunting and shooting biggest market? p36 :: Outdoor

Photo: courtesy of HuntEx

The numerous and diverse sport shooting and hunting organisations in South Africa could make SASSCo the sporting code that generates the highest income for the outdoor retail industry. Words: Trudi du Toit. Photos: HuntEx, Nicol du Toit, Carin Hardisty.

O

rganised hunting and sport shooting is arguably the SASCOC-affiliated sporting code that generates the biggest income for the industry. Each of the estimated 100 000 competitors buys his equipment individually, which has to be of the highest quality so that he is not embarrassed by a pistol or rifle jamming or misfiring in a competition. It is not only firearms dealers who benefit from the still growing interest in these sports. With the exception of a few indoor disciplines, participants spend significant time in the outdoors and also require equipment like knives, headlamps and torches, dust- and waterproof cases, optics, technical and camouflage clothing, hunting and hiking boots, and many other accessories sold by outdoor stores. The SA Shooting Sport Confederation (SASSCo) is certainly one of the most diverse SASCOC- affiliated sporting codes. The seventeen disciplines (see right) that comprise the confederation are so different that it is difficult to collectively describe what they do — the closest will be to say that all of them involve an attempt to hit a target. One can also add that just about all of the represented federations are affiliated to international bodies and have earned the right to award Protea colours to their members who regularly participate in international events. But that is about where the similarities end.

Each one different They all require very different and distinct equipment. The targets, for example, can be anything from metal silhouettes, to clay disks, goose decoys, images of people, paper or metal squares, bowling pins, fake parts of animals … and many more in between. The weapon might not even be a firearm. It

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

SASSCo members These associations and federations are members of the SA Shooting Sport Confederation, which is recognised by SASCOC as the representative body for sport shooting CHASA Compak CTSASA SAARA SABSF SABU SACRA SAFTAA SAHGCA SAHRA SAMSSA SAPA SAPSA SAPSF SASSF SATRA WSSA

Confederation Hunting Associations Compak Clay Target Shooting Association SA SA Air Rifle Association SA Benchrest Shooting Federation SA Bisley Union SA Combat Rifle Association SA Field Target Airgun Association SA Hunters & Game Conservation Ass. SA Hunting Rifle Association SA Metallic Silhouette Shooting Ass. SA Pistol Association SA Practical Shooting Association SA Pin Shooting Federation SA Precision Shooting Federation SA Target Rifle Association

can be a compound or recurve bow, a handmodified firearm or a top quality air rifle, handgun, rifle, shotgun, black powder gun, big bore gun … and many variations in between. There are about 60-70 sport shooting and hunting associations or federations across the country, each with numerous branches, provincial organisations or affiliated clubs. Not all of them are affiliated to SASSCo though — the National Shooting Association with 18 000 members, for example, is independent from the confederation. On the other hand, an associate member, the Confederation of Hunting Associations (CHASA) represents 25 different hunting organisations that include the SA Clay Target Shooting Association, SA Falconry Association, Big Bore

Association, the SA Hunting Rifle Shooting Association among several other hunting and game conservation associations. Collectively, they have about 15 000 members. And then there are also the thousands of citizens who occasionally visit shooting ranges, which also buy equipment for the occasional visitors to use. Many of these organisations have been active for decades: for example, the Bisley Union started 89 years ago, the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SAHGCA) is 69 years old, the SA Clay Target Shooting Association turns 63 this year and the SA Pistol Association was founded 60 years ago. But, it is certainly true that the Firearms Control Act (FCA) has played a part in rejuvenating interest in joining sport shooting and hunting organisations, says Adriaan Woudstra, owner of the annual HuntEx Show (see p38). The licensing benefits for members who can prove that they are active in dedicated shooting organizations attracted thousands of new gun owners — many who then got hooked on a particular discipline and are now regular participants in league or regional shooting competitions, dreaming of national colours.

Membership growing This resulted in the membership of shooting organisations continuing to grow — many by as much as 10-20% over the past five years, report several of the organisations Sports Trader contacted. Interestingly, only a few of them claim that their recent membership growth can be attributed to the FCA — they rather credit good administration, improved facilities at clubs and marketing of their activities. Several mention the benefits of public exposure at shows and expo’s. There is also the social aspect of joining a


Photos: Carin Hardisty and Nicol du Toit.

Outdoor :: p37

Clockwise from the top: pin shooting; pistol shooting; SA women’s practical shooting champion Carmen Sales; archery; air rifle Precision shooting; target shooting.

club: getting together and enjoying the company of other members who share the same interest, especially in rural areas. “We firmly believe in creating long lasting relationships with our members,” Lindzey van Aswegen of the East Rand Shooting Club sums up what several other organisations mentioned. “These people have become friends and we support all with an open door policy. We provide structured shoots, advice on firearm related queries, support the member from the start with proficiencies, assist with SAPS applications, licensing purchases, ammunition … all the way to sponsorship of competitions.” It is, however, not an inexpensive sport and several organisations site sloping economy for static, slow, or no membership growth.

Women and children Shooting is also no longer an adult male only sport — although membership of women and juniors is still below 10% in most organisations and it is growing slowly. But, it depends on the discipline. Hundreds of boys and girls, for example, participate in the many age group competitions organised by the SA Air Rifle Association (SAARA) in seven provinces — and some schools offer this as a sport. The top shooters have represented South Africa in the Junior Olympics. Various organisations, like SAHGCA, have appointed junior development officers to assist and recruit young members and organise activities where they are introduced to the sport. Competitions at various levels help to improve shooting skills in order to cause minimum suffering when hunting. Higher points are awarded for hitting a specific animal target in the spot that will cause instant death, while shots in non-kill areas are penalised. With 40 000 members active in 76 branches countrywide, SAHGCA currently has the highest

There are about 60-70 different sport shooting and hunting associations across the country, each with numerous branches, requiring different equipment membership of all hunting and game conservation organisations. Founded in Pretoria in 1949, SAHGCA is among the oldest, but certainly not the first sport shooting organisation in South Africa. This honour belongs to the SA Bisley Union, officially founded in 1928, but a sport enjoyed in the Cape since October 1686 when Governor Simon van der Stel proclaimed the first long distance target shooting competition in Stellenbosch. Participants shot at a wooden or clay replica papegaij and received cash prizes for shooting off various body parts of the parrot.

Practical Shooting World Champion Eric Grauffel competed in the African Level 4 competition.

The aim of the competition was apparently to improve the shooting abilities of the troops. Target shooting — even as sport — remained the domain of the Defence Force, even after ordinary citizens began participating in shooting competitions organised by rifle clubs in the early 20th century. Technical improvements in target rifles and ammunition grew the popularity of this sport amongst spectators and participants and in 1928 the Minister of Defence instructed that the South African National Rifle Association be formed. The association held the first national championships in October 1929. This year, at the 81st national championship in April, Protea colours will again be awarded to a SA Target Rifle Team to compete in the world long distance target shooting championship. South Africans have also performed well in this discipline in the Olympics. As long distance target shooting became the domain of ordinary citizens under the auspices of the SA Bisley Union, representatives of the SANDF, SAPS and Prison Services broke away to form a Service Rifle Association, which held its own championship in Bloemfontein in 1975. The following year the first Service Shooting Springbok team was selected to shoot against what was then known as Rhodesia. In 1995 a South African team went to Bisley and using borrowed SA80 rifles burst onto the world Service Rifle stage by coming third in the International match beating America, Canada and narrowly losing to the host country, the SA Combat Rifle Association recount on their website. This name was adopted by the association in 2001, in line with the numerous international Combat Rifle associations. Metallic Silhouette Shooting is another discipline with an interesting — although someTo p38 what gory — origin. The story

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p38 :: Outdoor

40 000 Reasons to be at HuntEx

A

nyone who has any doubts about the popularity of sport shooting or hunting in South Africa, should pay a visit to HuntEx in Gauteng where close to 40 000 visitors annually crowd the Gallagher Convention Centre aisles to buy the latest hunting-related products. After six years the show has become a firm fixture on the calendar of gunshop owners and importers and many outdoor retailers and their suppliers. Since customers nowadays seem to save their firearm and hunting spending money for the show, retailers can almost NOT afford to be NOT there. Customers waiting to buy spe-

cials at HuntEx has become a tide that traders cannot turn back, so they might as well swim with the flow. Following NAMPO and Decorex, HuntEx has grown into the third biggest expo in South Africa, says organiser Adriaan Woudstra. This year even more local and international firearms dealers — namely 40 compared to 34 last year — will have stands on the full 26 000m2 of the Gallagher Convention Centre booked for the show.

