Beach and Funsports: a golden blend! Certainly with the summer months approaching. We spoke to Arnoud Wildschut, founder of BeachSport Nederland. If anyone knows what is happening when it comes to beach trends, then it’s Arnoud. And guess what? The trends in beach sports and Funsports are perfectly aligned. That is something you can profit from!
The thing that characterises fun sports is that you can play them anywhere and at any time. In the garden, on the beach or on sports fields. Today, the beach courts that Arnoud lays are much more than just beach volleyball courts, he explains: “I see it as a missed opportunity if the height of a net can’t be adjusted. I believe, for example, that you should be able to use a beach court for beach tennis. In addition, I’ve increasingly noticed that the courts are being used for fun sports such as Spikeball. Now I view the versatility of courts and facilities as being more of a requirement than a happy coincidence. We are seeing so much diversity coming to sports and games, and I believe the facilities need to be geared to this phenomenon.”
“I HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR CROSSNET!
I EXPECT THIS FUNSPORT TO BE EVEN MORE POPULAR THAN SPIKEBALL.”
Adaptation of mainstream sports
Football, volleyball, tennis. Just a few sports that are incredibly popular both at a professional and amateur level. So it is not unusual that all kinds of variants of these sports have emerged. It is a trend that is clearly gathering momentum, and we believe it will continue for some time. The adaptation of mainstream sports is also reflected in the brands that we market at Brookline. For instance, Spikeball is a great combination of volleyball and tennis. Crossnet creates a faster and more challenging version of volleyball and footvolley. Arnoud has high expectations for it: “I expect it to really take off and become much more popular than Spikeball. I have particularly high expectations of the footvolley variant.”
Arnoud is clear that creating variants of mainstream sports offers infinite options, with tennis alone offering a heap of possibilities: “Pickleball is one fun example! It combines elements from different racquet sports such as badminton, tennis and table tennis. Then there is Crossminton, a variation of badminton that is played without a net. Another version of a well-known racquet sport is Teqball. Played on a curved table tennis table, it combines elements of tennis, volleyball and footvolley. And as we have already mentioned, the engaging game of Spikeball! The adaptation of mainstream sports is amazing!”
“WHAT IF WE CREATE FUNSPORTS PARKS WITH ROBUST AND MORE PERMANENT VARIANTS OF THESE GAMES? THIS WOULD BE IN LINE WITH CHANGING LEISURE-TIME ACTIVITIES.”
Changing leisure-time activities offer scope for new concept
Different grades of Funsports are available, explains Arnoud: “What can you put in the car and take with you on holiday and easily store in the shed, and what might be interesting for local councils to erect in parks or playgrounds? Spikeball is perfect on trips and for playing in your neighbourhood; however, it is not so suitable as a permanent Funsport in playgrounds. That’s unless a more robust and permanent variant comes along that is specially designed for public spaces. I can imagine this happening for a game like Crossnet! This would make Funsports even more accessible to a wide public.”
As we are discussing this, it becomes apparent that Arnoud is not only passionate about beach sports but also that he is a born events organiser. Because what if... “What if Funsports parks are built with all kinds of robust and more permanent variants of these games? Maybe with some greenery and food trucks!” Not only is it a great concept, it is also in line with what we can see happening in the market. Partly because of Covid, outdoor exercise has increased in popularity. Leisure-time activities are taking a different form, which you can see, for example, from the falling memberships at traditional sports clubs. There is a need, so all we need are the facilities.
Never underestimate the power of visibility
Whatever you come up with, of your brand or product is not visible, it will never be successful. “If it fails to stay on the radar, it will disappear”, says Arnoud. “Take beach tennis, for example, which is relatively unknown in the Netherlands. On the one hand, it’s because it is overshadowed by the success of padel, and on the other hand, it’s because you don’t have beach courts everywhere. This means the barrier to playing it is higher than it is with many Funsports.”
WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A RESELLER.
WE ARE THE HOME OF FUNSPORTS!
Besides the visibility of courts in the streets, we also have marketing, of course. It’s indispensable! “If you take a look at American sport, one thing stands out: they present their sports as brands. And they do so extremely well”, adds Arnoud. “Everything fits together. Packaging, merchandise, campaign videos and in-store displays. It is a complete package, which makes it easier and more appealing for resellers to sell the products. You should certainly never underestimate the power of visibility.” We couldn’t agree more! So there’s a good reason why we developed merchandise for Spikeball and why, as a Brookline reseller, you can benefit from a package of supporting marketing and communications materials. We are more than just a reseller. We are the Home of Funsports!