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knog
Jun 15, 2017

Germanys MTS Sport is aiming to make inroads into the UK market

Jean-Marc von Keller, general manager of MTS Sport, explains the ethos behind the company and their expansion plans

How long has MTS Sport been in business?
MTS was established in 1992 as a distribution company for Major/ Tecnifibre (tennis), Talbot-Torro (badminton) and Schildkröt (table tennis) for the German speaking countries. The idea behind bringing the three brands together was to strengthen their position in the market by combining forces to build a stronger distribution company than any of the brands individually could have achieved. Our brand Schildkröt is over 120 years old and is the company that invented and developed the procedure/manufacturing method for table tennis balls and was acquired by my father, the founder of MTS, in 1984.

What is the history and ethos behind MTS Sport?
MTS and its brands have benefited from a strong supply chain structure in the Far East, with a German managed Hong Kong office and our own factories in China. The idea of combining forces of several leading brands has been the core strategy at MTS. Offering customers a ‘one-stop’ solution for sports that are needed but usually not in the spotlight, has made us an interesting option for many retail partners.
That has encouraged us to add further product lines such as Schildkröt Fun Sports (outdoor, beach products and games), Talbot-Torro Speed badminton and Schildkröt Fitness. In 2000, we started a long-term cooperation with Donic to combine the forces of the leading table tennis competition brand (Donic) with the leading brand in leisure table tennis (Schildkröt).
At MTS we position ourselves as a partner for both sporting goods and toy retailers. We offer a balanced price/performance combination and provide strong margins for our customers with
products that we know sell through.
As a family-owned and managed business we try to operate an efficient and effective organization and our established external logistic centre in Bremen, operated by an experienced and well-trained team, is known for fast deliveries and reliable customer service, also in English of course!

How important is the UK market to you?
The UK is the second biggest racket sport market in Europe and to this point we have only been present with parts of our ranges. We worked with a long-time distributor who made a good job in table tennis, but we think that we have more to offer and that a new structure is needed to develop our brands and ranges further. Nowadays it’s more important than ever to have direct access to important markets and we believe that no-one can represent the MTS philosophy in the UK better than MTS itself.

What are your popular brands and how will you promote them to the UK marketplace?
Further to the brands already mentioned, we also distribute OGO Sports (sport disks and more), Wheel Bee (LED illuminated rucksacks) and Slackers (slacklines, ziplines and more). We believe that we have unique products, that sell well without too much explanation required. It will be crucial to find space in the shops and on the shelves and that’s why we are investing in a new customer facing distribution operation.

How do you intend to distribute ?
We will be working with a team of three very experienced and knowledgeable sales people who know the British/Irish markets well. This new sales strategy will be underpinned by excellent logistics and customer service, great brands, unique products and many exciting offers/deals for our retail partners.

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Leone 1947

Leone 1947

, Midlothian-Edinburghshire

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