Catering for women One of the features of last year’s HuntEx show

was the significant increase in interest showed by women. More than a third (35%) of the visitors last year were women, compared to less than a fifth (18%) in previous years. “They are serious buyers with a growing interest in hunting and shooting,” says Woudstra. “Women that are new to the industry are frustrated that certain dealers do not take them seriously.” To make it easier for women to enter the hunting and sportshooting sector, the HuntEx organisers introduced and sponsor a stand in Hall 2, Mia Caccia (My hunt) where experienced female hunters and sportshooters will

Diverse sport shooting bodies cont. from p37 goes that Mexican rebel leader Pancho Villa and some of his bored Mexican outlaws in a drunken stupor tied two live bulls to trees as targets to prove who was the best shot. They enjoyed this contest so much, that it became a regular sport. Sheep, chickens and goats paid the price of being shot to smithereens as other communities copied them. But, after the Second World War food became scarce and they began substituting metallic cutout silhouettes for live animals. These silhouttes fall over when hit and this contributed to the growing popularity of the sport, which staged its first national competition in Mexico City in 1952. By the early 1960’s it was a well organised sport, which also crossed Mexican borders — as far as South Africa, which became a founding member of the international body. Locally, it is strictly controlled by a national body and four provincial bodies (Western Province, Gauteng, Free State and Eastern Province) that ensure that proper rules and etiquettes are followed. Pin shooting is another discipline that originated in America, home of ten pin bowling. It started as a demonstration of the effectiveness of a bullet proof vest: Richard Davis shot himself while wearing his company’s body armour and then shot five bowling pins off a table. This seemed so much fun that other people wanted to try it ... and a new pin shooting

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

sport was born. The South African Pin Shooting Federation dates from 1996 and since then this relatively inexpensive, but exciting and visually stimulating, shooting sport has gained many followers, including amongst juniors who enjoy the spectacle of bowling pins flying off tables. Practical shooting is one of the younger shooting disciplines, but claims to have been one of the fastest growing since the 1970’s. Locally, membership has doubled over the past few years. It involves speed, accuracy, balance and super-fast reactions to complete a course with various challenges in the shortest possible time. The biggest club, with 200 members, is in Gauteng, but there are more than 70 clubs countrywide. The level of competition in South Africa was high enough to attract six-times World Champion Eric Grauffel to participate in a local Level 4 event that counted towards his world ranking in 2015. The South African Defensive Pistol Association was only formed in 2001, but already has more than 2 200 members in 38 clubs participating in more than 300 matches a year. To encourage novices, they provide NSO (New Shooter Orientations) that introduces new shooters to safe participation at all levels — whether using a handgun, shotgun or semi-automatic rifle. Compak is a Clay Target Shoot-

ing Discipline that was only introduced in South Africa in 2005. Internationally, the sport dates from 1992 and operates under the auspices of Federation Internationale De Tir Aux Armes Sportives De Chasse (FITASC). Compak Sporting involves the shooting of Clay Targets in flight, of which the trajectories resemble the flight of natural feather and fur hunting prey under natural hunting conditions, the organisation explains on their website. All levels of shooters can participate, from top shooters aiming for titles at various regional and world championships, to those who enjoy it as a recreational sport. The South African Compak association also has the right to administer the discipline of Combined Game Shooting, which resembles the hunting of fur and feather pray, shooting with both shotguns and rifles. Clay target shooting is, however, a much older discipline and has been organised by the

Clay Target Shooting Association of South Africa since 1954. The association currently

has about 1 000 members, who belong to 42 clubs countrywide and is affiliated to CHASA. “Improved management and communications, improvement of facilities and competitions have resulted in about 10% membership growth over the past five years,” says Sarah Kalell. It is, however, still a sport mainly enjoyed by adult males with only about 3% women and 6% youth members.


Outdoor :: p39

be available during the expo to answer women’s questions and give advice. ‘The stand will provide an informal setting to encourage female visitors to interact freely, ask questions and obtain advice on how and where to start,” he says.

Extras offered HuntEx has this year also introduced a brand merchandise clothing range, comprising of Tshirts and hats, from children to adult sizes for both men and women. Apart from food demonstrations on the processing and preparation of game meat and the regular reloading presentations, there will be various talks in Hall 3. Topics include:

• A discussion on firearm maintenance and care; • Choosing the best calibre, bullet and optics for your hunting application and personal preference; • Barrel twist, bullet behaviour and bullet choices; • Theory and practical application for long distance shooting; • Self-defence bullets. A second HuntEx show will be held in the Eastern Cape at the Mentors Country Estate in Jeffreys Bay from 26 to 28 May this year. For more information or to buy online tickets visit www.huntex.net. Online tickets cost R110 compared to R120 at the door.

Women are becoming such an important part of the HuntEx visitor profile that there will be a dedicated stand for women at this year’s show. All images on these pages courtesy of HuntEx.


p40 :: Sport

Cricket transformation:

Counting the right numbers Can the current transformation initiatives grow cricket participation among disadvantaged and black communities and women? And will this cultivate a whole new market for cricket products? ANTOINETTE MULLER* looks for answers about the impact of transformation on cricket player numbers

W

hen transformation in cricket — or any sport for that matter — is discussed, the focus almost always centres on numbers. These numbers focus on transformation targets — how many players of race group X, Y and Z make up the demographics of the national, franchise and domestic teams. This is, of course, the most simplistic view of the matter. Transformation is about far more than simply ticking boxes. It is, in part, about rectifying the wrongs of

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

the past, but in its essence, transformation is about ensuring that every single person in South Africa has the same shot at being successful. Transformation is about access to resources and access to opportunities. Wider access to sporting opportunities and thereby growing the number of players, is obviously also in the interest of cricket retailers and their suppliers. Transformation is also about broadening the talent pool. The more players that come through at grassroots level — and the more that are retained through the senior struc-

tures — the better the chances of unearthing some of the best players in the world.

Solid youth structures Cricket South Africa (CSA) has realised this and has spent the last few years building solid youth structures to help facilitate this talent growth. In 2014, they implemented several Hubs and Regional Performance Centres (RPCs) around the country. These cater for all age groups — both boys and girls — who might not have access to cricket at their schools.


Sport :: p41 These programmes ensure that players not only receive coaching, but get to play competitive fixtures on a regular basis. In March, CSA took these initiatives one step further by launching the Friendship Matches where a CSA Hub or RPC play a traditional cricket school with the first of these three fixtures having already taken place in Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

Friendship matches “We are looking to build on this exciting concept and will pilot these matches this month before expanding to the rest of the country during next season,” says CSA General Manager: Cricket, Corrie van Zyl. “The aim is to improve the quality and increase the number of cricket matches played within previously disadvantaged areas,” adds Van Zyl. “This will also create and nurture the love of the sport amongst the black communities, develop quality black African cricketers who will contribute positively towards the CSA pipeline and establish long lasting friendships between parents from both sides — and in so doing, contribute to nation building and social change.” Ensuring the structures are in place to retain players beyond primary school level is a critical part of CSA’s development plan, especially when considering the vast interest in the sport at grassroots level. While soccer and netball enjoys the highest participation rate at primary school level, cricket beats rugby in participation level in every province except for the Western Cape. This is largely thanks to a joint effort in terms of mini-cricket participation — a soft ball version of the game which saw more than 114 000 kids from 5 584 schools — participate in 2015/16. The numbers have increased 37% since 2010. The number of cricket players in the Western Cape are likely to overtake rugby players through initiatives like the JP Duminy project, though.

Enter JP Duminy The South African international started a foundation in 2014 that is aimed at getting cricket back into schools in disadvantaged areas, and set up a league systems to ensure regular game time for young players. The project currently has 30 out of 54 schools in the Mitchells Plain area participating, with over 1 500 kids playing the game. He hopes to expand the programme to different areas of Cape Town. At high school level, rugby still out-performs cricket in terms of participation, but CSA hopes that this will change as they continue to roll out development plans and facilities across the country. Central to their efforts is the Eastern Cape. The province has long been considered the heartland of black cricket in the country and you are far more likely to find cricket pitches or rugby poles rather than soccer nets dotted around the rural hills.

The rise and fall of cricket participation Primary schools 2014

2015

% Growth 2014-15

2016

% Growth 2015-16

Schools in organised competitions

4,900

5,186

6%

5,362

3%

Number participating teams

12,000

11,761

-2%

12,349

5%

997

1,293

30%

1,293

0

Number of facilities

Senior schools 2014

2015

% Growth 2014-15

2016

% Growth 2015-16

863

1,077

25%

1,043

-3%

Participating teams

2,176

2,290

5%

2,290

0

Number of facilities

498

629

26%

629

0

Schools in organised competitions

Cricket clubs 2014

2015

% Growth 2014-15

2016

% Growth 2015-16

823

998

21%

843

-16%

Registered club members

39,761

24,015

-40%

25,216

5%

Club leagues

2,435

2,180

-10%

2,289

5%

640

700

9%

705

1%

Total number clubs

Number of facilities

The statistics Cricket SA submitted to Sport and Recreation SA tell a sad tale of low growth, no growth or a decline in cricket participation — even though there was a substantial increase in the number of facilities available for cricket between 2014 and 2015 (30% at primary schools, 26% at senior schools and 9% at club level). There was also a big increase in the number of senior schools (25%) and clubs (21%) participating in organised competitions in the same period. Yet, the number of players declined. Between 2015 and 2016 cricket participation and facilities really took a knock. This would support anecdotal reports that cricket sales were down over the past few seasons.

Transformation

2014

Primary

The table left shows how far township schools

Secondary lag behind when it comes to cricket participation. school While 30% of all primary schools participate in

% Schools participate

30%

16%

% Township schools participate

8%

6%

Ave no facilities per school

0.2

1

Ave no coaches per school

0.3

0.5

Beyond the Boundary In 2016, The Daily Maverick ran a long-form investigative piece into the state of transformation of cricket in the country. Titled Beyond the Boundary, the piece explored the pathway young cricketers follow — from primary school to the cricket bursaries at Fort Hare, and eventually attending the national academy for three months. The authors discovered that not only is a discernible effort being made to retain players into their high school years, but attempts are made to ensure that aspiring cricket players have access to the structures once they leave school. While the biggest challenge remains postschool opportunities — especially with just six

cricket, only 8% of township schools participate in leagues. In secondary schools the total percentage of schools offering cricket are much lower, although the ratio of facilities and average number of coaches improve at secondary level. There is not even an average of one cricket coach or pitch per school.

professional franchises in such a vast country — various factors have started to lay the foundations for what could go on to become a great transformation success story. Among them are the semi-professional structures, the growth of Varsity Cricket and the rebranding of the domestic T20 competition as the Africa T20 Cup — a competition which is now broadcast globally. Equally important is the country’s growing black class. With increasingly prominent black role models to look up to, and more lucrative career opportunities available in professional sports, cricket’s popularity continues to grow, especially places To p42 * Antoinette Muller is co-author of the ‘Beyond Boundaries’ series on Daily Maverick. She is a freelance sports writer, specialising in cricket.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p42 :: Sport

Kagiso Rabada collides with JP Duminy in the T20 against England at Newlands in 2016. Photo: Nicol du Toit

Hanging on to the transformation ball cont. from p41 where cricket might not have been the first choice sport previously. This popularity is most evident in the television viewership of the 2016 season. When Temba Bavuma made history by becoming the first black test centurion for South Africa, viewership on the SABC was higher than any other match ever before. Across the board, more black people watched cricket than anyone else on SABC with the audience peaking on day four — the day of Bavuma's historic feat — when 61% of the audience was black.

