What’s in a name?
Some companies arrive at their name by spending thousands on consultants and branding studies. Tyrek, LLC was named by a four-year old child. The story is that while playing on his father’s computer, my four-year-old nephew was trying to spell STAR TREK. The first word came out fine, but he accidentally included the letter ‘Y’ in the second, and out came TYREK. At that point, his father, my younger brother, called me urgently to tell me they had a company name for me. Now admittedly, I had spent the past 8 months trying desperately to come up with a company name. But with every one I submitted, the Federal Office of Trademarks & Registration would tell me the name was already Registered, was Pending Registration or otherwise not available. Yet when our Trademark Attorney filed the papers for TYREK LLC Registration, we were approved. Finally, we had a name.
The Tyrek Story
In today’s corporate world, product concepts usually emerge from the boardroom. This one – was born in a bar room. To set the scene, I was sitting in a bar called “Fat Boys” in Brussels, Belgium, hoisting a few with a fellow football fan. It was May 2005, and our team Liverpool FC was going to be playing AC Milan in the Champions’ League Final, Europe’s pre-eminent football match.
So, as sometimes happens among sports fans, the conversation (as it was) began to turn to which of us was the bigger Liverpool FC fan. We compared how much team memorabilia we each had, the number of games we had seen, and our respective knowledge of the club’s history and trivia. We quickly observed that we both had almost all the team paraphernalia — but not the shoes. So we visited the team’s Club Shop. And what we saw in terms of footwear didn’t really seem right for “die hard” fans such as ourselves.
We felt the shoes didn’t reflect the Club’s rich history. They didn’t tell Liverpool FC’s story. And perhaps worst of all, they could have been worn with any team’s official sports apparel.
That got me going. I began to research footwear manufacturing, leather quality, manufacturing centers and shoe designs that would ‘resonate’, not just with Liverpool FC fans, but with sports fans of any stripe.
After about a year, and a small fortune invested in the research, I had a few prototypes developed to show to the real experts in sports memorabilia — fans. With shoes in tow, I traveled to the World Cup in Germany in 2006, rented a food truck, and drove around the major cities of Germany to show the design concepts to fans from around the globe.
The shoes were well-received and in my conversations, I was fortunate to gain some incredible feedback from the fans. I learnt that instead of thinking in English, I needed to think in the native tongue of my target audience. For example, the shoe shouldn’t say ITALY, it should be ITALIA. Germany must be DEUTSCHLAND. Spain – ESPAÑA, and so on. A lady from Poland even told me to put the National Flag on the shoes. “We are proud of our country” she said.
I now had my mission. For the next 5 years, I spent my time and savings gaining licenses from sports brands, building the shipping logistics, and securing reputable manufacturing facilities around the world. Finally, in March 2011, TYREK, LLC was established as a corporation in New York, USA.
The TYREK LLC Lifestyle shoes are designed to be colourful, comfortable and stylish enough for any proud fan to wear almost anywhere their lifestyle takes them. And of course, every stitch embroidered into each shoe is made to shout out PRIDE, PASSION, LOVE, and ALLEGIANCE on the part of the sports fan. They’re quality shoes, too – just as quality fans deserve. For example, the logos, names and country flags are not painted or printed onto the footwear, they are woven into the essential fabric of the shoe. And, as our “Winners Dare” slogan declares, Tyrek shoes are all about displaying a winning attitude.
Now, as Tyrek LLC prepares to launch, I want to personally thank everyone who has been a part of its development, with a special nod to Real Madrid CF, represented by Adidas Global Brands – the first club to sign a license agreement with us. Today, we hold nine licenses from major European football clubs, as well as a global Rugby National Team License.
TYREK LLC Lifestyle shoes is already making plans to expand into new styles in other sports categories including cricket, rugby, basketball, ice hockey, baseball and North American football, to name but a few.
We hope you enjoy this Style Book, and look forward to you joining the Tyrek Club.