Aug 24, 2016

Sales agent Rob Gregory provides the inside track on a new brand of insoles called bootmate

When did you get into the sports trade?
I entered the sports trade in 1990 as an area rep for Puma UK covering the south west region on apparel, before progressing to key and national accounts across all product categories.

I then worked within the Pentland group for Mitre International, before moving to Zoggs International, where I managed the UK business and then the international business for eight years.

What does your role entail?
I’m currently working on a new brand of insoles called bootmate, the first being bootmate tsi, which is specifically designed to fit inside studded and cleated footwear that are normally very tight fitting, such as football boots.

They’re genuinely unique in their design, with proven benefits studied and tested by both medical and sports professionals. They’re perfect for football, rugby, cricket, and NFL players alike, in fact anyone wearing studded or cleated footwear.

Best part of your job?
Since becoming an agent three years ago, I’ve been fortunate to have been given the chance of helping launch a small portfolio of brands into the UK sports market that all have synergies within the account portfolio I am responsible for.

It has given me immense satisfaction to see the brands grow from a near standing start and know I have been part of their initial success to date.

I continue to be driven by the scope and future growth potential of the agencies I represent, which includes bootmate, Aftershokz sports headphones, Bjorn Borg tennis and fitness apparel, ATAK Sports compression apparel and Cartasport wholesale.

Career highlight to date?

I don’t have an individual highlight, but looking back on my corporate career, I have been fortunate to have travelled the world with the brands and met some amazing people within the trade, both domestically and globally, who have become great friends, as well as business associates.

Over the 25-plus years I have been in the trade, this experience has been instrumental in allowing me to become a self-employed sales agent.

Favourite sporting moment?
There have been so many across a multitude of sports, so the obvious ones would be the England football and Rugby World Cup successes, Andy Murray becoming the first double winning Wimbledon Brit and Steve Redgrave winning five gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games.

However and on a personal note, the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest is that my father, Jack Gregory, represented England at rugby in the late 1940s and early1950s and also at two Olympic Games in 1948 and 1952, winning a silver medal in the 4x100m relay, which makes me immensely proud.

The insole market is a highly competitive sector. What is bootmate tsi’s USP?

bootmate tsi has been specifically designed to fit into studded and spiked footwear to help provide better foot function, reducing the potential for injuries and providing a comfortable experience.

The design, which combines Insolia Sport and Insolia Flex technologies, means the insole meets the demands placed on feet in such footwear.

Insolia Flex technology has been independently tested by the Wales Centre for Podiatric Studies, with results published in The Foot and Ankle Online Journal, proving the patented design reduced heart rate and lowered oxygen intake, meaning an enhancement in performance and enhanced comfort.

The product has been tested by football teams in the UK and continental Europe, all resulting in improved comfort and performance levels.

What stage are you at with the product?

This is a new product at launch stage and the brand owners are actively planning and promoting it. No other insole brand has access to the patented technology globally.

We are in talks with a number of independent retailers and have some great promotional offers to help grow the brand and provide retailers with significant revenue and upsell opportunities.

What plans have you got for it during the next year?

We want to open some retail doors, particularly those successful in selling football, cricket boots, etc, to enable us to grow a prominent, recognised brand within the category.

It’s not going to be easy, but the product is genuinely unique, scientifically proven and helps players enjoy and feel confident in their sport.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
The trade is forever changing and will continue to do so. Without meaning to be contentious, if I had one wish, it would be for the brands and retailers, large and small, to try and understand each other’s challenges better, but most importantly treat each other with a bit of courtesy and, above all, respect.

That said, I count myself very lucky to continue to work in this great industry.

For more information call 0808 2020126 or email [email protected]


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