Growing black interest Cricket also sees a consistently higher time spent watching on SABC — higher even than soccer. The case is the same when compared to rugby on SuperSport with audiences spending around 38% more time watching cricket than rugby. These figures matter because not only do they point to a loyal and growing fanbase, but it serves as a reminder of just how influential having somebody relatable in a high-

profile position can be. Almost every single one of the young men aged between 14 and 16 interviewed for the Beyond the Boundary feature, said that Makhaya Ntini was the person who inspired them to start playing cricket. Ntini, who became one of the country’s most successful players ever, hails from Mdingi — a small village in the rural Eastern Cape that does not even have a road sign pointing towards it. To this day, his story remains one of the most inspiring and incredible sporting achievements to ever come out of South Africa, but it also points to the broader point of transformation: imagine all the talent lying in wait. Uncovering that talent will happen organically through a symbiotic relationship between grassroots participation, striving for excellence at high performance level and, of course, relatable rolemodels. There has never been a better time to be a young cricketer. The game continues to expand and while the career opportunities are not quite on the level of rugby or soccer yet,

Reverse Sweep: a second opinion In the recently published book, Reverse Sweep. A Story of South African Cricket Since Apartheid,* sociologist Ashwin Desai argues that the government’s fixation on the number of black players in the national and franchise cricket teams, is almost as bad for the growth and development of grassroots cricket as the exclusionary policies during Apartheid. Because the black players who fill the quota numbers predominantly come from privileged private or traditional cricket playing schools, the need for transformation at ground level is ignored. In order to achieve true transformation social problems like poverty, malnutrition, lack of transport, lack of facilities, coaching, etc. need to be addressed. In addition, by focusing on the inclusion of only black players in the top teams, the long and colourful history of playing cricket in In-

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

dian and coloured communities is ignored. Once again, cricket lovers in these communities are discriminated against for political reasons, he argues. Ironically, it was Ali Bacher’s promises to Steve Tshwete and other ANC leaders in exile that the rebel tours and lifting of the international sporting ban was needed to get the necessary funds to grow grassroots cricket in the townships, that created the expectation that twenty years later we would have sufficient black (and generic black) players to select several representative teams. When that did not happen,

there are many reasons why young players will be hopeful that they can play the game they love for a living.

Growing among women Encouraging, too, is that this expansion is not just reserved for men. The sport is increasingly popular amongst women, too. With both the Women’s Big Bash as well as the English Super League offering lucrative T20 contracts and drawing a large TV audience. The Australian media reported that the second edition of the Women’s Big Bash saw a 14% increase from the previous season. More eyeballs on TV will, eventually, mean more money in everyone’s pockets, including those at the coalface of development. CSA currently contracts 14 women and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed its interest in getting the women’s game approved for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. All of these numbers boil down to one rather simple thing: the love for the game is there and it will bloom as long as it is nurtured. quota numbers were introduced. It is clear that Desai is no fan of Bacher, Colin Bryden or anybody who supported rebel tours or complained about South Africa’s exclusion from international cricket. One can sympathise with the slights and humiliations his cricket-loving father and thousands of cricket players had to endure. But, twenty years into a new era and after the revelations before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this discrimination is old history that sadly fails to grip the imagination any more. * Reverse Sweep. A Story of South African Cricket by Ashwin Desai. Published by Fanele. 2016.


• • • • • • • • •

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p44 :: Sport

Bat sizes must be toned down To HiT further and harder has been the dream of many a young cricketer who aspired to hit sixes with as much regularity as his T20 heroes. Some bat manufacturers responded by creating bats with thicker and thicker edges and broader faces — even though its highly unlikely that the six-hitting hero’s custom made bat would be available in the brand’s consumer ranges. But, now the MCC’s World Cricket Committee has said Enough! After lengthy discussions and consultations, they decided at their meeting in March this year that new

codes to limit the depth and edges of cricket bats should be adopted. After the new Code is issued on 1 October 2017, the maximum dimensions of a cricket bat will be 108mm in width, 67mm in depth with 40mm edges, the cricket law-making body announced. From October, a bat gauge will be used to measure the bats of professional players, but manufacturers will have a moratorium period to introduce the new bat sizes into their ranges for the amateur game. The local governing bodies will decide on

how long the moratorium period will be. The decision came after lengthy debates about the unfair advantage the powerful high spine and thick-edged bats give batsmen who seemingly manage to hit sixes effortlessly, especially in T20 games. Several bat manufacturers — especially those represented on the MCC committee like Gunn & Moore — have already announced that their new season bats comply with these regulations. But, Australia’s David Warner, who was criticised for his mega-size Kaboom Gray-Nicolls bat, is not amused.

Stock ideas for the next season GM covers cricketers’ needs They don’t only look good … GM’s new protective gear and bat are made to benefit the cricket player and cover all his needs. The new Neon bat’s blade is shorter, which creates a more dynamic sweetspot, explains GM, locally distributed by Opal Sports. Other features that a batsman would enjoy are its massive edges at the drive zone, a slightly offset edge for an increased power-to-balance ratio, reduced sweeping spine profile for a superior pick up, and the mid-to-high swell position will help improve his overall strokeplay. GM’s new Original limited edition (LE) batting gloves have XRD technology incorporated into the finger roll design. XRD is marketed as the best repeated impact absorption material and is lightweight, thin and breathable. While resting the material is soft and flexible to the touch, but upon impact it hardens and can absorb up to 90% of the energy — it can also handle consistent, repeated impact. The palms are made from top quality Pittards leather, and the gloves also have Microban antimicrobial protection, which stops stain- and odour-causing bacteria from growing. Each also features a palmwear patch, pro PU on the back of the hand that is made from multiple sections and is filled with HD foam, as well as soft-fill comfort, comfort lining, two-piece thumbs, side bar protection, and double sided sweatbands. Similarly, the Original LE batting pads also make use of the XRD technology — this time in the knee locator. “As a batsman this allows you to focus on the intensity and challenge of the game situation, not the impact,” says GM. The pads also feature comfort straps. The Original LE wicket keepers gloves were developed closely with England’s wicketkeeper, Chris Read, who had a contributing say in the shape and specifications. Each features Aniline leather on the back of the hand, full leather lining, an octopus palm facing, palm made of sheepskin and GM cotton filling, and padded cuffs.

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

A Kookaburra bat for every situation KOOKABURRA’S NEW range of bats has been designed with specific purposes in mind. “Reworked for 2017/18, the Kookaburra Ghost returns with a genuine monster of a profile,” says Kookaburra, locally distributed by JRT Crampton. “Designed with the traditionalist in mind, the Ghost features minimal scalloping through the back of the blade to provide an unbelievable power profile with exceptional pick-up.” Kahuna is a much loved name among Kookaburra batting fans and it returns again to the stable this season. “Its powerful profile, big edges and world renowned colourway make it ideal for the stroke maker who likes to take control and lead by example.” “Conceived from the ground up to be the game changing element, Obsidian has been specially developed for the modern day format,” says the brand. “Characterised by a full-bodied profile and huge spine, the Obsidian is remarkably lightweight with outstanding pickup.” Surge is a brand new addition to Kookaburra’s batting lineup. “Unique shaping to the back of the blade allows the ‘middle’ to be stretched across the bottom of the bat, creating a huge sweet spot and a bat that performs in every situation.” “Blaze (left) is the most exciting range Kookaburra has ever introduced. The ‘pro preferred’ full profile and striking graphics compliment each other to create a bat ideal for shots all around the wicket in every format of the game.” Another one that has been designed with the modern formats in mind is XLR8. It “has been designed with lightweight specifications to ensure the ultimate playability and reaction under pressure.”

In addition to its lightweight upper, loPro sole unit and triple layer of cushioning, GM’s new Maestro multi-function shoe can also be fitted with steel spikes. The upper alone has several features to sell the shoe with: the XLO airmesh is ventilating, the 3D comfort lining provides long lasting fit and feel, an ergonomic slip lasted construction keeps a consistent sock-like fit time after time, and the moulded TPR heel cradle locks the foot in place to protect the heel. The loPro sole gives the look of a sleek, athletic, functional shoe minus the bulk, says GM. Its compression moulded, lightweight EVA midsole provides cushioning and comfort, the durable and lightweight two tone TPU outsole has strategically placed spikes with supplementary moulded pimple studs for additional grip

and stability, and the injection moulded midfoot shank provides stability through the arch, reducing foot fatigue. The shoe’s tri-layer cushioning is made up of an ergonomic cold press moulded EVA foot bed with a natural latex heel insert, a cushioned EVA strobel stitched insole board, and a compression moulded phylon midsole that provides “the perfect balance between cushioning and weight”. For a versatile and manoeuvrable duffel to move his kit and gear around, your cricket customer needs look no further than GM’s new Original wheelie duffle. It measures 96x41x32cm, has two pad pockets and offers two convenient ways of moving it: pulled on its wheels, or carried with the use of its concealable, comfortable shoulder straps.


p46 :: Sport

Tap into

skateboarding’s cool image

Skateboarding is an icon of popular culture, distinctly recognisable and heavily referenced across media and marketing. Traditionally practiced in large by adolescent males and predominantly associated with a certain cool factor, its once tainted counter-culture image of delinquency has been transformed into more of a mainstream sport, more accepted by society at large. Internationally there has been a huge recent surge in investment from sportswear brands and participation is at an all-time high, writes Luke Jackson*

S

kateboarders are still predominantly male youths in urban areas, but the appeal of skateboarding and wider interest in it has become far more diverse. A recent market research study conducted by Transworld Business refers to skateboarders in two distinct groups: the core skater (someone who skates 26 times or more per year) and the casual skater (someone who skates 1-25 times per year). The study indicates that over the last five years between 2011 and 2016 the number of casual skaters in the US has increased. Similarly in South Africa we’ve seen a massive growth in the number of people who own a skateboard of some sort and/or who own skate affiliated products such as footwear or branded clothing. The majority of trade conducted around skateboarding is focused on footwear and apparel, as the influence skateboarding generates leads to sales of these goods in the mass market. The sale of actual board parts such as decks, wheels and trucks are significantly smaller because these items are only really purchased on mass by individuals who are physically engaging in skateboarding as a pastime or sport. The casual skateboarder replaces the board parts more seldom than the core skater who needs to constantly replace parts, due to the abrasive movements and impact. The niche culture of skateboarding is at an all-time high in terms of influence in the fashion world for example. This popularity has led to an increase in various types of skateboards

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

Keep skaters interested or lose them. Brand loyalty is based on which brand the skateboarders feel is doing the most to support them and their scene and even gimmicky skateboard accessories. For example the longboard has become quite popular — a longboard is not as functional as a regular skateboard in terms of the ability to do tricks as it is quite large and clunky, but because it is stable and easy to ride it appeals to those who are not necessarily committed enough to spend the time learning complex manoeuvres, but who do connect to the appeal of casually riding a skateboard on flat ground. However, at the core of skate culture is the shorter, more standard skateboard that has a double-kick nose and tail. This classic shape allows the user to do tricks and ultimately this type of skateboard is the common depiction of coolness. Trying to market to the person who buys a longboard or the gimmicks will most often alienate a brand from the core skateboarder and thus you will find it difficult to gain the cool factor in the wider market.

