Michelmores has advised start-up Iconic Workspace on its joint venture with leading English rugby club, Harlequins.
Launched by ex-Harlequins centre Matt Hopper and his business partners Iain Dickson and Ben Salmon, Iconic Workspace aims to provide flexible office space at inspiring venues – the first of which is at the Twickenham Stoop, home of Harlequins.
“The basic Iconic Workspace concept is to re-purpose selected areas of The Stoop as flexible office spaces on non-matchdays,” says Hopper, now with French club Oyannax. “But it goes much deeper than that. We want to use Iconic Workspace as a blueprint that benefits clubs and businesses – as well as players coming to the end of their careers.”
For clubs and other stadium owners, Iconic Workspace opens up a new revenue stream around pre-existing assets, such as club executive boxes and hospitality lounges. For businesses – whether sole traders or larger concerns – it offers light and modern office space for rental.
The business benefits also go way beyond office rental, as Harlequins’ commercial director Alexandra Goldschmidt explains: “For companies or individuals already associated with us, what better place could there be than the Stoop to take office space?
“If you need some inspiration for your staff, all the sporting characteristics that contribute to successful businesses have been played out on the pitch in front of you. Creativity, loyalty and the importance of teamwork to achieve greater success, or turn the tide during tough times – it has all happened here.”
Membership also includes the ability for your workforce to engage with some of the Harlequins players and coaching staff throughout the year. In addition, there’s the chance to network with other Iconic Workspace members.
“I’m confident the Iconic Workspace model will work at other sporting arenas,” says Hopper. “But that’s down the line. Proving the concept at the Stoop is my main focus. I am delighted that my former club has joined with me to launch Iconic Workspace at the Stoop, where I have so many happy memories.”