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Interview with the founder of the company, Martin Sustersic

11.09.2019

About the innovative idea behind the 4kickerz story that led to its success.



1. Martin, tell us how it all started?

Soccer has always been a major part of my life. I started playing when I was six and played intensively throughout my youth, reaching the professional national league in my country Slovenia. I have been a member of the Slovenia national U20 team as well. However, I started experiencing problems with my lower back and was later diagnosed with a herniated disc, so ultimately I had to stop playing professionally.

Still, I continue playing for my own pleasure. Currently, I am playing for the ATUS Ferlach soccer club in the Austrian amateur league.

Alongside playing soccer I got a bachelor's degree in economics and marketing from the University of Ljubljana and I'm now completing my master's degree in management.

As soon as I started thinking about an entrepreneurial idea, soccer came to mind immediately. So for the last two years, I've been immersed in developing this product and I'm very happy to say, it has proved to be an outstanding idea.

2. How come you decided to focus on shin guards in particular?

I've never been quite happy with the shin guards I had. They were all bulky, rigid and heavy, so I decided to make my own improvised version once and I've continued to do so for the last five years at least. In the beginning, they were just foam cut out of yoga foam mats, but as time passed, I started to make pretty decent ones. At some point, my shin guards caught the attention of other football players, so I’ve agreed to make some for others as well. But of course, at the time they were simple, though always practical and comfortable. Afterwards, I made it my entrepreneurial idea to develop and produce superior shin guards, which has now turned into running a business.


3. Can you tell us about the advantages of the 4kickerz shin guards compared to others on the market?

First of all, 4kickerz shin guards are the lightest shin guards you can get! They are lighter still than the much more expensive carbon fibre ones.

Until now every player who wanted their shin guards to stay in place had to use tape or a guard sleeve to secure it. The inner side of our guards is covered in a special 3D-Grip-Technology coated fabric, this results in 40 % more grip in contact with your skin in comparison to the closest competitor fabrics. This means 40% less slippage compare to similar priced shin guardStandard carbon and plastic shin guards have a hard shell, so they will never fit your leg quite right. Because they are made of impact absorption foam, 4kickerz are fully flexible. They will fit every particular leg shape perfectly. Moreover, when you are running, and the muscles attached to your shinbone are stretching and contracting, the shin guard will adapt to this muscle movement and offer a perfect fit in all given situations.

As the 4kickerz guards are flexible and soft to the touch, we had to develop a new way of imprinting a custom graphic onto the guard as well, since we wanted the print to be just as flexible. You can now put photos, texts, numbers, quotes,... of your choice on the front side of your shin guards. By wearing their picture on your guards, your family and idols can now be even closer to you during an important match.

In manufacturing the 4kickerz shin guards we use materials of the highest quality. Besides, every single guard is handmade and passes quality inspection before shipping.

Finally, the care we put into making this product the best for each individual player most definitely sets us apart from other brands.

From the beginning, our goal was to make the best shin guards on the market. Feedback from our customers makes us believe that we made it!

4. Surely you are using 4kickerz shin guards yourself as well, how would you describe the experience so far?

Of course! I wear them for every training and every match, even if I just go out for jogging I have them on. The development of the end product took much time and throughout every stage of improvement, I have been involved in testing, so it has become like second nature for me to wear them. They are extremely light, comfort and you get a feeling there is nothing on your shins, but when someone hits you, they remind you they are there for you.

5. Any final thoughts you want to share with your fellow players?

Sure - with or without 4kickerz shin guards, I want them to never forget to love the beautiful and exciting game! Of course, I would like to invite everyone to be on the 4kickerz Team and follow us. We really appreciate all your feedback and support! Also, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


Production: MMstudio