Running Insight 11.1.2021

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THE RUNNING EVENT 2021 SNEAK PEEK ISSUE

THE NEWSMAGAZINE FOR RUNNING SPECIALTY RETAILERS / RUNNINGINSIGHT.COM THE NEWSMAGAZINE FOR RUNNING SPECIALTY RETAILERS / RUNNINGINSIGHT.COM

MARCH 16, 2020 NOVEMBER 1, 2021

“It’s going to feel a bit like a high school reunion, except we’ll all want to be there!”

Run specialty retailers explain what The Running Event 2021 means to them! skechers.com

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#TRE21 Sneak Peek

#TRE21: IT’S (ALMOST) HERE A sneak peek at The Running Event 2021 as the excitement builds for the Nov. 30-Dec 2 gathering in Austin, TX

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t long last, after (many, many) months of planning, of virtual meetings and of putting safety protocols in place, The Running Event 2021 is less than one month away. The annual industry gathering, cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will once again bring together the specialty run retail business for three days of education, networking and exhibits. It can’t arrive a moment too soon. As TRE executive director Christina Henderson put it her welcome in the TRE Pre-Show Planner that was mailed last month – and is available digitally at www.runninginsight.com – “the support, compassion, warmth and peer-sharing this group has given each other the past two years” is what makes run specialty “a community — a strong, resilient and inspiring one at that.” That community will gather once again in Austin, TX from Nov. 30-Dec. 2 for the celebration of the fifteenth year of The Running Event 2021. It is a three-day event arranged so attendees and exhibitors can maximize their time and investment: • The first is a full day of education with more offerings than ever before, including morning workshops, thought-provoking panels and peer networking. • The second and third are full days of trade show activities, RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Diversified Communications. © 2021 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published monthly, is edited for owners and top executives at running specialty stores and available only via email.The opinions by authors and contributors to Running Insight are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. Articles appearing in Running Insight may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. Divesified Communications, 121 Free St, Portland, ME 04101; (207) 842-5500.

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with 200-plus leading brands onsite and ready to connect, do business a nd lead engaging presentations in the TRE Training Camp theaters. This issue of Running Insight is determined to build up the excitement for The Running Event. We asked retailers what they are looking forward to in Austin and we take a look back at the good, old days of TRE19. Some tips for both exhibitors and attendees on attending TRE lead into a real sneak peek at some of what we consider some of the must-see activities — including Running Insight senior writer Daniel P. Smith’s 101 ideas for run retailers. “We develop the program and activities that bring people together at TRE, but you ultimately make the event what it is,” adds Henderson. “It’s your willingness to come together – sharing ideas, building new relationships and working together – that will strengthen and benefit the communities you serve and the running industry as a whole for years to come.” See you in Austin. n On the cover: The Word Cloud represents the most often used comments from retailers when asked about what they are looking forward to at TRE21. Their comments appear on pages 4, 6.

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#TRE21 Sneak Peek

#TRE21 TALKING Running Insight asked some of the 2021 Best Running Stores in America one simple question:

What are you looking forward to at The Running Event 2021? “I think most all of us will say — finally getting to be together in person, having actual conversations and seeing the physical product again.” Jennifer Peters, Varsity Sports, Baton Rouge, LA

“One of the things we appreciate most about this industry is how small and connected it feels. Jackie and I are so eager to be reunited with friends from across the country for a few days — fellow store owners, sales representatives, brand managers and the like. It’s going to feel a bit like a high school reunion, except we’ll all want to be there.” Phil Young, Fleet Feet Davenport, Davenport, IA

“We’re looking forward to touching base with vendors and other retailers who we haven’t seen in person through the pandemic. This year, especially, listening to each other, looking for creative ways to meet the current challenges is a high take-away priority. It’s fun to hear the schuttle butt on the latest technology and product that has everyone talking. TRE is always a good opportunity to find the new vendor with a unique product and a great untold story. We’re sending a new young team to TRE, who are excited to learn. John Fabbro, Fleet Feet Montclair, Montclair, NJ

“I’m looking forward to connecting with brands and peers. I haven’t seen many of them for so long, so it will be nice to meet in person instead of virtually.” Jess Hoepner, Performance Running Outfitter, Milwaukee, WI

“I’m looking forward to getting one question answered: When will the supply chain get better?” Mike Rush, Rush Running Company, Bentonville, AR

“Since this will be my first time at The Running Event, I am really looking forward to the excitement of thousands of runners all convening to celebrate the industry and share insights and ideas about how to continue to help encourage and support all runners, new and experienced. The sport has really grown during the pandemic, which is awesome and there is so much opportunity. As a marketer, I always love the opportunity to collaborate and be creative with others.” Lauren English, Charm City Run, Timonium, MD 4

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#TRE21 Talking (continued) “Our store and so many like it exist because we hold a core value of community. The best way to support our community is to connect with others who are executing the same mission. At TRE when we connect personally and professionally with other industry professionals we learn better what products and best practices will help us to best serve and grow our community and stay on the cutting edge of industry trends. No matter what products are on the floor or which topics are in the conference, the best asset of TRE is the people who attend it and share their expertise, regardless of their job title. Maybe a little idealistic here, but a serious response – we always leave Austin inspired.” Christopher Schiel, Xtra Mile Running, Schaumburg, IL “I am most looking forward to reconnecting at The Running Event — catching up with retailers and vendors, touching the products and collaborative learning opportunities. I am excited!” Burke Beck, Red Coyote Running, Oklahoma City, OK

“I am most looking forward to being around colleagues again and discussing how their business has been different in the past two years and where we are headed from here.” Karen Roberts, Get Fit, Amarillo, TX

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone again! TRE is our favorite time to connect and catch up with our peers. And we are super excited to sit in on the panel discussions surrounding the RIDC and sustainability. We have a lot of ground to cover in both of these categories and look forward to hearing more!” Keri Straughn, Palmetto Running Company, Hilton Head, SC

“Seeing other retailers and vendors. I am most interested in the direction of our industry and being educated by others much smarter than I am (almost all) in what they are doing to grow their business.” John O’Neill, The Colorado Running Company, Colorado Springs, CO 6

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“I’m excited to be amongst my peers again — to swap war stories, commiserate, share successes and lift each other up.” Stephanie Blozy, Fleet Feet Hartford, Hartford, CT “We are really looking forward to reconnecting with fellow retailers and our vendors as well as seeing many of the smaller accessory vendors we don’t see throughout the year.” Nathan Hohenstein, Tortoise & Hare Sports, Glendale, AZ

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#TRE21 Sneak Peek

A LOOK BACK

As we prepare to head to Austin later this month, here’s a reminder of all the fun we had at The Running Event 2019.

