Official Statement


Toronto, 10th October 2018 - Gregory van der Wiel and business partners Funs Jacobs and Ricardo Mingacho have started Bare Knuckle, a ´creative shop´ for personal brands. The agency creates the visual brand identity of personal brands such as those of sports stars, artists and entrepreneurs. The experience that the team has developed while building the ´Gregory van der Wiel´ brand will now be adapted for personal brands; especially those on the North America continent, where Gregory van der Wiel is currently active as a professional footballer.

Gregory van der Wiel: “During my career many people approached me who were keen to help develop my personal brand. I was never really convinced by them. After making the jump to North America it was time to take things into my own hands, together with my partner, Funs Jacobs. It was not long before Ricardo Mingacho came on board, giving us a strong, diverse team. They became, as it were, the creative director of my personal brand and had shared responsibility for my repositioning.
Footballer and entrepreneur
For several years now Gregory van der Wiel, in addition to being a professional footballer, has also been a successful entrepreneur. Recently he was able to sell his share in BALR., the clothing brand of ex-international Demy de Zeeuw, with a 2.000% return. A portion of the profits went back into his investment company Block Party, which has interests in startups like Hardt Hyperloop, personalisation platform Unless and influencer platform Voicey in its portfolio. Another share of the profits is reserved for setting up Bare Knuckle. His development from professional footballer to entrepreneur asked for a repositioning of his personal brand.

Funs Jacobs, brand strategist and co-founder of Bare Knuckle: “Every brand and large company has someone whose job it is to guard that brand. He or she has the important task of building the brand, broadening its scope and protecting it. Today individuals have become companies. However we see, especially in sport, few personal brands that have a clear vision for the visual brand identity. That is exactly what we are going to do at Bare Knuckle. We want to be the creative director within a personal brand team. Whereby we start with creating the look of the brand and the guidelines for it and then we use all our creativity to develop and protect it.”

This is Bare Knuckle
Bare Knuckle is a ´creative shop´ where the visual identity of personal brands is created, based upon the values and beliefs of the individual. To build further on this brand, Bare Knuckle will ideally play the role of creative director within the personal brand team. The goal of Bare Knuckle is to help its partners and clients win their place in the online world and in their industry. And we do that with flair. However the most important thing remains that the people that make up this family can always be themselves, can let their authentic self be seen and can clearly show what it is that they stand for.