After JP, Starboard and Severne, this year it is the Italian board brand 99NoveNove, who sponsors the prestigious Aloha Classic event on Maui. We had a chat with Mr. Cheeseroll and 99NoveNove founder Cesare Cantagalli (I-99) about this big investment.
Continentseven: How was 2015 for 99NoveNove so far? You started a strong campaign with the support of a few big names like Nico Akgazciyan, Pascal Toselli, Finian Maynard, Amanda Beenen, Youp Schmit, Marc Pare and off course one of the biggest names in windsurfing Kauli Seadi.
Cesare Cantagalli: It’s being challenging!! We are working full power with lots of enthusiasm. The team we put together represents a group of riders, which are all very balanced and in full connection with our brand philosophy. The young talented riders like Youp Schmit and Marc Parè Rico are supported by more experienced team mates, which are more influenced in the developments of the new collections. Finian Maynard is fully dedicated to our Slalom program together with Pascal Toselli, while Nicolas Akgazciyan provides his master-touch on the freestyle models. Amanda Beenen is the queen..and doing great! Kauli has being developing his KS model, which was a test winner on Planchemag’s latest issue, and will contribute to all the wave collection.
Continentseven: You make some big investments. Did it already pay off?
Cesare Cantagalli: Pay-off does not come in such a short time. Today the period of investment return has extended to any business sector. But we see that it’s working since our brand is growing and the distribution is now consolidating worldwide. We now have to gradually structure our company so that we can support the growth.
Continentseven: 99NoveNove has with Kauli Seadi a possible Hookipa winner in the team. Was this fact one of the reasons you decided to sponsor the this year’s Aloha Classic?
Cesare Cantagalli: The potential of Kauli is undoubtful and we all consider him as being one of the potential winners. There was a number on things which made this a special decision to finally come true. Firstly when we became aware that Aloha Classic was in danger for not being sponsored we felt it would be honorable to support the sport contributing to one the most prestigious events of the year. Secondly, the Aloha Classic could be the perfect target to launch the new KS model, which we have just released a few days ago. Finally, one of the most influential aspect of our sponsorship is connected to a historical moment for me and the brand itself.
Continentseven: You just launched the new Kauli Seadi Pro Model. Will Kauli use exactly these boards for competitions and free sailing?
Cesare Cantagalli: I think this is a question for Kauli to answer. From my side it’s important to let you understand that today we are possibly the only company in position to deliver and produce quality boards made in Italy. The KS model is produced in our Italian factory in “production series” CNC Technology with the option to choose form different rocker line’s configurations including his original ones. The KS is what we call superior quality boards Made in Italy.
Continentseven: 99NoveNove got introduced 8 years ago. How was it possible to grow to such a size within just a few years to be able to invest in windsurfing events.
Cesare Cantagalli: With Aloha Classic, we have invested in supporting the sport along with our project. Thanks to the great team-work and the people who have passionately supported us and still do everyday. From the workers at the factory to our office, commercial, technical, graphics and action team. Everyone contributes with their daily dose. The success of the company is made by ALL the people behind and how much energy they put in to it. We still have a long way to go and this is just the beginning.
Continentseven: Is it true 99NoveNove has a big investor behind, who makes all that „big steps“ possible?
Cesare Cantagalli: It is an important project, with an investor behind, who is fully supporting not only with passion related, but with a strong believe in water sports. We have a balanced vision and we are not looking into big volumes. We want to place our brand into a niche-market with the best products available and its own style. The brand has a great story to tell and the people behind are passionate and complete the panorama with the potential to succeed: heritage, know-how and finance.
Continentseven: What’s the strongest segment of 99NoveNove at the moment? You offer surf boards, windsurf boards, SUPs, skateboards, kite boards and in the past you were active with your own sail brand GOT. Will you work on sails as well in the future?
Cesare Cantagalli: Well you seem to know history pretty well and perhaps this could not be a bad idea… At the moment we need to focus on structuring the company and trim it to perfection before expanding to other projects. For sure we now have a vision about where we want to go. There are several ways to look at our goals with different approach. One is linked to wether it is better to propose all by the same brand name or unify the most prestigious brands together into one group. Both way’s are under consideration.
Continentseven: Will we see more events, sponsored by 99NoveNove?
Cesare Cantagalli: You are probably the first one to be able to announce that we have signed a 2 year’s contract with PWA…the reason why I leave it up to you that know very well the history to imagine why. I will officially announce it during the prize giving..so stay tuned for curiosity.
Continentseven: What benefit do you expect from such an investment?
Cesare Cantagalli: Economical benefit is most likely not the main issue, but we trust people are looking for emotion’s to share and we like to think we can be part of that. To give everyone a chance to work on a project that is part of their dream. We want to be successful by seeing people riding and appreciating our gear and style.
Continentseven: Who will win the 2015 99NoveNove Aloha Classic?
Cesare Cantagalli: I normally never like to predict the competition and rather let the game begin. I know whom I’d like to win! And I know there is a big swell on its way.