• Olympic medallists Alistair & Jonny Brownlee first to invest in premium endurance sport apparel brand, as HUUB kick of Crowdcube campaign
• HUUB raising capital to drive continued category expansion and international growth amidst outdoor and endurance sport boom
• Derby-based brand has experienced significant audience demographic shift in 2020, with women’s apparel sales up 68%
• Cycling sales have soared by 681% in lockdown, demonstrating significant scaling opportunity
Double Olympic medalists and world champion brothers, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, have invested in a Crowdcube crowdfunding initiative launched by Derby based HUUB, market leaders in the £60 million UK triathlon apparel and accessories market.
The Brownlee brothers, two of Britain’s most successful Olympians, have worked with the premium endurance sports brand since 2013 after founder Dean approached them directly and persuaded them to give his HUUB wetsuits a try.
Money raised through the Crowdcube campaign will be utilised by HUUB to accelerate growth into new territories, and through category expansion and extension. They aim to raise at least £250,000.
Speaking about their investment, the pair, who already have their own HUUB ‘Brownlee’ range, expressed their excitement at being able to play their part in helping HUUB shape the future of endurance sport.
Alistair explained: “We’ve had a really positive working relationship with HUUB for several years now. As a brand, they are genuinely interested in listening to and incorporating athlete feedback into their products, and into the business to make improvements. HUUB is also a business driven by performance and innovation which are of course values we share. We therefore look forward to this next chapter of working with them, in this different capacity as investors and with a slightly different seat at the table.”
Jonny added: “As professional athletes, what we get up to when we are training and racing is of course the most important aspect of what we do, but it is not the only part of our job. Working with partners who we have an authentic relationship with and making those relationships successful – from both a performance and commercial point of view – is a really important part of life as a professional athlete. Working with HUUB has always been born out of a genuine love for their products and their approach to innovation, and so it was an easy to decision to take the opportunity to invest in the business at this exciting stage in their growth.
In 2019, HUUB turned over £4.8m and from 2015 to 2019 they have on average achieved sales growth of 32% year-on-year. Despite the triathlon competition schedule being wiped out during 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, HUUB’s 2020 turnover is on a par with last year’s as endurance sport take-up has soared during lockdown. The business has experienced a huge increase of 681% in cycling apparel sales, as well as a significant diversification in audience demographic for their products across the board. Specifically, women’s wetsuit sales are up 68% and there has also been a shift in the average customer age.
HUUB founder Dean Jackson commented: “Alistair and Jonny have been pivotal in our trajectory to get to where we are now, and their feedback from an athletic standpoint will continue to be fundamental in producing the best products for our customers. We are at a really exciting stage of our growth, with new categories performing incredibly strongly and our product range across the board continuing to appeal to professional and amateur athletes alike.”
Dean added: “This Crowdcube Crowdfunding campaign is designed to help accelerate the growth we are experiencing on so many fronts and, I believe, offers a really exciting opportunity for those in the endurance sport community and beyond to invest in a brand that is on a steep upwards trajectory. And with both the Brownlee brothers already onboard, investors know they will be in the good company of two of Britain’s most successful Olympic athletes. Alistair also happens to have a Master’s in Financial Economics, so he knows his way around a P&L statement and a good investment opportunity when he sees one!”
As well as the partnership with the Brownlee brothers, HUUB also have relationships with the likes of current female world triathlon champion Georgia Taylor-Brown, world triathlon series medallist Jess Learmonth and cycling world cup winner Dan Bigham, the latter of which is HUUB’s in house aerodynamicist.
To find out more about the HUUB Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign, and to see the investor rewards available – including the opportunity to go cycling with HUUB’s professional athletes such as Alistair & Jonny Brownlee, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Jess Learmonth & Dan Bigham go to http://www.huubdesign.com/pages/moving-forward