A KEEN martial arts fan from Stocksfield is taking aim on the global athleisure industry.
David Kirkland (35) has been appointed as marketing manager of Northumberland company AIM athleisure as it rolls out its very own leisure clothing brand.
The company, specialising in clothing designed for fitness or other athletic activities, was founded by Alnwick businesswoman Amy Fettis in 2014, and has developed to the point where it now designs, produces and sells its own branded clothes from its base in Osborne Road, in Jesmond.
With interest in the brand growing rapidly, David’s media experience and long-time passion for mixed martial arts and boxing has been called upon to spread the word about AIM to a national and international, audience.
Through working with media outlets such as ITV, BBC, MTV and i2 Media, he has gained contacts with some of the world’s largest sporting brands.
And he is now concentrating on promoting Aim’s products, having attracted a number of brand ambassadors, including Ryan Roddy, the first winner of Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins reality TV show.
He said: “The reason I joined forces with Amy is that I wanted a new challenge, so I had a look about and there was this fantastic vacancy at AIM.
“Through my passion for martial arts and combat sports, and the contacts I have gained, we really want to push on.
“I want to grow a team of amazing ambassadors and get the brand up with the best in the industry internationally – and it will be!”
David is licensed by the Amateur Boxing Association and coaches at Ryton Amateur Boxing Club, and also trains with Crawcrook-based Aiki Kickboxing Club.
When it comes to leisure clothing wear, he knows his stuff.
He said: “As well as Amy’s story and passion, the fact that all the fabrics and materials are sourced in the UK and designed and produced in a studio in the North-East is special.”
AIM athleisure has made a big name for itself since its launch, with Amy winning a Northern Star Business Award as innovative business of the year in 2015.
Having established the company by sourcing clothing to sell on, the latest development of producing everything from scratch is a huge step forward for AIM.
Amy said: “It gives me an enormous sense of pride and satisfaction to see how excited my team is about what we are doing here. Our brands and lines are bespoke and unique.
“We were looking for a marketing manager and David’s appointment has changed the landscape of the business so much.
“We had been working so hard on developing and producing the brand, and now David is taking us on and getting new clients, and the business is growing exponentially.”