Industry: News On the wing
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New Balance UK and Ireland country manager Mark Ward has been promoted to the position of general manager for the markets after taking on additional responsibilities.
Asics and London taxi firm Addison Lee trialled a unique delivery service in London last month using trained athletes to deliver small packages and parcels in the capital.
Ashmei’s turn to take run at UK market
unning clothing brand Ashmei is launching into the UK in a move it said will provide the market with ‘the best running gear’. Ashmei is the sister company to Blue Associates, which has been designing high- performance clothing for a large number of blue chip brands since 1997.
Stuart Brooke, the founder of Ashmei, said this had given the company a wealth of experience in what runners are looking for in terms of functional, technical garments. For instance, it is using eVent waterproof, breathable fabric which he said is 2.5 times more breathable than Gore-Tex. “We decided it was time to do it for ourselves by launching Ashmei,” Brooke said. “I’m a runner myself and had been buying and wearing products from the market and finding they lacked in performance. I was running in cycle gear because I found it better. “Ashmei has been designed to offer the ultimate performance for running.” Brooke said this goal to provide the best will likely mean Ashmei only ever offers 12-15 products.
“There will be seven products at launch but there will probably only be 12-15 once the
Pattni Imaginations is launching an accessories pack featuring mini balls, a goal and cones to increase the appeal of its Match Stars football action figures.
line-up is complete. We don’t want to offer choice; we want to offer the best. There’s no point making that claim then offering something slightly
less than the best so we’ll only have one waterproof jacket etc.”
Brooke said this won’t stop Ashmei evolving its products and that it will periodically update its range to ensure it remains cutting edge. He likens this to car manufacturer Porsche and its 911 series.
Ashmei products will be available from this autumn, primarily sold through the internet supported by limited retail distribution, including London’s Suka Sport (see SGB Sports May).
“It is not typical running gear. There’s a lot of repetition in the marketplace, with people using the same technologies and fabrics. It’s time someone came in and shook the market up and said ‘you don’t have to look like this and use these fabrics’. There is an alternative.”
Scientists push for sports bra education R
esearchers from the University of Portsmouth are looking to educate females and drive government policy on sports bras in schools.
The research group, led by breast movement expert Dr Joanna Scurr, has been conducting research to show the importance of correct bra selection since 2005.
PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis has signed with Target Darts, putting pen to paper on an exclusive three-year deal with the manufacturer.
Aqua Sphere goggles are appearing on the resurrected TV reality show Big Brother.
It has recently launched the Breast Health Education Programme, which it is hoped will provide information on the importance of selecting the correct bra, particularly to young girls partaking in activities at school but also women day-to-day.
The group has stated that it wants to see sports bras made compulsory in schools, the same way mouth guards and shin pads are, with Dr Scurr saying: “We want to see sports bras made compulsory and want to direct government policy with our research.” She noted this was only half the battle though, saying it is just as important to educate as legislate.
“Bras are primarily bought from an aesthetic point of view. Women often don’t realise the importance of support, especially young girls. “We want to let the National Curriculum
know that we have
information that can be delivered to students to educate them on the
reasons why correct bra choice is so important.” The Breast
Programme received a boost when it was featured on Channel 4’s ‘Sex Education Show’. Dr Scurr said the young women confronted with the information on the show quickly understood the importance of bra selection. She added: “We are confident we can deliver the message. We will now conduct trials in local schools to provide further evidence that we can take to policy makers, MPs and funding bodies to show it works.
“By educating them, girls and women will hopefully freely choose the right bras.”
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