Interview to Fructuoso López, President and Founder of Joma Sport since more than 45 years, one of the most important sport shoes brands in our country. Since his youth we always wanted to create his own company and to expand the business through several markets. After almost half century, the company has become under his orders into one of the most prestigious of the sector.
Which are the keys for the quick international growth of Joma in countries so cultural and geographically diversified?
To establish a global strategy. Exportation has to be a company vocation and you have to work for it, seen it as an unusual solution is the mistake. The Joma’s global strategy that makes us work with the same products, same distribution channels, transportation… has been the expansion key.
How did sponsorship help to the brand internalization?
The Joma’s strategy to enter into a foreign national market is to promote big football teams. In the sport sector the visibility of the brand on the pitch is very important, I mean, the association with teams and professional sports person that plays the role of prescribers. An important example was the arrival of Joma to Mexico with Emilio Butragueño during his Mexican stage. Now there is one of the eight subsidiaries of the brand and it is one of the external markets with a higher turnover.
Which is the main competitive advantage of Joma against its international competitors?
The quality-price relation. In each market in which we operate we work with the same core idea: to offer a high range of products at a reasonable price. That gives us a competitive advantage against other brands with a clear slope in this balance.
Which challenges will face the company in the next 5 years?
Growing is always the challenge for Joma, whatever the situation is. In 2013 we opened new markets in East Europe relaunching the brand in countries that were difficult for Joma as Argentina or France. For the next years we set to secure these achievements and work in other areas as Asia-Pacific.
What role does the brand play in the internalization process?
In the sport sector, a Spanish brand has a complicate challenge: to face other multinationals associated to United States, a country that seems to be the mirror of globalization. That is why, investing on the image of Spain, believe in our possibilities and working hard to achieve them are the keys of internalization success of Joma. The institutional and Spanish companies’ investment for improving the image of Spain has been very valuable.
Which are the main selection criteria that decide the entrance into a new market?
The stability is one of the main criteria, both economical and political. We also analyze sport practice and sport market situation, and also the international country plan.
Which role does innovation play in Joma?
The sport market requires technological advance. For Joma that is not new. When nobody invested in technology, Joma tested leather, soles resistance, lighter products and everything that could benefit my product. This has enable us to be one step ahead of other brands.
Success achieved by Spain in the sport area contribute to improve the image of Spain. Do you think that this could benefit also the Spanish companies in charge of sport material that want to expand their activities to international markets?
They are very helpful, especially because they make the whole world to pay attention to Spanish sport and to each one that plays on it. Spanish brands have found a big support in national athletes because they have change the external image of Spain.