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t was December 2019 and a little thing with the funny name of COVID was known only to a few scientists and maybe government officials. Little did the hundreds of attendees at The Running Event 2019 in Austin, TX, know that it would be just

about the last time the run specialty business got together before the pandemic changed the world forever. Now, with TRE21 less than a month away we thought it would be nice to take a look back at those simpler times as we prepare to get together once again.

Clockwise from top left: The aisles stayed busy for the entire 2019 event; at the end of the day the many Happy Hours on the show floor rewarded attendees for a job well done; Running Insight editor Mike Jacobsen met with Meb at the Indie 5K and offered him some running tips, while he explained how to spell his last name correctly — Keflezighi; no, the show wasn’t that exhausting — it’s just two-time Olympian Anthony Famiglietti recovering after running a sub-four-minute treadmill mile at the Zwift booth; Rebecca Hohenstein, of Tortoise & Hare, attended the Best Running Stores Summit with seven-month-old Quinn.

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


Clockwise from top left: Education was a big part of TRE19, including at special areas at such as the new Training Camp; the squirrel from Squirrel’s Nut Butter sprints to the finish at the Indie 5K, becoming the fastest mascot finisher in the annual race; Brooks was a first stop for retailers looking to score a free pair of new shoes; it seemed like the entire Charm City Run team turned out to receive the Saucony Run for Good Award during the TRE Industry Awards party.

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Make Sense

Our top 10 list of why going to Austin for The Running Event 2021 is a great idea for retailers and brands.

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The right stuff … 82 percent of trade show attendees have buying authorit y. (So urce: Excalibur Exhibits)

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Time to buy … 79 percent believe going to a trade show helps them decide what to buy. (Source: Graphicolor Exhibits)

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Free stuff … Run retailers love samples and 30 percent of attendees will wear or use the swag item they received at a trade show. (Source: Event Marketer)

The right people … Even better, 46 percent of them are in executive or upper management roles (Source: Lincoln West) and more than half of the people at a trade show are there for the first time. (Source: Spingo)

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On the road … 56 percent of visitors will travel over 400 miles just to attend a trade show. (Source: Excalibur Exhibits)

Working the floor … When they are they make the most of that investment in time by spending an average of 8.3 hours at the show. (Source: Trade Show News Network)

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Know your business … You have to know what you’re talking about and selling and that’s why 59 percent of exhibitors say personable sales reps are the best booth staffers. (Source: Design Shop) That said, 85 percent of an exhibitor’s success at a trade show is dependent on the performance of the staff they bring. (Source: Highway 85 Creative)

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Do the math … The cost of meeting a trade show prospect is $142, while meeting with a prospect at their office is $259. This means an exhibitor will save $117 per meeting at a trade show (Source: Spingo)

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Closing the sale … And it takes about 3.5 sales calls to close a lead from an exhibition. (Source: Display Wizard), but converting a trade show lead costs 38 percent less than relying on a sales call alone. (Source: Convention Data Services) n

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Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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Something new … A full 92 percent of attendees visit a trade show to learn about new products and services. (Source: Spingo)


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#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Map To Success Exhibit with a plan to make most out of your investment and time in Austin for #TRE21

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es, Austin is a great time to visit, but don’t forget you will be there on business. Your company is making quite an investment in The Running Event and it is up to you to make that investment worth it. That means that thoughtful, strategic trade show planning is essential to achieving your exhibiting goals and maximizing your return on investment, which includes both your money and time. You must – must! – develop a detailed plan and tradeshow check list that includes these steps: • Establish Specific Event Objectives … Know in advance “little” things like the number of product sales, leads generated, publicity secured, image and awareness initiatives.

• Set a Realistic Budget … That includes costs along with a projected return on investment. • Develop a Compelling Sales Message … It’s no sense just showing up and putting a bunch of products out on a table. Invest in tradeshow marketing and sales initiatives, including booth graphics, banners, brochures, advertisements and sales presentations. • Create a “Wow” Exhibit … There’s a lot going on at TRE, so your booth needs to attract run retailers with a look that instantly conveys your brand message. The design and graphics of your booth must deliver your marketing message with a powerful punch. Even your lighting, booth accessories, table covers and booth flooring play a role in the image you portray with your exhibition stand. • Create a Marketing Plan … This should be divided into three sections: 1. Pre-Show Marketing, 2. At-Show Marketing and 3. Post-Show Marketing. You’ve got to aggressively pre-sell prospects before they arrive, fully engage them during the show and promptly follow-up with them after the event to generate additional sales.

AnonMoos based on image by Darwinek

• Train and Schedule Staff … Your people can’t just show up when they want to. Put a schedule together and train your staff to effectively convey your sales message and ensure your booth is always staffed adequately.

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• Book Your Flight … This may seem obvious, but don’t wait until November 25 to make your travel plans. Austin is a popular place – did you hear that Tesla is moving its headquarters there? – so don’t risk that you, your staff, exhibit booth, materials and supplies don’t arrive in plenty of time for the show. And don’t forget those hotel rooms! n Source: https://www.trade-show-advisor.com/tradeshow-planning-timeline.html runninginsight.com

© 2021 Diversified Communications



#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Have a Game Plan Six great tips on how to get the most out of attending The Running Event

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ou wouldn’t run a marathon without haing a plan on how to attack those 26.2 miles, would you? The same goes for attending a trade show such as The Running Event. So to help with your TRE training, here are six strategies to assure you get the most out of your time in Austin.

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Know ahead of time which vendors you need to visit. Prioritize the booths you want to visit and the educational sessions you want to attend. And then map them out. Choose the most efficient way to do what you need to get done. Trade show tip: Reserve some time for just strolling the floor after you get your important meetings in the book.

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Schedule those important meetings. Exhibitors are busy, too, so don’t count on just being able to drop by and meet your contact there. Get on their schedule — usually in their booth during trade show hours, but over breakfast, lunch or coffee works, too. Trade show tip: If you are running late, text the other person to let them know you’re on your way.

