LPU, Letran outfitter opens first-ever store and showroom
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 13, 2018 06:35 PM
(Photo courtesy of Rebel Sports)
A year after returning to the local market, Team Rebel Sports Pilipinas looks to strengthen its hold with the opening of its first-ever store.
Back in 1998, company founder Joel Cu, who was just 21 years old back then, opened a start-up company in Santolan that focused on making sports uniforms.
Twenty years later, they are back to where it all began.
"We are back in Santolan. We opened our first store here a few blocks from here," recalled Cu.
"This showroom is made for our kababayan nating Pilipino. We want to produce good uniforms to our fellow Filipinos. Gumagawa nga tayo ng uniform sa ibang bansa pero ngayon, we are opening ourselves back here," he added.
During the 2000s, Rebel decided to shift its model to outsourcing to foreign clients. It proved to be a success as the US and Australian markets embraced the brand.
But it felt empty as Cu's main goal was to give Filipinos a local brand they can be proud of.
Enter Lyceum Pirates assistant coach Jeff Perlas.
"We had this informal chat last year. Sabi ni Joel, 'Jeff, how can we be active in the local sports market?' I was busy in LPU nun," shared Perlas. "For me, one way of promoting a brand is through the athletes. That's the key for this. What I did was we used the players from LPU and other players na kilala natin. From there, we were able to experiment with the power of social media.
"Surprising na last year, umakyat yung sales three-fold. Yung market reacted," added Team Rebel's consultant.
PBA club team Northport Batang Pier came knocking a few months later. It was the breakthrough moment they needed.
"It's our entry point last year when we rigged the jersey of Globalport," Cu shared.
With the local demand growing, Cu and his staff expanded the operations of its factory in Antipolo. Twenty-four hours, seven days a week with a staff of almost 200 people were needed to accomodate the orders.
At present, Rebel is the outfitter, not only of Northport, but also of collegiate powerhouses Lyceum and Letran.
To cap of Rebel's year, the company opened its first store, a showroom by all accounts, at 290 Santolan Road Corner 5th Street West Crame, San Juan City.
And they are hoping that this would help cater to more Filipinos.
"The vision for Rebel is to focus on all sports on all levels. Marami pa e. For the public schools, we want to help them out by sponsoring their varsity teams. We are also researching more on how we can give our women's athletes the right uniforms," Cu disclosed.
“Hopefully, in 2019, we can offer more to our kababayan.”