A Blackwood entrepreneur is using one of the largest TV shopping channels in the USA to market a new golfing product – thanks to links with the Welsh Assembly Government, Ryder Cup Wales and Ryder Cup legend Ian Woosnam.
Stefan Cegielski, managing director of Primus Products Ltd, developed Driveaway – a cleaning agent specifically for golf equipment, accessories and clothing – after trying to overcome the problem of using water and a cloth to clean his own clubs.
Launched twelve months ago, Driveaway is selling well in the UK but business really began to go with a swing after exhibiting on the Ryder Cup Wales and International Business Wales (IBW) stand at the PGA show in Orlando earlier this year.
“Following various meetings and discussions at the show, together with contacts that Ryder Cup Wales were able to set us up with, we were able to negotiate deals with the Home Shopping Group,” Mr Cegielski explained.
“As a result, we created a 60 second commercial which will be screened on targeted networks across the US. As a small Welsh business we have to continuously look for opportunities to add value and attract new opportunities with key customers.
“The help and support of the Ryder Cup Wales team, coupled with the expertise of IBW, was of immense help in launching Driveway in the States.”
Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said hosting the Ryder Cup presented Wales with a huge opportunity to raise its profile on the international stage and deliver a wide range of economic benefits.
“The Ryder Cup is not just a three day event – we have already seen economic benefits coming to Wales as a result of the build up to the event through associated activities that are generating valuable business opportunities.
“Primus Products is a good example of how an innovative Welsh company with a niche product can link into Ryder Cup Wales’ activities to promote its business and explore new markets.”
Driveaway, which comes in a lightweight, plastic, pump-action spray bottle, has also benefited from the personal endorsement of Ian Woosnam, following a trial of the product by his caddy.
“Driveaway is now part of my game. Not only does it clean my clubs, I use it to clean my golf balls, shoes, and accessories keeping all my golfing equipment in first-class condition for longer,” Woosnam commented.
“It effectively removes dirt and soil without a trace, my caddie Martin and I were amazed at the results. Keeping your clubs well maintained improves your game and Drive Away will definitely be an integral part of my kit for all the tournaments,” he added.
A keen golfer, Stefan has spent time researching and developing the product over the past two years and has also recently signed a distribution deal for Driveaway in Germany and is also supplying the product to TK Maxx.
Rob Holt, Ryder Cup Wales chief executive, said his team have embarked on a major campaign to promote Wales ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2010.
“This isn’t just about the golf and sporting opportunities that such an event highlights, but the much wider investment and economic activities that it will bring both before and after. As a result we are encouraging Welsh businesses to use the Ryder Cup and events in the lead up to 2010 as a catalyst for future business opportunities.
“The PGA show in Orlando is the world’s biggest golf show and it is great that we have been able to support Welsh companies and products, like Driveaway in attending the show. We are looking at our proposals for the 2008 show at present and companies who might be interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, added Mr Holt.”
Driveaway is currently stocked in Tesco Superstores, Tesco Direct, American Golf Discount, Direct Golf (UK), Celtic Manor Resort, Vale Hotel Golf and Spa Resort, TK Maxx and pro shops in South Wales and Bristol or you can buy direct from www.cleanupyourgame.com
Mr Cegielski is also the MD of Envirovac 2000 which has offices in Blackwood and Taunton. The company is one of the leading suppliers of non-hazardous waste disposal, high pressure jetting, CCTV surveys and drainage remedial works to local authorities throughout the UK, and also to major companies such as BT.