If you are familiar with Australian Rules Football (AFL), it wasn’t long ago that many in the sport were touting Gary Ablett Jnr as the greatest player ever, better than his mercurial father.
While his form may have tapered recently due to age and injury, there is no doubting this dual Brownlow medallist is a legend of the game, and still has a lot of clout in the sport.
That is why the endorsements he makes still hold a great deal of weight and influence, particularly amongst grassroots players making their way through junior leagues.
It is Ablett’s influence in the grassroots market that brought Impression Healthcare (ASX: IHL) to his door, as they seek to leverage this influence in a bid to bring a message of safety to minor leagues, whilst also providing affordable, custom-made equipment to keep them safe.
As the AFL season is just week away, this $14.4 million capped company is not only using Ablett’s name to get its safety message across, it has also signed up two of the best women’s players in the league, as the excitement surrounding the launch of the AFLW gains momentum.
The AFLW is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and is really making an impact amongst grassroots players, who could also benefit from affordable, custom mouth guards – sold by IHL.
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It is not just AFL that IHL has its sights set on. The company has also signed up Hockey Australia, an organisation targeting 250,000 registered hockey participants by 2020.
The two-year agreement currently provides IHL with direct marketing access to Hockey Australia’s 160,000 participants to promote its mouthguards nationwide with over 70,000 of these participants already accessed via existing relationships.
All up IHL now has reach to more than 1 million grassroots sporting club members and participants.
That number is still growing rapidly, and plenty of market access should translate to significant sales in 2017.
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It may not appear like a hyper aggressive play (although aggressive play is precisely why we wear mouthguards – but we digress), yet it does have the markings of a steady and sensible one. Certainly mouthguards are a sensible precaution to take when playing high-impact sports.