Whist the Christmas break is always a fantastic opportunity to rest, recuperate, recharge and reflect on the year gone, the period we are now in – with the new year almost upon us and offering as yet untold opportunity and promise, is what gets us really excited. As we head into 2020, we believe this will be a defining one for Castore and we cannot wait to get started.
As we prepare to attack the year, we have outlined the key areas you will see Castore focussing on in the year to come. We thank you for your support to date and look forward to you joining us on the next stage of the Castore journey.
Tom & Phil Beahon
Better Never Stops
Big Dreams Big Teams
The most significant strategic move you will see from Castore in 2020 will be our entry into the global professional sports team wear market. This is a natural progression from elite individual athletes such as Andy Murray wearing Castore and we see a huge opportunity to disrupt a market that for far too long has been dominated by a small clique of mass-market brands. Across team sports from rugby, cricket, F1 and football, the big brand's partner with so-called marquee teams, direct the vast majority of their product and marketing budgets to these teams, and simply leave a huge segment of the market without any sort attention or investment. We see this as a big opportunity. Castore has been approached by a number of leading teams across a range of sports about becoming their official kit partner and brining our premium brand ethos, deep commitment to product excellence and digital e-commerce expertise to elevate their own brands and provide something different and better than what they have become used to from the so-called mega brands. The first of these partnerships, with the West Indies cricket federation, will commence in June when the team tour England before heading to Australia to defend their T20 World Cup title. Additional partnerships will be announced in due course, all with teams who share Castore’s ambition to compete on a global stage and become world leaders. Our vision is to build Castore in the number one premium sportswear brand globally and we will partner with teams who share our vision and values – there is nothing that can match elite athletes wearing your product in competition and we cannot wait to see more of this next year.
Collaborate To Greatness
One of the most humbling things about Castore’s continued growth and the increasing excitement that is building around the brand (all externally of course, internally we focus solely on doing the things that make us better than our competitors!!) has been the approaches we now receive from brands we as founders have admired for many years, wanting to collaborate with us. Whilst the specific names will unfortunately, have to remain confidential for now – in 2020 you will see us work with brands on specific capsule collections designed to push the boundaries of performance sportswear and introduce Castore to new audiences. We have respectfully turned down about 80% of the enquiries we’ve received, wanting only to focus on partnering with teams and brands where we believe we can create a truly differentiated product and where our values are in complete alignment. Ranging from fashion to advanced engineering to the automotive sector, these collaborations will not follow the traditional model of revenue maximisation and instead, aim to excite and delight our customers with their ingenuity and become manifestations of our Better Never Stops ethos; transcending our core sportswear offering and attempting to see where a true commitment to innovation takes us. It is both flattering and a great indication of Castore’s success to date that such a prestigious brand wants to work with us and we believe that done properly, these partnerships can take Castore to the next level.
British DNA, Global Ambition
We live in a world becoming ever more connected with international markets becoming closer and more accessible and Castore has been a big beneficiary of this since we started the brand three years ago. Six months after launch, we had sold in 27 countries through our web platform, demonstrating to us that our commitment to product excellence and the Better Never Stops brand DNA resonated with athletes of all levels all over the world, not just in our home UK market. Since then, our growth has expanded to over 50 countries and we are now in the process of building out from our digital platform to establish a physical presence in key strategic markets, namely the US, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan. These geographies are where we see long term growth prospects for Castore and 2020 will see us lay the foundations to deliver on this through establishing key wholesale partnerships, pop-up retail stores, building local ambassador networks of inspiring grassroots athletes and where the right opportunities exist, professional team and athlete partnerships. This will all be underpinned by a substantial investment in our digital infrastructure to ensure a seamless web experience and delivery network in these markets. As founders, it is incredibly important to us for Castore to be a proudly British sportswear brand but we always had the ambition to compete on a global stage. Building a truly global brand and in a sportswear market dominated by global players, achieving this goal will be key to our long term success. This is not a sector that rewards small scale dreams. The last twelve months have proven to us that Castore resonates as a brand with athletes all over the world, 2020 will be the year we build the foundations that allow us to truly become the leading premium sportswear brand in the market. Bring it on.