Organised events There is an ever-increasing aspect of performance in skateboarding, leading to more con-

tests and competitiveness. Certainly the large spending within the skateboarding industry that the big sportswear giants are investing at present has meant larger prize money, bigger endorsements and more careers for skateboarders, who are now perceived more as athletes. These big brands are looking for growth into Africa and skateboarding as an influencer is a tried and tested method used around the world, but high pricing is proving to be a challenge for the local market. Skateboarding has been included as an Olympic sport in Tokyo 2020. This will certainly mean more investment and focus on growing the performance side of skateboarding over the next few years. But this has also led to a negative backlash from many at the counterculture core, who shy away from conventional organised sporting practices. Skateboarding has become so big now that it plays both the role of a competitive sport and a more artistic pastime of sorts. One could argue that both facets are equally important, but they are currently at odds somewhat. The sporting side has the potential to grow huge financial investment outside of the industry, but at the same time the core culture provides the highly sought after cool factor and influence that so many brands try to emulate and possess. In particular SA has seen a massive growth in the number of previously disadvantaged kids from lower LSM groups taking up skateboarding. There is also a growing number of organisations using skateboarding to reach youths in underprivileged areas ranging from Soweto


Sport :: p47

Photo: Nicol du Toit

and the Johannesburg CBD, to rural KwaZulu Natal, across the Northern Cape and down to the Cape flats. This has meant a changing demographic in terms of the numbers participating in organised skateboarding events and a change in terms of buying power. Many of the participants don’t necessarily have access to disposable income, which means many rely on sponsorship or donated product to take part, due to the high cost of goods. A big challenge for the local skateboarding industry is the weak rand and the resulting cost of expensive imports, not to mention high government duties on goods. The backbone of the skate industry is the skate shop, but unfortunately since the recent recession skate retail chains have been in slow decline. Only a few years ago there were several successful skate–focused retail doors in malls across the country, with a growing number of private park facilities. But since the recession very few have seemingly been able to appeal to the market in the right way. With continually growing investment from major sportswear brands in the local scene and their willingness to bring skate-specific product into the local market, perhaps this is a possible opportunity to stock the product and take advantage of it.

Be authentic to be cool A big challenge for brands is how to reach skateboarders in the right away — effective communication is the key. The skateboarding influencer model works on the premise that if you market to skateboarders and they adopt

The challenge is ‘how to get the niche subculture of skateboarders to think something is cool?’ To do this you have to be authentic and committed, because it won’t just happen overnight with one campaign it first, then they will in turn make something become cool in the eyes of the mass market and popular in wider popular culture. This is a proven formula that’s been successfully carried out by countless brands over the past decade. The challenge is how to get the niche subculture of skateboarders to think something is cool? To do this you have to be authentic and committed, because it won’t just happen overnight with one campaign. You build trust by providing support for the skate scene in a credible way. Don’t try and dictate to skateboarders; the best way to figure out skateboarding is to consult with actual skateboarders when creating and implementing a strategy. The way in which the fashion world is looking to skateboarding for inspiration of late indicates that skateboarders are probably a good focus area to determine what trends are coming next. Skate fashion has been heavily rooted in 90s

revival for several seasons and the trend is continuing with Dad caps (adjustable 6 panel with a bent peak), baggy pants and toe cap shoes with a slimmed down silhouette. In the practice of skateboarding functionality is key, but curiously fashion often trumps functionality for skateboarders.

Support them and they’ll do same Skateboarders form a connected community, always looking for something new — a new place to skate, the next trick to learn, the latest video and so on. This makes skateboarding prime for fast-moving channels like social networks. Stock unique and dynamic specialised skate product that makes your door a destination and create skate-focused stories around the product to build a relationship with the skate community. Keep skaters interested or lose them. Brand loyalty is based on which brand the skateboarders feel is doing the most to support them and their scene — that’s the one they are going to support in return. Trust is earned over time, but can be lost very quickly if you change your focus from month to month. A designated sustainable skate program and ambassador support structure should be a key focus. If you provide support and opportunities for your ambassadors, they will champion you in the wider skate community. * When Luke Jackson isn’t on his board, he is editor of skateboarding magazine, Session.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p48 :: Sport

Bouncing back?

Softball and baseball are bouncing back after facing challenges. The story of the two sports can be read in their trials and tribulations, but most of all in the way they’ve bounced back, writes Linza de Jager. Will retailers and suppliers finally be able to benefit from these growing markets?

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oftball SA can again hold its head high. The federation has a functioning, elected board, is again participating in international events and is recovering from the financial shambles that resulted in being placed under administration by SASCOC for several years. “We’re growing,” a source within Softball SA tells Sports Trader confidently. “The new Softball SA executive is making strides in moving the sport forward. They are working day and night to ensure that softball is successfully transformed into a priority sport by 2020.” The federation is sending senior men and junior (U19) women to compete in their respective world series this year, and last year sent a team to the junior men’s world championship in the US. That the sport is growing at all levels was demonstrated by the softball participation at the school summer games in December 2016, in which all the provinces were represented. The sport is one of the 16 designated priority code sports for schools, which makes it eligible for funding from SRSA. During the last season, seven new softball clubs were started — six of them in townships. According to the latest figures supplied by Softball SA, there are 314 softball clubs across South Africa, of which 210 currently participate in organised competitions. They have

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

4 200 registered members. In addition, 502 schools offer softball as sport, of which 418 (180 primary and 239 senior) participate in softball school leagues. The primary school competitions start at U13 level, with 181 teams competing in this age group. At high school, most softball is played at U17 level, with 209 schools participating in these competitions, compared to 22 schools participating in the U18 competitions. This represents at least a further 4 120 players. Softball is played by rich and poor — in 24 private and 143 township based schools. According to Softball SA figures only 13 primary and 18 senior schools, however, have proper softball facilities. At club level it is predominantly played in poorer communities as 187 clubs, or 89% of the total, are based in townships where only 2 clubs have proper facilities. Nearly 40% (74) of these township clubs are dependent on financial assistance. Softball features strongly in the Western Cape, and it is also played enthusiastically in Limpopo, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. But it does not feature at all in the Northern Cape, and only marginally in Mpumalanga. Softball SA’s statistics provide a fascinating peep inside the sport and country (table below). It shows the forces of urbanisation, but also the steady advance that the sports admin-

istrators have made in rural areas. For example, in Limpopo 72 schools in predominantly rural districts offer softball as a sport and there are 42 junior and 42 senior softball clubs in the province. Despite being one of the poorest provinces, Limpopo obviously has strong softball structures in place — which is attested to by the fact that the new president of Softball SA, Mashido Matsetela, as well as the treasurer who is credited with getting the federation’s finances back on track, Moloko Legodi, hail from Limpopo. Yet, players from the 82 clubs in the province do not buy their equipment from retailers. Softball and baseball equipment “only sell to schools,” says Mohamed Baksa of Arons Sport in Mokopane. “They buy when they are allocated funds, but even when allocated funds, the schools would rather buy other sports products.” Softball and baseball is therefore a small category for him, not even contributing 3-5% to his sales. “The sports are not as big as they are overseas.” He also attributes this to the fact that equipment is “a bit pricey”. In Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal softball is an urban sport, played only in Johannesburg (at seven clubs and no schools), Pretoria (124 clubs and schools), the East Rand and Durban. While Cape Town features strongly with 37 senior and 48 junior clubs as well as 22 pri-


Sport :: p49

Geographical breakdown of where the softball teams are situated Region

Clubs

Junior clubs

Primary schools

Senior schools

Private schools

Total

Western Cape

64

48

53

34

4

203

Limpopo

42

42

22

50

Gauteng

25

38

77

Eastern Cape

51

48

34

KwaZulu Natal

9

35

22

Free State

15

18

17

50

North West

17

6

22

45

Mpumalanga

1

1

1

3

156 15

155 133

5

Northern Cape

71

0

224

90

This breakdown of clubs and schools offering softball gives an insight into the areas where retailers can expect to look for sales opportunities for softball equipment.

mary, 17 senior and 4 private schools offering softball, Western Cape country districts are well represented with 75 clubs and schools offering the sport. For example, in the Eden district (around Oudtshoorn), 20 clubs and schools play softball, while along the West Coast and in the Overberg softball is played by respectively 19 and 14 clubs and schools. But, whether in urban or rural areas, retailers across the country report that softball sales are lukewarm. “We sell very little, if any, in the softball and baseball markets,” says Kevin Woodings, of Trevor Smith Sports in Newcastle. “Our area of coverage is Northern and Central KwaZulu Natal, Free State and lower Mpumalanga.” Poobie Naidoo's in Pietermaritzburg stock both base- and softball products. Mervyn and Poobie Naidoo describe the sale of these goods as “average”. The sales figures have remained stable over the past few years, not going up or down, despite changes in the sports. With more than 60 softball teams at KwaZulu Natal schools — five at private schools — it is no surprise that most of the sales are made to schools. Both softball and baseball sales are “very slow” in the city of roses, says Christmis Dumezweni of Kloppers in Bloemfontein. Not surprising, because in the Manguang district (which includes Bloemfontein) there are only 8 clubs and no schools that offer softball, although there are 42 schools and clubs in rural Free State districts playing softball. “It will grow in the future,” he believes. “Softball and baseball is bigger in Lesotho and they buy from Kloppers in Bloemfontein.” The reason why softball does not sell well in retail is because the clubs import equipment directly and supply it to their players, explains LJ Albertyn of Kloppers in Brackenfell. Even though softball is so popular in Cape Town, there is little demand for soft- or baseball equipment from this Cape-based sport specialist store. On the other hand, they do not really stock much equipment. “We periodically get an enquiry for specialised equipment, which we would then get from the local suppliers.”

