UP IN THE AIR

BY Julian Yap Joe Nin

I want to talk about something that is more unconventional. The unexpected.

SKYDIVING. Yes. You heard me correctly – SKYDIVING.

Generally, many people regard skydiving as an extreme sport and it certainly IS coming from someone who has done this before.

This was just last year at the beginning of January in Perth, Australia.

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14,000 feet tandem skydive in Perth, Australia

I certainly did not know what went through my mind that made me decide to do something as CRAZY as skydiving – better yet, a 14,000 feet tandem skydive!

I repeat. 14,000 feet!

It is a THRILL you would enjoy like never before and I’ll show you why.

Sitting in that tiny plane filled with 4 other pairs thinking it’s going to collapse because of our weight and slowly ascending in the sky until we reach 14,000 feet – I was full of nerves and anxiety.

I wanted to wee myself.

Being the last one to jump out of the plane whilst everyone else has gone – NOT a good idea either, you’re just waiting for your turn.

Waiting sucks.

My sister went before me and she’s 4 years younger than I am – she was not even as nervous as I was.

Believe me, she had the time of her life watching me freak out!

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The man of the hour- my sister, Celine rocking in her skydiving gear

She’s the man. Literally. Not talking about the film.

I’m such a girl.

The scariest part of this experience was definitely sitting on the edge of the plane and having to take that plunge – I thought I was going to take my very last breath in the sky.

In all seriousness, go skydiving if you get the chance. I had the time of my life doing it and so will you!

No regrets. Another thing checked off my bucket list.

But enough about me. I’m no celebrity.

Let’s now take a trip down memory lane to my very first blog post, ‘The Blurred Line’ on The Game Changer.

A little recap.

Sports works just like any other brand out there.

Why is that?

Take, clothing brands, for example.

The use of celebrities as spokesmodels of a clothing brand distracts us from what matters the most to a customer – why should I spend money on buying an item from this clothing brand in comparison to other brands out there?

Like brands, the same question can be asked in sports – what are the traits and attributes that make Tom Brady and Kobe Bryant such great and in fact, legendary athletes in the first place? 

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New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady and Lakers shooting guard and 18-time All-Star, Kobe Bryant

Seems to me, brands and athletes are tirelessly counting on all these embellishments in order for them to stay in the game in the long run.

 Hackett London and Pete Allum are different.

Hackett London, a premium British menswear retailer and Pete Allum, a world champion skydiver from Britain – they nailed it.

Here’s why.

Instead of clashing with one another, Hackett and Allum complemented each other.

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The Edit- Landing in Style // Hackett London

These two names came together and blended into one perfect marriage – a union merrier than ever.

They did not outshine one another. Each stood out on their own and I’ll tell you how.

Let’s start with Hackett London.

Hackett introduced ‘The Journey Suit’ as part of The Journey Collection – a suit designed for the man who is always on the move.

Most importantly, a suit that is crease resistant and water repellent making it suitable to be worn in all types of travel and weather conditions – all this achieved through the manipulation of yarn.

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The Journey Suit // Hackett London

The quality and practicality of ‘The Journey Suit’ – these are unique characteristics men whom have busy lifestyles would be looking for in a suit and more importantly, what differentiates Hackett from the rest.

Hackett did not just stop there.

The brand had to put ‘The Journey Suit’ into action to show its customers that this suit is no joke. It is no tease.

What did they do?

They collaborated with world champion skydivers: Pete Allum, Ally Milne and Paul Capsey – showcasing them in a campaign video, ‘Hackett London: Landing in Style’ skydiving whilst wearing ‘The Journey Suit’ tested up to 200mph.

Take a look.

Talk about high-flying action.

Major props to whoever thought of this brilliant idea.

I mean seriously though, was that not one of the coolest and most wicked videos you have ever seen?

And did I mention, making a cocktail in 90 seconds whilst being up in the sky? – you’ve got to be kidding me!

That is not humanly possible at all or at least, in my books.

