Trends & Features

Simon Hall, Winmau’s global head of marketing, gives us the lowdown on the brand

Tell us about the company
Winmau, pronounced ‘Winmore’, started in 1946 and has grown into the world’s leading darts supplier.

As the only fully integrated darts equipment manufacturer in the industry today, the Winmau portfolio is supplied directly from our purpose built darts facility, the only darts factory like it in the world.

Who is the brand aimed at and how is it promoted?
We invest in the sport’s future and focus on darts players across the full spectrum of the world darts system.

Trying to touch people wherever they play darts, we leave no stone unturned in the darts category, aiming for product leadership chosen by darts players and not just our own accolade.

Opinion ratings and the depth of social media feedback that the internet now delivers has played a key role in our darts sales growth over the past decade. Darts players are more discerning and technically demanding. Experiencing Winmau first hand as a top end brand is the result we’re after, as we aim to market to players who want the best and know the best.

Key features and benefits of the products?
Winmau’s unique tungsten capabilities make us different from any other darts brand – from our passion to make everything from scratch to controlling the entire process ourselves.

Darts is what we do and we hope we’ve played our part in the growth of the game. The Blade 4 is exclusively endorsed by the British Darts Organisation, the founding body of darts worldwide, and our dartboards have been for over 30 years.

With the only ‘eye dominance’ expert in the world on our team, a free dedicated practice website, practise routine experts and the finest R&D division, we focus on helping all darts players get the best out of their game.

Who are your brand ambassadors?
Winmau has an extensive stable of sponsored players. We sponsor over 25 players, ranging from world champions like the hugely popular Andy Fordham and Ted Hankey, as well as the current women’s world champion Trina Gulliver, to top PDC stars like Simon Whitlock, Mervyn King, Mark Webster, Dean Winstanley and legends like Dennis Priestley and Peter Manley.

What’s the most effective way a retailer can market the brand?
Our most successful retailers tell us using the Winmau Blade 4 is a great way to grow extra darts sales. With the majority of darts players choosing to play with a Blade 4, retailers can easily transfer this experience into desire for other products in the range.

The Blade does demand a higher price point compared to Far East dartboards, but it has become a destination product for darts resellers.

What support do you offer retailers stocking the brand?
We offer a one-stop shop for all darts equipment, with full point of sale support through our 90-page brochure, product merchandisers and striking packaging designs that feature a strategic colour coded retail concept.

How quickly do you turn orders around?
As we don’t rely on third party imports, our distribution and stocking on key product lines allows us three-five-day turnarounds. Naturally, this is dependent on the time of year and, in many cases, we ship orders next day.

Is there a minimum order level?
We don’t have any minimum order or force retailers to take packaged deals, which allows them to experiment with new lines at minimum risk and not have to dump stock when we launch new collections.

What’s your biggest growth market?
Germany has become one of our biggest growth markets, as the country has changed dramatically on a media and product front over the last five years.

Products from the Far East were winning with retailers, but we’re seeing a more educated market that prefer to buy once, but buy right, rather than going for the cheapest price, and so our commitment to a quality strategy has fitted in well with the growing German market.

Why has darts become so popular in recent years?
Live TV darts is rapid, riveting and seriously entertaining. The characters, their actions, their dogged competitiveness, life-changing prize money and the inescapable environment of stage and camera all combine to create one of the most popular sports on TV today.

Such popularity leads to top players being recognised in a similar way to football players. The everyman appeal of TV darts is fundamental to its success and this is recognised by broadcasters worldwide, making darts a truly global phenomenon.

For more information call 01656 767042 or email Twitter: @winmau. Facebook: Winmaudarts

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