Latest update - Performance of the On brand in SA and globally
Once again in 2022 and in the year 2023 to date, Tifosi Sports and the On brand remain movers and shakers in the running industry in South Africa. The On brand is truly becoming a sports brand that consumers are recognising on people’s feet and also a brand that South Africans are aspiring to owning as their preferred running shoe and gym shoe.
In recent months, our increased sales of On “sneakers” in SA have not only come from the high volumes of the Cloud 5 and other all-day styles of On shoes such as the Cloudnova Form and THE ROGER. More importantly, in line with our long-term objectives, we have seen an even more significant growth in the uptake of our technical running shoe range of shoes. Our road running shoe range now makes up in excess of 50% of our total gross unit On shoe sales in the Southern African region and we have more run speciality store and other new account openings planned for the rest of 2023.
As the official distributor of On in SA, Tifosi Sports also plans to launch a new long distance road running shoe in the latter part of 2023 which will further add to our cushioned On running shoe range. This, soon to be launched “on cloud” road shoe from On, is sure to become the go-to shoe for many entrants planning to run the Comrades 2024 ultra road race.
With the extent of the growth attained in the Tifosi Sports business in the last 12 months, the Management Team at Tifosi Sports has grown in number and our staff compliment has further expanded to help the Team process the extra volume in sales and stock movement and to maintain our high customer service levels and efficiencies. We have also bolstered the capital and equity structures of the business in anticipation of the exponential growth envisioned for the On brand in our region for the 2024 to 2025 period.
“Quite frankly, running has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially after the Covid-19 lockdowns, and the On brand of apparel and shoes appeals to the South African premium shoe consumer and to those runners looking for a cushioned running shoe and comfortable apparel that deliver better performance and comfort and are also aesthetically good looking. Ultimately, we are a premium running sportswear brand that offers superior tech in all our On range of products” says Nick Zografos, CEO of Tifosi Sports.
On, the popular Swiss premium performance running brand, is now the fastest growing brand (in terms of percent increase in trade growth) in the global running market. Further fuelling this growth in global sales in the last 18 months has been the collaborations with niche fashion brands such as Loewe and Bodega and celebrity endorsements with sneaker legend Ronnie Fieg and now retired tennis legend Roger Federer. Says Martin Hoffmann, Co-CEO and CFO of On in their latest financial presentation in August 2023: “The very strong first six months of the year and now six consecutive record quarters is a testament to the incredible work and dedication our team continues to showcase every day. The strength of the On brand and continued exceptional growth is visible across channels, regions and products. We are thrilled that we are visibly progressing further on our strategy and ambition to win credibility and market share in the performance space.”
As an outlier brand, On continues to deliver innovative, differentiated products that enable world-class performances on the road, tracks, trails and tennis courts. “We are coming closer to our two-year anniversary since our IPO. Our product innovation engine has delivered six all-new performance shoes within the 24-month period, as we continue to take market share in the specialty run channel” says David Allemann, Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairman of On.
In the local market, Tifosi Sports launched the Cloudsurfer 7, Cloudboom Echo 3, Cloudmonster Exclusive, Cloudswift 3 range of road running shoes in 2023. Sales of both the Cloudmonster and the Cloudsurfer have exceeded all expectations since being launched with the former mentioned style now being the best-selling On shoe in SA. The sales of our On apparel range have achieved triple digit sales growth in the last year despite the premium price of the products – it appears that people just love the On brand. We are currently working with On to increase our apparel range and deliveries into SA as we find ourselves currently sold-out in various apparel items including running shirts, weather jackets and running tights for women.
The success of the On brand has also resulted in numerous “impersonation scam campaigns” whereby scammers are impersonating themselves as registered On resellers, registering domains and supposedly marketing On products at significantly discounted selling prices with the intention of targeting unsuspecting customers for their own financial gain. “They appear at the top of Google search results. They then take your money and deliver nothing” says Nick Zografos. “This activity is also being experienced by up to 100 other popular footwear, clothing and apparel brands around the world. Currently in SA, there are in excess of 14 scam websites falsely marketing On products to the unsuspecting local consumer. We are doing what we can to minimise the threat from these fake websites and their respective Facebook pages and we appeal to all our loyal On customers to do some checks and research before buying from any e-commerce platform.”
Our numeorus marketing initiatives and tie ups with various on and off-road running events have been instrumental to increasing the awareness of the On brand in SA. The more runners that get to test our On cloud shoes – the more athletes we are converting to our footwear and more consumers are learning that it is not “QC” or “OC” but rather – On.
In conclusion, we would once again like to extend a message of gratitude to all our staff at Tifosi Sports and each and every one of our authorised resellers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe – all of whom have assisted in making the On brand a true competitor in the running industry. Thank you for your outstanding commitment.
With much gratitude and appreciation.
Tifosi Sports CEO