A Shannon man secured a €100,000 investment after appearing on the BBC’s Dragons Den.
On Thursday last, Noel Marshall secured an investment from Sara Davies in his company, MuscleBallers Ltd, which makes the BackBaller foam roller device, and which now plans to launch the larger BodyBaller device.
Tennis great Roger Federer and Premier League sides including Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are among the athletes using the BackBaller before and after training sessions and games to avoid injury. The roller applies targeted pressure to release the muscle groups and joints that can easily be strained during intense training.
Originally from Ballygarvan in Cork, Noel is now living in Shannon with his wife and three children. He previously invested the Bricky wall-building tool, a device which helped bricklayers lay the perfect line of mortar.
Last year, Noel recorded a €1.3m turnover with the BackBaller, more than 60,000 individual units have been sold, he confirmed. The former middle-distance runner invested the device after being told about six years ago that he faced surgery to cure chronic lower back pain. He said regular daily use of the BackBaller effectively cured his back problems.
During his appearance in the Den, Noel was helped by Olympic athlete Marilyn Chinwenwa Okoro, who told the dragons the device had helped extend her athletics career.
“I was nervy enough going into the Den. You are a bit daunted and they do take you asunder on your numbers. But when you get into the heat of it, it was alright,” Noel reflected. He added, “I went in looking for a £100,000 investment in exchange for 5% of the business but I parted with 20%, which will come down to 10% when Sara gets her money back.
Next month, Noel is hopeful to appear on the QVC shopping channel which will expose the product to “hundreds of millions” of people. He is hopeful to launch the BodyBaller which is aimed more at older people as the foam rollers will be mounted on a bed-like frame.
Three people are currently employed by BackBaller in Shannon with Marshall also planning to relocate his entire production process from China back to Ireland after shipping costs soared in recent years.