Those two men look as suave as hell too – that’s definitely the most elegant and sophisticated I’ve seen any skydiver look, think that should be the new dress code?

Sign me up, Hackett. You’ve sold me the suit big time!

But now, let’s talk about Pete Allum – British World Champion and the most experienced skydiver among Milne and Capsey.

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Logo // Hackett London 

British. Sportsman. Champion. History. Excellence – Allum truly is the epitome of what the Hackett brand is all about.

Again, smart move on Hackett’s side for featuring Allum as part of their social media and website campaign for ‘The Journey Collection’.

Like Hackett, Allum stands out all on his own for so many different reasons.

Here’s how.

Allum has completed approximately over 33,000 jumps – his first jump was back in 1979 when he was just 15 years old.

Today, he has become one of the most experienced Formation Skydiving competitors and coaches in the world, and in the history of this sport.

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Pete Allum // Flight-1

Having dived for 21 years and competed all around the world, Allum considers Empuriabrava in Spain his home, where he lives with his family.

His parents, Michael and Inger, both enormously keen skydivers, first introduced him to the sport at the age of 9.

The first and undoubtedly, the most important thing they taught Allum – how to pack a parachute, which he did at the age of 10.

The airfield slowly became a place where Allum grew up on. He lived on many different British dropzones since the 1980s.

But, there was a hiccup.

Allum dropped out of the sport when he was 16 years old because he did not want to follow in his parents’ footsteps.

He left home to travel for a year.

Such a rebel.

The male version of Rihanna.

When Allum returned from his travels, he made a few jumps and completely fell back in love with the sport.

Thank god for that.

Without those jumps, Allum would not have gotten to where he is today – the legend that he has become in the history of this sport.

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Allum featured in Hackett’s ‘Journey Suit’ Collection campaign // Hackett London

At the beginning of his career, Allum joined Symbiosis – the most successful British team at that time to compete in 4-way at the British Nationals.

By joining with another 4-way team, they competed in 8-way at the British National Formation Skydiving Championships, winning seven times from 1985 to 1991.

A seven game winning streak – now, that’s a champ right there.

In 1991, Allum decided to change his specialty and compete in 4-way instead of an 8-way – the idea of being part of a smaller group and the ability to go faster was very appealing to him in a big way.

Since then, he has always competed in 4-way in every World Meet representing the UK, except in 1985 – he competed in 8-way with team Ricoh.

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Allum in action // Flight-1

Over the past 20 years, his team has won the 4-way more times than any other team at the British Nationals – a record breaking 14 times from 1992-2003 and 2015-2016!

Now, that is one hell of a record to beat!

It does not stop there.

In 2004, Allum joined Italy’s national team, Sinapsi PD, whom offered him a slot when one of their team members, Marco Arrigo retired.

Since joining them, Allum competed in 4-way, winning the Italy National Formation Skydiving Championships seven times – from 2005 to 2011.

The years, 2006 and 2009 were monumental for Allum – he was officially in the big leagues and unsurprisingly, he did not disappoint either.

At the Formation Skydiving World Championships in 2006 in Germany, Allum triumphed at third place with his fellow teammates from Sinapsi PD: Arianna de Benedetti, Livio Piccolo and Luka Marchioro.

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Bronze medals for Italy with Sinapsi PD in Germany 2006 // Skyleague 

In 2009, British’s Steve Hamilton replaced Arianna de Benedetti in the Sinapsi PD, which served them very well – the team won bronze medals for Italy at the Formation Skydiving World Cup held in Prostějov, Czech Republic.

Apart from competing, Allum is also a highly sought after 4-way coach.

During his spare time, he coaches many National squads and teams of every different level.

Not only that, Allum is fluent in several languages that he has the ability to coach two different nationalities in their own language.

At this point, what can Allum NOT do?

Man, what an unbelievable career this guy’s had!

The sky is no longer the limit. At least, in Allum’s case.

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In my case, I would definitely love to go skydiving again.

But to pursue this sport as a career, don’t even think about it.

Peace out folks.

Cheers.