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Perth Cricketers Cooper Du Plessis, Nathan Ellett taking on branding giants with Idoneus Sports dream

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Aaron KirbyThe West Australian
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Nathan Ellett and Cooper Du Plessis started Idoneus Sports.
Camera IconNathan Ellett and Cooper Du Plessis started Idoneus Sports. Credit: Oleg Katchinski

New Balance, Kookaburra and Idoneus Sports.

It’s a big dream and an even bigger task, but two Perth cricket nuffies have set their sights on toppling the giants of cricket branding, creating a playing shoe designed for community cricketers as well as the stars.

Mount Lawley cricket fanatics Cooper Du Plessis and Nathan Ellett pumped their love for the game and aspirations into Idoneus Sports, taking an idea for a lightweight, comfortable, strong cricket shoe and turning it into a burgeoning company.

They’ve made a hot start as the brand went from concept to nine stores, including Meulemans and Revo Cricket in WA, and infiltrating the Big Bash within two years.

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“We are two young blokes having a crack at a big industry, and part of that is we want people to come on the journey with us,” Du Plessis said.

“We saw an opportunity to go away and do some research about what was in the market and what was missing from the game in terms of cricket shoes. We then started reaching out to stores, and there was good engagement early, so we pulled the trigger.

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“We are looking to provide a little bit of value back to the average cricketer.”

The pair started testing their shoes on their District Cricket teammates at Mount Lawley, including Melbourne Stars spinner Clint Hinchcliffe, before getting an English player on board to try them out in their conditions.

“It’s a lot around the comfort and weight,“ Du Plessis said.

“We spent quite a bit of time testing on the boys at the club. Fortunately for us, we have Clint Hinchcliffe at the club, who played for the Stars last year and is actually a contracted player with us now.

Idoneus Sports shoes.
Camera IconIdoneus Sports shoes. Credit: Oleg Katchinski

“We did a lot of testing around quite a few grades just to try and see where there’s other areas of opportunity and get feedback on what we’ve built, and we’ve got quite a few players in the club wearing them. We’re starting to see them around clubs across Perth.

“Something we’ve honed in on (from our English feedback) is making sure players have grip in the outfield and especially coming into bowl on something that might be a little bit spicy or wet to ensure those stoppers are holding them in place and not throwing them over their leg or rolling an ankle.”

Brisbane Heat hitter Josh Brown and cult Tasmanian spinner Paddy Dooley have also signed deals with Idoneus Sports, and more are on the way.

“Having a really good product and a good approach as well as a good vision is probably 30 per cent of the battle; the rest of the battle is building your brand name and getting people starting to recognise you’re out there,” Du Plessis said.

Idoneus Sports hopes to go global.
Camera IconIdoneus Sports hopes to go global. Credit: Oleg Katchinski

“It has been a challenge, but slowly, we are starting to win a few ground battles here and there, which builds traction and consumer confidence.

“(Sponsorship is) a very challenging thing to bring up because players at the upper level are looking for peak performance, so they are a little bit reluctant to try new things.

“We want to be part of the community; we don’t want to be a large company that sells to the public. We want to be at the forefront of sporting communities.”

Du Plessis added Cricket was only the beginning of their lofty ambitions, with plans to become an all-sport product accessible around the globe.

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