Trends & Features

Martin Newton of Aqua Sphere UK talks to us about the launch of the MP swim brand

Can you give us some background on the new swim brand?
MP is an entirely new line of products for training and competitive swimming, which is performance driven, but also comfort driven. It’s very much a long-term collaboration between Aqua Sphere’s energetic R&D team and the influential technical input and product testing of the greatest swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps, and hall of fame coach Bob Bowman.

Aqua Sphere will maintain its stronghold on the design and production of award winning goggles, swimwear, triathlon wetsuits and accessories for fitness swimmers, open water swimmers and triathletes, while the MP brand will bring cutting edge products to the competitive swimmer. Aqua Sphere’s focus has always been to deliver comfort, performance and extraordinary vision to swimmers and now, for the first time, we can utilise Michael and Bob’s experience at the highest level to bring these core attributes to competitive swimmers. It’s a very new and exciting product proposition.

Tell us about the first new products to be launched from the MP range
Michael joined us at ISPO to unveil the MP brand, showcase the new logo, share his ethos and discuss in more detail our first major collaborative product – the Xpresso competitive swimsuit. The Xpresso has been designed to offer athletes an unprecedented range of motion from a racing suit.

Other MP products will include the K180 and K180+ performance swimming goggles and a competitive training Focus Swim Snorkel, which has been designed and manufactured by Aqua Sphere. These can be pre-ordered now for mid-year availability.

What are the key features and benefits of the Xpresso swimsuit?
Michael and his coach Bob challenged us to develop a racing suit that distinguishes itself from the other technologies currently available. They wanted us to increase the level of flexibility in the garment to help improve performance.

Our design team used our proprietary Exo-Foil and Aqua-Core technologies to develop a groundbreaking dual fabric technology called Exo-Core, which not only offers compression and is hydrodynamic, but has significantly greater stability and range of motion than other competitive swimsuits, allowing athletes to maintain relaxed muscles before and during competition to maximise peak performance. In addition, the Exo-Core construction features strategically placed panels that reduce energy dissipation, while allowing for increased blood circulation.

Fast, comfortable and great looking, we are all excited about the features and benefits of the new Xpresso for the competitive swimmer and Michael is eager to race in the suit in 2015.

How will the MP brand be marketed?
As shown to the crowds on our stand at ISPO, the MP brand has its own distinctive logo and all our packaging and advertising will promote the Michael Phelps/Bob Bowman collaboration.

The needs of competitive swimmers are unique compared to those of a fitness swimmer or a triathlete and our marketing will convey how well we have listened to the combined knowledge of Michael and Bob to fully understand their objectives relative to their training and performance. At every opportunity we will communicate that both Michael and Bob are fully integrated into the product cycle – from inception to design and testing. This is very much a collaboration of the finest expertise with the most innovative construction capability and that message will be clearly conveyed and tightly targeted.

With space at a premium, what is the benefit to a retailer of selling both Aqua Sphere and the new MP line?
With swimming one of the most popular activities in the UK – and open water swimming and triathlon becoming more popular every year – we believe retailers can harness sales opportunities by serving the needs of all swimmers – from fitness swimmers, recreational swimmers, open water swimmers and triathletes to competitive swimmers.

The new MP brand designed by Aqua Sphere is a shared vision to meet the needs of the competitive swimmer and we are confident that its distinct proposition will not only boost interest in top-end swim sales, but will help to advance interest in swimming generally.

Now is the time for the retailer to consider his current retail offer, ask himself if he can better capitalise on the popularity of swimming and ensure his display is up to speed and ready for the opportunities of the year ahead.

For no obligation analysis and advice regarding your swim section, call Aqua Sphere sales on 01254 692200.

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