SIMON SKIRROW INTERVIEW – NOMIS

Simon Skirrow is the man who jointly designed the Adidas Predator along with former Liverpool star Craig Johnston. Involved in the sports shoe market place from the age of 17, he became one of the youngest ever Vice President’s at Adidas in charge of global production, sales and marketing. After a hugely successful period in Germany and then the USA, he took a spell out of the industry before returning to set up Nomis.' 

Simon Skirrow talks to Footy Boots

FB: Simon, let’s start right up to date. Can you tell us your thinking behind the latest Nomis boot, the NXGEN Spark?

SS: Well I guess we are trying to express a couple of things. First, a new dimension of applying function by allowing us to personalise and individualise our technology but with a really nice feel and look to it. But in saying that, I certainly didn’t want the overall look to interfere with the technology, comfort or performance. And that’s a real trick because often, new technology can be harsh and aggressive. So we enhanced what we had already created by finding a way to apply a high quality digital design on to leather which is one of the hardest things to do. It took us about 16 months to perfect and that’s with a guy pretty dedicated to it full time. But now, the staff who’ve been working on this are thrilled to see the boot in production.

Secondly, as for the boot itself, when you get it in your hands, it’s like nothing else you’ll have experienced before. The possibilities are endless but we are going to treat this carefully as it’s not something we want to do on a mass production basis.

FB: One imagines that being a smallish company has advantages and disadvantages, but in terms of the NXGEN, do you think that a major brand couldn’t or wouldn’t to have produced something similar?

SS: It would be hard from me to say whether they would or wouldn’t want to do it but I would suggest that it’s a case of once having the technical know how, seeing if that fits in to your business model. Looking at the market place a year ago, for most brands it was pretty optimistic but that is not the case any more. I would be shocked if most of the international brands aren’t going to be 20 to 30% down. Now when that happens, innovation becomes a questionable direction.

Nomis NXGEN Spark Simon Skirrow

Past recessions have shown us that companies retreat to what they know they can do so in terms of retailers, I’m concerned that they’ll only buy the standard products like the Adidas Copa Mundial or the Puma King. And let’s not forget, these are products that were designed decades ago.

As for why we did it, quite simply, we aren’t pumping our money in to the likes of say Cristiano Ronaldo. We are pumping the money in to the product. And I’m personally devastated if someone buys one of our products and can’t get on with it because we’ve tried to design them with every consumer in mind.

So as far as the NXGEN is concerned, I think it’s a space that we can own, we’re really motivated by doing that sort of thing. I think it’s much harder for the big brands to do it and I’d imagine that the mid-size brands, not that I class ourselves in that category, are probably scratching their heads at the moment thinking ‘what do we do now’?

FB: Being up against huge multi-national companies with enormous budgets for production and marketing, do you ever wake up in the morning and think, sod this for a lark, I’m going to start cleaning windows?

No. Never. This whole pursuit is just so enjoyable for me. Don’t forget, I have been part of a big brand, I’ve gone through the era before sport became fashionable, I’ve seen company directors concern themselves about sponsorship and the like and that’s how we’ve ended up where we are today which is with the market being totally oversold.

Nomis interview Simon Skirrow

My real goal is to be the friend and the server of the football player. And rather than concerning myself with the pro’s, it’s far more exciting for me to pitch up at an amateur club and introduce myself, not that they’ve ever heard of me, and sit and talk to them about why I started Nomis.

And I’m there to treat them like a professional. I want to give them the exact same service I gave Bayern Munich in my previous career. That to me is far more rewarding because the truth of the professional game is that you can’t ‘touch’ these players any more. They’re not real people to me. That’s not their fault. It’s just that the pressure on them within the game has turned made them untouchable. And yet, the consumer looks at these people as idols and role models, even though in my mind they are invisible.

My dream was to produce better football boots but take them to the people who pay for them.

In part 2 of Simon’s exclusive Footy Boots chat, find out why he returned to the industry, what he thinks of the explosion in the number of football boot colourways and he tells us his which is his favourite boot of all time.' ' ' ' 


22 Comments

    • Arsenal comment is a disgrace and no doubt you work for a rival brand. Poor very poor.
      Keep going Nomis your boots are life/hobbie savers

  • I think this is a great look into how a boot company runs. If a boot company is pumping their money into providing better boots rather than lining Ronaldo’s pockets even more, I’m all for it.

