Entrepreneurial Wasps stars representing club at Europe’s biggest property convention

Brad and Josh

Two entrepreneurial Wasps players will represent the Club in Europe next month as the pair head out to the continent’s biggest property convention.

Brad Shields and Josh Bassett, who launched their new drinks brand ‘Social’ last summer, will be appearing at MIPIM to promote Coventry and Warwickshire and what the Coventry Building Society Arena has to offer.

Brad (pictured right) originally from New Zealand, and Josh (pictured left) from Luton, came up with the idea during lockdown to create a new brand of hard seltzer – alcoholic sparkling water, flavoured with fruit, which is popular in the USA and Australia.

After Social’s successful launch, the business partners and teammates will represent Wasps’ at MIPIM as part of the area’s drive to attract investment and development.

The pair will be joined by Wasps’ Corporate Development Director, Déirdre Fitzhugh.

Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group Chief Executive, said: “Not only are Brad and Josh superb rugby players, they have also created a fantastic business, so we felt they were a great fit to represent the club and our region at MIPIM this year.”

MIPIM, which has not been held for two years because of the pandemic, is one of the biggest property shows in the world and attracts around 30,000 global delegates in France.

The Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership is made up of private sector companies and private sector organisations from across the area and has been attending the show for more than two decades.

“We are looking forward to showing the delegates at MIPIM how Coventry and Warwickshire is bouncing back from the pandemic and the role we are playing in that with not only the sporting events we hold but also the major concerts, conferences and exhibitions we attract to the area,” Stephen added.

“The Arena has developed considerably since MIPIM was last held, with a new sponsor in Coventry Building Society, the launch of sports bar The Anecdote, and huge investment into much of the infrastructure.

“Delegates will also hear about the progress of the Arena’s new Commonwealth Convention Centre, which is set to open shortly as the Arena prepares to host rugby sevens, judo, and wrestling as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“It’s fantastic to be heading back to MIPIM after the disruption caused by the pandemic, and it will be the perfect place for us to showcase why we have been so successful.”

The Commonwealth Convention Centre is funded through a £3.8 million grant to the venue by Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) via the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) as part of the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

An additional £1.4 million has also been made available to Coventry Building Society Arena via CWLEP from the Local Growth Fund and Growing Places Fund.