HIGHLANDERS vice-captain Gabriel Nyoni took to Twitter this week in search for investors interested in pouring money into his sportswear brand, GN27.
The forward believes the brand if marketed well has the capacity to fetch as much as US$50 000 in its first year, a figure that could triple in three years.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Nyoni, who is in the midst of contract renewal talks with the Bulawayo football giants, conceived the idea to start his own sportswear brand earlier this year and is keen to see it become a reality.
“There are quite a number of factors and reasons that made me come up with this idea. I have been involved in athletics and soccer since the age of six years and have always loved sport. My love for sport has made me want to develop sports in Zimbabwe through sportswear supply,” Nyoni told Standardsport in an interview.
“The other reason that cemented my desire to come up with this idea was the need to secure my future after football. Players in Europe like Cristiano Ronaldo have their own brands and I felt why can’t we, as African and Zimbabwean footballers come up with our own competitive brands.”
Nyoni revealed that there had been overwhelming demand for his sportswear since he conceived the idea and made a few items.
“I came up with the GN27 brand this year and the response has been phenomenal. I feel I am letting the public down because I haven’t been able to meet their demands because of the current economic situation. That is why I am looking for an investor and partner to assist me in my work,” he said.
“I want the brand to have sales of US$50 000 per year and triple that in three years. I want it to be the biggest sportswear brand in Zimbabwe. Once the brand is established in Zimbabwe, I will go regional.”
The 26-year-old speedy striker boasts of a degree in marketing and has already written a motivational book apart from being a footballer.
And he is still hungry for success in the field of play.
“I still have five to six years of playing football and in those years I want to win more trophies and establish my name among the greats. In so doing, I will be marketing my own sportswear label and growing my company in the process,” he said.
“The marketing degree I have will assist in the marketing of the company. Also writing books is a way of teaching and inspiring upcoming sportspersons and youths at large. I love to share my experiences with others.”
Nyoni was discovered by Highlanders while he was playing for and captaining the National University of Science and Technology where he was studying in 2013.