221

257

24

816

With each team representing at least 11 players, there are at least about 9 000 players if each school or club only has one team. Statistics: Softball SA.

‘The new Softball SA executive is making strides in moving the sport forward. They are working day and night to ensure that softball is successfully transformed into a priority sport by 2020.’ Import directly This cause-and-effect — low demand resulting in the equipment becoming a low priority for retailers, resulting in even less demand — is confirmed by people involved in the sport. “There is no equipment available! Local sports shops don’t stock it,” says Jenni Muir, founding member of the Milnerton Mavericks Baseball Club, where members have “enormous fun” playing socially. The club provides the equipment for the players. Like other softball administrators, she is unhappy with the quality of the equipment imported directly by a leading sports retail chain. But, she could not find any equipment they needed in other Cape Town independent sport retailers. Instead, they opted to import directly. “We go to the websites of suppliers in the US and try to find one that has free shipping. We generally order every second or third year for the club (from overseas). If we do a bigger order, our shipping cost comes down. It works on volume.” Mark Moore, founder of the Pole 2 Pole Baseball Academy, shares Muir’s dissatisfaction with the equipment on offer and the fact that there are only a few importers spread across the country who’ll deliver to clubs. “You get what you pay for,” he says. “You can get anything you want directly shipped to South Africa now, so quality is not the issue, it is the budget.” The imported equipment is very expensive compared to the rest of the world due to the shipping and tax and exchange rate. “A $2 ball does not cost R26 here, it is more like R60,” he adds. “Sadly, the South African budget only

allows for the cheaper and nastier stuff. It is odd though, I still have my Catchers glove that I used in the 1990s. It was very, very expensive but I have got 25 years’ use out of it.” Apart from a soft- and baseball specialist like South African Sports Imports, which offers a wide selection of well-known brands and different price points, most other sport stores would only offer one brand — if any. This lack of selection is a problem, says a source in Softball SA. Those who choose to approach the local importers of international brands directly face the same problem. “So, if you want a specific brand, there will be, for example, one supplier in Gauteng, which makes it difficult for clients in other provinces to get products,” says the source. “They can order equipment online from the suppliers, but they can’t handle the items to get a feel before doing so.” This could result in them receiving equipment that is not quite what they expected. In some ways it’s cheaper to import than to buy locally, she adds. “I’ve imported balls for R52 that would cost R76 in South Africa. Online retailers (based overseas) give discount when you spend more than a certain amount, or they give free shipping. If they have stock it reaches your post office within 10 days.” It is, however, not only clubs or schools who import directly. “Some players import their own equipment, in other instances others will club together and order en masse.” Players also buy from local online stores. Ryan o’ Donohue of the online sports and outdoor store SportsDynamix.com reports that soft- and baseball sales are not great, but he says they are picking up. “We have only recently added these products to our offering,” he says. “Although not a huge seller, we have seen a steady increase in the number of inquiries for these products with a few orders coming in over the last few months.”

Baseball getting its bounce back Baseball South Africa might not currently be a priority designated sporting code at school, but it intends to bounce back. “There is a lot of excitement and when the players see the new eight-year plan there will be To p51

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p50 :: Sport

Massmart sales ALTHOUGH LOCAL company Massmart’s sales increased 7.7% to R91.3-bn for the full year ended December 2016, international holding company Walmart got a shock when investment guru Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, recently sold his shares in the company and instead invested in airline and Apple stock. Despite very low consumer spending, Massmart’s comparable sales improved 5.4%, with sales in the company’s major product categories reflecting the economic pressure within the local consumer environment. It especially impacted the general merchandise division, which reported only a small sales increase (1.5%) for the year. The Massdiscounters division (Game and DionWired) reported a 5.3% increase in sales to R20 544.5-m and 54.8% increase in trading profit to R364.3-m. Within this division there are 165 stores (Game: 141; DionWired: 24). In South Africa, sales growth was higher in the second half of the year, while sales in Rand slowed down outside the country during this time. In 2016, Game opened four new stores, including one in Kenya and one in Zambia, while two DionWired stores opened and two closed. Overall, trading space increased by 2.3% (now 545 094m2). makro. Masswarehouse, which consists of Makro and Massfresh (fresh produce, meat, and bakery products), reports a 11% increase in sales to R26 270.3-m and a 4.4% trading profit (2016: R1 251.3-m). Successful promotions like those held on Black Friday led to Game experiencing its highest ever one day sales and Makro breaking all its previous online sales records for one day, which contributed 6% to overall sales. During 2016, Makro’s online sales more than doubled. “We have had a particular focus on operating profit in recent years, and I am pleased that operating profit continues to improve – this year saw an increase of 15.5%,” says Guy Hayward, CEO for Massmart. “This is noteworthy given the group’s exposure to General Merchandise, which has been significantly impacted by low levels of discretionary consumer spending. We’re excited by the growth of our online offering, which doubled its sales in 2016, and which will continue to grow in 2017 with the launch of Builders online.” Sales outside of South Africa, which represents 8.7% of total sales, grew 11.2% in Rands (13.4% in constant currencies). The sales were impacted by severe drought in southern Africa, and weak and volatile African currencies. Massmart will be opening 11 more stores outside South Africa through 2017 and 2018, which represents 26.2% of African space growth. They are beginning to see pleasing results from their continued focus on new retail formats, including the growth of their online offering and African footprint, says Hayward. And although they are hopeful that key economic drivers in South Africa will improve in 2017, their strategic priorities remain unchanged.

Pure Fishing recovers in Q4 SILENCING THEIR critics who predicted they are in trouble, Pure Fishing was one of the better performing divisions in Newell Brands Inc’s Outdoor Solutions segment, which helped company sales recover in the fourth quarter of 2016. Newell Brands Inc. was formed early in 2016 by merging Jarden Corp. and Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Jarden Corp included its Outdoor Solutions segment, which owns more than 50 sporting goods brands and is worth $2.74-bn a year. We know them locally as Jarden SA/Pure Fishing, distributor of fishing brands like Penn, Abu Garcia, Shakespeare, Berkley, Hardy, Sebile, etc. and outdoor brands Coleman and Campingaz. In the fourth quarter, net sales in the Outdoor Solutions segment grew 3.8% to $730.6-m compared to the previous year. This was a big improvement on the third quarter when sales declined 3.2% and growth at Pure Fishing was weighed down by declines at Coleman. The company predicts that Coleman will resume growth in 2017. Core sales, excluding Winter Sports that is up for sale, grew 2.9% in the fourth quarter mostly due to the performance of outdoor brand Marmot (which posted double-digit growth), team sport brand Rawlings, (high-

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

Company Skechers grows 13.2% SKECHERS HAS again reported strong annual sales growth of 13.2% and solid 5.8% growth in the 4th quarter (Q4) to retain its position as the #2 sports footwear brand in the US. The brand’s fourth quarter net sales exceeded the expected range of $710-m-$735-m, instead reaching $764.3-m. Annual net sales recorded for the year ended December 2016 is $3.56-bn. In 2016 Skechers remained the #2 sport footwear brand in the US (behind NIKE), and the #1 walking shoe, work, and dress/comfort casual brand, and received the 2016 Plus Award for Children’s Design from Footwear Plus, says Robert Greenberg, Skechers CEO. They are also growing global market share, he said. The strong fourth quarterly result has been attributed to the 17.1% increase in the brand’s international wholesale business (increase of 48.5% in China) and its global company-owned retail business growing 13.9%. Comparable same store sales increased by 3.6%. At the end of the year, there were 2 012 Skechers stores across the world, of which the brand owns 571 and the rest are operated by third-parties. The Skechers stores in South Africa are, for example, operated by the Apparel LLC retail group. Net sales growth was negatively impacted by an 11.8% decrease in the US wholesale business, including a 4.6% decline following the high sales growth due to the launch of the Star Wars footwear collection in 2015 Q4. “We are in our 25th year of business, have a well-established brand and prominent position in the US, and have grown our international business to 46.1% of our 2016 sales,” says David Weinberg, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Skechers. “As we plan for our international business to grow to 50% of our total sales in the near future, we transitioned several of our international distributors to joint ventures or subsidiaries in key regions in 2016 and the few years prior, and have been investing in the infrastructure and marketing to support the current and planned growth.” For the first quarter 2017, Skechers expects net sales to range between $1.050-bn and $1.075-bn. It also believes that it will have slightly positive sales in its domestic wholesale business and increases in international business as well as company-owned retail stores. Capital expenditures for the year are expected to be between $50-m and $55-m. “We believe we are continuing to increase market share around the globe as we experience the strongest growth coming from our international businesses,” says Greenberg. “Our continued growth and strong market position is due to aggressively revamping our product lines to include more youthful, relevant and innovative styles, while still creating comfort footwear that our broad consumer base finds appealing.” Skechers is looking forward to delivering new collections across all their divisions for men, women and kids – including lighted footwear, a new line from their Skechers Performance Division, and a new product line for the Millennials and Post-Millennials, he adds. In South Africa, Skechers is distributed by Brand Folio LLC.

single-digits) and Pure Fishing (also high-single-digit growth). After a strategic review of its portfolio in October, Newell Brands has decided to sell 10% of it, including Winter Sports brands K2 Sports, Marker and Volkl. Other brands that are also for sale include Dalbello, Line, Full Tilt, Madshus, Zoot and Squadra. Overall Newell Brands Inc. reported a $165.6-m profit (up from $132.2-m) and its revenue increased $4.14-bn due to the inclusion of sales from the $15-bn merger with Jarden Corp.


