Always intending to establish his own business venture, as his Master of Entrepreneurship studies suggest, Clay found inspiration in the form of some old rugby headgear lying around at home.
His idea was simple, yet very clever – to produce flat-form cardboard replica sports helmets, designed to be worn by fans and act as an engaging in-stadium advertising platform for teams and sponsors.
New Zealand and Australian rugby union and rugby league clubs were very impressed with the promotional opportunities the product presented. Clay used his Audacious prize money to invest in new samples and made return marketing visits to Australia to develop key relationships, secure contracts and drive future sales.
Creative Hype now has customers in New Zealand, Australia, Britain, Europe and the USA, plus industry acknowledgement for his product and innovative practices. Prior to Christmas 2014, the fledgling sports marketing company was confirmed as overall winner of the 2014 ANZ Flying Start Business Plan competition, beating over 400 entries. His winning business plan focused on entering the lucrative USA market. The prize package helped him implement this strategy.
This accolade followed recognition of Creative Hype’s business practices at the Innovate NZ 2014 Awards where it was nominated in two categories, and ultimately gained a highly commended citation for its Marketing and Communications strategies.
Creative Hype continues to go from strength to strength and now has intellectual property protection for 12 product designs in 38 countries, and has supplied promotional headgear to an impressive list of domestic and international sports organisations and sponsors including Vodafone, SuperRugby, Gadbury, the TAB and many more.