Johan Neperus - X-Tend BV owner, representative of sports brand Craft
What is the essence of your company?
"Craft is part of a Swedish listed company focused on sportswear and underwear. My company X-Tend, also part of the same Swedish listed company, does include the sale of Craft in the Benelux. Eighty percent of our revenues are in the Netherlands. Craft is obviously much in skating, but in the Nordic countries, cross country is similar to what has been skating with the Dutch. In addition, we put more and more emphasis on cycling."We have reached the top by sponsoring the cycling team of brothers Andy and Franck Schleck . This is an investment but we earn from it by selling replicas. We provide the casual clothing to the Rabobank cycling team , the team managers and mechanics wear Craft clothing. We also sponsor the team of the Belgian cyclo-cross champion, Niels Albert, the former world champion. In addition, we are expanding in the fields of inline skating and the skating marathon. Craft is visible throughout the year. "
Why did you become ambassador to the KIA Speed Skating Academy?
"I am the first ambassador! I immediately said 'yes' when I was asked. We always try to make known that skating is a world sport, But then you have to prove it. I have done this by supporting Marnix . I have been active in skating for a long time. I recently saw the program "Other Times in Sport", with as theme, the revolution of Rintje Ritsma. Even then, Craft was in the picture everywhere. I wanted to confirm that commitment to skating by supporting the KIA Speed Skating Academy.
How important is the Academy for speed skating in your eyes?
"We're very spoiled in the Netherlands with all our facilities. But for the Belarusians, Poles, Romanians, Czechs and the Kazaks that has been completely different for a very long time. I have seen the limited resources that Petr Novak Martina Sablikova had to use to compete against the established order. Marnix also helped them in their earlier years, by offering them sponsorships from his sponsors. It is in everyone's interest that there is a complete training facility for skaters from countries with less financial means."
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X-Tend BV owner, representative of sports brand in the Benelux Craft
Paxton Street 7
8013 RP Zwolle