Home of Funsports
“Within three years, Brookline will be the European market leader in the Funsports category. Do we think that is a realistic goal? Absolutely! Last year, Brookline grew sevenfold and Funsports are undergoing a huge growth in popularity in Europe. We are laying claim to this product category: “Brookline is the Home of Funsports!”, says Brookline’s founder, Bas ten Hove.
Disconnect to reconnect
When you think of Brookline, you think of Funsports! You think of ambition, energy and fun. Brookline is on a mission: disconnect to reconnect! We want people to connect with each other again so they spend less time on their smartphones and more time playing together. And for this purpose, we distribute the very best products: the leading Funsports brands, including KanJam, Spikeball, YOU.FO and Crossnet.
The power of Funsports
Brookline is fully focused on Funsports and, as Bas explains, there is a good reason for this: “Funsports are different from traditional sports because they can be played by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Their strong social nature and high enjoyment factors are also typical of Funsports. We have noticed that this category closely meets the needs of our changing society and customer preferences. Traditional sports are usually played at set times and in fixed locations, but that is not the case with fun sports. You do not need a court as you do with tennis or a pitch as you do with football. You can find other players using special apps or you can of course simply play with your family or friends. So you can literally play anytime, anywhere and, as it is so accessible, with anyone. Because fun sports let you combine social moments with being active. We help people reconnect with each other by providing an easy way into enjoying an active lifestyle. That is the power of Funsports.”
How it all started...
It was in May 2020 that Bas founded Brookline and stormed onto the market with the leading Funsports brands of KanJam and Spikeball, later adding YOU.FO and Crossnet to the range. We hit our target of 5,000 Spikeball sets for the year in just six weeks. That year, around 120,000 fun sports sets were sold under the Brookline flag. And that was only the beginning...
“In 2014, I was invited to go on holiday with a business associate in America. One of the other families that was invited had bought KanJam from Dick’s Sporting Goods. Even though it was completely new to me, I got hooked on KanJam and played it day in, day out during the holiday. Fantastic! KanJam belongs to the Funsports category and it is infectious. I wanted to buy a set when I got back to the Netherlands but I couldn’t find it anywhere in Europe. I got in touch with KanJam in America and decided to import the brand. We set up a webshop and the first sales got underway. Things really took off as we went from stocking a few sets in our garage to filling self-storage units before moving on to hiring racks in a warehouse. As soon as we introduced Spikeball, we set up the umbrella brand of Brookline. Now we have over 26,000 pallet spaces and 18 loading docks. Funsports are enjoying unprecedented popularity and are continuing to gain ground”, says Bas.
Behind the scenes at Brookline
“The day I founded Brookline, I hired Erwin. He’s somebody who has just as big a heart for sales and fun sports as I do. Now we have an entire team dedicated to keeping everything running smoothly behind the scenes, in addition to several international sales agents operating in Europe. Each and every one of them is an enthusiast with a passion for Funsports. Colleagues who are massively enthusiastic about our brands”, says Bas. “Brookline is not only my company; I want every employee to see it has their baby too. I also believe in giving staff lots of freedom and flexibility. Not only are we an ambitious company with high targets, we are also a tremendously nice company with a fantastic team. We laugh a lot and work extremely hard. This positive energy also feeds into the services we provide to our customers.”
Excellent service and support
“We won’t get where we want to be with enthusiasm alone though. We are on a mission. We believe that only by disconnecting can you really connect, which is invaluable. Our entire way of working concentrates on exactly that. We invest in our relationships with customers and partners. We are much more than simply a distributor of Funsport products. We have a great deal of experience in retail environments, so we can advise our customers in that area. Our supply reliability is exceptionally high and we have an excellent supply chain and warehousing structure, and we do everything in our power to provide our customers with great service. This includes helping resellers position products and providing them with marketing materials to optimise sell-through.”
Set up for growth
At Brookline, we are ambitious. We want to be the ‘Home of Funsports’ and our organisation is set up for growth. The huge growth that we have so far enjoyed at Brookline underlines the changing consumer needs that we have responded to in our capacity as the Home of Funsports. It also presents opportunities for the entire retail sector! That’s because as a retailer your can easily expand by adding this rapidly growing category to your product range. The popularity of Funsport combined with the marketing support offered by Brookline means a lot of traffic and fast turnover. This success among our resellers has had a knock-on effect on our processes, as Bas explains: “Everything at Brookline is scalable and we deliberately made it that way. If we double in size, can we work the way we do at the moment or do we need to make any changes to our processes? Everything is continuously held up to the light. Instead of setting up major programmes, we conduct small experiments. It’s this scalability and our small experiments that quickly yield a great deal of information and insight into how something is going to develop in the market. Our team and our partners have the ability to adapt quickly. That kind of flexibility is something you have to have in you. Brookline was founded in 2020 and just look how far we have come in such a short time! In fact, we are building an aircraft that has already taken off, and that isn’t something everyone can handle. Brookline is growing at a rapid pace. This means growth spurts and growing pains are inevitable. It’s a question of hopping aboard and going for it! Last year we grew sevenfold; that’s something you can only do if you’ve got the right team, the right processes and the right partners. “Within three years, Brookline will be the market leader in the Funsports category, just you wait and see.”
Please contact us for more information: +31 (0)55 3030 980