We’re back with another fantastic guest on SportsBiz Spotlight, The Kitsman!
This series is all about speaking to businesses in the sports industry and learning more about what they do.
Introduction to The Kitsman
My name is Josh, I’m 33 and I really love football shirts.
The Kitsman was born whilst scanning through Netflix, yeah of all places. I’ve always been pretty savvy on social media, but I’ve never really amassed a community. Maybe it was the subject matter that never enthused me enough to keep going, or that the content just wasn’t hitting the right notes. My love of football shirts seems to have changed all of this, and I still can’t quite get over it.
Back in our old place my shirt rail lived behind me in our hallway. I could see it from our sofa, whilst still being able to view the screen in front of me. This particular Saturday morning I had another idea to start a social account. I knew it was going to be shirt themed this time, but what would I call it? What would I talk about. Suddenly whilst browsing through Netflix I landed on ‘The Kingsman’. I said to myself “I’ve never seen that before, wonder if it’s ….. OMG”.. ‘The Kitsman’. That’s how the name came to be, the rest kind of just evolved from there on in.
What do we do?
Yeah, what do we do? Genuinely, it’s a great question and one we get asked often. Back in September 2018 I guess I wanted it to be a place to show off my own collection, whilst sharing the best places to add to yours. My creative side soon kicked into gear and I adopted a few more features. From mini shirt reviews, through to new kit news and much, much more. It’s always evolving. So in answer to your question, I guess we’re teetering on a kind of influencer?
What’s your main purpose?
To create a positive, open and inclusive space for people to share their love of football (but not exclusively football) shirt culture and beyond. To work with brands and other content creators alike to share all types of interesting stories inside and outside the industry.
If failure wasn’t a possibility, what would be your biggest ambition?
What a thing to happen ey!? Yeah I know it would be that I’d like to do this full time. I’m a bit restricted due to the day job on how much I can do atm. I often miss new stories and other people’s posts that would have been great to engage with. This is a new type of work isn’t it!? Where you can form partnerships and through enough hard work earn a wage. I guess I would want to be a key trusted figure in the football shirt/ sport apparel subculture.
What’s your USP?
As cringe and corney as this may sound, it’s just being ourselves. Really though, it is. I try to create posts that I think if I were browsing the Twittersphere that I would want to see. I also do make mistakes and I’m not in any way a self proclaimed expert. I’m still very much learning. I just have an obsessive fascination with football shirts. I think that is clear through the way we post. I just feel that staying true to you and being yourself can be amplified through the power of social media. I hope that answers your question?
How many people work at The Kitsman and in what capacity?
Yeah at first it was just me, but I would always bounce ideas off my friend who also had a social media channel which was about something unrelated. I think it just got to a point where we both thought there was something here, so we joined forces. I tend to handle all of the Twitter and Instagram related content. The website (which we’re really working hard on) is run by my friend. I don’t think we have any resources yet to take anyone on in a paid role. But it is something that hopefully changes in time.
Do you have any clients? If so, who are your usual clients?
This is an interesting one. So this is something that we never really thought about until recently. I always like to help folks out and have been doing a lot to help out folks through the community that we’ve built here. It’s been going really, really well. I often speak to people to get feedback and to bounce ideas off.
One of the questions I get asked is “How much did you charge them?” and “Did you get paid for that?”. I would always say, no not really as I don’t want to come across a big shot. However the more this was brought up, the more I thought “hang on, maybe we are worth something?”. It’s only recently that we have what you would call a paid client base. I can’t really give out any names of anyone yet. I’m still new to this and I’m not sure of what we can, or cannot say. Hope you understand. I’m a paranoid panda like that.
Who would be your dream client?
It’s another cracking question. I suppose we have already worked with and are working with that dream client. I think it’s the biggest compliment really. I think without giving too much away, people may guess who this might be and it humbles us that this has happened. It really does.
How can people connect with The Kitsman?
This is something that really blows our minds. Twitter has 26,000 followers. 26,000 people have decided “yep, I’ll follow them”. We often do this thing where we try to picture the follower numbers and what that would look like in football stadium capacity. I think the last one was an international stadium. You don’t think of it in a grander scale, as 26k doesn’t look that big on paper, but if you think of what the would look like in a crowd, then it begins to hit home. Our monthly analytics at time of writing is 7.3 impressions, 106k profile visits and 4.767 mentions. It’s mind-boggling stuff.
Our Instagram has almost 1.5k followers. This is a platform where we try to be more artsy, and offer something different in the form of our #WildShirts campaign (where we take photographs of football shirts in the wild).
Our website is something we’re focussing and building on all the time. We want our community to know that this is the evolutionary arm of our Twitter. So if you liked it here, then you’ll love it there. The Numbers are good, but we are actively trying to increase this.
As always, it’s been great to learn more about another fantastic organisation working in the sport space. Thanks to Josh Chapman and Stewart Aisthorpe for providing insight into The Kitsman!
If you would like to feature your sports based business or know of an organisation you would like to see feature, get in touch!