Bob van Oosterhout became the largest sports marketer in the Netherlands. He is now selling all of his company’s Triple Double shares. “I found it increasingly difficult to always be on the run.”
30 July 2021
Bob van Oosterhout: In recent years I’ve had to say no to things I’ve felt like doing.” Photo: Renee Manders / DCI Media
The day before the interview, he sent a fifty-second audio message. Hi, this is Bob Van Oosterhout. Very good morning. There is a lot going on in football and I am commercially involved in it. All of this is taking longer than I expected. Can you come after a day? “
It’s totally Bob van Oosterhout, according to Eindhovens Dagblad. Busy, always full of appointments. Meanwhile, he is at the heart of the Dutch sports world.
Also Read: What Sports Marketer Bob van Oosterhout Learned By Buying Himself A Basketball Team
He once dreamed of becoming a basketball player in the NBA, but when that didn’t work out, he became the biggest sports marketer in the Netherlands. Bob Van Oosterhout founded Triple Double 24 years ago on his kitchen table. This particular company is the link between sport and business. Triple Double creates advertising campaigns and marketing concepts for companies that want to introduce themselves in the field of sports. His clients include Albert Heijn, KLM, Campina and Phillips.
He had a big dream of becoming an NBA basketball player, but when that didn’t work out, he became the biggest sports marketer in the Netherlands.
For “several million”, he and his partners recently sold the second half of their shares to the Belgian company Golazo, the organizer of several major sporting events, including the Eindhoven Marathon.
Giant network by being everywhere
Van Oosterhout has been present at every sporting event for the past quarter century and they know him at every business club. When it comes to sports, he’s always there. ,, I worked during the day, after which I still had to go to Philips, Ahoy or Thialf. I’ve been doing this job for 24 years, but you can easily double the hours.”
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His ex-wife once joked about his desire to work: “I was very busy at the time and had very little time for my daughter. Marjan said: I snort their forehead three times and twice? Then I thought: Now I have to be careful.”
The results are here. Triple Double earned recognition for the remarkable actions that were made. For example, the agency participated in the Bavaria dress, helped PSV find its current main sponsor and in 2019 brought Brazilian star Romario to Eindhoven for a major advertising campaign during the carnival.
Van Oosterhout’s fame coincided with the success of his company. He became a reference in the field of sports marketing, was a welcome guest in all the major sports federations in the Netherlands and created a huge network.
If I had to speak in a business club, it was very easy. I didn’t go home until I got a business card from everyone I found interesting. They all went for it.”
But despite all this success, he began to nibble. Two years ago, he took time off to do things he didn’t have time for. Read books, take a course at Harvard, exercise and go to the US to visit friends. In fact, nothing came of it. He told himself that he loved the job so much that he couldn’t stop it. And so the hustle and bustle continued around his person. While sitting quietly at a sporting event, he was once again lifted on stage to talk about marketing.
“People always expect a certain energy from me.”
He himself sometimes makes the comparison with football analyst Rene van der Jeep, who has mocked right-back Stanislav Manulev for years. When van der Geep arrived at the bakery, he had to tell the same joke again about Manulev hitting the ball off the field.
“I didn’t come home until I got a business card from everyone I found interesting. They were all killed.”
In the end, Van der Geg fell. Van Oosterhout can put himself in his shoes for a while. Now it shouldn’t be a sad story or anything, because it isn’t at all. But the thing is, people have always expected a certain energy from me.”
Because in Triple Double, the proportions were very clear. Michel van Grunsven was involved in the business side. Norbert Korsmidt was the creative soul. Van Oosterhout himself was the face of the company. That means he always had funny tales, and he would turn the room upside down, it was funny. I owe everything to Michelle and Norberth. We were and still are complementary to each other.”
The role of the brand is becoming more difficult
The role of the site fits perfectly with the character of Van Oosterhout. Be it a photographer, reporter or football club manager; Van Oosterhout is kind, friendly and relaxed. He knows how to put his guests first.
, but I found it difficult to always be in the “on” position. Which is why, after standing on the podium with my great friend Humberto Tan, I got into the car right after, just like him. But I didn’t know that about myself. I felt bad about it. It was like giving up on my company.”