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Get smart – attend the educational sessions. The first day of The Running Event is always dedicated to educational sessions. They will help make you smarter than you already are. Check out the schedule at TRE here: https://www.therunningevent.com/explore-tre21/. Trade show tip: Get to each session early for a good seat and to maybe say hi to the speaker.

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Wear comfortable shoes. This shouldn’t be a problem for TRE attendees — we are, after all in, the running shoe business. You’re going to spend hours on your feet walking the floor of the Austin Convention Center, and then going out to Sixth Street at night, so bring a couple of your most comfy shoes — but not the ratty one you just ran a Tough Mudder in. Trade show tip: Maybe don’t wear a pair of Brooks sneakers into the ASICS booth, and vice versa, if you can avoid it.

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Put it in writing. Not everyone in your store is going to be at TRE, so on your flight on the way home write up a report on what you just saw, learned and accomplished. This also helps determine sales and whether the trip was worth it. Trade show tip: Don’t include how great the BBQ is in Austin, though. Your colleagues will only get jealous. n

© 2021 Diversified Communications

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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The office can wait. We know how hard it is to be away from the store for even a few hours, not to mention for a few days at TRE. But when you are in Austin you need to focus, focus, focus on why you are there. Hopefully you have good enough staff back home to turn the lights on in the morning. These can be the most valuable three days of the year for your store, so make the most of it. Trade shoe tip: Answer emails when you get back to the hotel at the end of the day and before heading out to dinner.



#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Broken Links

TRE offers vendors and retailers a chance for face-to-face discussions about supply chain disruptions. / By Daniel P. Smith

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n Sept. 23, Fleet Feet in Fayetteville, NC, took to Instagram and posted a photo of nine large brown boxes filling its backroom — a three box-bythree box makeshift wall rising some five feet above the ground. The accompanying message reflected present-day realities blanketing the run specialty marketplace. “We got our shipment today. Maybe the shoes you’ve been waiting for so long are in one of those boxes,” the store beamed. Indeed, large shipments of footwear,

apparel and other goodies landing at run specialty store doors are worth celebrating these days as the global supply chain continues to be battered by challenges from accessing raw materials to last-mile delivery. Some call it a “Big” (capital “B”) problem; others label it an all-out crisis. Whatever verbiage one might apply to the situation, it’s an undeniably pesky issue for both running vendors and retailers. After all, Mark Jimenez of Las Vegasbased Red Rock Running Company reminds, “We can’t sell what we don’t have.”

The supply chain functions much like the human body: a complex system that works beautifully behind the scenes until it doesn’t, at which time stress and frustration mount over a breakdown. And these days, the supply chain is a mushrooming mess of entanglements and gridlock unable to rise from COVID’s early 2020 knockdown. On October 3, Bloomberg noted the stillworsening situation: “Early in [2021], the hope was that the bottlenecks that gummed up the global supply chain in 2020 would be

A full cargo ship headed into port would certainly be a welcome sight for running brands and retailers as they struggle equally with supply chain disruptions. The three days of The Running Event will give both sides a chance to get together to discuss one of the most pressing problems facing specialty retail.

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


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Broken Links (continued) a cluttered mess of 70 cargo ships awaited landfall in midSeptember. The backup on the water spurred many bringing in overseas goods – from toys and furniture to, yes, running footwear – to investigate (and subsequently clutter) secondary ports like ones in Galveston, TX, and Savannah, GA. Others pursued air freight, a costly bandage solution that is now seeing its own hefty backups and price increases. And even once products touch the Lower 48, companies face problems getting the goods into their warehouses and then efficiently redistributing items to retail shops across the U.S. given trucker shortages and other logjams. “Gone are the good ol’ days when the PO comes in and you ship it out,” says Tim Urbine, the director of running at Mizuno. “It’s just not that smooth anymore.”

Cause for celebration: Fleet Feet Fayetteville spreads the word on inventory.

mostly cleared by now. They’ve actually only gotten worse.” Broken links throughout the supply chain have hit nearly every sector of the American economy and ignited boiling tension between supply and demand that has impacted brands, retailers and consumers alike. Factor y shutdowns have strangled production. Vietnambased facilities creating Mizuno footwear idled for more than 60 18

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days in mid-2021 while apparel company Janji’s production hubs in Ho Chi Minh City sat dark from June 2021 through the end of September. “We had product mostly done, but we couldn’t even get workers in there to ship it out,” Janji cofounder Dave Spandorfer says. “It was like being paralyzed.” At the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA, which together handle about 40 percent of the nation’s imported goods,

Immediate Responses Best they can, running brands and retailers have responded to the situation with an earnest, can-do spirit. Most vendors have embraced transparency with retailers, noting present realities and detailing their immediate steps. Urbine says run shops have been “phenomenal at adjusting to this information and controlling the controllables.” Andy Remley, the co-owner of DNA Athletics in Plainfield, IL, hesitates to estimate the number of emails he’s received from brand executives and reps addressing supply chain disruptions. He’s especially appreciated the brands who have responded to the unpredictability by only showing product 30

days out on their B2B websites. “I prefer honesty and transparency because that’s what I’m relaying to my customers,” Remley says. Ji menez, mea nwh i le, requested weekly status updates on orders from key vendor reps, an admittedly big ask but one that informed his planning. Typically carrying about six weeks of inventory, Jimenez says Red Rock stores now hold four months of goods. Though such investments have pushed Jimenez to the edge of his financial comfort zone, he sees it as a necessary step given present conditions. “It’s a bet that there might not be as much available down the line,” Jimenez says, adding that most, though not all, brands have been open to reworking terms with Red Rock. Remley, too, has tried to bulk up DNA’s inventory. He’s ordered older versions of key footwear models, loaded up on styles similar to his best sellers and checked vendor sites multiple times each week to secure top models as they become available. “It’s a constant juggling act,” Remley says. That’s why the arrival of large boxes packed with footwear have inspired run shops like Fleet Feet Fayetteville to rejoice on social media. In this era of supply chain chaos, the arrival of fresh inventory inspires Christmas morning-like giddiness. It’s today’s reality and likely tomorrow’s, too, as there exists widespread consensus among industry insiders that supply chain turmoil will persist into the second half of 2022. “The game is just beginning © 2021 Diversified Communications


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“ WHAT FASCINATES ME THE MOST IS WHAT I’LL DO TOMORROW.”