Sport :: p51

news

Double-digit growth for PUMA

ASICS EMEA growth ASICS REPORTED single-digit sales growth for 2016, with the EMEA region showing good growth. Its running category remains its star performer, and in its lifestyle category ASICS Tiger grew a whopping 42%. Overall, ASICS sales increased by 3% to €886-m. In addition to ASICS Tiger’s performance, the overall sales increase was largely driven by running footwear (up by 2%) and apparel (up 3%), as well as growth in its own retail sales (15%). The impressive results in ASICS Tiger is attributed to consistent messaging around the brand’s iconic GEL collection and its continuous updates, reimagining of classic styles and creative collaborations. Last year ASICS unveiled its DynaFlyte running shoe, which featured the midsole FlyteFoam material that has been well received. FlyteFoam will feature again in a series of fast running shoe models that will be launched in 2017, but the brand also has plans to incorporate FlyteFoam into some of its other ranges, for example in its top-of-the-range Court FF tennis shoe. ASICS plans to continue increasing its strategic focus on young, urban city runners who want more varied products that merge lifestyle and performance like the recently launched fuzeX Rush and GEL Quantum 360 knit. In its latest running apparel collection, JYUNI, ASICS uses functional materials, but adds a lifestyle look to connect with fashion-forward consumers. This new silhouette will also be continued in upcoming ranges that the brand will launch in 2017. In 2016, ASICS unveiled its latest global retail concept, through which the brand is rolling out two global social initiatives: the ASICS FrontRunner and the urban SMSB-crew communities, introduced in their new Brussels store in December.

PUMA ended 2016 on a high with more than 10% sales growth in the fourth quarter (Q4), as well as for the full year. The full-year growth of 10.2% to Є3.63-bn surpassed earlier predictions of high single digit growth. Sales grew in all regions and product segments, with footwear especially strong. Sales in the EMEA region had the highest increase, namely 13.2% currency adjusted growth to Є1.39-bn. In Q4 sales grew to Є958-m (currency adjusted) with growth across all product segments. While all regions reported growth, the EMEA region performed extraordinarily well, reporting 13.4% currency adjusted growth to Є298.4-m. This growth followed strong comparable sales growth the previous year. Footwear contributed the highest growth in Q4 as well as in the full year. In Q4 footwear sales grew 17.6% to mark the tenth quarter of sales growth, with the Sportstyle and Fundamentals categories the most successful. For the full year the Running, Sportstyle and Fundamentals categories made the biggest contributions to the 12.6% footwear sales growth to Є1.63-bn “The global roll out of the ASICS FrontRunner community, alongside integration of FlyteFoam across a number of ranges, shows our continued growth in running and why we remain the market leaders in technical footwear,” says Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS Europe B.V. “Looking ahead to the rest of the year, I’m really excited to see the development of the SMSB-crew — a global community of sport and creative enthusiasts promoting ASICS’ founding philosophy of A Sound Mind in A Sound Body — inspiring a generation of young people to get out and be active, setting ASICS up for a strong 2017.” “In 2016 our focus was on a consumer centric approach across the business. We streamlined the distribution of iconic running models to avoid overdistribution and ensure a more diverse product offer with our accounts.”

Reaching soft- and baseball market cont. from p49 excitement and relief,” says its president Marc Moreau. The plan addresses transformation, mass participation and cultivating elite players. On the upside there is the carrot of the 2020 Olympics, and the fact that baseball has been admitted as an Olympic sport. There are other world class events that baseball teams will also be competing in. In July this year the U12s will participate in the world cup in Taiwan and the U18s will go travel to the world cup in Canada in September. Next year the U15s and U23s will get to attend the world cup in Canada. “I’ll make an understatement and say there are around 7 500 baseball players in the country,” Moreau says. The majority are social players as there are only about 2 000 competitive players. “The bulk of the players are in rural areas, and at school.” Most of the competitive players are, however, in the urban areas of Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and predominantly Cape Town, where 50% of the competitive players are based. Every weekend 100 junior and senior matches are played, Moreau says. A baseball championship is held in April in Johannesburg, which is attended by 1 500 players. It is a problem to grow rural participation, says Mark Moore, founder of the Pole 2 Pole Baseball Academy (which is not associated with South African baseball). “Your biggest problem in rural areas is the culture. You have

With more than 60 softball teams at KwaZulu Natal schools — five at private schools — it is no surprise that most of the sales are made to schools. to fetch everybody and they live 10-12km away; it is unlikely that an entire team will walk 10-12km to practice. Unless an inordinate amount of money, which includes a shuttle service, is put into baseball, I can’t see it flourishing in the rural areas. The high cost of equipment is another problem. “You can’t kit out a team of U10s — even with the cheapest nastiest kit — for R7 000,” says Moore. “The cheapest gloves cost R800, a bat costs R1 500, a helmet R500. It is so expensive because we don’t manufacture any equipment here.” Enthusiasm for baseball needs to be fuelled, too. According to Moore the enthusiasm “is definitely not at school. It is at junior and senior club level.” His outreach programme entails going into places like Blikkiesdorp and Grassy Park, “When you go into any township,” he explains, “the enthusiasm is enormous. When you go into a place that has nothing, it makes a mas-

sive difference.” Moreau is upbeat about the future of baseball “We are very active in five provinces. We have an eight-year strategy to become a priority sport.”

Tips for retailers wanting to break into the market The soft- and baseball markets aren’t the easiest to break into, but it is a big, and growing, market where not many retailers are active. The clubs and organisations gave reasons why they rather buy online from oversees than support local retailers – that should give you some pointers on how to reverse the pattern in your favour. Some ideas are: • Stock a number of brands that offer the full spectrum of products from entry level to top end; • Stock a bigger variety of products: bats, balls, protective, as well as accessories (if you want to sell it, it has to be in your store); • Be involved with the clubs and schools in your communities and build a relationship so that you are always at the top of their mind when they want to buy new products; • Ask the schools and clubs advice about what they need in terms of equipment.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


p52 :: Industry

Some positive responses to Q1 challenges Compared to the first months of 2016, retailers have reason to feel much more positive about 2017. But, not all customers share the optimism — especially outdoor shoppers and some athleisure customers

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his year started with the Rand on average 17% stronger compared to the same period last year. Economists are cautiously forecasting GDP growth of 1% in 2017, following the almost nothing 0.5% growth in 2016. South Africa has not only avoided going into recession, but also managed to escape from a junk status ratings downgrade. Now, think back a year ago: 2016 started with the shock of the free-falling Nenegate Rand, followed by the economic woes of our BRICS partners, the price increases from China, and the constant threat of a downgrade by investment agencies. It was not a year the retail industry will remember fondly. Comparable store sales growth in most of the big retailers was pretty modest, with growth mainly coming from new stores opening. Edgars almost drowned in debt and Stuttafords, called for outside help to survive (see p8). Good reasons, therefore, for retailers to start 2017 feeling more positive than last year … and nearly half of the sport, outdoor and athleisure retailers who responded to Sports Trader’s first quarter sales survey* agree. Even better, about a quarter of the respondents started 2017 feeling much more positive compared to 2016, and the same number is slightly more positive. Only 8% of the respond-

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Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

ents say they now feel much more negative and a fifth is slightly more negative than at the start of 2016. Most sport retailers (70%) are starting 2017 more positively than last year - 40% feel much more and 30% slightly more positive. But, more than two-thirds (67%) of outdoor retailers feel more negative than last year, while lifestyle/athleisure retailers feel more neutral: half of them feel about the same as last year (which could be interpreted as a negative), but a low 12.5% either feel much more positive or negative. “People came in with an attitude of We WILL be more positive than last year,” reports a respondent who wishes to stay anonymous. Another retailer says he can’t keep up with demand and that while “2016 was a superb year, much better than forecasted, 2017 will again build on the previous year.” But, unfortunately a positive attitude does not always translate into positive sales. While some respondents were happy to report 23% and more growth in sales, for others the first months of 2017 were “the worst ever. Crime and the unstable economy resulted in less people going on holiday, and people holding on to their money,” says a tackle trader. In January customers spent much lower per head than before, reports Jeremy Hare of the Great White Sport & Surf, followed by a Feb-

Main challenges for retailers Respondents identified the economy, the high price of imported goods, distributors selling direct and fewer unique products as their main challenges. Interestingly, competition from other retailers, brands not supplying them, forward orders and online trading are less of a concern.

ruary that produced “the worst year on year stats in 4 ½ years of trading.”

Biggest challenges For most (84%) of retailers it’s (still) the economy stupid! that looms as their biggest challenge, with the closely linked high price of imported goods identified as a challenge by 60% of respondents. The economy is especially a major challenge for outdoor (89%) and athleisure (88%) traders, with 80% of sport retailers agreeing. The high price of goods imported while the Rand value was low is of most concern to outdoor retailers (67%), while just half of the sport and athleisure retailers consider this as a big challenge. Interestingly, distributors selling directly and fewer unique products, resulting in the same stock in all stores, are identified as the next biggest challenges faced by 36% of respondents. For more than two-thirds of outdoor retailers the shrinking number of unique products on offer is a major problem. Which is ironic, because we’ve often heard complaints from suppliers that outdoor retailers have cut down on the number of brands they stock — some mainly stocking house brands plus one or two — and that this lack of support forced some distributors to close down, or reduce the number of brands or product categories they import. Sport retailers are more concerned about distributors selling directly, with 40% identifying this as a major challenge. (Also see Sports Trader Q1 2017 Should brands open stores. Should retailers import brands?). “The distributors who think they can make more money by dealing directly with the customers will only find out what we retailers know already,” says a retailer. “They should rather place their trust in the retailers who know better how to deal with our local customers. They should also be looking at offering better deals, longer pay back periods and trade shows closer to the end of the year.” In addition, some believe that Black Friday,


Industry :: p53

which seemed such a good idea last year, will require a rethink, especially as the discount deals could have impacted on January backto-school sales.

