In the first of a series of exclusive interviews with commercial and technical partners involved in Motorsport, Fabrizio Taddei, Export manager for Erreà, the apparel partner for the Manor Formula One team offers unique insights into; how the partnership was initially established, the challenges & opportunities Formula One engagement presents, and the satisfaction around launching the special edition Alexander Rossi fan-wear ahead of this weekends United States Grand Prix.
By way of thanking supporters of the Manor F1 team and readers of JWGrandPrix, Erreà would like to offer this exclusive discount code: PROMOMANORF1 offering a 15% discount on any purchase in the Erreà online store.
Fabrizio, let’s kick off with you talking us through how the Erreà Manor F1 team partnership came about?
I’ve always been a motor sport and F1 fan since my teenage years in the 70’s and I was lucky to meet 2 former members of Marussia, Mr. Mike Scudamore and Mr. Mark Zimmer at a famous Sport Business event in London, by start talking we found so many common points and we start planning a possible partnership. Therefore it was a little bit of good luck and a little bit of try to make the best you can out of a possible business meeting.
What are Erreà’s expectations around the Manor Marussia F1 team agreement?
First of all, for us passion is always the driving force when entering into a new arena or a new “circuit”. We are truly passionate sports people. A result is always the sum of many aspects that just adds up.
The exposure is important due to the global reach of F1, entering in a new sport is important for us to learn new skills and to bring something of our experience into a new market.
With Alexander Rossi joining the team for selected races in the conclusion of the season, Erreà have made available to fans special edition Manor F1 Team clothing, how important to you was it to have an American driver join the team line up?
This decision was taken in conjunction with Manor F1 team. Despite a very tight deadline we managed to produce a special t-shirt and a special driver cap in time for Austin.
This is what we consider the start of a more important and wide range of products for the coming season. Due to the very hectic start of the season for Manor, everything this season was made at the last moment therefore it was more a case of reacting quickly compare to planning for us and for the team.
I truly believe we both did a great job and the guys and girls in the team look great and sporty in their Erreà gear. Having Alexander in the team for Austin is just the icing on the cake. All the Manor drivers are really nice guys and great drivers and I was lucky to meet all of them, Will, Roberto, Fabio and Alexander.
Will Erreà build on 2015 Formula One engagement over 2016 and beyond?
This is the plan.
Did Erreà define any key performance indicators around Formula One involvement in 2015?
The indication and the feedback from fans have been very good, as I’ve said before this is a new venture for us in year one we’re not looking for any key indication; we are looking to build the foundations for a future in supplying Motor Sport teams.
How would Erreà describe its experience of the world of Formula One and its fans when compared to other sporting categories?
For me personally and for other members of Erreà staff that were fortunate to touch “first hands” the F1 community, so far it’s a great experience. There is nothing more exciting than Motor Sport, fans are incredibly passionate and my feeling is that they also are more “knowledgeable” about their sport compare to other fans in other sports.
Has Formula One involvement presented any unexpected challenges or opportunities for Erreà?
Not really, the business principle for a manufacturer and supplier like us are more or less still the same, obviously it was important a constant dialogue with Manor staff to understand fully what their needs are.
What trends do Erreà see emerging in the sportswear industry in the coming years?
Complicated question, it really changes from sport to sport and it is not easy to reply in few lines. Personally I believe that the key factor will be for a manufacturer to integrate new technology applications (gprs, cardios, sensors etc.) into technical gear. Everything is moving towards a more “performance gear”
Would Erreà recommend Formula One involvement to other companies as a tool to increase brand awareness?
Yes, with no doubt.
How does the cost of Formula One involvement compare to other sports?
F1 is the pinnacle of professional sport; therefore it’s more expensive compare to other sports.
What has been Erreà’s highlight of the Formula One season?
Everything was great and challenging for us, from supplying the entire team one week before Melbourne without a contract and with a gentleman hand shake, to supplying a new range in the middle of the season, to decide, together with Manor, to produce special gear for Alexander for his home GP. Sport is about challenges and we had plenty of challenges this year with Manor if you consider that all this was mixed with our “normal” business of supplying Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Rugby, Handball and Running teams throughout Europe.
Fabrizio, thank you for your time today, to conclude our interview could you give an overview of Erreà as a company?
The company was founded in 1988 by the Chairman, Mr. Angelo Gandolfi, his wife Rosanna and 5 employees of which 3 are still at the company. Once a Football player and a team manager, Angelo Gandolfi eventually decided to embark in a new adventure and make his dream come true. He therefore combined his love for sport with his attention to details, a characteristic that has always been peculiar to him, and in 1988 he began to produce the first Erreà technical athletic apparel.
In a few years, thanks to the high quality of its products, the greatest attention to design details and its excellent customer service, Erreà grew unrestrained. It became the technical sponsor to a number of sports clubs, from junior amateur teams to some of the most famous clubs in Italy and around the world: not just football, but also volleyball, basketball, rugby and other sports. Our values reflect the strictest values of true athletes, who do not want to accept any compromise when physical exercise is most demanding: that is why so many teams have chosen our technical athletic apparel. Nowadays Erreà Sport, based on the experience gained throughout the years, produces customised sportswear and garments thanks to two fundamental factors: the internal and direct management of the entire production chain and the creativity and skills of its graphic designers. One of Erreà’ s great prides is that it produces all of its products in-house, which means that the products are conceived, designed and manufactured within the corporate plants. This assures a final product of excellent quality and delivery of a flawless customer service, capable of satisfying any need, even at short notice.