Visit us at The Running Event to see what’s coming tomorrow for Salomon Running SALOMON ATHLETE COURTNEY DAUWALTER / 2021 UTMB WOMEN’S CHAMPION / 7TH OVERALL PHOTO CREDIT: DAVID MILLER


Broken Links (continued) here,” Mizuno’s Urbine says. “The number of feet hasn’t changed, but the number of models coming in has.” Plotting a Path Forward So, what are running brands and run retailers to do? The Running Event’s three days offer retailers and vendors an opportunity to connect faceto-face to hear each other out and craft a plan of attack. And from there, retailers and brands can work to address oncoming challenges with consistent communication and sound strategy while balancing some tough decisions with hearty doses of empathy. Eager to sell their product and drive healthy businesses, many running brands continue developing and executing plans to overcome the supply chain shenanigans that have flipped shipments, just-in-time inventory and other common practices on their respective heads. Mizuno, for instance, continues staffing up its distribution center to get product in and out the door as quickly as possible. Urbine says brand leadership also engages in a consistent cycle of “decision-making and re-evaluating.” At Janji, Spandorfer and his leadership team have been “working to create a lot of buffer.” That includes planning and producing further ahead and broadening the company’s supply chain to include additional production facilities. “These issues might get better, but they’re not going away,” Spandorfer says. “We need to have more consistent inventory shipments, work with more partners and work through more scenarios.” 20

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From increased futures ordering to consistently monitoring inventory on vendors’ B2B websites, run specialty retailers are embracing different strategies to avoid the dreaded empty shelves that have befallen other retail outlets.

And brand leaders acknowledge tough decisions lie ahead. Numerous brands, in fact, have already communicated wholesale and MSRP increases to retail accounts while product samples and release date delays could become commonplace despite brands’ best-laid plans. “We’re in uncharted territory here,” Spandorfer admits. Run Shops Forge Ahead Just as bra nds continue responding to supply chain disruptions, running retailers are similarly looking to evolve and adapt. Remley sees future orders becoming more crucial given their predictability, while he and DNA co-owner Dave Johnson have been constantly evaluating what products they need and when. “I’m sick of all the at-once ordering and I’d like the peace

of mind of knowing we have product coming in,” Remley says, adding his belief that brands “prioritize” future orders. At Red Rock, Jimenez says he will continue shopping and getting as much as he can to ensure his two – soon to be three – stores are appropriately stocked. He understands the brands are doing their best and hopes they remain committed to open communication with their retail accounts. “I can plan so long as they let me know,” Jimenez says. Some run shops are also making sure that transparent communication flows to customers as well, so many of whom see the impact of supply chain issues themselves when they pass a car dealership or visit a local restaurant. In an Oct. 14 letter to customers noting stubborn “supply chain disruptions,” Gazelle

Sports CEO Jen Brummitt said her company had “taken great care” to ensure its five Michigan-based stores were well stocked for holiday shopping, though she cautioned “that might not last all season.” “We’ve joined the chorus of other businesses to encourage you to shop local, shop early and shop with kindness,” Brummitt wrote. For the run specialty marketplace that has already withstood so many COVID-era challenges – mandated store shutdowns, economic uncertainties and empty race calendars among them – supply chain upheaval represents the latest obstacle. The bright side: brands and retailers alike know the supply shortage tremors will settle — eventually. “This isn’t forever,” Remley says. “It’s just the battle we have to fight right now.” n © 2021 Diversified Communications



#TRE21 Sneak Peek

#TRE21 Sneak Peek Can’t wait for The Running Event to get here? The following pages provide a preview of what’s ahead.

Attendees were lined up for the opening of The Running Event 2019 on 12/3/19 and they will be equally excited when the exhibits open on 12/1/21.

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he excitement continues to build for the opening of The Running Event 2021, with the Education Sessions set for Nov. 30 and the show floor open on Dec. 1-2. It’s been two years since the industry has been together in one place and since we can hardly wait for it to get here, the next few pages provide a further sneak peak at some of the key events that will make #TRE21 the most important three days in the business of run specialty retail in 2021. n

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


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#TRE21 Sneak Peek

101 Ideas

A Running Insight session featuring senior writer Daniel P. Smith will highlight innovative ideas from America’s running stores.

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ou have to admit, no one knows the run specialty business like Running Insight – and no one at Running Insight is more in touch with the retailers and vendors who make this industry so special than senior writer Daniel P. Smith. And he is ready to share that insight with The Running Event attendees in a highly anticipated – and exhaustedly researched – session that will highlight many – well, 101 to be exact – of the most creative and savviest ideas he has seen America’s run specialty shops implement. Attendees better bring their pencils and paper to keep track of all that Smith will offer in this Tuesday afternoon program. Like his many articles that appear in Running Insight and Running Insight+, Smith will dive into and celebrate the best ideas he has come across in his research and writing about America’s running stores over the past decade.. This fast-paced idea-sharing session will Among the retail ideas to be highlighted during Daniel P. Smith’s 101 Ideas session will be events such as Runner’s Edge holiday bus tour (above) and the youth shoe-tying clinics put on by RC Outfitters.

include: • A list of cleverly themed fun runs like the Boycott Valentine’s Day Fun Run at Brooklyn Running Company. • A look at the Healdsburg Running Company’s high-end running camps • A discussion of spirited community events ranging from no-frills, charitypromoting 5Ks to shoe decorating contests. • A dive into lively youth programming like RC Outfitters’ shoe-tying clinics and Running Zone’s Space Coast Countdown to Fitness and Final Mile. • A glimpse into how Montana’s Runner’s Edge, a previous Best Running Store in 24

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America award winner, cultivates customer loyalty. “America’s run specialty retailers are filled with creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit,” says Smith, who spent nine years slinging shoes at a run specialty store before becoming a Running Insight contributor in 2012. “This session at TRE will celebrate that while simultaneously arming attendees with a robust collection of ideas they might be able to bring into their own shops in some way, shape or form,” he adds. n

When: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1:30 p.m.

© 2021 Diversified Communications


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Going Digital

Upper Quadrant session will explore the benefits and challenges of digital marketing for run brands and retailers.

