What do you do at Monkeydrive?
Company management and sales.
What is a typical day like for you?
First, I get myself organised. I look at my appointments, check emails, prioritise to-dos, and drink my first coffee.
Then I check in with the team and start working through my to-dos: seeing if we're on target and checking the sales pipeline, our liquidity, business planning, etc. There's no getting around it.
When I can get a second, I check into the latest football news to see if there are any new opportunities on the horizon.
I then move on to prepare some creative briefings, if needed, and organise customer appointments and correspondence.
What kind of things are you working on now? What's new?
One important project is that we're setting up a sewing studio as a supplement to our screen printing in order to expand our portfolio and offer even faster delivery. At the same time, I'm spending a lot of time designing our new office over the printing studio.
But the next big strategic project is our reconstruction into a full-service merchandise agency. There's so much to plan and take into consideration.
And I don't have to sacrifice my passion for sports. Currently, we are expanding our services for professional sports. Professional football, in particular.
Some other things currently at the top of our agenda include design, blank-T programmes, on-demand production, establishing a network for music merchandise in the UK and USA, optimising administrative processes. With all this, I never get bored.
What's your background? What did you do before Monkeydrive?I
I was a taxi driver, kiosk worker, IT personnel service provider. I did outdoor advertising. And then came MONKEYDRIVE!
The Eintracht Frankfurt football team, the Bahnhofsviertel, the Städel museum, my friends.
What inspired you to become self-employed?
I didn't want to hear how the world works from people without a plan of their own. What I really wanted to do was to make my own ideas into a reality, together with people I like and trust. You only live once. Don't dream – live your dreams!
What do you bring to the job?
On the professional side, I bring organisation and structure, as well as a passion for strategic sales. In general, I get excited about things easily and I'm able to get others excited, too. In that sense, I'm a total entrepreneur.
For me, curiosity and a certain playful instinct are very important.
I love developing strategies and putting them to action.
Our team – and the success we have achieved – inspires me. It's just incredible what our people have achieved over the years.
One thing that people in our industry should never forget is that freaks and artists with crazy ideas and enthusiasm are what give our lives flavour – even if it causes some stress. And I'm very thankful for that.
And last but not least, I'm repeatedly inspired by the fact that I'm often a fan of our own customers, whether it's a band or Eintracht Frankfurt.
You have a talent for organisation and developing a business. Which processes have changed the most since the beginning?
We've moved from copy-and-paste in Excel and Word to a certified ERP system. It creates clear structures for offers, orders, delivery slips, invoicing, receivables management, etc., and puts it all in a strict process chain.
On the whole, we have we have gone from a one-stop shop to a specialist, which is reflected in our efficient division of responsibilities in all areas.
What is the most valuable thing you have learnt from your time managing a company like Monkeydrive?
My formula could be defined as follows: A CLEAR GOAL x EFFORT = SUCCESS.
Enthusiasm and fun are the basic driving forces, and it's a team sport: Nothing will work without the team.
What were your favourite production jobs in recent years? Can you describe a great success?
- The "Adler im Anflug" (Eagle approaching) and "Rückkehr der Adler" (Return of the eagle) campaigns for Eintracht finales. We provided the slogan and design development. And it was for my favourite team.
- Arcade Fire – „Everything Now“ Tour for CBP
- Childish Gambino for CBP
- Mastodon – „Crack in the Sky“ Tour for Warner Music
- Casper – „Hinterland“ Tour for Krasser Stoff
Who would you like to have as a customer – no matter how unlikely?
What is your favourite piece of merchandise that you didn't produce yourself? Is there a story behind it?
My Suicidal Tendencies shirt that I bought at Venice Beach on my first trip to the USA with three crazy friends, hardly any money and a whole lot of fun.
Then, of course, there's my Eintracht scarf that I bought from Willi Schuster in Bethmannstrasse in 1985. I kept the scarf through their cup victory in 1988, their relegation in Saarbrücken and Nuremberg, and their cup victory in 2018. I stopped wearing it outside recently. I would give my life to protect that scarf.
And then there's my original SC Magdeburg jersey from the GDR. It's my good luck charm when nothing else helps. In 1999, I wore it for the last four Eintracht game days until Fjörtoft's legendary stepover – and it stunk like crazy. I did the same in 2016 for the last four game days and the relegation against Nuremberg. I'm easy to spot in the ARD footage of the game when I make a complete idiot of myself after the whistle blew. You can see me at the edge of the away team's fan section, because the green and red jersey stands out from the rest.
What are you a fan of?
Eintracht Frankfurt, AC/DC, Monkeydrive, Natali
What does the future hold? Where will you be in ten years?
Eintracht will be the German champion! After that, we'll capture the US and UK markets, the company will keep developing, and it will eventually be passed on to younger, wilder hands.
If you could have three wishes for Monkeydrive, what would they be?
That we will always have the time and energy to do things that we are passionate about even if they don't make economic sense. That our Christmas parties keep happening, and they never end before six. That the next generation will carry on the name in future.
“Eintracht will be the German champion!”Andreas Bendel