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Taka Grips: The high-performance grip socks making a difference

Taka Grips is a high-performance grip socks company based in Sydney, with the overall aim of improving player performance and comfort on the field.

Liam McConaghy, the founder of the business, explained to Soccerscene that his own personal experiences of discomfort on the pitch inspired him to find a viable solution to issues affecting his game.

“It was actually November last year, so not that long ago, we started back at preseason – I play in NPL NSW and I was signed for St George at the time,” he said.

“What happened was we were training on an artificial turf on a Sunday and it was really hot (it was coming into summer) and my feet were just getting torn to shreds.

“There were just the worst blisters and I could feel the friction inside my boot – so I thought to myself I need to find a fix and investigated what all this grip sock business was about.”

He personally never had owned a pair of grip socks, but was left dismayed by the prices he saw online for the item, which prompted him to try and start his own business.

“I got online to buy some and they were $70 a pair,” McConaghy said.

“So, I guess I just had a thought to myself (about creating the business), it just sort of started off as one of those ideas.”

A PE and Design and Technology teacher by trade, McConaghy used his expertise in these areas to devise his product at a much more affordable price of $30.

“I have got a bit of experience and training with graphic design and that sort of thing, so I had a bit of a play around and contacted some suppliers and manufacturers and eventually, one thing led to another.”

The sock itself is made with durable and lightweight material, however its custom grip placement and advanced technology is specifically beneficial for players looking to improve their change of direction, speed, agility and enhance their comfort.

“The socks have got these little grip pads that are basically pressed into the socks through a high-heat glue gun,” McConaghy said.

“I’ve strategically placed them all over the bottom of the sock in places where you would have the most pressure inside your boot. So for example, around the ball of the foot and the back of the heel – I made sure mine came up the back of the foot, so you wouldn’t get that slippage in the back of your boot where a lot of the blisters happen.

“Essentially what happens is you don’t slide around in your boot, so without any friction in your boot you don’t get blisters and it’s better for your movement.”

Taka Grip Socks – White

Although only recently launching the business, the socks have gathered an immediate following and appreciation from professional football players in the A-League and around the world, in leagues such as the J-League.

“I’ve pretty much been playing NPL1 since I was 14 years old, I used to play with the likes of Massimo Luongo and Aaron Mooy,” McConaghy said.

“So, I’ve got old contacts through playing and reached out to a few people and asked if they’d like to wear them, which they were more than happy to and from there more doors have opened.”

Other professional players from different codes including NRL and AFL have also been using the product, with the socks now entering more sports department stores around Australia.

Social media, particularly the company’s Instagram page, has increased the profile of the grip socks to a wider audience, but possible future partnerships with football clubs and state federations across Australia is a logical next step, according to McConaghy.

“While I have thought about expanding into different clothing down the line, firstly it would be good to be able to get some clubs onboard with Taka Grips through a sponsorship, supplying the whole club from juniors through to first grade,” he said.

In the present however, McConaghy is proud of the work he has done so far and how quickly the product has already grown.

“I am very proud, because it sort of just started out of nowhere,” he said.

“I literally just thought let’s give it a crack, apart from some help from my girlfriend I’ve pretty much done it all myself.

“It makes me proud, especially when I look at the calibre of people who are wearing them.”

For more information on Taka Grips visit their website here: https://www.takagrips.com.au/

 

 

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Deltatre adds sport-related functionality to AXIS

Deltatre, the global leader in fan-first video experiences, has announced the development of a new suite of sport-focused features and functionality within its user experience (UX) management tool, AXIS, to support leagues, teams and federations. 

AXIS is a targeted UX management console and suite of multi-platform Reference Apps. For many years, AXIS has been the go-to product for OTT services, including BritBox, Rogers Sports & Media and DR.

AXIS empowers an OTT service’s editorial team, reducing churn and boosting personalisation and monetisation options.