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un specialty retailing is about much, much more than putting shoes on a wall and hoping customer find the right product for their needs. Advanced marketing techniques have allowed brands and retailers to further fine-tine their marketing and sales efforts and The Running Event will certainly provide a chance to further knowledge in this specialized area. The best opportunity will come in a session led by Upper Quadrant titled “Benefits of Digital Marketing from a Brand Perspective” and it promises to provide a blueprint for all links in the supply chain to reach the running consumer. Upper Quadrant promises that the “Benefits of Digital Marketing from a Brand Perspective” will an interactive panel discussion with leading footwear brands covering the ins and outs of digital marketing from a brand perspective. Key takeaways will include:

marketing is so important for retailers. • Insight into how the marketing funnel/ process works related to run specialty specifically. • The ability to identify personal business objectives and create a marketing strategy to implement using UQ-provided worksheets. • Learning about email best practices and how to start an influencer program. • An understanding of why data should drive marketing decisions and learn how to measure marketing success. n

Advanced marketing techniques have allowed brands and retailers to further fine-tine their marketing and sales efforts and The Running Event will certainly provide a chance to further knowledge in this specialized area.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 3:45 p.m. Upper Quadrant’s Scott Rakestraw will lead the panel discussion on the “Benefits of Digital Marketing from a Brand Perspective” during the education sessions at The Running Event 2021.

1. Explore how to get in front of the runner by leveraging the digital points in the buyer’s journey. 2. Key marketing metrics — what matters and why? 3. Top digital marketing trends. 4. Tackling data privacy issues in a datadriven marketing world. 5. Brand vs retailer content. Five Expectations for the UQ Workshop Attendees at the Upper Quadrant session can expect to walk away with five important pieces of the digital marketing puzzle: • A better understanding behind why 25

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Celebrating The Best The much-anticipated Best Running Stores celebration will close out the TRE21 festivities.

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rapping up The Running Event 2021 will be the much-anticipated Best Running Stores celebration, honoring the retailers who have been named the best of the best in run specialty.

In addition, the finalists and the Store of the Year will be announced at the event. n

When: Thursday, Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m.

1st Place Sports

Fleet Feet Roanoke

Playmakers

A Runner’s Mind

Fleet Feet Rochester

Red Coyote Running and Fitness

Aardvark Sports Shop

Fleet Feet Syracuse

Ridgefield Running Company

Big River Running Company

Gazelle Sports

Run For Your Life

Charles River Running Company

Georgia Game Changers

Run Hub Northwest

Charlotte Running Company

Get Fit

Runner’s Den

Charm City Run

Good Times Running Co.

Runners Edge – MT

Colorado Running Company

Howe2Run

Running Etc.

Dave’s Running

iRun Texas

Running Lab

FITniche

John’s Run/Walk Shop

Running Niche

Fleet Feet Davenport

Keystone Running Store

Running Wild

Fleet Feet Fort Wayne

Lucky Road

Rush Running Company

Fleet Feet Fox Valley

Manhattan Running Company

St. Pete Running Company

Fleet Feet Greenville NC

Marathon Sports

The Running Well Store

Fleet Feet Hartford

Mill City Running

Tortoise and Hare Sports

Fleet Feet Huntsville

Naperville Running Company

Track Shack

Fleet Feet Montclair

North Wales Running Company

Up and Running in Dayton

Fleet Feet Mount Pleasant

Pacers Running

Varsity Sports

Fleet Feet Pittsburgh

Palmetto Running Company

Whirlaway Sports

Fleet Feet Richmond

Performance Running Outfitters

Xtra Mile Running

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


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TRE21


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

empower Running Advancement of women in run specialty is focus of empowerun and its reception at TRE.

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t was March, 2020, shortly before COVID really took hold and changed the world for everyone, when the annual empowerun gathering unknowingly became one of the last industry events for more than a year. Now members of the run specialty run business are looking forward to re-connecting at the group’s special networking event at The Running Event. empowerun was conceived by two women in the run specialty space – Kathy Dalby, of Pacers Running, and Burke Beck, of Red Coyote Running – looking for authentic and intimate ways to connect female leaders in the industry. Providing a forum for cross-collaboration and a program for enrichment, empowerun is for women who seek opportunities for self-improvement and a willingness to amplify the female point of view in their organizations and the industry. “For years we were both typically one of only a handful of women in the room at industry events, sales meetings and other business activities and we knew our experience paralleled a lot of other women in the industry,” Dalby told Running Insight in a profile of empowerun earlier this year. “We felt it important to bring women together, help them further their networks and invest in women so in the future these events and meetings are more balanced. “Whether it is feedback on product design, investigating career opportunities or simply knowing you can pick up the phone and call someone for advice, we wanted there to be a jumping off point for these relationships to nurture and grow,” Dalby added. “We know empowerun was the impetus for accelerated network expansion for a lot of industry women.” Now able to meet once again, at The Running Event 2021 empowerun will be 28

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empowerun is all about providing authentic and intimate ways to connect female leaders in the run sepcialty industry and all are welcome at a reception Thursday night at The Running Event.

co-hosting a reception for anyone interested in supporting the advancement of women in run specialty. The even better news is that after more than a year of virtual get-togethers, the 2022 empowerun retreat will be held inperson in Santa Barbara, CA March 6-8. For details visit www.empowerun.com or email connect@empowerun.com The group will also be hosting a fundraiser for Trust Respect Access, a broad coalition of reproductive health, rights and

justice organizations and leaders who have come together in support of proactive state policies that restore trust in Texans to make their own reproductive health care decisions, respect the dignity of Texans and the judgment of health care professionals and ensure access to abortion and the support all Texas families need to thrive. n

When: Thursday, December 2, from 5-6 p.m. in The Reverbery, Hilton Austin

© 2021 Diversified Communications


Custom Collar + Leash Program At Stunt Puppy, we know how important it is to play well with others. That’s why we’ve created a unique opportunity for collaboration: The Custom Leash & Collar Program. Combining the best of our products and your brand, we can create a unique offering for your store or next event.

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#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Start Running

The 2021 Indie 5K at The Running Event heads to the Circuit of The Americas for the annual industry race.

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nyone attending The Running Event should lace up and start their engines because the 2021 Indie 5K is being held at the Circuit of The Americas. Yes, Indie 5K runners will be running on the same track that’s home to the only Formula 1 and MotoGP races in the country — the United States Grand Prix and Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. What a unique experience! In addition, the post-race expo will once again allow runners to test out sponsoring brands’ products. Admission to the Indie 5K race is included with the purchase of any pass to The Running Event 2021. For more: therunningevent.com/indie-5k

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

How We Doing? Six questions that will be answered at Parker Karnan’s State of the Industry presentation.

