Betfred Sport

Company profile – Direct Soccer

Remember the days when you had your eye on a new football shirt? It was often a case of visiting your local sports shop.

Then came the likes of JJB and Sports Direct - but now it just takes a few clicks of a mouse to get exactly what you want.

Direct Soccer is one of the UK's leading specialist providers of football team wear and equipment sold online.

The business started as a traditional Sports Retail Business in 1997, eventually opening three shops in the Tayside and Fife areas of Scotland.

With the influx of the sports multiple retailers such as JJB, Sports Direct and Sports Division, a decision was taken in 2002 for the company to specialise in football teamwear and equipment - sold via the internet.

From strength to strength

As business decisions go it was a good one and the company has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Direct Soccer marketed itself as a soccer specialist offering branded team wear, high quality printing, embroidery and accessories to football club clients. The personalisation aspect of the business has been key to the continual growth the company has achieved on an annual basis.

Part of the success of the business has been based on selling a range of own brand equipment and footballs, ensuring the highest quality, which can be offered to customers at realistic prices.

With the introduction of the Direct Soccer range of footballs, the company was successful in obtaining a FIFA inspected and FIFA approved status, which has given additional credibility to the business. Direct Soccer is the only company in the UK other than Mitre Sports who have their brand certified by FIFA.

Direct Soccer has doubled our staff in the last five years, employing highly skilled operators for graphic design, IT, embroidery, printing, warehousing and telesales, and as a company encourage cross training to support their business needs and to develop staff skills.

Market changes

Over the past five years, sales have increased significantly thanks to constant attention to market changes, and good buying disciplines has kept the company at the forefront in a very competitive market.

All major branded soccer teamwear companies are contacted, and best prices sought, and passed to Direect Soccer's clients, to ensure that clubs are offered the best deals possible for that particular brand.

Direct Soccer success is also built on an awareness of the costs involved in organising and running a football club, and are prepared to work within a minimum margin to ensure that realistic prices are offered across the full product range, at all times.

The Direct Soccer customer base is made up of clubs and teams at all levels, including grassroots, semi-pro and local pro club academies where regular repeat business is the norm from these valuable clients.

The UK soccer teamwear market is a volatile business with numerous suppliers fiercely competing to secure team wear business every season, and Direct Soccer constantly reviews its service performance, systems, website, and suppliers as well as looking at all innovative ideas which will keep the company ahead of its competitors.

Marketing strategy

A large percentage of Direct Soccer's business is generated from England and Wales which is impressive for a Scottish-based business and proves that the marketing strategy is effective in reaching distant customers.

The Scottish and Irish markets are now starting to acknowledge the fact that the Direct Soccer website is offering very competitive deals across the full product range, and Direct Soccer is seeing an upsurge on business coming from both these areas.

The company plans to expand over the next three years with the focus of their business based on first rate customer service, which Direct Soccer sees as essential when dealing with personalising team kit products in particular.

Direct Soccer is very conscious of the many opportunities offered by attending organised football shows throughout the UK and having analysed the Total Football Show presentation and the quality of the events being planned it was an easy decision for Direct Soccer to get involved.

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