‘hum­mel’ Looks to Gain Strong Foothold in India

Cur­rently avail­able in India on Jabong and Myn­tra, hum­mel is a Dan­ish footwear and sports­wear brand with deep roots in mak­ing shoes for foot­ball and hand­ball play­ers…

Images Retail - - FRONT PAGE - – By Charu Lamba

The in­ven­tors of the foot­ball stud, hum­mel, have re­cently stepped into the In­dian mar­ket. The brand, which has al­ready been run­ning a sub­stan­tial part of its pro­duc­tion from India, has now de­cided to sell its wares in the coun­try as well. Cur­rently avail­able in India on Jabong and Myn­tra, hum­mel is a Dan­ish footwear and sports­wear brand with deep roots in mak­ing shoes for foot­ball and hand­ball play­ers.

Un­like most brands, which first look at China and then con­sider mov­ing into India, hum­mel has de­cided to go the other way around. The brand has for­ayed in the e-com­merce space in India to test wa­ters and now af­ter a cou­ple of suc­cess­ful ‘beta test­ing’ months, has sought to launch it­self in China in a cou­ple of months’ time.

In an in­ter­view with In­di­are­tail­ing Bureau, Chris­tian Stadil, Owner Thor­nico Group and hum­mel In­ter­na­tional said, “India is a broad prospect for us. We want to ex­plore the di­verse cul­ture and ethos of the coun­try, which are a part of the Karma that we so be­lieve in at Thor­nico. The progress of India as an econ­omy ex­cites us a lot. The GDP growth of India as com­pared to other mar­kets is highly im­pres­sive. Most im­por­tantly, there is a huge po­ten­tial for an al­ter­nate sports brand with a different of­fer­ing than the ex­ist­ing main­stream sports brand.”

Un­der the lead­er­ship of Stadil, who took charge in 1999, hum­mel has in­cor­po­rated ‘Com­pany Karma’; a busi­ness model which looks to utilise sports to pro­mote change in some of the world’s most dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties. This move has trans­formed the com­pany from a sim­ple sports brand into one of the most so­cially re­spon­si­ble cor­po­rate en­ti­ties on the planet. With a very high re­ten­tion rate, hum­mel ranks in the top league of all avail­able sports brand sell­ing on both Jabong and Myn­tra.

In ad­di­tion to its ex­ist­ing col­lec­tion, con­sid­er­ing India’s di­ver­sity, hum­mel is look­ing to come up with a more vi­brant col­lec­tion to cater to the col­or­ful pal­ette of the In­dian audience.

CEO Allan Vad Nielsen said, “India is one of the top most fo­cus mar­ket for the brand, hum­mel. We will cre­ate branded con­tent and prod­ucts for the In­dian mar­ket be­cause we are here to stay.” Elab­o­rat­ing fur­ther, he said, “India ranks very high in our list of pri­or­i­ties. With ris­ing sports and fit­ness con­scious­ness among In­di­ans, it is our mis­sion to in­tro­duce the best sports­wear ap­parel in India. Our prod­ucts have evoked huge re­sponse

on e-com­merce plat­forms such as Jabong, Myn­tra and have been able to grow the brand which is based on trust, re­silience and dura­bil­ity among our fit­ness con­scious In­di­ans. We aim to build the high­est-qual­ity sports­wear brand and are com­mit­ted to the com­pet­i­tive ath­letes and teams who value high-qual­ity fab­rics with func­tion­al­ity to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate per­for­mance gear.”

The SS’18 col­lec­tion of the brand is in­spired by colors and the spirit of ‘any­thing goes.’ hum­mel is all set to fea­ture two new pre­mium col­or­ful col­lec­tions this sum­mer, namely Dia­mant and Fay. Both the col­lec­tions are ideal for an ac­tive life­style. Start­ing from a range of

₹1,099 to ₹5,499, the brand has all op­tions avail­able on their e-com­merce part­ners plat­forms. Go­ing for­ward, the brand is look­ing for­ward to source 100 per­cent from India and is scout­ing for off­line re­tail part­ners to set up brickand-mor­tar stores. Ini­tially, hum­mel will be set­ting up shops in ma­jor malls of the coun­try.

Strong Foothold in India

To carve a niche for them­selves in the In­dian re­tail in­dus­try, hum­mel has re­cently ap­pointed Soumava Naskar (Som), Head Busi­ness Devel­op­ment, India. In his last tryst as Head, Brand Mar­ket­ing at Jabong, Som has been awarded ‘Most in­flu­en­tial Martech Lead­ers’ by the World Mar­ket­ing Congress and Top 50 most in­flu­en­tial e-com­merce pro­fes­sion­als in India’ at the 14th edi­tion of the Asia Re­tail Congress (CMO Asia).