• How much are we up as an industry in 2021 compared to 2020 and 2019? • What is growth going to look like next year? • How is our customer evolving? • What are the 3-5 year trends that should be shaping our decisions? • Where should retailers be investing and divesting? • What is the 2022 recipe for success? When: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m.

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

RIDC, DEI and TRE

The Running Industry Diversity Coalition is spreading the word at The Running Event.

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ducation, peer-to-peer discussions, and running, of course, are part of the five-part series of events being organized by the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC) at The Running Event. The non-profit’s efforts will be one of the first times its leadership team will be able to bring their message of diversity, inclusion and racial justice to the running industry in-person since it was formed during the pandemic. “There is no easy fix for companies, no matter the size, when it comes to diversity and we shouldn’t be looking for one. Companies need to make an ongoing commitment to the work,” explains Robyn Goby, former Fleet Feet executive who is now the western regional sales manager for CEP and is also a part of the RIDC Leadership Team. “We invite everyone to be involved in these discussions, but be prepared to be uncomfortable sometimes.” That journey can begin at TRE by participation in any or all of five separate events being organized under the RIDC banner.

• “The Future of Running Is Diverse” is a Tuesday afternoon panel discussion for all attendees, moderated by Skot Welch, principal/ founder of Global Bridgebuilders and featuring Kathy Dalby, Pacers Running; Britt Olsen, On Running; Joey Pointer, Fleet Feet; and Sasha Spencer Atwood, Tracktown USA, that will offer a conversation about inclusion and racial equity in running and the difficult yet valuable work that is ahead for the industry • Two classes on DEI that can be attended by anyone at TRE: “Hiring a Diverse Staff” and “Don’t Believe Me, Just Watch: How Overlooking African American Customers Is Impacting Your Bottom Line.” • A Roundtable Discussion led by LampenCrowell and Harry Chandler, of Charlotte Running Company. • The much-anticipated RIDC CommUnity Run, powered by Saucony, on Wednesday morning that will bring together TRE attendees and the diverse local Austin running community.

The RIDC Leadership Team Chris Lampen-Crowell, Gazelle Sports (co-chair) Allison Désir, Oiselle (co-chair) John Benedict, Playmakers Martha Garcia, I Am Collective Robyn Goby, CEP Verna Volker, Native Women Running Shannon Woods, Brooks Running 32

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“There is no easy fix for companies, no matter the size, when it comes to diversity and we shouldn’t be looking for one. Companies need to make an ongoing commitment to the work.” — Robyn Goby, RIDC Leadership Team

Runners will have the unique chance to connect with Austin run groups to experience one of the city’s most beloved traditions. • Finally, there will be an RIDC booth on the TRE show floor where attendees can meet with the Leadership Team and RIDC members and have the opportunity to ask questions and find out what is expected of members. Making a Commitment “If you become a member of RIDC, we are asking you to make a commitment to DEI in your own organization and to hold yourself and your company accountable,” says Goby, who goes out of her way to thank Diversified Communications, the organizers of TRE and publishers of Running Insight, for making a commitment to diversity and supporting the efforts of the RIDC as it defines its mission and recruits members from all walks of the running business. “The only way we are going to create change is to make that commitment,” Goby says. It is a commitment that can start at The Running Event. n

© 2021 Diversified Communications


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#TRE21 Sneak Peek Two sessions will focus on hiring the best talent and on embracing discomfort.

Executive Coaching Two sessions led by Piper Abodeely will focus on hiring the best talent and on embracing discomfort.

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wo of the biggest challenges to run specialty retailers in 2021 are hiring, training and retaining good people to further their organziation’s objectives — and then embracing the change necessary to keep the business

moving forward. Fortunately, The Running Event attendees can come away a little smarter and more prepared in both of these areas following a pair of workshops led by Pivotal Transitions Coach and Consultant Piper Abodeely,

RESET, REFRAME AND REFOCUS The first significant challenge facing run specialty retailer leaders is attracting and retaining talent, along with developing the talent you have, managing performance and continuing to reorganize to create transformational change that will ensure a long-term competitive advantage. Well, help is here in a session at The Running Event featuring Abodeely, who will invite leaders to identify what they need to do to “Reset, Reframe and Refocus” at a cultural level in order to create competitive and innovative strategies to recruit and retain the best talent and team. Following this hands-on workshop, participants will walk away with a renewed vision, compelling plan and proven strategies to successfully navigate the future of run specialty. The workshop objectives include: • Identify how to keep your workplace attractive • Learn how to communicate and retain good talent • Leverage best practices to effectively lead into the future

EMBRACING DISCOMFORT But wait, there’s more at TRE from Abodeely. A second workshop on “Why Embracing Discomfort is Critical for Growth” will challenge participants to embrace discomfort as a regular part of business life, making it more likely to achieve their goals and move closer to fulfilling their company vision than those that don’t. “If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing,” says Abodeely. “It’s the uncomfortable things that make us grow. Discomfort is a prerequisite for change. Great organizations ensure their people have the energy to embrace discomfort to embrace change. This workshop objectives include: • Embrace the discomfort zone • Identify where and how to initiate change • Implement best practices to maximize team engagement and organization effectiveness

When: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m.

Meet Piper Abodeely Piper Abodeely has 15-plus years of executive coaching, consulting and corporate leadership experience. She brings a background in Outdoor Leadership, Organizational Psychology and Strategic Communication that creates a unique and integrative approach to her coaching and consulting work. Abodeely has been working with the run specialty industry as both a consultant/coach to companies as well as the facilitator for the empowerun retreats for the past three years.

