Earlier this month, apparel and wetsuit specialist HUUB invited its international distributors and partners to the inaugural HUUB international sales meeting. This included a packed couple of days of new product launches, presentations and networking in the heart of Derby.
The main event took place on Wednesday 4th July, but guests started to arrive on Monday and Tuesday, ‘giving everyone plenty of chance to talk all things triathlon with people that they only usually get the chance to speak to over email or phone.’
On Tuesday evening attendees went to Seven Restaurant and Cafe Bar to watch England play Colombia in the World Cup. Attendees were wearing their HUUB Russia 2018 England World Cup t-shirts and were able to watch a (rare) England win on penalties!
The big day was Wednesday; and staff and guests headed to Derby County’s Pride Park stadium where each of the delegates arrived to a personalised welcome message on the big screens at the soccer stadium.
HUUB’s founder and owner Dean Jackson (Deano) gave an emotional welcome speech. Clearly overcome with emotion, and fighting back the tears he said “It really is amazing for everyone to see how the brand has grown from a garage start-up in 2011 to another level, a phenomenal success within the triathlon market now present in over 20 countries.”
Having got the emotional bit’s & pieces out the way, Deano then went on to present some awards to those people that have stood by HUUB from the beginning, “having faith in and supporting the brand from day one.”
HUUB’s Finance Director David Lamb then followed with an update on the company performance (“all good”), coupled with an interesting discussion around exchange rates, as well as Brexit and how that is affecting the business now and what challenges might be on the horizon moving forward.
Next up was the bit all attendees were looking forward to… a series of new product presentations. This included in-depth discussions around: lifestyle wear, HUUB’s collaboration with Endurance Conspiracy, a Brownlee-print swim range, a new dry bag, extensions to the DS (Dave Scott) range, new wetsuits for the 2019 season as well as the new Adriel swimrun mid-sleeve suit. This latter product has a punctured neoprene centre-back panel for breathability on the run and a whistle zipper!
HUUB’s international sales gathering wasn’t all about product developments. Professor Huub Toussaint talked about HUUB’s very own M.A.D System (Measure of Active Drag), which coupled with his hydrodynamics knowledge gives HUUB the ‘ability to test products far beyond any other triathlon or swimwear company.’
At halftime on the Wednesday, all the HUUB crew were invited to take a tour of Pride Park Stadium, where they got to make the journey from Derby County’s home changing room, down the tunnel and also got the opportunity to sit in the dug-out area.
Other speakers on the day were aerodynamicist and cyclist Dan Bigham (10x British Champ) who presented ‘The Future’s Aero’ – with a in-depth look into aero apparel technology. The HUUB team has recently been working with aerodynamics expert Bigham at the Derby Arena velodrome. This collaboration aims to ‘apply the same rigour that HUUB undertakes for research into wetsuits into new tri-suits and a cycling range.’
Giving a market overview – touching on some international participation trends and consumer insights – Gary Roethenbaugh from MultiSport Research talked about ‘Endurance sport trends & the state of triathlon’.
In addition, Olympian Helen Jenkins (and long-established brand ambassador) joined for a captivating Q&A session with Dean Jackson. This addressed areas such as qualifying for the Olympics, through to the athlete-brand sponsor relationship and how injury and childbirth can present some bumps along the way!
The day was finished off at HUUB’s favourite Indian restaurant Anoki in central Derby. ‘As one of HUUB’s regular hangouts, this restaurant has served most of HUUB’s elite athletes at some point over the years.’
After the main meeting on Wednesday, on Thursday and Friday, HUUB’s central Derby offices were bustling with the meeting visitors for one-to-one sessions, order placing and product training.
Further details on new product releases will follow as they become available.