Insiders review of fresh grappling gear from the land down under.
Without each other, success is less likely.
Today is a very exciting day for the Australian MMA scene with the launch of it newest apparel line. P4P Apparel, a brand that prides itself on thinking "outside the box" and who are dedicated 100% to its athletes and promoting the sport of MMA and all of the disciplines that create it.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Jamie and get an insight into this exciting new brand and where he hopes to take the P4P team.
Hey Team thank you very much for your time today please introduce yourself to the readers.
Hi, my name is Jamie Cockerell, I'm a business owner, entrepreneur and martial artist, primarily a submission grappler. I currently reside in Lara, Victoria, just outside of Melbourne, Australia.
Tell us about your clothing line, what was your motivation to get this off the ground? How has the line developed since its initial concept to the launch? Do you undertake all of the work yourself or is there a team behind P4P? Please feel free to introduce the team to our readers.
Being a martial artist myself, I was constantly buying apparel, training gear and other accessories, so I know what people want in a high quality, a comfortable fitting item that was suitable for street wear, casual wear and training. The majority of the work I take care of myself, when it comes to the marketing, advertising, growth, social media, quality testing, design work and more. This keeps me extremely busy.
My wife Elisha is the other big contributor to P4P. She handles all my stock, inventory, shipping, postage and little bits and pieces that add the final touches to the P4P brand.
I couldn’t have done it without the help of my friend and graphic designer Jimmy Vo, my website developer Barry Walker, Natalie Maulucci for the logo design, my screen printer and embroider, my coffee counterpart and last but not least Jasmin Norsworthy for all my apparel design and layouts. They all make this possible.
Tell us about your brand, mission and goals?
Our brand was developed with the goal of changing the way sponsorship, branding and promotion was done within the MMA and martial arts industry. We had a vision that we wanted to immediately sign up approximately 15 Bronze Sponsorship athletes, even prior to our launch date, which we successfully did. The reason behind this was to get a build-up and create some intrigue around the brand before we went live. This was a huge success, and things blew up quick. We want to, and are becoming a company whose success through its sponsored athletes, is returned back to the athletes.
We have created a strong #teamp4p following, and all items sold through any avenue, gets re-invested into the business for more products, services and assistance to our sponsored athletes. It’s not about the dollar for us, it’s about the growth of MMA, and in particular the growth of #teamp4p and our athletes, and everyone part of the team is on board and 100% committed to our vision.
What obstacles did you come across during start up/launch?
I am the owner and manager of 3 businesses currently, 4 now when you include P4P. So starting something new was not confronting or daunting to me; however my other career and business I am involved in building & construction, primarily in architectural design & metalwork fields.
Apparel and our future plans is something I've never even considered, so I went in to this venture blind. Im not the kind of person to ask for help, I've always managed to find my own way. I knew what quality was, I knew what people wanted, I just needed to find a way to put it all together. I found myself at times banging my head up against a wall, but eventually I ended up in contact with the right people and things couldn't be running smoother. A lot of time, effort and investigation went into making this all possible.
Having a look at the team of Athletes you have on sponsorship deals is there anyone in particular that excites you and who deserves some close attention over the next year?
The correct answer is no. Our whole goal when we created P4P was to go after and sponsor the people who need it the most and who we see potential in.
Our athletes are amateurs, newly promoted professionals and not necessarily world renowned people, but people who we feel we can grow with, promote, assist and help eventually become world renowned. We see the future and the talent these sponsored athletes possess and we want to be a part of their journey from day 1, and they want to be a part of ours. With this vision, plan and commitment from all parties, we see a real potential for the P4P brand.
The incorrect answer would be to say yes, and there is 3 people in particular who you should all watch and take note of, and you can find them all on Instagram at @ryanmillsetc @jessearnott @nichola_pitbull_rigoni
Do yourself a favour, and follow the career of these guys.
If you could have anyone rep the P4P brand who would it be and why?
As silly as this answer may sound, it would be myself. My vision and goal is very specific and I know exactly what I want to achieve. Because of my career and work commitments, this is not possible. So each and every single person that is part of #teamp4p has the right attitude, knowledge and understanding of our brand, we have made them all very aware of this. So to answer your questions, if I could choose anyone, it would be each and every sponsored athlete we have as part of #teamp4p
We have already rejected sponsorship inquiries from VERY well-known athletes, so we don’t lose sight of our goal or the P4P vision.
To give you a fun answer, if Garry Tonon or Eddie Cummings contacted us, I'm sure we could work something out, and no doubt they would love a trip to Melbourne, Australia one day. Something I could personally organize for them.
Do you have any exciting plans for new products coming up?
Indeed we do. At the moment, we decided to launch one shirt only which will be our staple shirt that will be available year round for the life of P4P. This symbolizes what our brand is built upon. We deliberately made this the only product available for about the first month, so our brand and name became recognized strongly, and the image and vision of P4P was engraved into people’s mind.
However, we had been planning WAY ahead, and we can tell you that in the very near future, we already have Rashguards (all IBJJF compatible, colour ranked Rashguards) Singlets, Snapbacks, Caps, Hoodies and more.
Another exciting thing which will be available in February 2016 at some stage will be a full range of Coffee. This is worth keeping an eye on; as it will be unique in the way we do this.
Once this has been successfully completed, we will be moving into training equipment such as gloves, Thai shorts, pads, and other sparring equipment.
