Inspired and used by professional boxers, REAL is a brand of advanced and functional sportswear for anyone wanting to enjoy premium equipment inside and out of the ring. The product offers a higher quality of gear supporting a wide movement while being distinctive and stylish.
The first entrepreneurial push for Max Fraser, who left his career of over a decade in the financial district to pursue a dream of being a boxing coach, REAL represents more than just a clothing brand. Boxing is based on values of respect and inclusion, with most of the hardest work being done outside the ring on the training floor which includes the physical and mental preparation.
“I split my time between being a personal trainer with a level one England Boxing lanyard and growing the REAL brand,” Max says, “I’ve found boxing is the best all-rounder, combining the highest levels of fitness with a deep sense of personal value and a respect for others.”
Max, along with anyone who takes their boxing training seriously, would testify that boxing is a perfectly balanced sport. Incorporating respect and inclusion, ferocity with humility. It pushes you forward towards your fullest potential and helps you face and assess who you are and what you want to be. In boxing, it is entirely down to you to determine what you get out of it. Be it health, confidence, titles or all three.
“Boxing is a lifestyle,” he says, “By its very nature it makes you a stronger person, making you self-reliant and training you to realise that you are capable of doing amazing things. You are an unstoppable force and you are far stronger than you could ever imagine. It’s all about the power of one.”
REAL. THE POWER OF ONE.
REAL is targeted to those who are serious about getting the very best out of their training and want to have the latest, high-end gear to work with. A range of wraps, socks and caps are available on the website and the best materials are used to create these products.
Currently, there is a targeted range of products available because Max is purposefully discerning with his products and wanted to home in on the exact products that boxers need to be of the highest quality.
Indeed, perhaps as a sign of who really knows their training and who does not, can be what they think is important for a boxer to wear. Quality wrappings to protect the knuckles and wrists, carefully thought out socks that allow for toe and heel grip allowing for that all important transference of power from the feet into the arms. Items that support and improve these small but crucial things are the sorts of products that real fighters value. Even the caps, which are understated and stylish are designed to keep the head warm during recovering periods.
“Of course, the caps are pretty cool to wear as well,” Max points out, “Nobody wants to train with something that’s ugly, do they?”
A range of additional products are coming including shorts and T-shirts, then in September this year, hoodies, sweatshirts and tracksuits are forecast to be released. Max is excited about these developments but is adamant about the quality of his products and not allowing the success of his current range to make him expand too soon.
“When boxers visit my website, they see a product range through the eyes of a boxer,” he says, “They see quality that is first functional and secondly stylish. The same will go with all the products that appear on my site in the future.”
Like any brand creator, Max dreams of his kit being used by the highest professional boxers but for the moment as his business is still bobbing and weaving through the competitive years, he is happy to be the supplier of choice of many dedicated pugilists at a variety of levels.
“In some ways that is more authentic and rewarding,” he says, “Professional boxers are often sponsored gear, so you never know if they’ve actually chosen a brand or not. Whereas my customers who range from sixteen to forty five year olds, have selected my brand above all the other choices out there.”
And it is not limited to boxing. All martial arts like UFC, karate, Krav Maga and kickboxing require quality and reliable products that have been thoroughly and exhaustively tested in the ring and on the training mat.
THE RIGHT MESSAGE
Up early and training from 06.30-07.30 every morning, Max certainly makes the most out of his day. After his own training he spends about two hours a day with clients and the rest of the day is spent on his business. Marketing plays a huge part in the promotion of a brand but leaning back on what he has learnt through boxing he knows the value of preparation and making sure that he positions himself properly with the right message.
“Brands make a statement,” he points out, “The people that use my brand are making that same statement, so I have to make sure I have the right voice and the right message to give.”
With this in mind, Max has made his five, ten and fifteen year plan but is really focussed on the six month goal. Preferring to dream big but work small he knows that the blocks used to build his business today will become the foundations for tomorrow.
“Again, it’s the same as boxing,” he says, “You always have your eyes on the big fight, but you have to make sure what you’re doing right now counts. I don’t see the sense in putting less than one hundred percent into whatever I’m doing now.”
So how is this pioneering hard hitter going to be making this year a knock out? Max predicts that by the end of 2020 his product launches will all have been successful and his products available to buy in bulk. He will also have a couple of extra items that would be nice for the range, like a really good boxing robe. Then, by the close of 2020 he will have hired his first employee.
“The two year goal is to be within the top five boxing apparel focuses in Europe,” he says, “I am already marketing with the globe considered. I have a lot of channel exposure through Instagram and a growing popularity in Russia where the fighters value getting every advantage through their equipment that they can.”
The second half of REAL’s unique selling point is that Max is very passionate about supporting mental health and wellbeing and his brand sponsors a charity called Place 2 Be.
“I want to get people interested in boxing from a grass roots level,” he says, “Boxing does not mean that you have to get into the ring at all, but at every level it can be quite meditative as it focusses the mind and strengthens the body.”
Max recently volunteered on a boxing programme to coach Liberian kids and he is constantly looking for outreach opportunities. He believes that boxing has a long standing place in communities for a reason because once you get started it works better than medicinal drugs at combating mild/ moderate depression and bolstering self-confidence.
“Fighting is focussed on yourself,” Max says, “Invest in yourself and acquire the right support and equipment.”