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#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Back to the Store

It’s time to start focusing again on your retail merchandising as customers return to your store. / By Holly Wiese, 3 Dots Design

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ell it’s been a long, crazy 18 months for all of us both personally and professionally and for the most part, we’ve all been in some sort of “survival mode” just to keep our heads above water with many aspects of our businesses. I’ve done more video store tours and consultations this past year than I ever thought possible and as we worked our way through the stores, I started hearing many of the same comments regarding your merchandising. Things like, “oh, please don’t pay any attention to this part of the store, we’ve just been piling things up there since COVID,” or “Nobody’s really been browsing in the store so we really stopped worrying too much about how things looked around here” came up frequently. Retail showrooms got converted to receiving areas, shoe fit areas became a quick place to store inventory and apparel sections became extra cluttered and almost unshoppable as less and less people were visiting in person. Now, thankfully, we seem to have the worst of it all behind us and despite all of our fears of consumers never wanting to leave their house again to shop in-person, we’re actually seeing quite the opposite — customers are making exceptional efforts to visit local retailers both to keep their own sanity intact and also as an act of solidarity with community members and small business owners. It is an effort to band together and support them the best way they can — with their wallets. At The Running Event I hope to get you re-engaged with some of the most critical merchandising best practices that may have slipped off your radar since COVID. I also want to give you some new ideas to take home on how to freshen things up and 35

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create some unique, inspiring experiences for your shoppers. Both loyal and new customers of yours are coming out to shop again and are looking for new reasons to continue supporting

your business and to keep coming back for more. Let’s give them the experience they’re craving. n

When: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m.

Just two merchandising ideas from the creative minds at 3 Dots Design: (Top) A custom van shoe display at Fleet Feet Sacramento brings a different vibe to a shoe wall, while a graphic behind it and the curtains complete the in-store merchandising experience. Fleet Feet 50 West incorporated a beer cooler and coffee counter in its retail space and partnered with a local burger bar to co-brand custom beers.

© 2021 Diversified Communications


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

What’s New?

To whet your appetitie for all of the new products at The Running Event, here’s a sampling of nine that we found first.

Tie One On … Caterpy Air Laces have a sleek look that also keeps’ shoes secure using its No Tie Bump technology. MSRP: $11.95 That’s Comfy … Superfeet’s Adapt collection’s Adaptive Comfort Technology design flexes with feet for efficient heel-totoe turnover. The responsive forefoot zone blends cushioning and rebound for energy transfer. MSRP: $49.95

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All in the Family … The MiiR Camp Cup family is a throwback to the campfire mug of past generations. Now available in 8-, 12-, 16- and 20-ounce capacities, each size comes in a variety of custom-print friendly colors and a Press-fit Slide Lid. Designed to slide to cover the mouth opening when not in use for an insulation and splash-proof peace of mind for runners. MSRP: $19.95–$34.95

© 2021 Diversified Communications


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

Roll With It … Roll Recovery’s R8 Plus has a deep tissue massage force with an adjustment dial. Use the dial to reduce or increase the force as needed for the perfect feel. It targets the IT bands, quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, gluteus and arms and is compact enough to take anywhere. MSRP: $169

Good Doggie … Stunt Puppy’s Nano Bowl is selfsupporting on uneven ground, folds down to the size of a handkerchief and attaches to a leash or belt. FDA-certified as food-safe and chemical-free and double layered for water tightness and durability, it weighs one ounce and holds up to 3.5 cups of water. MSRP: $24

Pickle This … Every four to six weeks Sprints, a running company specializing in collections of nano-fabric hats, visors and buffs, unveils a new pattern voted on by its customers. Sprints are known for their ultra-bold and unique patterns — such as flying pigs, toucans and the pickle hat in the photo.

Steady Now … Xelero Steadfast offers support, stability and cushioning with a patented technology that helps keep the foot in alignment. MSRP: $199 Yummy Gummy … Floyd’s of Leadville’s 25mg chewable Full Spectrum Gems are gummy-style gems that come in Cotton Candy and Cola flavors. MSRP: $12.99

Chew Thoroughly … SaltStick has two new FastChews flavors: Mixed Berry and Tropical Mango. Crafted with the same formula that closely resembles the electrolytes lost in sweat, these new FastChews flavors will keep runners hydrated. MSRP: $3 per 10-count packet, $15 per 60-count bottle

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


running shorts Jordan Tropf Runs, And Runs Again: Three Marathons in Three Days in Under Armour Marathon Shoe AS HE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE OF the Boston Marathon against a backdrop of raucous cheers and clanging cowbells, endurance runner Jordan Tropf finally had a chance to catch his breath after a whirlwind journey that included far more than the course’s 26.2 miles and its infamous Heartbreak Hill. It was Tropf’s third marathon in as many days, a unique challenge made possible by a pandemic scheduling quirk that saw Baltimore hold its race on Oct. 9, Chicago on Oct. 10, and Boston on Oct. 11. The 29-year-old from Silver Spring, MD, completed the three races in a combined 7 hours, 31 minutes, 30 seconds — a time that he’s submitting as a Guinness World Record. (The previous record was 8:11:08; it can take several weeks for Guinness to certify the new record.) He ran Boston in 2:32:13, finishing in 110th place, Chicago in 2:31:54, 63rd; and Baltimore in 2:27:23, finishing second. In total, he ran 78.6 miles, averaged 2:30:30 per race, and navigated some 1700 logistical miles that pushed the limits of performance, recovery and a new prototype of an Under Armour marathon shoe that is slated for release in 2022. “The shoe will fly,” says Tropf, who routinely tests products for the brand. “After trialing a number of ‘super shoes,’ Under Armour brings all the right things — these shoes were a weapon on race day. I hope this adventure will be a testament to Under Armour being a real contender in the run space.” Although he’s not a sponsored UA athlete, Tropf has a strong connection to the brand. His wife, Hannah, is a sports marketing manager in the company’s running division. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Tropf is an orthopedic surgeon at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He’s also 38

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an accomplished long-distance runner who won the 2017 Baltimore Marathon, the 2019 Big Sur Marathon and the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon. He dubbed his attempt at three marathons in three days the Hold Fast project, which the running publication Believe in the Run previewed in early October. Given his military background, Hold Fast is a nod to the

idea of sailors on deck bearing down and fighting through the storm. Tropf worked closely with Michael Watts, the director of athlete performance at UA’s Human Performance Science & Research Center, to fine-tune all aspects of his training. Their 360-degree approach included deep dives into Tropf’s physical, mental, hydration, energy and recovery challenges.

