JB Sports has unveiled Odirile ‘Vee’ Sento as their official ambassador. The Founder and Director of JB Sports Julian Mathews and JB Sports CEO Rajesh Nair both revealed their excitement at having Vee on board, saying things have gone well for their brand since they signed contract with him in February this year. They used the occasion to also launch their men and ladies sports range. Mathews said they expect Vee to market their brand especially that they are now in all districts of Botswana. Mathews recalled the time when the shop was started in 1994 that he had a vision of supplying sports gear to schools after realising the gap in the market. Having built a personal relationship with most education institutions and parastatals, in 2000 he decided to change direction of JB Sports. “I knew I had to change. I was very sure that it was time to explore the retail part of the business. This was started in 2001 with sports and lifestyle fashion,” he said. They did not go into the normal trends but focused on sport fashion trends, becoming distinctive with casual and smart casual brands. They then moved towards brands like Levis, Soviet and Guess, knowing they had to keep up with fashion trends. Their two dominant brands for ladies are Fascinate and Leather Fabio. “The brands for men are Zodiac, Signature and Extreme. They are doing incredibly well with local men,” he said. He said they never compromise on quality. The need for a median leverage sport wear that most can afford than the likes of Adidas or Nike led to them creating the Legend brand. Mathews said they are upgrading in all their shops to cater to all those in for different classes.
“Our quality is well guaranteed and our merchandise has all been accepted across all our shops. That is why they needed a local celebrity that can relate to most Batswana across board. Vee is the name that came from a lot of people when we asked about who can come on board,” he said. He is steadfast that though they are changing the face of JB Sports, they are not changing the legacy of the brand. He said they are excited to have talented young Batswana run JB Sports. Nair said they are happy about the local brands, and that Vee will showcase them around where he will completely live in the brand. “We want the people to know about our local brands, and we want them to wear them with pride,” he said. JB Sports Marketing Manager Osi Lashani said they are happy about their achievements so far. They will be opening their 29th store in Maun – the second in the area – on April 29. He said they will continue to engage local artists in different platforms in order to continue making the brand even more popular. Vee expressed excitement at being chosen as an ambassador of a retail outlet. “Many times the corporates have always told us to improve ourselves. I appreciate that when we do that companies like JB Sports take notice and entrust us with their brands. This is not about me only but about the music industry as a whole,” he said.