Case Study: Supportershop

Supportershop are a London based online merchandising company that began trading in sports apparel in 1999. With a product range that encompasses football shirts, framed pictures and signed memorabilia, Supportershop target both fans and retailers from across Europe.

They began their Soccerex journey in 2006 when Director Pascal Walquenar attended the Soccerex Global Convention in Dubai as a delegate with the aim of finding new partners and suppliers.

Having seen first-hand the benefits of having a physical presence within the Exhibition Halls, Pascal elected to return the following year with a 9sqm stand. During the 3-day event, Supportershop were able to meet a variety of delegates interested in developing their international market through franchising.

Through regular contact with Pascal, Soccerex's Commercial Director Charlie Clarke, was aware that Supportershop were looking for partners to help them branch out to new markets, and therefore introduced Pascal to his client Michael Axelsen, Partner of The World Game Group, at one of the event's social evenings. The World Game Group were looking for investment opportunities to diversify their portfolio, and after meeting Pasqual, an offer was made to buy a significant share of Supportershop.

Pascal was delighted to accept the offer and since the completion of the deal in December, Supportershop have gone from strength-to-strength, using the investment to expand further into Europe, break into Australasia and Asia and also setting up FootballEurope.com.

Following the success of their participation in Soccerex 2007, Supportershop have continued their participation as they seek to expand their client base internationally as well as continuing to liaise with their South African partners SLAM – the South African FA’s Licensing & Marketing arm.

Commenting on the partnership, Axelsen said: “As a new player on the international football scene Soccerex gave us a unique possibility to grow our network and get important insights. On top of that, the output from just one of the meetings gave us an important platform to grow our international trading business on a large scale. Charlie Clarke arranged a meeting for us with Supportershop.com, which lead to a profitable acquisition.”

Walquenar also praised Soccerex's involvement stating, “Thanks to Soccerex, we’ve been able to get in touch with the world of football."