January sales While nearly a third (32%) of the respondents said that their January sales were better than expected, or about what they expected, 36% reported that their January sales were worse than what they expected. The same percentage (32%) also reported that they had more and the same number, or fewer (36%) customers in January 2017 than the year before. Yet, 36% reported that their January sales figures were higher than in 2016, and 32% said it was the same. For 12% of the respondents January sales were either more than 20% higher or lower, while nearly a quarter (24%) and a fifth respectively reported a more modest increase or drop in sales. Problem is, January 2016 was not exactly good for the trade as 41% of the respondents to our annual survey reported lower sales than the year before. Not surprisingly, sport retailers reported higher sales growth than the other categories of retailers: half reported sales growth (a fifth grew 20% or more), while 40% said their sales were about the same as January last year. Half of the sport retailers also reported more customers, but a fifth had fewer feet through the door. For half of the sport retailers their January sales exceeded expectations, while only a fifth was disappointed. Outdoor retailers didn’t start the year well: more than half (55%) reported lower sales than the year before and only 22% experienced sales growth in January. No wonder more than two-thirds say that January sales were much worse than they expected. The lower sales were, however, not necessarily due to fewer customers (only 44% reported a drop), but lower spend per customer.

Most sport retailers are more positive, outdoor retailers are more negative, and athleisure retailers are more neutral Responses from athleisure retailers were lukewarm: half said January sales were the same as last year and about what they expected — although 38% got a nasty surprise when fewer customers than before, or what they expected, visited their stores. The same number reported that January sales were static, with a quarter either reporting slight growth, or a slight drop in sales.

Lower price points Like last year, customers in general mainly bought mid-priced (say 68%) or entry level (report 36%) goods, although 28% more respondents reported that customers this year bought high-priced, yet functional, items like footwear, clothing and sports equipment than last year. Sporting goods buyers also tended to spend more per item than their outdoor and athleisure counterparts: 70% bought mid-priced goods, but 40% were prepared to buy highpriced, but functional, goods. Outdoor customers, on the other hand tended to aim for mid-priced and entry level products, report 56% and 44% of outdoor retailers. The fact that no athleisure retailers reported that their customers wanted to buy luxury goods, but that most (75%) sold mid-priced and 38% entry level products, lends credence to verbal reports from several suppliers. They report that the bottom had dropped out of the branded canvas/galvanized rubber sneaker market because of a huge influx of entry level and mid-priced products.

And February was even worse for athleisure retailers: nearly two-thirds sold a lot of entrylevel goods, while half reported that their sales were mainly at mid-price point. Customers also aimed for the mid-priced goods in most (89%) of the outdoor stores, while a third sold a lot of entry level products. Hardly any outdoor retailers sold luxury or high-priced functional goods. Sport retailers again fared best during February: half of them reporting sales of luxury and high-priced functional items, even though the bulk (70%) reported sales at mid-price points. Across the board February was not a month for high flyers: 76% of all respondents report that customers mainly bought mid-priced goods and 44% sold a lot of entry-level products. Only 12% reported that customers bought luxury items. And while 28% reported sales growth of less than 20%, an equal number said their sales dropped more than 20%. A fifth said their February sales were about the same as last year. Retailers were divided about whether February sales were up or down on the same month in 2016: 38% athleisure retailers reported a drop of more than 20%, while a quarter said sales were slightly lower. Only 12.5% reported slight sales gains. Outdoor retailers fared even worse, with 66% reporting a drop in sales (44% said sales dropped 20% and more). Only 22% outdoor retailers reported sales growth when compared to February 2016 — of them, half reported sales growth of more than 20%. But, sport retailers had it better: half of the respondents report year on year sales growth in February — a fifth, had more than 20% growth — with most of the rest reporting static sales. One can but hope that the outdoor sales will pick up in the second quarter before the hunting season and July holidays, and athleisure will improve before Christmas, for these retailers to end 2017 on a more positive note.

* The Sports Trader Q1 sales survey was done in February and early March 2017. Retailers active in the South African sport, outdoor and lifestyle/athleisure trade were invited to complete a survey on Survey Monkey.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


alk T op h S

Inside the Cycles4U store in Namibia.

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Greg Minnaar Cycles has a comfortable coffee area where customers can chill out. Photo: Andrew Mc Fadden.

Specialized Bicycles expands African footprint

The company has introduced their unique retail concept to 31 African stores

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pecialized Bicycles Africa has introduced a very unique retail model to Southern Africa: it offers cycling retail outlets the opportunity to form partnerships under its Concept and Elite umbrellas, in exchange for assistance with existing store upgrades and store fittings. Whatever the level of partnership, the revamped stores all have a distinct, modern, customer-friendly layout with areas for relaxation and each cycling category like women, kids, MTB and road cycling grouped in a designated area. Apart from a workshop, they also offer the services of a Body Geometry Fit studio to help customers choose the right bike. It has so far partnered with 31 stores: 28 in South Africa, 2 in Namibia and 1 in Botswana. Of these, less than half (12) are concept stores where close to 100% of their stock is Specialized branded product; 12 are elite stores that sell mostly Specialized branded products, but may also stock another two cycling brands, and 6 retail independently and stock Specialized alongside any other cycling products of their choosing. The brand has one company-owned store in Stellenbosch, which also hosts its head office. “This store is more of a test bed for us and gives us a chance to understand retail better, test new systems and teach staff from all the

stores around the country, whether it be in sales, the workshop or our Body Geometry Fit course,” says Kristy Yeld of Specialized Bicycles Africa. The other privately owned stores collaborated with Specialized Bicycles under the Concept and Elite umbrellas. “Only three are completely new, but they are run by other store owners who were looking to open a second outlet.” Hout Bay’s Complete Cyclist, Pietermaritzburg’s Greg Minnaar Cycles and Swakopmund’s Cycles4U stores are the latest additions to the Specialized Bicycles family. Complete Cyclist joins its two older sisters in Johannesburg, which became part of the Specialized family almost three years ago. “The support we get from the Specialized team is like no other and their business model is one that works seamlessly with ours,” says Scott McKenzie who owns Complete Cyclist Hout Bay. The store has not only gained a Specialized Elite Store logo on its storefront, but also an upgraded workshop, new staff members, revamped layout and a Body Geometry Fit Studio. Greg Minnaar Cycles in Pietermaritzburg is situated within cycling distance of the Cascades MTB Park where the MTB World Championships has been hosted on numerous occasions. “What was once an old house is now a

Left: inside Complete Cyclist Hout Bay. Right: the elite store’s team with members from Specialized Bicycles Africa. Images: Cherie Vale.

Special offerings of Specialized stores • Interesting layouts and designated areas for women, kids, etc. • Equipped with a Body Geometry Fit Studio where they help get customers properly set up on their bicycles. • Fitted out with its own workshop. beautiful store,” says Yeld. The store has almost doubled its workshop size and features a comfortable coffee area and bar counter where customers can chill out and catch up, a pool in the front for if ever customers need a quick dip after a ride and a pump track for the whole family to enjoy. Cycles4U is the second Namibian store affiliated with the brand. The 160m2 store with an additional 40m2 workshop area has an open layout that makes the small size look and feel bigger. It features designated men’s, women’s and kids areas and caters for the riding needs of the whole family. It also has a fully equipped bike studio to help improve fitness levels, as well as a Body Geometry Fit studio, where the owner Alfons Kiesewetter himself has been trained to get customers properly set up on their bicycles.


Trade shows :: p55

2017 Cycle Tour Expo ALTHOUGH CYCLISTS were disappointed by the Cape Town Cycle Tour being cancelled, industry members who exhibited at the pre-race expo were happy with the support they received from the crowds of cyclists who came

to register for the race. They were also happier with the new stand layout at the Cape Town Stadium, which they believed was better than the circular set up of last year. This year more than 140 exhibitors had stands at the expo.

Visitors were attracted to the specials on offer at the Chris Willemse Cycles stand.

Visitors queuing to get the best priced gadgets at Sportsmans Warehouse.

Dragons Sports used the stand to create brand awareness for its road racing bikes.

Customers on the Cape Union Mart stand.

A customer trying on apparel from the Ciovita range.

Solomons Cycles offered discounts on brands like Camelbak, Ocean Eyewear, Garmin, Raleigh, etc.

Visitors were interested in the offers on the Coimbra Cycle House stand.

A customer checking out the water bottle offerings from Cape Cycle Systems.

The GU energy lab stand offered a number of specials on energy bars and supplements.

The ASG Sport Solutions stand featured a display that showed how durable their photochromatic sunglasses are.

Jamie Owen from SA Sport and Cargo chatting to a customer on the Thule stand.

BondiBlu sales rep Johna Muller helping a customer.

A customer striking a pose with a mannequin on the Globalex stand.

Polar offered visitors product support and a service centre.

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


Trade show news

p56 :: Trade shows

NB right SAFTAD dates and venue Please note that the local fishing tackle trade show will take place 12-13 August at the UNISA Conference Centre in Johannesburg and 22-23 July at the DLI Hall in Durban. We apologise for confusion caused by the incorrect information published in the 2017 Sports Trader Retail Directory. The information in the advert on p94 of the directory is correct.

Pre-register for EFTTEX

IF YoU pre-register for EFTTEX before 12 June you will receive a discount to attend Europe’s biggest fishing trade show, which will be held in Hungary this year. Last year’s show in Amsterdam attracted 1 607 visitors, including press and exhibitor guests, and featured 208 exhibitors. This year’s show takes place 29 June to 1 July.

