Advertise on CBF

Author Topic: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1  (Read 5481 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

tim2000s

  • Administrator
  • International Superstar
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10662
  • Trade Count: (+19)
  • If I only could bat....

The interview is published in two parts in order to give you the content a little more quickly. This is part 1, talking about Nick and Mongoose now. The second part will look at the future of Mongoose.

Afternoon Nick, Ive structured this into three sections. A little about you, then Mongoose now and finally what the future holds. Please can you tell us a little about yourself?
 
My name is Nick Lawson, I am a Managing Director at a large city firm. Ive been a cricket fan, all my life. I enjoy sport and am a keen runner and enjoy Crossfit.
 
A few more questions about yourself
What is your Favourite takeaway?

 
I absolutely love a Chicken Madras. I dont have it often enough, I dont know why, but its about the only rubbish food I eat as Im quite strict about my food.
 
How do you take your cups of tea?
 
I love tea. I have milk, no sugar and I have about three cups a day from the same shop as you.
 
Is a Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit?
 
Its a cake. Its called a Jaffa Cake!
 
Do you have a dog, and if so, what breed?
 
I do, and I absolutely adore him. Hes a Lancashire Heeler. Well hes actually a cross a Capheaton terrier which is a cross between a Lancashire Heeler and a Jack Russell. Everyone thinks hes going to attack them and hes very small and lovely. Hes seven years old. I absolutely love dogs.
 
Ive got nets at home, and he got hit in the eye by a cricket ball so he hates cricket as a result, which is really sad. Its affected him ever since.
 
How did you get involved in Mongoose?
 
I run the firms cricket day every year (and have done for 9 years) where we arrange to play at Lords. Back in 2010, one of the playing pros brought his Mongoose bats along with him, which I thought were very good. As I learned more about the company it had a personal feel and was very accessible in its early days and as a result I invested in the first iteration.
 
What were the failings first time around and why did you want a second bite at the cherry?
 
Mongoose was a victim of its own success. While the core business was good, and made sense, the half a million pound wage bill for pros became crippling (with Matt Hayden, Andrew Symonds, etc, not being cheap).
 
The bats were still good and the ethos of the company was sound, but given the financial situation, the company collapsed and I (and other shareholders) restructured and financed and bought it out of receivership, trying to maintain the companies character. We believed then, and still believe now that Mongoose is a very strong brand.
 
Why invest in such a weird little industry as cricket?
 
Vanity really! A lot of people get to a point in their career where they believe they should start a restaurant, eponymously titled but I have cricket bats! As a boy I grew up with brands like GM and GN and Mongoose had a more personal feel than the bigger brands when I invested. One could have the bats personalized with your childrens names, which felt different. Having never been good enough to play at a decent level this was a way to get properly involved in cricket.
 
From this Ive learned how impossible retail sales is. The advent of the internet, the pressures on retail sales of sports equipment, very slim margins and the vagaries of the environment. 20% of all sales go through Sports Direct and Amazon. 
 
In the first year that Mongoose came out of receivership, in 2012, we were hit with one of the wettest summers on record, the recession, the Olympics bisected the summer reducing interest in cricket and Sri Lanka and the West Indies were the touring sides, meaning no-one bought any cricket bats and we thought My god, what are we doing?. We got bailed out by the Ashes series of 2013/2014 and the proximity of the two. There are a lot of factors that you have to consider.
 
It has been a fascinating journey! There are lots of things that we have learnt on this journey.
 
Well move on to a little about the current Mongoose. Who would you describe as the archetypal mongoose pro?
 
I think Matty was such a great pro to start with, I mean, you want someone like the butchers son. You want someone like KP, Chris Gayle. Someone with swagger. The brand has a very cool youth association so many of our bats are sold to kids, so for me it would be someone young, aggressive.
 
I remember one of the first proper games my father took me to was England vs the West Indies at the Oval. I remember seeing Viv Richards come out and he took his time. He took his time, and Id want someone coming out with a Mongoose bat to take his time.
 
I was at a dinner with Viv and I told him I still have my Slazenger Viv Richards bat from the eighties, and we talked about it. I told him I was involved in Mongoose and he didnt seem to ascribe too much value to bats. I know that some of the really good cricketers just pick up any bat in the changing room and come out. He just didnt seem that interested in bats.
 
You look at someone like Graeme Hick and Marcus Trescothick and how absorbed they are. At one event I had Graeme Hick take my bat and look at it like a craftsman himself. Marcus Trescothick has taken all our Mongooses and customized them in his own woodshed. I think there is an interesting split.
 
But back to the original question, I think Viv (in his prime) would have been the archetypal mongoose pro.
 
Do you insist on Mongoose pros using your bats or are they free to take labels and sticker up whatever they like?

Its a very good point. We had a problem with a professional player who was contracted to us in the early days who I wont name. He went out with a completely different bat. We do like them to use Mongoose bats. We currently sponsor a raft of players at the county level (people like Gaz Andrew, Jade Dernbach, Marcus Tresocthick) and there is an expectation that they use the bats. These are good bats.
 
When Mongoose originally came to the fore, the MMi3 was a well made high quality bat. The current MMi3s in the shops seem to be a distinct drop in quality and feel to the original. What difference, both in manufacturer, and manufacturing technique have changed for this perceived drop in quality to come about?
 
The originals were made by Hunts County and Sareen for the lower end ones. Its almost the reverse of this. The quality has improved. The MMi3 only represents about 20% of sales. Super Premium is Grade 1, down to Kashmir for the kids bats. We still have Hunts County making the higher quality and Sareen making the lower quality bats at the moment.
 
