The Defender Who Sells Custom Gamecases To Mbappe, Messi & Aguero To Play FIFA On
29-year old Kai Heerings has his hands full with marking the best strikers in the Eredivisie but when he's not on the pitch, the former FC Utrecht man is busy providing custom games consoles for top-level footballers and athletes.
Essentially Heering's business is providing suitcases containing a console and a TV screen so that customers can play video games such as FIFA 19 on the go.
With his service one that is ideal for footballers while they are travelling to an away game or staying in a hotel, Heering spotted a huge gap in the market since and set up the company in 2015 alongside his brother-in-law.
"The product we provide, we call it 'the Gamecase', is a durable design ABS case with a built in gaming monitor," Heerings tells SPORTbible.
"All the connections are in place for anyone to slide in their Playstation or xbox. On the go, you simple open the case, plug in 1 power cable and you can start gaming. We started back in 2015, the first gamecase was a simple toolcase with a built in TV screen. This grew out to having our own design and electronics.
"Talking to my brother in law while i was on a bus-ride to a game, we chatted about the upcoming training camp that summer, and that it sucks to bring all the separate bits and pieces for gaming and trying to hook it up to the TV in your room. On the bus-rides or on camp there is a lot of free time kill. He said, 'Let's put some money together and see where we end up'.
"When the other guys on my team saw it when I brought it to training camp, they all wanted one as well, my room was very crowded that camp! And then with transfers of the guys to other teams the word spread quickly."
'JZD design' have an Instagram page with nearly 3,000 followers as well as a website for their products but the majority of their sales are achieved by word of mouth - with past clients including members of France's World Cup winning squad, Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, as well as Chelsea legend John Terry.
But their venture was taken to a whole new level last year when Sergio Aguero picked up the phone and though there was a difficulty because of the language barrier, he and his good pal Lionel Messi received the orders they wanted.
Just imagine Messi's name coming up on your bank statement!
"Most of them just want the standard version, but some want a custom made," Heering explained.
"They can choose whatever they want on the front and we make a durable sticker with the design for them. We are in good contact with EA Sports, making a lot of cases for game release and such - for example that's how Lewis Hamilton got one.
"The first big name was John Terry, he called and wanted eight cases I think. Which turned out to be a good story because something happened during shipping.
"They nearly all arrived broken, so he called us. We made new ones and drove them their ourselves - which turned out to be a great experience. John had no hard feelings or anything. One of the nicest guys we've met.
"After that, Aguero called for two custom ones, and last year he wanted the new model for himself and one for Messi. It was really cool seeing the money transfer state 'L. Messi'!"
€699 euros is the standard price for a 19' inch case, with a 24' inch costing a further €200 euros - though the console is not included.
Kai acknowledges that the service is not cheap but hopes to change that as the brand continues to grow.
"We know the current price is high. Our goal is to grow further so we can lower costs and thus lower the retail price. We want everyone to be able to have one under the christmas tree.
"But we will never sacrifice the quality or our customer centricity. We are a family run business and really want to keep it that way, just on a larger scale."