Speak­ing about his new role, Som said, “hum­mel is one of those rare sports brands with a strong char­ac­ter, it’s my priv­i­lege to be part of the India story.” In his new role, Som will re­port to Hen­rik Sven­ning, Chief Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Of­fi­cer, hum­mel. Sven­ning said, “We are ex­cited about the In­dian mar­ket and are look­ing to in­vest in be­com­ing one of the ma­jor play­ers in the sports and life­style cat­e­gory in com­ing years. As a brand, we see many col­lab­o­ra­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in India.”

Trac­ing hum­mel’s His­tory

Es­tab­lished in 1923, hum­mel has a long his­tory of cre­at­ing sports­wear. Both defin­ing and de­fined by the Dan­ish de­sign tra­di­tion, hum­mel works with clean lines, but also with a mad love for the edgy look and strong color com­bi­na­tions. Since 2006, the brand has also been en­gaged in pro­duc­ing fash­ion­able train­ers and to­day, hum­mel shoes stand as a strong al­ter­na­tive to the con­ven­tion with a pas­sion for fun and catchy de­signs and vi­brant colors. The col­lec­tions also re­flect the sig­nif­i­cant sports her­itage draw­ing on clas­sic sports styles from the brand’s own ar­chives.

Chris­tian Stadil re­vealed,

“It is one of the old­est sports brand in the world. One rainy af­ter­noon back in 1923, Al­bert Mess­mer, a foot­ball fan and a fine boot maker, was dis­traught see­ing the con­di­tions of the play­ers who had no con­trol on their moves and were ren­dered help­less in the muddy wa­ters of the field. He worked tire­lessly to per­fect the shoe that would make the foot­ballers akin to the bum­ble­bee, known as hum­mel in the Ger­man lan­guage. Thus, came the first ever foot­ball studs and is a tribute to the bum­ble­bee that never gave up de­spite its weight.”

‘hum­mel’ cur­rently man­u­fac­tures ap­parel for foot­ball, fut­sal, hand­ball, bas­ket­ball, shinty and vol­ley­ball. The com­pany also pro­duces footwear for foot­ball and hand­ball. Ac­cord­ing to Stadil, hum­mel spon­sors in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised foot­ball teams like the Dan­ish and Afghan na­tional foot­ball teams, Charl­ton Ath­letic FC, SC Freiburg, Chris­tia­nia SC, Brøndby IF, V-varen Na­gasaki, Jeon­buk Hyundai and Spvgg Greuther Fürth. “In the world of hand­ball, hum­mel spon­sors star play­ers like Mikkel Hansen, Daniel Nar­cisse,

Paul Drux and Victor Tomás, while teams like Vive Tau­ron Kielce, Füchse Ber­lin, MVM Veszprém KC, and RK Var­dar all play in hum­mel chevrons.”

What Makes hum­mel Stand Apart?

Over the years, hum­mel has ini­ti­ated and sup­ported sev­eral pro­jects fo­cus­ing on chang­ing the world through sport by spon­sor­ship in poor and war-torn coun­tries; al­ways with the hope to build bridges and help pave the way for a bet­ter to­mor­row.

For hum­mel, sport is more than a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. It is a univer­sal lan­guage with the strength to elim­i­nate dif­fer­ences in pol­i­tics, cul­ture, reli­gion and be­liefs.

The brand trusts that it can make a real change in the world by us­ing sport to cre­ate bor­der­less un­der­stand­ing, re­spect and unity. From Afghanistan to Sierra Leone, it sup­ports pro­jects that help peo­ple live out their pas­sion for sport. In a con­nected world, the lead­er­ship at hum­mel be­lieves this will act as a boomerang of pos­i­tive change for all. ‘hum­mel’ op­er­ates on the motto to ‘Change the world through sport.’ This has taken the brand to un­charted ter­ri­to­ries, places where other brands have not ven­tured. While many brand cam­paigns fea­ture un­der­dogs, the fo­cus is al­ways on win­ning, but for hum­mel sport doesn’t only mean win­ning. The brand says sport isn’t about fin­ish­ing first, it’s about fin­ish­ing to­gether.

“Over­com­ing bound­aries and pa­ram­e­ters set by com­mu­ni­ties, hum­mel has bro­ken all stereo­types where other brands fail. This is ma­jorly re­flected in their spon­sor­ship for the Na­tional Am­putee team of Sierra

Leone and also by de­sign­ing the first ever hi­jab jersey to en­cour­age the women of Afghanistan to play foot­ball and again bring hope where it seems bleak. Path breaking, is not a new term for hum­mel, it is en­grained deep in our na­ture as well as cul­ture,” con­cluded Nielsen.

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