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ACCEL is the No. 1 Filipino Sportswear Brand

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I was recently privileged to sit down with Paolo Ortiz who is the second generation of the families running and managing the top Filipino sportswear company in the country which is more popularly known for its primary sports brand – ACCEL (pronounced /əkˈsel/).  I met him at his main warehouse in Pasig City and together with three other journalists and bloggers, we all casually talked to Paolo to hear his thoughts and experiences regarding the company and brands they have given to the Filipino public since its inception in 2002.

Hey! I remember owning a pair of ACCEL rubber shoes. Back then, probably around 2005, I always thought Accel was an international brand. “Well, what didn’t I know then?” So, I should shout, “Proudly Filipino!”

There are presently 342 outlets nationwide of Sporteum Philippines, Inc., the company that manufactures, markets and sells the ACCEL line of sportswear, most of which are concession-oriented and outright stores, while around 10 are company-owned specialty boutique shops. By research, I also found out Lazada is also selling the ACCEL brand though I do not know if it is a direct sale from Sporteum. But no franchising for now.

The sportswear brand ACCEL is more known for its rubber shoes (Yep! That’s old school terminology, kiddos!), particularly in the area of Philippine basketball since Sporteum has been a licensee of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for quite some time – jerseys, caps, sports sandals and bags.

Besides sports shoes, Accel also has sports sandals, shorts, indoor shoes, basketball shoes, caps and other accessories as its more marketable brand categories. You have past and present ACCEL endorsers like Asi Taulava, Manny Pacquiao before he became famous, including the likes of Bearwin “DaBear” Meily (Filipino actor), Rey Saludar (boxing), Dennis Orcollo (billiard), Engelberto Rivera (bowling), Onyok Velasco (boxing), Treat Conrad Huey and Ceil Mamiit (tennis), La Salle Green Archers (2007 83rd UAAP), Gilas Pilipinas, Maico Buncio (superbike), Gary David (basketball), Natasha Alquiros (women’s football), and Diego Dalisay (tennis).

As prominent is ACCEL to men’s sports, the sportswear company is now aggressively marketing its women’s line for the past two years, starting with women’s sport shoes and following it with women’s sports apparel – footwear, sports sandals, apparel, leggings, sports bra and more.

While interviewing Paolo Ortiz, I learned that he actually finished with a degree in Landscape Architecture and ventured out on his own before joining the family business two years ago. Sporteum was founded by three families, namely the Ortiz, Laroza and Go families, with Willie Ortiz more known with the ACCEL brand. Prior to setting up Sporteum, these three sportswear industry stalwarts actually came from another well-known sportswear company, Rubber World, which as I recall was the first distributor of Adidas in the country. This only means these founders have been in sportswear industry for decades.

ACCEL has only one market – the Filipino market. They are competing head-on with internationally known brands like Addidas and Nike but are priced well below these expensive sportswear products so that the average Filipino can afford ACCEL – with equal quality and durability to the international brands. A local brand, World Balance, may well be its direct local competitor but ACCEL outpaces it in variety, availability and affordability. This is because ever since they started, Sporteum’s goal was to be the No. 1 Filipino sports brand. Today, I believe that to be very true.

A new addition to the ACCEL brand is not a sub-brand but rather a new technology, which they call Quantum Plus (or Quantum+ as it is popularly labeled). This is a patented technology inside select ACCEL sportswear products that provides a healthy balance of ionized charge. Something similar to magnets and infrared (IR) in wearables like bracelets and necklaces, Quantum Plus balances out the negative charges for us urban dwellers; rural folks have a balanced diet of these charged ions. From sport shoes to apparel, Quantum Plus is (still) in its promotional stage despite being launched sometime early 2014. Wearing something with Quantum Plus is like placing nature’s energy in your shoes to boost your stamina, whether it involves casual sports or extreme ones. If you go to one of ACCEL’s outlets, the Quantum Plus products are visibly labeled with a large, prominent tag. Of course, there are no scientific or medical claims for endurance and strength but global research will tell you a balance of charged ions can provide a healthy balance for the body. In fact, one of the interviewers attested giving her extra endurance on her regular jogs when she started using ACCEL with Quantum Plus.

The prevailing market of ACCEL products have always been the Gen X (generation), seeing that the company began as the official licensee of PBA in its early days. But Sporteum is slowly developing products for the Millennial market, especially the women’s segment. Besides conducting surveys for new and upcoming designs, they also rely on feedback from their endorsers and other athletes.

September next month is the anniversary of ACCEL. Paolo says they have promotions in store which he did not want to reveal – not just yet. Sporteum will continue to add Quantum Plus in more of their products and continue to support Filipino sports with the likes of PBA, UAAP, NCAA, Shakey’s V-League, PBA D-League, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Sportswriters Association, PBA Press Corps and the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps.

For more information, visit www.accelsports.com or follow them at Facebook and Instagram.

Source of text from an interview with Paolo Ortiz, Operations Director of Sporteum Philippines, Inc.

Photos by @raffypekson

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Business & The Economy, News & Articles, Small Business & Entrepreneuring, Sports

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