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Sonik Sports appoints Vermeulen for surprise move into feeder fishing sector


After huge success in the carp market, the UK’s Sonik Sports has announced plans to replicate its model in the European feeder fishing sector, with a new brand and a big industry name in charge.

Sonik’s Commercial Director Ian McCormack believes the decision to launch into the coarse fishing sector in 2023 is the biggest step in the company’s history since he founded it 13 years ago. Since then, Sonik has become established as a successful, predominantly carp brand and has, according to McCormack, grown its business more than four times in the last few years.

Now the UK-based operation could be on the brink of another quantum leap as it prepares to enter a new category with a focused range of feeder/commercial products, each of which is designed outperform others within its price range. The new brand will be introduced to the trade this Autumn in time for it to be available at retail in the Spring.

And there’s no doubt about the size of Sonik’s ambition. “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” McCormack told Angling International. “This brand is set to replicate the success the company has created within the mid-priced carp fishing sector. It is going to make people sit up and take notice. It is not just an add on to the Sonik proposition, but a completely new brand that will stand on its own feet in terms of product development and marketing.”

With Atle Haakonsen, formerly Global VP Sales and Marketing at Mustad, as CEO Europe, and Pascal Vermeulen, well known for his time at Spro and Preston Innovations, as Managing Director Europe, the new brand could hardly be better equipped to succeed. In addition to its UK head office and distribution centre, Sonik also has a 2,500 square metre logistics centre in Prague, with around 85% of product supplied direct to retailers. The company is now in the process of finding a location in Holland for its first European office.

Carp fishing is currently the core of the company’s business, representing some 90% of turnover. Sonik has more than 800 active accounts in Europe. Now it is looking to the coarse sector to double the size of the business once again in the next three years.

Feeder fishing ticks all the boxes. That sector’s growth over the last few years shows no sign of stalling. It is more accessible than specialist carp fishing and the technique is easy to master, making it especially attractive to the new entrants and returnees who have boosted participation numbers since the onset of COVID. “It is booming all over Europe,” says Vermeulen. “You need only a couple of hours for feeder fishing, whereas you might need two days for a decent carp session. It is suitable for both commercial and natural waters and is a good method for different species.”

Rods and reels will be at the vanguard of the highly-anticipated launch. “They have always been the company’s core competence and will be at the forefront of the new offering,” he explained.

“There will also be seat boxes, luggage, clothing, line and accessories, which of course cross over into other types of coarse fishing.”

Sonik cannot reveal the name of the new brand until the trade mark has been approved.

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