We have 3 very big things currently in the works, which we are hoping to have up and running sometime during 2016. There is a lot of work to be done still, but if and when this goes ahead, P4P will be taken to a whole new level and people will see that our brand is the real deal. Those with us from the start will be the ones reaping the benefits of the P4P growth. People should follow us on Social Media during 2016 and follow our pursuit towards these goals. There could be potential for a lot of outsiders to become a part of this when it all goes down.
Where do you get inspiration from in designing new products?
To be honest, there is nothing in particular that makes my mind tick one way or another. I have a few things, like shapes, symbols, images, fonts etc that I am planning to stick to for the life of the brand, to help keep it recognisable, consistent and known to the MMA community.
I must acknowledge the #teamp4p and the P4P fans and sponsored athletes, as they constantly contact us with ideas and inspiration for apparel, training gear and more. We take every single point of contact into account, and whether we use them now, or in 12 months’ time, we keep a list of everything, so we are ever evolving.
We aren’t out there to make crazy designs; we want to be clean, modern and recognisable. Our apparel should be able to be worn by males, females, athletes and the general public, and so far, this has been a huge success and a feather in our cap being able to target both the MMA and public market equally.
How do you plan on standing out from the ever growing, ever competitive apparel game?
Our goal isn’t to be the biggest; our goal is to be the best. Pound 4 Pound, the best apparel and promotional company coming through the ranks. We aren’t out there to sell cheap shirts, or large volumes. We even reject sales from time to time, as we want to only be associated with people who we feel have the same vision and goal we do. We are unique, we will stay unique and we will grow and think outside the box as we have from day 1.
This puts us in good stead for now, and the future.
We want the P4P brand to be a brand people want to be a part of. We don’t want to be out there promoting and advertising ourselves to sell bucket loads of apparel. We want our team to do this for us, so they reap the rewards upon their success.
We don’t feel we need to even consider competing in this competitive market, we have a plan and a vision we are sticking to, where competition to P4P is irrelevant.
P4P being a MMA targeted apparel line; one would assume you guys train MMA? If so do you have a specific discipline you prefer or are you evenly spread across the board?
Most definitely. My personal career started off in strictly boxing, where I trained and enjoyed the social side of things for quite a few years.
Realising that being hit in the head repetitively isnt ideal, I decided to move into Submission Grappling.
I've never been a traditional BJJ person, as from day 1, my coach Richard Poole from Elite Training Centre, Geelong, Australia, has been teaching us some of the nastiest and most effective techniques in Submission Grappling, including a big focus on leg locks and cranks.
Of course, the basics are always there, but instead of focusing on Spider Guard or learning to Berimbolo, we are working Heel Hooks and Twisters.
Why should people support P4P?
We only want support from people who want to support our brand, our vision, our goals and the growth of P4P.
We don’t promote the support of our brand, we promote our vision and our goals for the growth of MMA and our athletes, so if you are on board with this, support P4P, if not, that’s fine.
The amount of support, amazing emails and messages we have received from people has been truly overwhelming. We never expected anything like what we have received so far.
It’s been a blessing, and we appreciate every single kind word from everybody.
Our athletes support P4P, and they spread the word for us via their social media and word of mouth, so we have a very loyal and strong support base at the moment.
We want to continue to grow this way.
What social media sites are you on, and what are those addresses?
Facebook: P4P Apparel
We are VERY active on all 3 sites, and respond to messages and enquiries very quickly. I personally respond to everyone myself, so you can assure your answers are legitimate and most honest.
Is there anything you guys would like to add?
I’d like to thank BJJ Legends firstly for giving P4P the opportunity to be involved in this interview. It’s a huge feather in our cap and an honour to be asked.
Also, anyone who is a fan of podcasting should follow the "GMeekerMMAshow" on iTunes, as P4P are the major sponsor of this Podcast, and Gabriel, the host is extremely passionate about MMA and is in the early stages of his career, similar to us, which is why we work together and partner up so well.
Finally, if you are a fan of our vision, goals and our approach to the growth of the sport and athletes, please follow us on our social media profiles, send us an email, visit our website and grab yourself some merchandise, help spread the P4P brand.
Hit us up via email as well for an opportunity to become a sponsored athlete.
We are currently in 5 countries, and expanding into others very quickly.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this and we would love to have more of you involved with #teamp4p.
I am not looking for a huge sponsorship, nor am I looking for a giant paycheck. I just need a small sponsor that is willing to help me out with the expenses of the tournaments. I am looking for a sponsor that is willing to help me progress and excel in my Jiu-Jitsu.
We spoke earlier on the phone about sponsorships for my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu interests. Martial arts has always been a huge part of my life. I started taking kickboxing when I was 17 and earned my way up to a green belt; two away from black. I am a white belt in Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 21, and I fight at 149 pounds. I am in the gym usually twice a day before or after my Jiu-Jitsu classes.
Although I am only a white belt, having to constantly work to pay all of my bills and going to school 18 hours a week renders me from having the luxury of having the money or time to test for my stripes or blue belt. Over the summer I plan to rapidly excel to earn my blue belt as I am inches away from achieving it. I usually attend 6 to 8 Jiu-Jitsu classes a week. I train under Guybson Sá who is from Brazil and has train in the arts since he was 7. He is very passionate about Jiu-Jitsu and pushes us all to be passionate as well.