    Arsenal your comment has no thought behind it at all. How about a constructive comment??

    Good on you Nomis and thank you footy boots for the interview.

    • Sion…this new boot is not new…I have a catalogue from ages ago that has this same boot in it ! I would say Nomis has stalled more than anything if they are rehashing old product.

  • ….the Nomis boots are really comfortable he is correct. But I hear that things are going badly for them in Germany due to not being in shops….plus they have big issues with faulty boots (mine ripped)and are difficult to get replaced….buyer beware I guess !

  • I really like the sound of this guy. Made it big with Adidas, gave it all up to go and do something else and then came back cos he felt he had more to offer.

    Like his dedication too to the ‘normal’ punter.

    • Fenboy….don’t you think something is wrong when after al this time Nomis don’t appear to have any name footballer wearing the boots ? Harry Kewell did a runner ! The company is not new !

      • HGBE – hear what you are saying but I think there’s a difference between wanting your boots paraded in the Premier league at massive expense or preferring another route which sinks your budget in to innovation.

        After all, if all brands were the same, the world would be a very dull place.

  • Very true Fenboy, if a company is NOT paying millions of pounds in retainers to international superstars think about how many less boots it has to sell to stay profitable.

  • Does anyone have any pictures of pro players wearing NOMIS? I mean, I get the whole thing with not wanting to spend millions but at the same time NOMIS boots are listed to be way more than any adidas and most Nike boots. Why is the price so high if they’re trying to establish themselves?

  • Ooh my god, another article about these boots and simon skirrow. I’m getting bored. why do the nomis boots get so much attention on foot-boots? VB: the price is so high because they want to make you think these are quality boots. But they are probably manufactured in China for a very low price. It’s their marketing strategy. But I don’t think it’s the right strategy as it’s very important topplayers are playing on your boots

  • HGBE if you read part 2 of the article he answers your point quite clerly.
    I think he’s only saying what the rest of us think and its refreshing that a brand cares about the amateur player cos I’m one.
    Jihn – I have no idea why you think its important top players wear your boots it just means that you are paying more for them than they are actually worth !! were does the money to pay these players come from ?? Yours and my pocket !!

    • Excellent response Andrew.

      Jihn – it sounds like the boots you wear are priced in accordance with how much the brand have had to pay top pros to endorse it. Not that they normally care that much I wouldn’t have thought. It’s all about the cash.

      As to why Nomis gets coverage on Footy Boots, perhaps its because Skirrow is prepared to put himself up for interview. Don’t see too many other brand CEO’s doing that.

      And Jihn – if you are bored, all you need do is hang on a couple of days and look elsewhere – I’m sure that they’ll soon be yet another colourway out in pink, green, black with orange polka dots covered in hundreds and thousands – of a boot we’ve all seen a million times before. Now thats boring!

    • ofcourse I’m not paying more when topplayers where the same boots as i’m wearing. Due to these sponsorship’s with top players company’s earn a lot more money.

      • Well guys, I would like to say something, too. I am from Germany and my boyfriend works for Nomis here in Germany. So I can tell you what’s going on here: Lots of big football players from teams like VFL Bochum, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach and others are wearing and playing with that shoes.

  • here in oz I know of two AFL players wearing nomis boots, Adam cooney and Jason akermanis at the western bulldogs. went and got a pair for myself and love them, have had lots of boots and they usually take a while to bed in but these felt great from the moment I put them on.

  • Online shoe businesses are definitely here to stay. With such high quality and reputed brands such as Converse UK having made a mark in the online sector, the online sector has slowly but steadily gained respect and favor from the customers. There are a few basic principles that most of the successful online shops such as the Converse UK have followed to ensure that their online business is not just a support to the real world outlets but is a sustainable and growing business model in itself.

    If one has a strong brand name as Converse UK, then half the battle is won as the loyal customers from the real world will spill over or seamlessly come over to your virtual space. But if you don’t have similar brand recall and market presence as Converse UK, it is advised that you try innovative and out of the box solutions to be positioned in the overcrowded virtual world and don’t get lost in the crowd of pretenders.

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