A new sportswear line driven by a community of sports enthusiasts has more than doubled their Kickstarter goal, raising $96,000 in a week.
London-based Tribesports is crowdsourcing the design of their technical sportswear line for men and women, putting a thriving and existing online community to work to aid in the design.
After only 12 hours, the campaign on Kickstarter raised 50 percent of the $46,000 goal when it was launched August 7. The company says they will sell high performance sportswear at up to 40 percent off the prices of large brands, such as Lululemon and Nike, but “cutting out the middle man” and avoiding celebrity endorsements.
Tribesports says they will begin production of its first line in September which will be available to U.S. customers in November.
The company is taking on a $250 billion industry with competitors such as Nike, who are renowned for cut-throat business tactics. Clearly, Tribesports hopes to make its mark by making social media central to its strategy.
We spoke to one of the Tribesports Founders, Jenna Anians, about the role social media will play moving forward.
Why do you think the Kickstarter campaign was such a success?
We fundamentally believe that there are inefficiencies in the traditional way that sportswear is created, marketed and distributed and we have the community, team and brand to do something about it. We believe there is a new way – providing value for customers without compromising on quality, whilst involving them in the process of building a new type of sports brand.
After 2 years of growing Tribesports to become one of the world’s largest sports social networks, we decided to use the combined voice of our global community to rip up the rulebook and really bring something new to the market. Using Internet technologies and the backing of real sports people everywhere, we’re revolutionizing an outdated model that hasn’t changed for half a century.
Social powers what we do as a brand and we have harnessed community input from the outset to shape this play. Kickstarter was the perfect platform for us to engage a wider global community of active sports people with our vision. Kickstarter users are, by their nature, early adopters passionate about embracing change and supporting new concepts. A great opportunity to welcome a new group of active sports people to join our mission and grow the Tribe!
And since it worked so well with raising capital, how do you plan to use social media when the products hit the market?
Looking beyond the Kickstarter launch campaign we intend to work with our community and customers to drive the direction of the range; to design, spec and spread the word about Tribesports performance wear. From providing the training data that tells us what kit they really need, to color choices, to technical features, to modelling the finished product – real sports people will be at the center of everything we do.
We’re more than just a sportswear brand – we’re a community – a global Tribe of active sports people, giving you motivation in your sporting endeavors from all corners of the world.
Editors Note: Wondering which crowdfunding platform is right for you? A study published this month by Fast Company says that 44 percent of projects on Kickstarter get funded, versus 9.3 percent on the original crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Kickstarter is more for the creative types in fashion and film, for example. Because it’s an “all or nothing” gambit, projects tend to be realistic in their funding goals, versus Indiegogo, which has not real boundaries in terms of project types.