Phil Vickery MBE, Former Rugby World Cup winning England International and Founder of Raging Bull
... on professional rugby and the lessons learnt for an own successful business
GlobalSportsJobs: People are used to seeing you out there on the field but what sort of kick do you get from the world of business? How does it compare to being a pro rugby player?
Phil Vickery: Throughout my rugby career I always needed something else. I think if I'd just had rugby it would have eaten me up - I needed to have other focuses.
A lot of people would look at Raging Bull, see the success it's had in recent years and forget that 1998, when it was started, is actually quite a long time ago. A lot of time, effort and a great group of people have gone into developing that. And just being here at Rugby Expo, celebrating rugby and being part of the rugby family - we're very lucky. I'm extremely proud of [Raging Bull] it and that's why I'm here today - to show people what it means to me.
GlobalSportsJobs: And Raging Bull is about more than just playing kits...
PV: Yes it is - we've got the leisure side of the business as well. We've grown the business hugely on the internet. And our biggest partner outside of the 88 independent retailers throughout the country is with House of Fraser and by the end of February we'll be in 17 House of Frasers across the country. So things are moving really quickly. We've got to work extremely hard to try and keep up with it all but it's successful and it gives me a huge amount of satisfaction and pride […].
GlobalSportsJobs: What do you think about the comparisons made between the qualities needed to be successful in sport and the qualities needed for success in business?
PV: I think there are lots of crossovers. I've always been single-minded – I think it's probably the farming background and growing up on the family farm down in Cornwall. And in business, when you start out, you build a brand or a name from nothing. And believe me- it's very tough. So yes sport […] - within that team you have to have guys who are single-minded, very determined, my wife would say stubborn. And I think I tick all those boxes.
And with the business - we've grown slowly. We've not had huge amounts of money to chuck at it [...] So we've driven our business on our customer feedback, delivering on promise and valuing what we do […] I believe the core values I was given all those years ago at Bude rugby club at the age of 12 have always stuck with me and have served me very well.
GlobalSportsJobs: You mentioned the fact that you were here at Rugby Expo with Raging. What's that experience been like for you so far?
PV: It's been good - it's good to catch up with a lot of old faces and it’s also good to see new people and new innovative ideas. It’s opened my eyes - I think I know the industry pretty well but actually looking around – it’s good just being here, being a part of it, listening. For us it's a really big deal - it's a huge statement for my little company to show that we appreciate what the game has done for us. We're here for people to come and talk to and do business.