Local sportswear startup Headhunter Sport has signed with the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) to be their official merchandiser and secured rights to manufacture Marvel clothing to be sold from Brunei.
Founder and CEO of Headhunter Yusuf Flynn (pictured main L) said the agreements will not only build sales directly but also build lasting brand credibility for the startup – who have been operational for less than a year.
As official merchandiser for SRU, Headhunter will manufacture the Singapore national rugby team’s jersey and their athletic wear for training – as well as their jerseys that are sold commercially for four years.
“We’re very proud to have signed with SRU,” said Yusuf, who says the agreement also opens up networking opportunities to supply other club rugby teams based in Singapore.
“Supplying the national team also gives other clubs in Singapore the confidence to buy from Headhunter. We already manufacture for the Brunei (national) team, and by March (next year) for Singapore. We are targeting the other regional countries next.”
Headhunter’s jerseys are made from proprietary microfiber blend with reinforced stitching that they claim will stand up to the punishment of aggressive games of rugby, but remain breathable and comfortable.
The 37-year-old explained the agreement with SRU came about by Headhunter writing in, designing and later sending a free jersey samples to Singapore.
“Within Southeast Asia, Singapore is really one of the best hubs for rugby,” said Yusuf, whose startup recently won Best Newcomer at the first Brunei Rice Bowl Startup Awards in November. “We were focused and knew we wanted to partner with them.”
Yusuf added that Headhunter has also made an ambitious bid to be the merchandiser for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series’ leg in Singapore, which falls in the highest tier of professional and international rugby.
Meanwhile, the Marvel arrangement will allow Headhunter – which has 20 young Bruneian designers – to develop their own creations, with Yusuf targeting to launch a sportswear line to be sold from Brunei by February next year.
“The arrangement licenses us to make Marvel gear to be sold from Brunei – which we plan to do online through our website,” said Yusuf, who is planning to produce hoodies, t-shirts and compression gear.
Yusuf, who moved to Brunei in 2008 from New Zealand, also shared that Headhunters will build a local rugby team – called the Begawan warriors – to develop Bruneian talent by playing in overseas tournaments.
“We really started by asking two questions: How could we (in Brunei) get cheaper, but still high quality, rugby kit? And how could we develop Brunei rugby?” said Yusuf. “Headhunter was conceived to meet both the needs of the market and the sport here in Brunei.”