Expectations for Eurobike 2017 eURoBIKe 2017 is expected to attract more than 40 000 global visitors who will be able to view the latest products shown by 1 350 exhibitors. The cycling trade show takes place 30 August to 1 September, in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Its Festival Day on 2 September is open to the public.

SASC Research Conference to cover retailer interests tHe sasC (South African Council of Shopping Centres) is encouraging retailers that are tenants in shopping centres to attend its Research Conference in May, which will focus on how shopping centres can evolve with the times in order to satisfy consumers and grow the retail and shopping centre industry. Alan Knott-Craig, who was behind the free WiFi initiative in Tshwane, will talk about how internet is a basic need and how it affects consumers. Greg Potterton (CEO for Instant Grass International) will focus on what millennials are spending money on and what they look for in a shopping centre. They will be two of several guest speakers at the conference. The SACSC conference takes place 17 May at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton.

Fashion World Tokyo JaPanese FasHIon tRaDe sHoW, Fashion World Tokyo, attracts about 30 000 visitors to view products from around 890 exhibitors from all walks of fashion: textiles, men’s and women’s apparel, bags, shoes, jewellery, and other accessories. It also offers visitors conferences and seminars led by opinion leaders from the Japanese fashion industry, as well as networking and sourcing opportunities. The show is held twice a year in April and October, with the next date 1113 October.

Sports Trader :: 2017 Q2

OutDoor’s fashion shows always attract a lot of attention. Photo: Messe Friedrichshafen.

Earlier OutDoor show offers visitors more than before REMEMBER TO update your calendars: this year’s OutDoor trade show is being held in June, a month earlier than usual. Traditionally OutDoor was held in July, but this year it has been moved earlier to take place 18-21 June, a Sunday to a Wednesday, in Friedrichshafen, Germany. There are 900 exhibitors confirmed for the 2017 show. The OutDoor Industry Awards are also open for applications. Deadline is 8 May, after which the two-stage evaluation will start to narrow submissions down to a short list. These entries will then be put through real world tests. The awards will be presented in 13 categories and the winners will be displayed in the east foyer for the duration of the OutDoor show, and will gain additional publicity through show organiser Messe Friedrichshafen’s multi-channel communication to retailers, other areas of the trade, press, etc. All manufacturers, designers, developers, importers, start-ups, sales organisations and dealers may enter, even if they will not have a stand at OutDoor 2017. This year the outdoor world meets those of fashion, urban lifestyle, accessories, wearables and gamification (integration of elements of game playing to encourage engagement with a product or service). The Lifestyle Collection is a show where “cool urban fashion meets functional outdoor trends,” say organisers, which falls within the Outdoor Plus concept. “You just can’t imagine urban life or the outdoor market any more without athleisure wear or urban fashion.” Other new areas include the new Running Centre (dedicated to running clothing, footwear and accessories) and Water Sports goes OutDoor. With the latter, Messe Friedrichshafen is ramping up its commitment to water-based activities, with the west foyer dedicated to water sports covering everything from swim/run events to triathlons, diving, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddling and ice swimming. The show will also feature a new theme world: OutDoor HANGOUT, which is all about products and ideas that make time in the outdoors more enjoyable. “Whether it’s seating furniture, hammocks, outdoor barbeques, survival tips or slacklines — here we’re not looking at the big outdoor adventures and expeditions, but focusing on how we can take a little break from the day-to-day routine,” say organisers. The OutDoor show is both business and pleasure, attracting visitors from all over the world to do business and to network, and to mingle with other outdoor enthusiasts.

My Business Expo in Durban

WGSN focus on future consumer

YoU Can now preregister for free attendance to My Business Expo Durban, which is hosted by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and is aimed at people interested in starting or growing a business. It takes place 22 June at the Durban Exhibition Centre and a ticket to the show also gives visitors access to the Business Start-Up Expo, Finance Indaba, The Franchise Show and Trading Across Borders. Annually, My Business Expo takes place in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and attracts more than 40 000 visitors and features 400 exhibitors.

MoRe tHan 200 senior executives will meet at this year’s WGSN Futures event in London, which will this year concentrate on the Future Consumer. “You spend a lot of time thinking about your consumers — what they love (or loathe); where they shop; where they socialise; what they dream,” explains WGSN. Keynote speakers will provide information dealing with shoppers’ behaviour changes, new technologies, concepts and experiences, how to connect better through new platforms, and how learning and the workplace impacts on consumers. The event takes place 25 May.


ISPO news THIS YEAR’S ISPO Beijing and Munich trade shows attracted more visitors than in the previous year. ISPO Munich featured more than 2 700 exhibitors for the first time in its history, which included South African manufacturer and distributor Orbit Sports Manufacturers. Several locally distributed brands were also among those honoured at the 2017 ISPO Product Awards, held during the ISPO trade show. The show has grown in nearly every sector, said ISPO Exhibition Group Director Marcus Hefter. Visitors could look forward to 16 packed halls and a comprehensive accompanying program with events and exciting presentations, he said. For the first time Textrends — which received more than 500 product entries for its competition on the most innovative textiles — occupied an entire hall at ISPO. Orbit Sports Manufacturers was among the record 2 732 exhibitors (3% more than in 2016) showing their products and innovations at this year’s ISPO Munich. Visitors were especially interested in their EN Certificate approved protective products, said Lauren Malan from Orbit Sports Manufacturers, manufacturer of the StormForce Xpro brand of protective gear. This year was the fourth year that they exhibited at this international sport trade show. The knee and elbow protectors in the StormForce Xpro Extreme Sports Protection range provide effective repeated impact resistance as it disperses the impact over a large area to reduce discomfort, explained owner Jaco Kirsten. There had been a noticeable shift in guests visiting the show, said Malan. “We noticed many of them now represent online companies.” This year’s event attracted 85 000 trade visitors (6% more than in 2016) from 120 countries. PUMA, Garmin and Salomon were among the locally distributed brands honoured at the 2017 ISPO Product Awards. Each year a jury of industry experts give ISPO’s quality seal — a Gold award — to exceptional new products in the Performance, Action, Outdoor, Ski or Health & Fitness categories. The best of the best in each category is awarded the Product of the Year title, and other high quality products receive an ISPO Award. PUMA won two Gold awards for the PWRRun

Trade shows :: p57

NightCat Long Tight in the Performance category and the Fierce shoe in Health & Fitness. The iridescent reflective print on the tights provides compression and 360° reflectivity keeps wearers visible in low light conditions. The Fierce is inspired by dance movements, but rigorous enough for any training needs. Garmin’s Fenix 5 Series, which features, among other things, a sunlight-readable chroma display, improved wrist heart rate technology, extended activity tracking and multisport functions, also won Gold in the Performance category. Salomon’s 3 in 1 Rain Combi an all-in-one lightweight wind vest and water-repellent, cropped hoodie that offers wind and rain protection won Gold in the Performance category. The brand also won an award for its Sense Ride trail running shoe that reduces muscle fatigue by absorbing vibrations. Other Gold winners in the Outdoor division were the Summit L3 Ventrix Hoodie from The North Face and the Revo climbing safety device from Wild Country. The Summit L3 Ventrix features laser-cut and body-mapped ventilation holes in highperspiration areas that close when static and open during movement. The North Face is locally distributed by the Sector Group. The Revo is a bi-directional assisted locking belay device with a panic-proof release mechanism to eliminate risk of accidents. It functions independently and will therefore grip the rope and stop a fall during any uncontrolled decline. Wild Country is locally distributed by Outward Ventures. Black Diamond’s Helio Gloves won Gold in the Ski category. The 3 in 1 gloves feature a durable softshell liner ideal for climbing up and a light, durable, insulated outer that is bulk-free and ideal for skiing. Black Diamond is locally distributed by Ram Mountaineering. POC’s high functionality base layer also won Gold in the Ski category for features like comfort, breathability, compression, warmth and wicking properties. The brand is locally distributed by Adventure Inc. ISPO Munich 2018 will take place 28-31 January. ISPO Beijing received 1 400 more visitors, which is indicative that there is growing significance of sports among the Chinese population, said Klaus Dittrich, chairman and CEO of

Top: Orbit Sports Manufacturers’ stand at ISPO Munich 2017. Above: ISPO Beijing attracted more than 40 000 visitors. Image courtesy of ISPO..

show organiser Messe München. The 2017 show featured 502 exhibitors with 728 brands and more than 40 000 visitors. The 40 000m2 exhibition area was booked to capacity, and even featured international pavilions from Austria, Korea, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Because of this interest, the 2018 show will feature an even bigger exhibition area. It will again be held at the same venue, the China National Convention Centre, and take place 24-27 January. Supporting events like ISPO Award, also reflected this growth in the awareness of sport in China — of the more than 500 global entries, more than 100 came from Asia, of which 73 were from China alone. To support the potential of young companies, the show featured its first Startup Village where seven new brands presented their latest products. Other programmes of interest included the ISPO Sport Industry Forum, which highlighted trends and developments in the Chinese sports market, and the Sports Fashion Trend Forum, where trends for 2018 spring/summer sport fashion ranges was shown.

Advertisers Index adidas SA Agrinet ASICS SA Awesome Tools Brand Folio LLC Fila Footwear Trading Gidgitz Gunn & Moore Hi-Tec SA

7 34 23 39 OBC 5 5 35 43 OFC, 21

Jack Parcels JFK Trading JRT Crampton Kaufmann Kookaburra Ledlenser Lite Optec Medicus Merrell Mikasa

17 17 45 34 45 39 33 19 19 27

Opal Sports

43

Pat Wiltshire Sports

27

PUMA SA

1

Ram Mountaineering Skechers The Golf Racket

35 OBC 26

Thermo Steel

33

Wilson

26

2017 Q2 :: Sports Trader


Sports Trader Q2 2017  

The business-to-business e-magazine for the South African sports, outdoor and leisure industries.

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