Grassroots Rugby Business-Taking the love for rugby and making it into something that benefits rugby community.
Royal Rugby Boot Company was initially was founded in 2012 in California (before being relocated to Washington in 2014) by actual rugby players.
Before its launch or the first boot was available Royal Rugby Boot Co. spent a year testing its development of an inexpensive rugby boot specifically rugby. As ruggers know it’s hard to find rugby specific boots (as most are designed for soccer, etc.) and when you do find rugby specific boots it usually expensive. Derek Kemper, CEO and founder of Royal Rugby Boot Co. wanted to create a boot designed for all rugby players at all ages and competition levels that offered affordability as well as quality.
The initially testing of the boots were done using a few clubs in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, primarily with Azusa Pacific University RFC and Pasadena RFC in designing different boots before launching the "Rugger" series.
Royal Rugby Boot Co is focused on creating quality inexpensive rugby boots, but they aren’t just limited to footwear. Royal Rugby offers several other products. These includes several different T-shirt designs as well as a dri-fit for training purposes, hoodies, kit bags, mouth guards and a high-quality "New Era" brand snap back baseball caps promoting the Royal Rugby Boot Co brand.
In the past two years, the company has made some big strides to market its name and make ruggers aware of this option when it comes to rugby boots. Some ruggers have seen the grass roots efforts by Royal Rugby. They’ve been selling boots at local tournaments and festivals in California. Banners can now be seen in "Infinity Park" in Glendale, CO where the Raptors of the Pacific Premiership play and large rugby events are held. The product can be seen on the feet of assorted Men's, college, and youth programs throughout Central and Southern California as well. A major breakthrough for the company occurred this past Valentines Day in Las Vegas for the International 7's Invitational and USA 7s as the company sold merchandise throughout Sam Boyd stadium for the three-day event.
Royal Rugby Boot Co is one of the only American based rugby companies that only focuses on rugby. Having the company developed by rugby players for rugby players allows the company to have the demands of the game and the player in mind. Also being a stateside company has allow them make sure to collaborate on the larger USA Rugby goals of promoting the unique culture rugby. Royal Rugby looks to “support, donate and sponsor programs when given the opportunity simply out of passion for Saturdays”. They have donated boots to youth and programs in need, but have committed to make products affordable in the first place so to encourage greater participation in rugby.
Royal Rugby Boot Co encourages new and experienced ruggers to consider making their next boot purchase from Royal Rugby. Not only because it is a quality product for the price, but because they have the opportunity to support an American rugby company that is improving by the moment to meet the needs of ruggers and growing the game.
Royal Rugby has new designs coming out that will look to enhance the way one plays the game, while representing something bigger than just a company and a brand, but a vast and talented community of rugby players looking to grow the sport here in the USA. The new line includes boots with the replaceable studs which are ideal for poor weather conditions, or soft ground (rare in California at this time due to drought). The new lines also feature new colors and styles.
Royal Rugby doesn’t just talk about supporting rugby, they actually take action! In an effort to grow the brand and show its commitment to rugby at the local level, Royal Rugby Boot Co launched a program to sponsor rugby players with their products. The effort is meant to find promising talent and prospects who can help promote the brand through their play. Through the initiative Royal Rugby Boot has sought out and has selected 10 rugby players who will each season receive the full line of products, help test products and receive them before they are available to the public. Ruggers were instructed though social media to submit their CV (résumés’) to Royal Rugby. In May Royal Rugby selected 10 players whom they will be fully sponsoring. The selected players will receive boots, mouth guards and shirts, which they will wear in training, games and other related rugby events. They will also assist with testing out prototypes.
Many may not have been familiar with this American rugby company focused on rugby. It is founded and run by rugby players and not some worldwide athletic company. All their sales force are current or former rugby players who understand the culture and needs of rugby players. So now that you know more about them, support their efforts. You can find all their products on line at www.royalrugbyboots.com
We will be doing some reviews soon on the various new boots. So keep checking back with us. Thanks to Josh “Prius” Olford of Azusa Pacific University RFC for contribution to this article.
About Josh Olford: Josh Olford who was dubbed "Prius" by his original club, is a full-time student at Azusa Pacific University (APU), as well as a member of the APU Rugby Club. Olford previously played for Fresno RFC where he got his start. Olford has severed as the Club President for APU Rugby, as well as Captain. He has also worked as a member of the Royal Rugby Boot Co. sales team.