2016: A Year In Review
It's been a year to remember for the team at Gala Tent, another illustrious chapter has been written and the company is ready to welcome the new challenges that 2017 brings.
Over the past 12 months Gala Tent has been focused on forging relationships within several key sectors, namely the motorsports and market trade industry. This focus has spawned a number of opportunities for Gala Tent and their newly established partners. This growth has seen an expansion in the company's portfolio, in the form of Gala Performance and Gala Technology, who in their own right are now successful start-ups. Furthermore, Gala Tent has continued to enjoy a lucrative share in the international marquee & gazebo market through an 11 country European distribution setup and UK based HQ.
Record breaking success...
Summer 2016 marked a milestone in Gala Tent's history, after 17 years of trading, the company broke it's most significant record to date. In the first 2 quarters of the year, Gala Tent enjoyed month on month growth in turnover, compared to the same period last year. A surge in demand for high quality British products across Europe and an upward trend in the demand for semi permanent structures, gazebos in particular, culminated in Gala Tent achieving it's first “Million Pound Month” which was even recognised by Dragons Den star Sarah Willingham who called it 'an awesome achievement” on Twitter.
The world is your oyster...
European expansion has remained high on the agenda for Gala Tent, despite political and economic uncertainty following Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Growth within Europe has continued at a consistent rate and the appointment of key distributors throughout 2016 has brought the total to 11 European Gala Tent product suppliers.
Gala Tent is aiming to continue its expansion throughout Europe with several key appointments throughout 2017, alongside expansion into non-EU markets.
Jason Mace commented on his company's potential for future expansion, “International expansion is a really exciting prospect for us, we've been working hard to form strong relationships within numerous European countries.”
“We're hoping to build on our current momentum over the next three years, with potential expansion within the US and Australia, after the UK's vote to leave the EU we've begun looking at the potential for growth within alternative markets, it's an exciting time for Gala Tent overall.”
Gala Tent's role in the Market Trade Industry...
2016 saw the Gala Tent name become synonymous with market trade with ongoing relationships with NABMA, FARMA and Teenage Markets, which saw them sell hundreds of stalls into the sector
Gala Tent's commitment to the industry saw them agree a 2 year sponsorship deal with Love Your Local Market (LYLM), which was formed in 2012 amidst fears for the future of the UK's market industry. The event runs for a full fortnight in May anually and over 1,180 markets in 16 different countries take part, making it the largest celebration of markets globally.
Graham Wilson OBE, Chief Executive of The National Association of Market Authorities who organise LYLM commented, “The Association is delighted to announce that Gala Tent have become the main sponsors of Love Your Local Market. We Look Forward to Working with this quality markets supplier and would encourage all our members to look at the exciting range of goods offered by Gala Tent”
Alongside Gala Tent's Partnership with LYLM, the company has also supplied structures to the likes of Brixton's iconic Electric Avenue, supplying new structures to the market came as part of a regeneration project costing in excess of £1m, to bring the market into the 21st century. The Market was formally reopened by Guyanese British musician Eddy Grant, who's hit 1983 single “Electric Avenue” immortalised the area.
Grant summarised "It’s a huge privilege to return to London, the city where I grew up, to be the guest of honour for switching on the lights at Electric Avenue — the street that has great cultural significance, not just for inspiring my song.”
Speeding Ahead Of The Competition...
Motorsport has always been a passion for the team at Gala Tent, with regular track days filling up the weekends of the company's directors. This passion has grown over the years and in 2016 an opportunity arose for business and pleasure to come together, in the form of a sponsorship deal.
Gala Tent negotiated an opportunity to support Leeds based racing team United Autosports, headed up by the popular new McLaren boss Zak Brown and his business partner Richard Dean.
The sponsorship deal ensured the team were able to embark upon their inaugural season in the European Le Mans Series LMP3 Championship.
Zak Brown commented:
“I’m thrilled to welcome Gala Tent to the team. The product range is top quality and ideally suited to United Autosports and motorsports in general. The LMP3 grid is so vast this year and I am sure we will generate excellent exposure for their products and brand. The ACO have done really well making LMP3 so popular in a short space of time. I’m really pleased United Autosports will be a part of that.”
Throughout the series, United Autosports picked up a podium finish in every race, including three first place finishes in their first three races. They were out of reach with a race to spare and were crowned ELMS LMP3 champions in Estoril, Portugal, and we were there to celebrate the victory with them.
The team's success was even sweeter when Gala Tent sponsored driver, Yorkshire-born Christian England finished top of the driver's championship alongside his team mates, American businessman Mike Guasch, and Alex Brundle, son of Sky Sports commentary favourite Martin. The support he had received from us meant Christian had the funding to race for the first time in thirteen years, so to return to such a monumental victory was an astounding achievement.
Christian England, United Autosports racing driver, said:
“Motorsport has always been my passion and I missed it hugely during my thirteen year absence. It was difficult not being involved, I couldn’t bear to even visit a race, so I hung up my helmet and threw my efforts into running my hotel business.
“When Gala Tent stepped in and said they would sponsor me it felt like my racing career had started all over again. Motorsport is an obscenely expensive sport and without a sponsor such as Gala I know I would have never been able to race again.
“To make it in motorsport you not only have to be extremely talented and have a near endless supply of money, but you also need luck too and the chances of making it are slim. I count myself very lucky to have this chance again, especially as Jason and Gala Tent were able to arrange becoming my main sponsor in such a short space of time.”
Success breeds success...
On the back of the successful partnership with United Autosports and through researching the wider motorsport industry, it became apparent that there was a gap in the market. The demand for commercial quality promotional products in that sector is incredible, so Gala Tent's Managing Directors, Jason Mace and Mark Thompson established a specialist sister company, in the form of Gala Performance.
Gala Performance is causing a stir both on and off the track. Formed in March 2016, the business is gaining headway within the industry, with the objective of being the number one provider of promotional products to the motor-racing industry becoming a very real possibility.
Jason Mace, Managing Director of Gala Tent & Gala Performance commented on the expansion:
“2016 has been a huge year for Gala Tent, with success radiating from every aspect of the business. The initial sponsorship deal that we formed with United Autosports came about due to our love of the sport, it has now grown from passion into a commercially viable business opportunity.”
“After discussing the market for promotional motorsport products at great length with Zak Brown, Managing Director of United Sports and now McLaren F1, we found that there was a definite gap in the market that we could fill.”
“I'm sure that over the course of the next twelve months the Gala Performance brand will grow to be a recognised and trusted name in the motorsport world.”
In the first six months of Gala Performance's existence, we have attended several racing events as spectators, as corporate guests, as exhibitors, as sponsors, and even as competitors. Our Managing Director, Mark Thompson, attended and competed at Palmersports, alongside such illustrious company as Richard Dean, Alex and Martin Brundle, and six time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy. Whilst Sir Chris took the Driver of the Day award, Mark was crowned fastest driver there in the Caterham 7 Superlight Stage. Soon after, he was invited with Jason to attend the 2016 Autosport Awards in London, and told of the surreal experience he had, sitting on the next table to celebrated Formula One champion, Nico Rosberg.
Gala Performance has already supplied products to teams and drivers that race in GT, GP2, Radical, karting, and Formula Ford. This is only the beginning.