November 2019, marks a decade ago when I began the Onyx Squash Academy and it has been a hell of a journey.
Originally, I initially set up as project as a platform to make change in the world of Squash and collaborate with our friends Sprintz Leisure Ltd in effort to tackle social inclusion, using Squash as a learning tool.
So far in our journey in bringing about community cohesion we have promoted the awareness of Squash on a global and unearthed some nations that are emerging onto Squash scene.
Despite this, our journey has been eventful but see this a journey to greatness in making the Onyx Squash Academy the most sought after organisation in tackling youth related issues through sport.
An unjustified obstacle
If anyone thinks it has been easy journey in setting this business, well it hasn’t – I came across a few obstacles along the way namely with a West Midlands base associate causing us the worst kind of pain, with no justification which could have resulted in the business being closed before it had a chance to reach the marketplace.
Despite this, I was able to proceed with the project thanks to help from a good friend (also affiliate partner) and one of our advisory board members who helped in sourcing out a great website host as the first one was slightly expensive aligned with lack of technical support.
Building a challenger brand
In light of the obstacles, as one of the founders, I decided to focus more on building the Onyx Squash Academy brand with a robust marketing strategy.
Needless to say, I have been a marketing professional for over a decade and had to turn down very good offers from external agencies to help build the website, and digital marketing services, notably SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), social media and website development.
As a result of the marketing my efforts, as the founder, I created a decent looking website; which is doing well on Google.
When it came to partnership, because of my website developer efforts, the website attracted some welcome attention of some of the key people in Squash, from places I did not expect.
Following a number of emails, I managed to rope them in the capacity of associate with a deal of appointment of Squash coach at a venue.
Persistence leads to new areas and contacts
In 2017, I finally made our partnership with Sprintz Leisure Ltd secure but then it fell through due to circumstances out of my control that had a negative impact on me, as the founder, overall I was very too be upset about it and came to close to putting the project into liquidation.
Regardless, I am very persistent (a trait I inherited from a much loved family member), our platform is going with the welcome addition of three advisory board members and a Squash professional.
Furthermore, my team and I have built up a platform for our affiliate partners to do guest blog posts to with a Squash angle.
In light of the number of setbacks, many people (friends) asked me do I believe that Squash is viable product? My answer is YES
The only thing that is stopping it becoming a sport of great popularity is local provision and an ambitious sports promoter – who has a vision of getting venues and other stakeholders to work together with a limited resources.
So many people have asked, what’s are my plans for 2020?
Well, there is going to be a change and more coverage of the Onyx Squash Academy, with an emphasis of strategic collaboration and a lot more blog posts and perhaps a video.
Blog post by Jermaine Ranger MCIM Chartered Marketer