Former Ashes winning England captain Michael Vaughan has become a shareholder in Leeds-based cricket shoe business Payntr as he looks to make the sport more colourful.
Vaughan was introduced to the brand by his son, who like his father is making his way in the game.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, the former England captain praised David Paynter, founder of the Payntr brand and himself a former cricketer, for coming up with striking and practical designs.
He said: “A cricketer understands the game. Understands what goes through a cricketer’s body. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a batsman, bowler, spin bowler or fielder. He understands what’s required.
“The game of cricket is evolving all the time with the different formats but it’s coming more in line with other sports where colour and innovation is so important.
“That’s exactly what Dave’s done at Payntr. He’s brought innovation and colour in. He’s made cricket shoes look cool.
“It is about performance, which is the principal aim of the shoe, but kids like to look cool and that’s exactly what it does.”
As a shareholder in the business Vaughan says he will be “hands-on”. Since his playing career ended he has been involved in a variety of businesses. However, becoming a shareholder in Payntr is particularly close to Vaughan’s heart.
Vaughan, who also played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “This is one that I’m really excited about because it is fresh and it’s obviously close to my heart because it’s a sport that I played.”
He added: “I’m hands-on with quite a few businesses. They’re all different but fundamentally they’re all the same. It’s all about hardwork and knowing when to take risk, knowing when to accept that you’ve made mistakes, knowing when you’re going in the right direction and getting good people involved.
“That’s what Payntr is about. There’s a number of really good people that are involved in it. I love that story of family-based business that’s done well.
“Who knows where it will end up in a few years time but it’s had a good start.”
Vaughan, who captained England to their first Ashes triumph in 18 years during the 2005 series, said they are already looking at further innovations including an after sport flip flop slider.
The former England captain isn’t the only big name from the world of cricket to give the Payntr brand his backing.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, former World Cup winning captain of India, has also endorsed Payntr with the Yorkshire-based business entering into a joint venture worth a minimum of £30m over fives with the SEVEN by MS Dhoni brand.
“When you think of a partnership with probably the most famous cricketer MS Dhoni, it tells you there’s something right about the brand,” Vaughan said. He added that he will be speaking to MS Dhoni at some point while he is on tour in England with the Indian team.
Mr Paynter set up the business after his own personal experience of playing in uncomfortable and dull cricket shoes. He said: “We used to buy a pair of running shoes and then send them away to a cobblers who would sand down the sole. It still happens today. They put a plate on so you could screw your own spikes in. I used to do this for years and years as a professional, which triggered the idea.”
Vaughan said that the cricketing family has supported Paynter since he quit the game.
He added: “I think they should carry on supporting someone that’s being innovative and willing to take the game to a different level.”
Continuing the cricketing legacy
Cricket runs through the Paynter family. David Paynter is the great-grandson of the great Eddie Paynter, who wrote himself into Ashes folklore by coming off his sickbed to help England win the infamous bodyline series.
David Paynter himself played professionally for Northamptonshire.
Paynter says he quit the game after playing professionally became “stale” for him.
Payntr has entered its second year as a business and is already making global strides shipping cricket shoes to the most unlikely of markets, everywhere from the US to Peru.