LONDON — Andy Murray is looking at life beyond tennis and has taken a stake in the British sportswear brand Castore, which has banked 3.2 million pounds in its most recent round of funding. In addition to Murray, investors include Robert Senior, former chief executive officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, and Arnaud Massenet, one of the early investors in Net-a-porter.
Murray will take on the role of board adviser, where he plans to assist with product innovation at the brand, which plans to introduce a tennis line in the next 12 months. “It’s extending beyond the traditional brand and athlete partnership, where I’m not just getting paid to wear the kit on court. With this, I will have involvement in testing the product and seeing how it performs,” Murray said during a news conference Wednesday at Queen’s Club, a private tennis club in London.
With their new round of investment, brothers and founders Tom and Phil Beahon of Castore will work on product development and new product categories as well as strengthen their international presence in key markets such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. As a digital first and direct-to-consumer brand, the founders said their key focus will remain in strengthening their social media presence and their online presence. In the next month, they will be launching a Japanese web site.
The brand launched in 2016 as the brothers saw a gap in the market for a premium sportswear challenger for global brands and since then, Castore now sells in more than 40 countries worldwide. The brand is best known for its performance sportswear such as half-zip pullovers, lightweight running jackets and lightweight training trousers.
“The most exciting aspect for us is to have access to Andy’s knowledge from a product perspective. There’s probably nobody that better understands what it takes for a product to perform at the very highest level of elite sports. We’re excited about creating something that is innovative and technical from a stylish perspective,” said Tom Beahon.
Phil added: “Our sell-through comes from our site, and having web sites in the local language increases conversion and engagement. We have a large community through Facebook and Instagram and now having Andy on board, who has a great following in Asia, it’s working on how to capitalize on that.”
In the next 12 months, the brothers will also be aiming to build an on-the-ground presence through targeted retail partnerships with retailers including Lane Crawford and with high-end gym chains.
The two have no immediate plans to open a standalone store. “Our core digital platform will remain the driver of the business, and there are plans for our own stores. but that will most likely come in the form of having a marquee store in key cities,” Tom said.