Mark Slater’s Weblog

Musings about work, life, and all things in between

Concave wins its biggest award yet

Very exciting news this morning as we were notified that we won 2 significant awards from a consumer voted poll.

We won “best boot of 2009” for our PT+ version – beating out both addidas and Puma, and we won “most innovative product of the year” again beating some very big players.

This is very significant for a company our sizing attempting to do what we are doing. The bottom line is this – the incumbents that own 70% of this market have been lumbering along for many a year, pimping gimmicks as real and authentic technological improvements to the boot. If its not colorways, its materials, or “new” leathers and so on. None and i mean None of this truly make any quantifiable difference to a player. i would like for every claimant to go through independent testing on such things as “swerve” or “grip” – these things would not survive any type of rigorous analysis. Certainly not as compared to what is being claimed in their “marketingspeak”.

So while these guys are immersed in doing just enough to “dupe” the consumer in to thinking that they are receiving some tangible benefit to the “new” version – we are solely focused on deploying out technology as a point of difference that will tangibly and measurably improve a players performance. See because we are in the technology business before we are in branding business – our technology MUST work for our brand to succeed.

That focus is in our DNA and its beginning to get recognized worldwide. these are of course my personal opinions and not necessarily shared by my colleague at the company!

Filed under: Football

John O’shea agrees to a multi-year endorsement deal with Concave

Well – i am limited by corporate policy on what i can say regarding my business activities and Concave but i really cant hide my excitement about this news for us.

For those who know me personally, its been a long two years getting to this point – millions literally millions of miles on planes by the team, in strange places, and in unfathomable situations.

god knows there have been bumps and fights and worry and stress, and no pay, and little pay, and questions on whether we can really do this – all typical in any start up. Today is one of those rare days in a start-up when one can exhale and be slightly proud of what we have done. have we made mistakes? absolutely. Have we ‘cracked it’? not by a country mile…..but does this spur us on to keep swinging – no doubt!

now if John could just put Ireland through with a winner at the death from 30 yards…..

Filed under: branding, Football

Earthquake In Jakarta

mosque in Jakarta
Image by markgslater via Flickr

its been a very busy last 3 months for me and i have not posted (had a baby – stella!)- rather been commenting using DISQUS as a way to stay involved and express my thoughts.

I saw the title to my last post, and thought – well lets try and get going on a new wave of blogging by relating my most recent experience in Jakarta.

As some know – i am involved with a football footwear technology ( and we source in asia, so i find myself out there several times a year.

I am waiting in the lobby of the hotel having a quick beer before heading home last week and chatting to a random person in the bar when my beer starts shaking. Suddenly staff begin to appear from different doorways and are shouting “mister mister ..please this way” before i know it we are being escorted out of the front of the hotel while the lobby chandeliers are beginning to sway violently above us…

it was all over in a matter of minutes, and the remainder of the evening was uneventful with little or no damage to the hotel or surrounding area.

i made it back to boston through Dubai and London three days later with a brand new appreciation for the awsomeness of mother nature.

Filed under: Football,

Bombs in Jakarta

News this morning of 2 bombs exploding in hotels in Jakarta is somewhat un-nerving. I have been to JK now about 7 times in the last year. We typically stay at a hotel near the factory in the Karawachi district. These attacks occurred in the sprawling – and i mean sprawling downtown area. My colleague is actually enroute to JK right now – a trip i was supposed to make except that we are expecting our first child.

here is a picture of JK in the morning from my hotel

JK in the morning

i really enjoy visiting Jakarta – Indonesian people are extremely friendly by nature and i rarely feel unsafe. I even sometimes balk at the airport security that is a fixture at the entrance of every hotel. I have got so used to the culture that i’ll often walk outside the gates, and off in to the local market, or shopping mall.

Ofcourse this type of thing will only serve to bullhorn the likes of cheney and others who’d prefer that the american psyche be a biggoted and insular identity. Any one that knows indonesia, or Jakartan will know that this type of thing is simply not in their DNA. This is another example of an entire culture stereotyped by the actions of a very very few.

I’ll be going back – with bells on.

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Filed under: Football

Concave’s New line of boots coming to a town near you

Well its been a long 9 months. January of this year we decided to accelerate our development cycle for the new boot technology and its been a race to get to this point ever since then. As is the case with every start up i have been involved with not – not with out challenges either! Making a high performance athletic shoe – that involves range of motion, torque, strike, comfort, and on and on is no small undertaking. Compress the cycle time and the hurdles increase in size exponentially.

Concave sports PT +

We are now in production on the shoes and hope to have them in our key markets (US and UK) in the month of august along with Germany, Greece, Australia and several others soon after.

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Filed under: Football, ,

Football and the Boston Globe

Champions' League logo
Image via Wikipedia

As someone who is in the business of football and who has a vested interested in the continued increase of interest in the sport here in the US, it came as some surprise that Bob Ryan of the boston Globe chose to write about the UEFA Champions league final last night. (thanks to Justin for pointing this out).

Here is the Article

It was also a nice surprise to see that the article was not aimed at trampling on the global sport – as so often done by the talking heads on WEEI, and other reporters in the paper. Is this a sign that the sport may be approaching some type of tipping point in the mind of the american consumer. Its cleary an uphill battle – our attention for sports is very scarce here given the 4 majors.

It would be nice if we could get the proper name for the sport back.

The beautiful game is football – and it was founded before this country at boarding schools (including mine) in the 16th century. A brief glimpse at wikipedia gives a very enlightening description of the history of both this game and American Football.

taking a brief snippet…..

Modern American football grew out of a match between McGill University of Montreal, andHarvard University in 1874. At the time, Harvard students are reported to have played theBoston Game — a running code — rather than the FA-based kicking games favored by US universities. This made it easy for Harvard to adapt to the rugby-based game played by McGill and the two teams alternated between their respective sets of rules. Within a few years, however, Harvard had both adopted McGill’s rugby rules and had persuaded other US university teams to do the same. In 1876, at the Massasoit Convention, it was agreed by these universities to adopt most of the Rugby Football Union rules, with some variations. Princeton, Rutgers and others continued to compete using soccer-based rules for a few years before switching to the rugby-based rules of Harvard and its competitors. US colleges did not generally return to soccer until the early twentieth century.

Oh – and Bob – its extra time, not over time.

and there really was only 1 final that we all remember

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Filed under: Football, ,

Danny Webber in our new boots

Danny Webber wearing the first ever pair of 2009 PT + K leather blades last Saturday at brammal lane. Danny has been a huge supporter of the concept and we are over the moon that he is wearing our boots now. We wish him all the success in the playoffs at wembley, and in the premiership next year!


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Filed under: Football, Uncategorized, , ,

Special One TV

Those who like football as much as i do will certainly enjoy Setanta Sports new half time show featuring Jose, Sven and Wayne.

I always wondered why Spitting image ever went off the air – its been reincarnated in the form of football – brill

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Filed under: Football

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