Applicant Profile – MARC Sports

Founder Names: Mark Ganly
Startup Name: MARC Sports

History of startup

Hurling and the GAA has always been a personal passion. I launched my business MARC Sports with the MARC Sliotar, an official GAA approved sliotar at the end of 2005.

In light of modern day economic pressures, I wanted to be able to design and source quality sliotars at a competitive price for my customers. I was working as a computer programmer at the time, but within 18 months, the growth of this part-time enterprise required my full-time attention.

In early 2008, following an extensive period of rigorous testing, MARC Sports successfully obtained the coveted IS355 Safety Standard for our MARC hurling helmet, and subsequently the helmet was officially endorsed by the GAA. The MARC Hurling helmet became only the second brand of helmet in the country to receive such an accreditation.

Significantly, this development offered choice for the first time, to Provincial Councils, County Boards and Cuman na mBunscoileanna when purchasing hurling helmets.

The MARC helmet incorporates features that enhance visibility, comfort and style based on both inter-county player feedback and my own personal technical expertise.

With the introduction of compulsory protective headgear for all levels of hurling from January 2010, and the increasing popularity of the sport both nationally and internationally, the market for hurling helmets is set to expand significantly.

It is imperative that the consumer can be offered a product that conforms to exceptional safety criteria, provides quality and choice at a competitive price.  We at MARC Sports are proud to be able to deliver on all counts.

Why do you deserve to win?

As a committed player, supporter and member of my own local club, I hope that my business venture will complement the vision of those who wish to ensure the longevity of the game. Through I aim to merge new technology with our ancient, national game, and thereby help revive its appeal nationally, as well as introducing it to a growing global audience.

I am dedicated to offering the consumer choice, value & quality. MARC Sports is currently a small player in the industry. We have worked very hard and diligently to design & produce high quality products. This funding would go a long way to publicising the products and building MARC Sports brand awareness.

What will you do with the money?

We are currently planning to launch a large-scale initiative prior to Christmas. This is in conjuction with a very well known Childrens Charity, to which we have committed to donating a percentage of our profits annually.

€5000 would allow MARC Sports to advertise and promote the launch and in doing so also give back to a well deserving organization that makes a real difference to children’s lives.