Northumberland based SME Empowerbrand have collaborated with academics, sports professionals and physiotherapists to develop an ankle rehabilitation device for injured football players.

The Challenge

Due to the global spread of COVID-19 in 2020, most domestic and international football competitions across the world were suspended or postponed. The period of suspension has resulted in fewer injuries and a decrease in the need for rehabilitation service or products/aids. This has in turn reduced opportunities for Empowerband, which resulted in little commercial growth and the urgent need for a revised business plan.

The Solution

Advisor Steven Shaw worked with Empowerbrand to conduct a full business review and came up with an entire new action plan off the back of this. The action plan identified opportunities to achieve quick growth, increased revenue and sustainability as well as a marketing plan and strategy to get there.

The Impact

As actions defined in the revised plan were implemented sales have steadily increased on a weekly basis. Despite football activity and resulting normal injuries being much lower than expected, product sales and revenue have increased by over 100% in August in comparison to July. Engagement with physiotherapists will commence throughout September, which is expected to increase turnover again.

Director of Empowerbrand, Andy Metcalf comments “Having the support of someone impartial with strong business development experience and skills, who quickly understood my current situation and commercial objectives has proved invaluable. Working with Steve has helped me adapt my business plan and refine my activities at a very difficult time due to the effects of COVID-19. We have implemented a new strategy which has already had a positive impact on sales and created increased awareness of the benefits of Empowerband to injured football players and sports injury practitioners.


I would not hesitate in recommending this fully funded support package to any business facing similar challenges.”

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