THE TIBTOP®’S STORY
Even if the term « TIBTOP® » may be familiar to you, you may not know the story behind it. From the observation of a footballer's problem to the democratization of personalization as far as the smart shin guards development, let's retrace the last two decades that have built TIBTOP® through the career of Bakary KAMARA. The story of an enthusiast entrepreneur who decided to respond to the issues he faced all by himself.
A common problem to all footballers
In 2003, as a football player as well as a football stores manager, Bakary couldn’t find any solution or technology to keep his shin guards under his socks properly. At this time, players used rudimentary means to maintain their protections such as duct tape or strapping bands. Determined to offer a solution to address this problem, Bakary Kamara then developed a support based on the principle of elastic compression 100% made in France in order to keep the shin guard in place, under his sock, without hampering blood circulation.
In partnership with a famous french company Thuasne, he creates his first guard stay and give them to test to his pros football players’ friends. The first feedbacks are amazing and encourages him to develop its products on a larger scale. Many professional players around the world such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Viviane Asseyi, Djibril Cisse, Philippe Mexes or Gaël Clichy couldn’t do without their TIBTOP® support ! Validated by FIFA, the elastic support brought Bakary Kamara to win a medal at the prestigious Lépine competition in 2004 (Inventors competition). The football’s world then adopted the term “tibtop” to designate any system enabling shin guards to be maintained, a source of pride for the brand which was gradually establishing itself on the planet of football.
Personalization for all
With the success of Tibtop® guard stays, big names such as Nike or Adidas came on the same market, developing their own elastic supports based on the same principle as TIBTOP® products. Bakary decided to market his products himself via his website by giving football players, whatever their level (from amateurs to pros), the ability of personalizing their shin guards supports with their name, number and even their flag. Personalization, which was at this point only for the professional world, appeals to amateur players and motivated Bakary to create and offer a 100% customizable shin guard. Photos, texts, numbers, illustrations, the possibilities are endless and footballers are thrilled! The shin guard is in turn a huge success ! Marquinhos, Mandanda, Lacazette, Ozil, Icardi, Lucas, Di Maria… the pro players validate the shin guards as they had validated the supports.
The smart shin guards
In 2017, Bakary Kamara decided to take an innovative turn: integrate a smart part into the shin guard in order for a player to have access to its performance data. Two years of research and development were necessary to develop this innovative solution. Speed, distance, strike force, the smart shin guard is a real revolution for amateur football which did not have the possibility to access this data. The consecration and national visibility for the smart shin guard came in January 2020 when Bakary Kamara participates to the "Shark tank" program broadcast on French TV. Awarded by multiple prizes, the smart shin guards intrigue and interest the professional world. In 2020, a technical partnership was signed between TIBTOP® and Olympique de Marseille to test and develop the solution.
Silver medal at the Lépine competition
Award of Jury Outdoor Sport Valley 2020
Award of Public Innov'Pro Transtech 2020
Award of Connected Object Inosport 2020
Director of operations
Graphic designer 🎃