Trends & Features

Foot to the floor…

In 2012 a new concept was born and has been taking the sports and healthy lifestyle market by storm. This concept is thin, comfortable, lightweight supports that offer therapy and prevention to many of the typical conditions of the extremities. These conditions come both from sports activities and ageing.

ING Source Ltd was recently formed to market and distribute this innovative and successful line. ING Source Ltd will handle all distribution across Europe, including the UK market, following on from the considerable success of its sister and founding company, ING Source Inc, in the USA and Australia.

It was relatively straightforward to appoint a distributor into the medical market in the UK for the flagship product FS6®, as this is specifically designed to address the prevention and treatment of the number one foot problem in the world: heel pain. You may have heard it described by its medical term, Plantar Fasciitis.

The appointment of a medical partner was done very quickly. However, because of the roaring success in the USA sports retail sector, particularly in specialist running shops, ING Source Ltd was faced with an immediate challenge.

Essentially the problem was how to interest and engage the competitive and diverse UK sports retail market in the UK with these products. This gave Barry Wright, the Sales and Marketing Director of ING Source Ltd, the aforementioned challenge.

Just because FS6® was successful in the USA did not necessarily mean he could replicate this story in the UK and then sit back and watch the sales numbers climb. In addition, as a former podiatrist Barry knew that common foot care issues (such as heel pain) are seen and discussed with customers and staff in sports shops every day, but that in general staff and management do not have access to sufficient skills to deal with the subject in the same manner as a trained podiatrist would.

There are many shops that have excellently trained staff fitting running shoes and orthotics, but do they understand that heel pain in particular is treated with a combination of modalities, now including gradient compression? This is the main unique selling point for Orthosleeve® patent pending Compression Zone technology™.

In fact, Barry was advised to avoid introducing a medical product into sports retail “like the plague”. But balanced against this was a proven track record for FS6® with runners and athletes in other parts of the world. In fact, FS6® won USA National Exhibition The Running Event’s ‘Product of the Year’ in 2012 and the testimonials of satisfied users continued to grow apace.

Also, the products themselves had come from a company forged out of expert knowledge of the orthopedic, foot care and sports hosiery business, with over 35 years’ experience in the development, manufacture and marketing of socks for all uses, including workwear, leisure and sport.

So what does ING Source Ltd have to offer the UK sports market?

We have a combination of a manufacturer with impeccable pedigree and experience and a family of products combining this experience with innovation and proven efficacy delivering those benefits to all wearers of the products.

Base layer technology resonates with most, if not all, sports retail professionals in the UK. Everyone understands and appreciates the benefits of gradient compression in sports these days.

Compression:
• Helps stabilise and reduce muscle stiffness and soreness.
• Reduces the time taken for muscles to repair themselves.
• When the right amount of compression is used (20mmHg or more), it enhances blood circulation and therefore delivers more fresh oxygen to working muscles.

So in reality, setting aside the clear medical benefits it has, particularly in heel pain treatment, we have a product that is the first and only base layer product for sportsmen and women especially designed for the foot.

We call this OS1st™, which delivers all the known benefits of compression listed above with the additional design innovation of Compression Zone Technology™, ie 6 different levels of compression in a foot sleeve thin enough to be used underneath any sock and in any type of sports footwear.

If this short article interests you sufficiently to find out more, call Barry on 07753 814425 or email bwright@ingsource.com to further explore distribution opportunities.

© ING Source Ltd September 2013

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