RANGI JERCEVICH is only 34 but already has a deep understanding of the trials and tribulations faced by amateur sporting organisations in trying to keep moving forward both on and off the field when resources are tight and time is scarce.
The former player has been a director of rugby at Scottish Tennent’s Premiership outfit GHA for the last five years, so has first hand experience of the hard work that goes into running one of the most forward-thinking clubs in the country. He was heavily involved in the club raising the cash then building a state of the art 4G pitch at their Braidholm base last year, and also founded the Braidholm Sevens rugby tournament in Glasgow in 2010 which he ran for eight years.
Now Jericevich is using the experience he has gained at the sharp end of grassroots rugby in a new business venture launched this summer which aims to help community sports clubs to market themselves and generate cash by selling their own branded apparel on a ‘made-to-order’ basis with no upfront costs.
Jericevich is a co-founder of the e-commerce platform Kitvendr which enables clubs to set-up their own bespoke online store and product range, from which customers can directly order items such as branded clothing with the club earning commission from every sale.
“Many community sports clubs struggle to balance the books,” said Jericevich. “Raising funds through collecting membership subscriptions, generating sponsorship, running events, running a bar, and selling merchandise is a constant challenge. The work done by volunteers to maintain investment in grassroots sport is incredible.
“Kitvendr makes it relatively effortless for clubs to set up their own online shop and sell merchandise. We take care of all of the normal hassles from stock management to order production and fulfilment leaving clubs to simply promote their shops to their members and supporters.”
Kitvendr already counts British Ice Hockey’s national media group and a number of rugby, rugby sevens and community sports groups among its clients. The firm has experienced early growth resulting in it recently moving into larger premises and investing in new production equipment.
“For the time being we are focused on providing clubs with a service to retail their own merchandise only, as we saw this as an area that was particularly problematic for community clubs,” added Jericevich. “Usually it involves bulk ordering, long lead times, minimum order quantities and a whole load of effort that often falls on the shoulders of one volunteer.
“So a club supporter can essentially go online and buy a club cap or T-shirt, for example, and have it delivered in a manner comparable with buying a product for a professional sports club.
“Each product is ‘made to order’ meaning that the need for a club volunteer to be responsible for bulk ordering, collecting in money and often waiting weeks for a product becomes a thing of the past.”
Kitvendr supplies a range of caps, beanie hats, t-shirts and bobble hats and aims to expand its range in the future. Clubs choose what merchandise they want and can be set up on the platform within seven days.
To set up an online store, visit www.kitvendr.com.
- Follow Kitvendr on social media – facebook.com/kitvendr, and @kitvendr on Twitter and Instagram.