New faces, new plans for Madison Sport.
With the return of David Garozzo and changes in management for the Brisbane-based Madison Sport, the company has a new team and a new lease of life, reports editor Maggie Coleman.
The current team includes General Manager David Garozzo, Molten Brand Manager Scott Besson, Customer Service Manager Leon Wall and Office and Production Manager Donna Byrne. A new appointment for Victoria will be made soon.
Carmody started his career in the sports industry in 1973 when he joined the Steeden twins Ray and Eric, who were manufacturing leather rugby balls and cricket balls for Queensland retailers Robinsons, Bill Browns, Whatmores and for the Greg Chappell cricket centre where St Peter’s cricket equipment was the major brand of the time.
In 1979 Carmody was appointed NSW State Sales Manager for Steeden, becoming National Sales Manager in 1981. The company manufactured boxing gloves and equipment for the 1982 Commonwealth Games held in Brisbane.
By that point Steeden had picked up the agency for Onitsuka Tiger in Queensland. Carmody established his Allied Sporting Products in 1985 and Allied distributed ASICS in the Sunshine State for 23 years, until ASICS set up their own state offices around the country.
Trevor Hohns was then director of finance and administration and Allied and Madison Sport were doing well selling boxing, rugby protective and inflatables.
A fledgling group of Amart Allsports, which was then owned by Bruce Bachelor and Norris Coughlan, the Mick Simmons Group, Sportscene, Merrit Hasset and Rowe and Jarman were the prominent retail players of the day.
Later Amart became part of the Rebel group under private equity owners and now Super Retail Group.
Madison has held the Molten distributorship for Oceania region for 25 years. Molten has enjoyed “official game ball” status with the world basketball governing body, FIBA since the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
This year, Molten introduced new “parallel pebble” technology which greatly enhances grip and control. The new technology made its Olympic debut in Rio 2016.
Madison catagories include boxing product, inflatables, mouthguards, protective including headguards, shoulderguards and Sorbothane, which has a wide range of industrial applications, as well as its popular innersoles.
A perceptive Madison Sport signed popular North QLD Cowboys QLD State of Origin and Australian rugby league star, Johnathan Thurston in 2001 (when he was aged 17) to wear the Madison Sport headguard.
Describing Thurston as the “Michael Jordon of rugby league”, the Madison team draws attention to the fact that he is the only State of Origin player to have played 33 consecutive games, quite a record as there are only three SOO games each year between the Maroons and the Blues.
Others who have endorsed Madison headguards include league greats, union stars and AFL names. Sales of plain black headguards are doing well in AFL territories.
Says Carmody, “Helmets or headguards are important in junior participation and sales are growing as parents want their children protected, now that head trauma in sport is receiving much more attention.
“We have a long established production unit in Banyo providing in-house manufacturing of goal post padding, tackle bags, hit shields and custom-made body protection.”
Face of customer service at Madison Sport is Leon Wall, a genius, says Carmody (pictured together in Madison Sport showroom).
Wall joined the sports industry at retailer Robinsons in 1968, then in early 1981 joined Dan Whitehead of Intersport as a rep for Wilson golf and Moray body boards.
Intersport also distributed Henselite bowls, Stuart Surridge cricket, Wilson tennis/golf and “a new shoe brand no-one had any idea about”, called Nike.
Wall later opened a Sportscene store in Garden City shopping centre in partnership with Barry Nelson who also had a store in Centenary.
The store was closed in 2002, Wall worked as a rep for Statewide Sports, then took a coffee shop franchise called French Twist.
In late 2015 Brian Carmody dropped into the coffee shop where Wall was working, and managed to persuade Wall to rejoin the sports industry.
General Manager David Garozzo has rejoined Madison Sport this month, after an earlier career with the company, then joining ASICS head office as General Manager Sales and resigning earlier this year after seven years in the role.
The new Madison Sport team has its eyes fixed on a bright future under Carmody’s leadership.