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Was the holiday a harbinger of things to come? “Looking back, this is sensitive to me. In fact, I’m addicted to sports and news and my phone is on Triple Double. I can’t read three pages of a book before looking at my phone. Sports is always there 24 hours a day. Surely in the beginning it was a model classic on: Live life in the fast lane. “
New young colleagues with new ideas
When he returned from vacation, something changed in the office. New young people with new ideas hope to give them more space. I thought I shouldn’t get in their way too much. Triple Double is a group of highly qualified people who deserve all the space. Do I also have to continue advising Albert Heijn on TikTok until I’m 60?
“I am addicted to sports, news, my phone and Triple Double. I can’t read three pages of a book before looking at my phone”
It was a strange sensation that his Triple Double no longer fit the jacket he had been wearing for 24 years. “Yeah, it was quite a struggle. I know for myself I haven’t been the best Bob van Oosterhout in recent years. I was definitely still good and deserved to be doing my own thing. But I didn’t have the absolute sacred fire. As I pointed out to Michelle and Norberth he didn’t It was clear that we would continue at the same pace in the next few years.
In the end, Van Oosterhout came to the conclusion that it was time to make room for others. The company would be in better shape if Golazzo stepped in more forcefully. Especially when he realizes, after a conversation on his fiftieth birthday with Toon Gerbrands and Louis van Gaal, that he, too, does not have eternal life. “Maybe you only have 35 birthdays with your family, and then you have to hope for good health. Or 35 summer vacations, that’s not much.”
Maradona is the oldest
In his work, businessman Geimert shook hands with greats such as Usain Bolt, Peter van den Hoogenband, Romario, Johan Cruyff and Magic Johnson. But he thinks Diego Maradona is the greatest of them all. I interviewed him at the Hotel de Brug in Mierlo. He was there as a coach with his team and wanted to do some business so he could give some of his people a head start. Diego had very few wines that evening. He put his hand around me, got stronger, but signed all contracts with Bavaria, Energy Direct and Keukin Campion.
Van Oosterhout once again saw the power of sport in Mierlo. People were crying in line to get autographs, people were driving from Italy and their parents called brothers Diego and Armando.
Sport is beautiful because it appeals to certain primitive feelings. Compete, win, be the best. Your team may defeat the enemy. He’s very athletic, what you see from the stands is ridiculous.”
He himself became fascinated by the commercial side of the sport in the United States. He played basketball with the Deurne Pioniers, but tried to reach the absolute top in the NBA. He was traveling to Kansas City when Michael Jordan just came out with red and white feet. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were the stars of the moment. You’ve seen how companies relate to that, and how athletes use it in advertising. The power of sport is enormous, especially in America.”
“I know for myself that I haven’t been better Bob Van Oosterhout in the last two years”
He considers himself a special person: Triple Double has taken me everywhere. No sporting event is something I haven’t attended. In addition, I had the opportunity to work with great people for great clients. Thus, lifelong friendships were formed. With Michelle, Norberth, my personal assistant Merlin and many other collaborators. We have a unique bond.”
And now? This interview takes place at Maaspoort in Den Bosch, where Heroes, his basketball club, plays. Somehow it all started here. Because when he was a ten-year-old boy, his father took Van Oosterhout to the big Den Bosch in Nashua, as the club was called. These guys are big with athletic bodies. They can do anything with the ball. I played for hours behind our house. The neighbors literally moved because of the backlash. My fanaticism to the sport started with Masport.”
He wouldn’t quite throw his hands off the Triple Double; He remains a consultant and makes his network available. His colleagues Norbert Kurthsmidt and Michael van Grunsven are members of the advisory board. “We will continue to advise and assist the new owner and management. We have every confidence in the future of Triple Double.” He is still the owner of the heroes.
When he thinks of what the hard work has cost him, he thinks of marrying his childhood sweetheart Morgan. The three partners divorced his first wife
In recent years, I’ve had to say “no” to things I really felt like doing. For example, against a big football team that wants to gain a foothold in the Middle East or Asia. I haven’t had time for that, for leading global brands or maybe doing business in America, but I think it would be fun. But I also find interesting things outside of sports.”
Leave your busy life behind
But he wants to leave his busy life behind. He is now on vacation with his current wife, Han van Aart, mayor of Lone Ob Zand. This will take some time.
Because when he thinks of what his hard work has cost him, he thinks of marrying his childhood sweetheart Morgan. The three partners divorced his first wife. “It wasn’t just our job. Marjan gave me all the space, but we broke up. We now have a great bond again. But you can’t deny that it was about the unconditional love we all felt for our company.”
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