Gary Crookes ShadowBall Inventor – Episode 17
Episode 17: Gary Crookes - Inventor of ShadowBall
Gary Crookes is the inventor, founder and MD of ShadowBall. ShadowBall is a weighted, half a rugby ball, which is being hailed as one of the greatest new innovations in rugby. The ShadowBall is engineered to rebound off any wall and come spiralling back to the passer, and for the first time ever, it enables rugby players to train solo passing and catching. However it is more than just a ball; it has evolved into a full- fledged rugby skills training program.
In this episode we discuss Gary's journey into entrepreneurship and how he was able to grow ShadowBall into the worldwide brand it is today. We also discuss a cornerstone of the ShadowBall brand, which is to give back to communities and to facilitate accessibility among disadvantaged youth to be able to develop their technical rugby skills.
A large part of Gary's success has been the key partnerships he formed along the way, such as Stellenbosch University's Sports Science Institute and Nashua. He also found in former professional rugby player Gcobani Bobo a great business partner and brand ambassador. ShadowBall has been nominated for the 'Cutting Edge' sports award, and for the 'Best New Sponsorship' for the collaboration with Nashua to establish the Nashua Rugby Skills Project. Since 2015 when they enrolled their first 500 kids from 4 schools into the ShadowBall Academy, they have enrolled a whopping 2500 kids in 2017, and have doubled this number to 5000 in 2018!
- We first designed the product, which was the wrong way to go about it. You should first look at the market, understand the market opportunity, look at the problem and the target market you are speaking to.
- Having deep thinking and a business plan is important, but most important is to just start.
- If you're going to start, limit the risk. Decide upfront how much of your time and capital you are willing to risk upfront. Click To Tweet
- It is important to take your time to make sure the product or service works before releasing it to market
- Learning is only learned once applied
To purchase a ShadowBall, find out more about ShadowBall Academy or if you are a school interested in bringing the ShadowBall programme to your kids, visit their website at www.shadowball.co.za
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Opening jingle: Original composition produced by Bradley Peters
Theme music: 'Nice to you' by Vibe Tracks