The 16-year old Leon Gissing has become a famous shoe dealer among premier league stars. He is a businessman. When he was 13, he began to wait for Chelsea players outside the Stamford Bridge stadium. He didn’t want to ask for a selfie or an autograph. He had something to give them: his card. That’s when his two passions began to mix. Today he is a successful businessman.
The teenager runs his own business and among his clients are some of the future stars of the English soccer league. “I was obsessed,” he told CNN. ”I was always on the lookout for the latest in the world of sneakers.” Whenever there was a new version of Air Jordans, the boy would go to the door of the store hours well in advance to make sure he got some pairs. Then he would resell them and earn $20, $30, $50 on each deal.
It’s a dream but the plan is to continue studying, to learn a few more thingsLeon Gissing
One day he even met Jack Sock, the American tennis player, at the door of the ATP Queen’s tournament. Jack Sock was once ranked among the top 10 in the world. “Nice shoes,” the tennis player told Gissing. “I can get you a pair,” he replied.
He made contacts, learned more and more about this world, but it was really in the social networks that his business became what it is today. The company called Plug Leon already has two employees. The key moment came when one of his customers shared his latest purchase on Snapchat. Reiss Nelson, then a Hoffenheim player on loan to Arsenal, contacted him. He was still suspicious if it was really him. Eventually he realized that it was no mistake and they did business. It was the first of many.
His company is making a name for itself. He bets heavily on rarer models of sports brand sneakers and also sells other items such as Gucci t-shirts and bags. His parents support the business except when it interferes with school. It happened recently, when he had exams to take and couldn’t go to Paris to do business with more PSG players.
I’ve played Call of Duty with guys like Joe Willock and Reiss NelsonLeon Gissing
Some of his customers are not much older than him; they are the stars of the future. Reece James (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (now Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate), Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka (both Arsenal) are among his first customers. Saka was the youngest starter for the England national team to play in the recent Euro2020 final.
Gissing has begun to do business with players from other leagues. Weston McKennie, Juventus’ midfielder, did the same, as did Thilo Kehrer, PSG’s defender. Ansu Fati, a young Barcelona star, has already ordered several shoes from him. The youngster has already gone to Germany to do business with Marcus Thuram and Breel Embolo. Besides the business, he also gets to have fun with some of the players.