From beginning their journey with a clear but simple remit, to breaking the mould in an underperforming sportswear niche, our clients, and Viper 10 Sportswear co-founders, Roger Woodall and Stephanie Essex, are a shining example of what is rarely expressed in business; you don’t necessarily have to possess exhaustive industry or sector knowledge, just a well-formed plan and the passion to execute.
Whilst exhibiting the kind of qualities necessary to succeed in business, Roger and Stephanie freely admit that they were not experts in the sportswear industry. What they did know however, was that a great quality product and better lead-times than the competition, would form a solid foundation to build their enterprise.
Creating a standout product takes time, but after ensuring that all of their criteria – including an industry-beating four-week delivery window – had been met, Roger knew they had something which could really ‘shake up the market’.
Often, the best and most effective way to challenge industry norms is to take a business in a different direction altogether. A high-risk, yet potentially high-reward strategy, those that dare to be different are invariably the ones that we remember. From Nike’s ‘air bubble’ to Reebok’s alignment with the CrossFit movement and its global community, history is peppered with the enviable legacies of well-known sportswear manufacturers.
Taking inspiration from one of the world’s leading brands, Viper 10 combined an innovative kit design platform with integrated social sharing capabilities; a move which not only distinguished them from their competition, but increased the brand’s reach whilst celebrating the collaborative spirit of team sports.
The kit designer was just one of a number of factors which helped the Viper 10 team to differentiate themselves as Roger and Stephanie had also noticed that their competition were failing to make effective use of video. By enlisting the help of prominent athletes and sports-personalities to feature in their content, the brand gained a loyal customer-base, from grassroots sports teams to professional clubs.
Sharing strong links to the hugely successful Bournemouth Rugby 7s festival, Viper 10 Sportswear is the Dorset-based business that dared to be different…and went national.
Keeping their business matters close to home, Roger and Stephanie approached Steele Raymond to help guide them through the next phase of their decade-long business journey. Their success had not gone unnoticed, and had caught the attention of one of the largest sportswear and outfitting companies in the country.
Stevensons, a longstanding family-owned retailer, made Roger and Stephanie an offer which required careful consideration and the advice of Steele Raymond’s Company and Commercial team.
Chairman and Partner, Tim Stone, led the transaction and was hugely privileged to have assisted on such an emotive business transaction:
“We felt a great sense of responsibility as [Roger and Stephanie] had a very strong emotional attachment to their business.”
Speaking after a successful result for all parties, Roger Woodall said of his experience with the firm:
“Amazing – if I were to sell another business, [Steele Raymond] would be the first people I’d go to.”