This latest evolution of AXIS brings Deltatre’s expertise to life, offering sports-focused OTT providers the ability to offer their users uniquely different ways of following specific leagues, tournament rounds, teams or players. 

By putting the power in the hands of knowledgeable editorial staff, clients consistently report increased engagement and reduced churn from their OTT offering. 

Deltatre has added the ability for broadcasters and rights holders to adapt their services, so that sports content such as competitions, events, teams, and athletes can be promoted out-of-the-box, with dedicated templates enabling easy discoverability of live and catch-up sport video content. 

In addition, a new personalisation feature allows users to follow their favourite team or player so they never miss a moment of the action. 

Using a simple drag-and-drop interface, AXIS helps editorial teams control every element of their OTT video service, including design, navigation, promotions, page layout, and content. 

This builds on an already extensive set of core AXIS functionality that includes the following features:

 A drag-and-drop management system: Enables any content producer to make real-time changes to an OTT service without needing to touch any code – helping to boost engagement and monetisation opportunities. 

 Smart lists: Streamline efficiency with ‘smart’ lists of content that combine manually curated and rules-based content.

 Advanced Segmentation Tags: Target your audience by demographic type, device, location and so on. 

 Personalisation:  Dynamically surface related content that you know your users are interested in, based on their followed items. 

 Page and row templates: Ready-to-use templates and row types let you create and configure detail pages for your competition, event, team, and other assets, that users can navigate to from anywhere in their app. 

 Monetisation options: Boost revenue potential in a non-intrusive way, by adding brand sponsored rows or banners directly into the UI. 

Gilles Mas, President of Video Experiences, Deltatre, said: “As a long-standing streaming technology provider to leading OTT platforms across sport and entertainment, Deltatre is uniquely positioned to understand the complexities and differences in the way fans and users engage with and consume different content. 

“We know how important it is to combine a greater user experience with clear, actionable audience data. Truly understanding your customers, and giving an editorial team the tools to act on that knowledge, is key to maximising engagement and reducing costs and churn.”

AXIS complements Deltatre’s comprehensive end-to-end offering across sports and entertainment, which includes its OTT player DIVA, the world’s most powerful sports publishing platform FORGE, and mtribes, a SaaS platform for real-time, data-driven UX targeting. 

StatsBomb enter Australian market with Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory looks set to dive deeper than ever into the world of analytics, following the announcement of its partnership with UK-based company StatsBomb.

Melbourne Victory looks set to dive deeper than ever into the world of analytics, following the announcement of its partnership with UK-based company StatsBomb.

StatsBomb confirmed the news via a press release on its website, with Victory announcing it was the first A-League Men’s club to be using StatsBomb’s services.

“Four-time A-League champions Melbourne Victory have signed up to use StatsBomb’s event data – containing over 3,400 events per game on average – and their IQ analytics software, the most advanced and customisable platform in the industry, to utilise in all sectors of the club, including in their performance, opposition, and recruitment analysis operations,” reads the StatsBomb statement.

“The Australian club will have access to StatsBomb’s deep data, which includes unique metrics such as pressures at a team and player level, pass footedness, pass height and freeze frames for shots, providing detailed defender and goalkeeper location information on every shot.”

Victory Director of Football John Didulica was proud to announce the partnership, which would help his club remain at the forefront of the analytics game.

“The football data analytics provider is industry-leading and will assist our club in staying at the forefront in the fast-paced world of Football Analytics,” he said.

StatsBomb Sales Executive Flavio Fusi was delighted to see the company move into the Australian market.

“We are proud that our first partner in Australia and Oceania is one with a rich history of success in the region,” he said.

“The analytics team at Melbourne Victory have shown they understand the importance of data and analytics in elite competition, and we’re encouraged by their ambition to integrate the use of data in all sectors of the club.”

Victory join some revered names in world football in inking this deal, with StatsBomb also a partner of Italy’s AS Roma and Clube Atletico Mineiro in Brazil.

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