Royal & Awesome, the spectacular golf-clothing brand, whose trousers are favoured by celebrities including former First Minister Lord Jack McConnell, singer Brian McFadden and newsreader Naga Munchetty, has broken through the £1m turnover mark as it prepares to celebrate its fifth birthday.
The Edinburgh-based label, which was launched in April 2012, has morphed from a tongue-in-cheek start-up, into a global brand.
Sixty per cent of its sales are now made in the United States, with a significant contribution coming from online retailing giant Amazon, with 35 per cent coming from the UK and the remaining five per cent from Australia.
Sales have grown by 50 per cent year-on-year each year since the label was created.
The brand was launched by Graeme Smeaton, in partnership with Morphsuits’ founders Gregor Lawson and Ali and Fraser Smeaton.
Royal & Awesome shares Morphsuits’ e-commerce and fulfilment systems but also has its own dedicated team working on the business.
The Smeaton brothers hail from Gullane, the East Lothian village that is home to Muirfield, the championship course that has regularly hosted The Open.
Graeme Smeaton, managing director at Royal & Awesome, said: “The growth of our brand over the past five years has been absolutely ‘awesome’ – there’s no other word for it.
“All four of us are keen golfers and we wanted to create a brand that really stood out as different. We’ve done this by taking all the history and heritage of golf in Scotland and adding loads of fun and colour.
“Golf is a game that’s played throughout the world, so knew the potential for Royal & Awesome to become a global brand.
“The reaction has been fantastic – people buy our trousers, shorts and Plus Twos to wear at charity games, stag parties and lads’ annual outings.”
As well as becoming popular with celebrities, the Royal & Awesome brand has also attracted a host of sportsmen as ambassadors, ranging from former football players and managers like Neil Lennon, Ally McCoist and Ian Wright through to cricketers such as Darren Gough, Matthew Hoggard and Kevin Pieterson and athletes including Kriss Akabusi, Mike Tindall and Sir Steve Redgrave.
Mr Smeaton added: “Social media has been at the heart of our growth. We’ve got so many great pictures and videos of people having fun in our range and social media is the perfect channel to share these.
“Golf trick-shots are incredibly popular on platforms such as Instagram and Youtube and we’ve partnered with some of the best in the business to create bespoke branded content. We can then share this content to the audience on our own channels and especially through our email newsletters, which are particularly popular with customers who perhaps don’t have time to trawl the net.
“I am totally confident that our growth will continue as we keep raising the profile of brand through social media and we keep increasing our distribution and availability through our own website, Amazon and third party retailers.”
The growth of Morphcostumes, the company behind the Royal & Awesome and Morphsuits brands, has been supported by BGF (Business Growth Fund) since June 2012, following a £4.2m investment.
BGF was established in 2011 by five of the UK’s largest banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered – with a £2.5 billion fund to invest in businesses with the potential for high growth.
Royal & Awesome www.royalandawesome.co.uk