Sports and education have always met at a certain common ground, and Sport in Art is taking this connection a step further. The company, a project by husband and wife Phillip and Emma Thompson, creates sports-themed educational materials and gifts that are a hit especially among little boys.
Getting kids to focus on any educational material can be a challenge. As such, using tools that feature a subject they like is an effective approach to help them retain and recall their lessons. Sport in Art offers a product range composed of jigsaw puzzles, alphabet flashcards, and greeting cards filled with images of athletes and various aspects and objects related to sports.
Starting the business
The idea that started Sport in Art came about when Philip and Emma Thompson realized they wanted to create attractive and highly relevant sports-themed learning materials for young children. Originally, they planned to release football-themed products, but with the Rugby World Cup 2011 coming at the time, they opted to offer rugby-themed items instead.
They selected rugby terminologies that began with the letters in the alphabet. They then added a short description and history for each term so that kids will become more familiar with the history, rules, and concepts in the game. Artist Austin Whincup was commissioned to paint an illustration for each letter, while a graphic artist in their area turned the paintings and descriptions into flashcards. The couple then chose two paintings and had them transformed into jigsaw puzzles.
It has been three years since the business was originated, and the couple says that they are just getting started. In fact, they are drawing plans to expand their product range with more items featuring football and ballet.
The challenges of the business
Philip Thompson remarked that balancing family time and business has always been among the most challenging aspects of being an entrepreneur. There was a point when he felt like there simply was not enough time.
Conversely, doing business has also allowed him and his wife to become more familiar with each other’s business skills. Their two sons join in the business, coming with them to fairs and markets as they are, according to Mr. Thompson, the best salespersons ever.
Moreover, the business has also showed them the profound effects their products have on certain customers, especially on kids with learning difficulties and young men with brain injuries who are fascinated by their items. Some mothers even buy their products just because they like the art.
Sport in Art is a testament to how ideas can be transformed into a feasible business. The Thompsons managed to create a business out of their love for sport and their dedication to learning, all while ensuring that they have a solid bond as a family.