The majority of sales (50-60%) are the ToRQ and Rebel (the full length blade bats). The COR3 (the hybrid) is about 20-30% of sales.
Logged

WalkingWicket37

  • International Superstar
  • *******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12066
  • Trade Count: (+26)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 11:16:58 AM »

From his Jaffa cake answer the man speaks sense!

And his response about the dog informs me he's a top bloke!
Logged

Stuey

  • International Captain
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1118
  • Trade Count: (+1)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 11:59:22 AM »

Works in the city, owns a cricket company, has a net in his garden, likes dogs...Nick you free for a beer?  :)
Logged

Buzz

  • Administrator
  • International Superstar
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10870
  • Trade Count: (+11)
  • Clear your mind, stay still and watch the ball
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 01:26:12 PM »

"20% of cricket sales go through sports direct and amazon"

:o

that is incredible. 1/5th of all retail cricket sales through totally none cricket related retailers.
Logged
"Bradman didn't used to have any trigger movements or anything like that. He turned batting into a subconscious act" Tony Shillinglaw

Percy

  • County 2nd XI
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 308
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 02:27:42 PM »

"20% of cricket sales go through sports direct and amazon"

:o

that is incredible. 1/5th of all retail cricket sales through totally none cricket related retailers.

Agreed - but then again if you think about the number of non-cricketing parents buying kit for their kids it must make up quite a percentage of this.
Logged

WalkingWicket37

  • International Superstar
  • *******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12066
  • Trade Count: (+26)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 02:33:59 PM »

Agreed - but then again if you think about the number of non-cricketing parents buying kit for their kids it must make up quite a percentage of this.
And those in the know taking advantage of the end of season sales etc.
Logged

Neon Cricket

  • International Captain
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2315
  • Trade Count: (+2)
    • Neon Cricket
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 02:55:14 PM »

Tbh last time I heard the figure was higher than 20% - no surprise at all

It is a great shame when 90% of the kit in SD is total utter rubbish!!
Logged
Email: adam@neoncricket.co.uk
Website: www.neoncricket.co.uk
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Percy

  • County 2nd XI
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 308
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 03:13:50 PM »

Tbh last time I heard the figure was higher than 20% - no surprise at all

It is a great shame when 90% of the kit in SD is total utter rubbish!!

I find nothing more depressing than seeing some poor kid whos parents have forked out good money for SD rubbish when, for not a lot more, they could have had some decent kit (that fits!) from a specialist. I suppose they are just not that interested though.
Logged

Neon Cricket

  • International Captain
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2315
  • Trade Count: (+2)
    • Neon Cricket
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 03:51:39 PM »

I find nothing more depressing than seeing some poor kid whos parents have forked out good money for SD rubbish when, for not a lot more, they could have had some decent kit (that fits!) from a specialist. I suppose they are just not that interested though.

Couldn't agree more - it's just too easy for the parents, if they don't understand the product they're buying then the price is king - I can imagine the majority of that 20% will be the bats under 50 too
Logged
Email: adam@neoncricket.co.uk
Website: www.neoncricket.co.uk
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

sarg

  • International Captain
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1195
  • Trade Count: (0)
    • CricketBatInfo
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 06:22:05 AM »

Enjoying the interview, can't wait for part 2.
Logged
Don't ask me how much each run costs me....

SOULMAN1012

  • World Cup Winner
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4640
  • Trade Count: (+25)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 07:23:52 AM »

Thanks fir tsing the time to do this Nick. Great to see someone with a love for the game take it to the next level. Good like with Mongoose moving forward mate wish you all the best and look forward to part 2
Logged

Ams4287

  • International Captain
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1374
  • Trade Count: (+5)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2014, 07:41:37 AM »

Great read cheers Tim! As everyone else has said will keep my eyes peeled for part 2
Logged

farnham_quins_2

  • County 1st XI
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 975
  • Trade Count: (+2)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2014, 09:16:51 AM »

Tbh last time I heard the figure was higher than 20% - no surprise at all

It is a great shame when 90% of the kit in SD is total utter rubbish!!

Agreed, not a surprise. I know people I've played with who are happy to pop down to SD (normally a lot nearer than a decent cricket sop) and get a cheap Slazenger.
One team mate spend about 50, and it was a proper plank! Think he's reconsidering his buying strategy after that one
Logged
-------------Farnham Harlequins CC------------

--------That's What We Do--------MFC--------

Neon Cricket

  • International Captain
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2315
  • Trade Count: (+2)
    • Neon Cricket
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2014, 09:39:02 AM »

One team mate spend about 50, and it was a proper plank! Think he's reconsidering his buying strategy after that one

That's my problem with SD - nearly all end up buying twice because the bats are generally so poor, once you hit 100 for a bat you can easily pick something decent up from a specialist retailer.
Logged
Email: adam@neoncricket.co.uk
Website: www.neoncricket.co.uk
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

gerhard303

  • First XI Captain
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 197
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Interview with Nick Lawson, majority shareholder in Mongoose - Part 1
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2015, 10:26:55 AM »

The originals were made by Hunts County and Sareen for the lower end ones. Its almost the reverse of this. The quality has improved. The MMi3 only represents about 20% of sales. Super Premium is Grade 1, down to Kashmir for the kids bats. We still have Hunts County making the higher quality and Sareen making the lower quality bats at the moment.


So I suppose in this case, lower grade also means a different bat maker. To state what has been stated repeatedly on this forum and elsewhere (e.g. http://millichampandhall.co.uk/downloads/AOC_Aug2014.pdf), lower grade doesn't necessarily equate to lower performance.  I've used a Mongoose Torq (not super premium), which I suppose was made by Sareen and it went alright. Pickup was a little disappointing for a mid-high middle bat with smallish specs, though.
Logged
 

Advertise on CBF