Building British Basketball Brand Hosana - With Roger Hosannah - Ep. 48 -

Building British Basketball Brand Hosana – With Roger Hosannah – Ep. 48

In Episode 48 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with Roger Hosannah, co-founder of the legendary Rough & Ready tournament and British sportswear brand Hosana.

Rough and Ready is up there amongst the most prominent basketball tournaments to ever take place in the UK. Running from 1996-2003 in Brixton, it featured two age categories, Under-19 and Under-25, pitting East, West, North and South against each other in a showcase of young British talent.

It became one of the hottest basketball properties in Europe, with the likes of adidas and Nike bidding to be major sponsors, and has become iconic in the history of basketball in England.

Meanwhile, Hosana Sportswear was *the* UK basketball brand through the late 90’s and early 00’s built off the back of an extensive portfolio of events and what would now be known as ‘influencer marketing’.

Building to a peak of almost half a million pounds a year in turnover, whilst being stocked in the likes of Foot Locker and worn by all of the top British stars of the era, Hosana impacted British basketball culture like no clothing brand ever had, or has done since.

In this episode hear from Roger on:

  • His playing background growing up
  • Why he left a well paid job as a buyer for the Burton group to set up his own thing
  • How the death of his best friend proved to be a key inflection point in his life
  • Teaming up with Matthew Ryder for the inception of Rough and Ready in 1996
  • How Rough and Ready became one of the hottest basketball events in Europe
  • His highlights from the Rough and Ready tournament
  • How big Rough and Ready became, leading to a bidding war between Nike and adidas
  • Balancing keeping the authenticity of the event whilst dealing with an influx of corporate money
  • Leaving Rough and Ready and why he chose to step away
  • Setting up the Hosana brand, coming up with the name and identity
  • How he used product placement and events to grow the brand
  • Why getting hold of the licensing rights to US colleges and MLB was key in the growth of the business
  • His events portfolio; Baller Evenings, Ballers in Brighton, Battle of the Boards, and HoopFest
  • How his retail background helped him source quality gear and focus on premium
  • Whether he thinks there is a market for a bespoke British basketball brand now
  • Being anti-establishment and facing issues with the administration
  • Why he wound down operations
  • His new company, Sixtysix8, and his plans for it
  • And much, much more!

As always, I’d love to get your feedback, come back after you’ve listened and lets get some discussion going in the comments.

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