© 2021 Diversified Communications


running shorts Kane Footwear Debuts With Revive Recovery Slip-on A NEW FOOTWEAR BRAND, KANE Footwear, launched this past summer with its Revive active recovery slip-on. Crafted from a renewable, sugarcane-based EVA foam, this active recovery shoe was designed to reduce muscle strain and promote healing. The brand was launched by former Team USA lacrosse player and founder of lacrosse brand Maverik, John Gagliardi. The shoe’s contoured design was inspired by Kane’s advising podiatrist to capture the foot and eliminate excess energy use. Built with carbon-negative BounceBack foam, the Revive promotes regeneration of the body and health of the planet. This carbon-negative alternative to traditional EVA is derived from sugarcane ethanol, which holds the carbon sequestered during the sugarcane’s growth process. From investing in renewable, sugarcane-based EVA technology, to its partnership with 1% for the Planet, sustainability is ingrained in

Veja Teams With Vibram on Walking Shoe The new Veja Dekkan hiking/long distance walking shoe is the result of a partnership with Vibram that offers a shoe that marries both of its running and lifestyle strengths in one shoe. The Dekkan (MSRP: $170) is a travel shoe using ecological materials to support Vibram’s technology. The highly functional sole incorporates a new rubber formulation co-created by the two brands, which supports an upper made of 100 percent recycled Alveomesh. In addition to Amazonian rubber and recycled plastic bottles, sugarcane and rice waste feature in the Dekkan. The silhouette and available colorways transition smoothly between city and outdoor, making the Dekkan a choice for travel, where both suitcase

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Kane’s ethos. Dr. Dan Geller, the advising podiatrist behind Kane, inspired the Revive’s 10mm heel-to-toe drop for easy energy transfer. It’s dual-density construction, which consists of a firm upper fused to a sole with 31mm of cushioning, balances cushioning and structure. Dr. Geller’s concept was designed with three recovery features that help the lower

size and variety of activity demands versatility (especially given how much bulk shoes can contribute while packing). Karnan Adds Two To Future Track Karnan Associates has added two clients to its Future Track roster,

body heal. • Reducing Muscle Strain: After a workout or run, what’s usually most helpful for muscles is a shoe that requires less work. With flip-flops or slides, for example, the foot and leg muscles have to flex with every step to help keep the shoe on your foot. The Revive matches the foot shape and has a backing, which requires less muscle effort. • Moves With You: Another way to reduce muscle use is to choose a shoe that assists the natural stride. The 10mm average heelto-toe drop on the Revive helps propel the wearer forward with a rocking motion that requires less muscle strain. • Expansion: The foot will usually expand with high-intensity workouts. Having a shoe that allows the foot to breathe and expand is crucial after having them locked into tight performance shoes. The Revive is built spaciously and with a perforated upper for the best air circulation.

bringing the total count to 11. West Stride, Atlanta, GA, joined Future Track in September and Palmetto Running Company, with two locations in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, SC, joined last month. “The sign above the door means a lot to communities,” says Parker Karnan, founder of Karnan Associates. “Both West Stride and Palmetto Running Company have built brands that make them more than a running store in their markets. They join other Future Track stores dedicated to helping them preserve and grow what they have.” Karnan Associates’ Future Track division consists of selected retail stores committed to collaboration and long-term sustainability for local business and the entire specialty running channel.

© 2021 Diversified Communications


running shorts Lines We Like: Stox Socks, Oiselle Jacket, Coros Watch, Nathan Sunglasses

STOX ENERGY SOCKS. Stox Energy Socks are premium compression socks that use medical technology to stimulate the blood circulation of feet and legs, They redistribute waste fluids from legs faster than a body can manage on its own, resulting in a fitter and more vital feeling. Sports socks are made of moisture-wicking fabrics with a padded toe and heel to prevent calf cramps, allow for fewer injuries, less muscle pain, less tired legs and a faster recovery. MSRP: $49

OISELLE SAY ANYTHING JACKET. Waterproof and breathable, Oiselle’s pinnacle running jacket starts with Schoeller’s e3+ Protection Plus fabric designed specifically for high-intensity output in high-intensity weather. As runners heat up, the textured interior keeps the fabric from sticking to the skin, while the laminate moves heat and moisture through the fabric while preventing rain and wetness from entering on the surface. To literally seal the deal, all zippers are 100 percent waterproof and every seam has been sealed. MSRP: $198

COROS VERTIX 2 GPS WATCH. With the Vertix 2 GPS Adventure Watch Coros brings innovations as well as impressive advancemes in existing features. Released earlier this month was access to a new Multi-Pitch Climbing Mode, Strava Route Syncing and a backlight button shortcut. In an update scheduled for later in the year, TOPO maps will be brought to all Apex Pro and Vertix 1 models.

NATHAN SUNGLASSES. Expanding its product lineup, Nathan Sports’ first-ever line of polarized, no-slip sunglasses feature a thermoplastic TR90 frame that is lightweight, impact resistant and heat resistant, while grippy TPE inserts on the nose and temple ensure that they stay put. The glasses are built with injection-molded polycarbonate lenses, which means the polarization is embedded in the lens as opposed to an easily-scratchable film on top.

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© 2021 Diversified Communications


running shorts Hoka One One Inks Deal to Become Official Technical Footwear and Apparel Sponsor of UTMB HOKA ONE ONE HAS SIGNED AN exclusive deal to become the official technical footwear and apparel sponsor of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), the 18-year-old event that brings some 10,000 trail runners from around the globe to Chamonix, France, to compete in one of seven races. “When you think about the communities we are each passionate about and want to serve, the UTMB puts this front and center, allowing Hoka to add another layer of support to the trail, ultra and mountain running worlds,” Hoka senior director of global commercial strategy Steve Doolan tells Running Insight. Over the multi-year partnership, which is official through 2023 with options to extend to 2024 and beyond, Hoka will help bring the global trail running community together in Chamonix and around the world “through activations, footwear and other areas designed to support and inspire,” according to Doolan.

ASICS Names Sullivan President and CEO of North America Unit Current ASICS North America president and COO, Richard Sullivan, has been appointed ASICS North America president and CEO and named an executive officer of ASICS Corp. Sullivan will continue to lead the North American region overseeing Canada, Mexico and the United States. His new appointments will go into effect January 1, 2022. With more than 25 years of experience in the footwear industry, Sullivan was named president and COO of ASICS North America in October, 2020. He joined the ASICS brand in 2016 as president of ASICS Canada and served as the executive VP of ASICS North America overseeing digital, 41

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The partnership follows the May 2021 announcement of the UTMB World Series, a globally branded series of events scheduled to take place across six continents and provide athletes a clear path of entry into the World Series Finals in Chamonix. The first UTMB World

Series qualifying event is slated for next February in New Zealand. “In our mind, the UTMB and its plans around the World Series represent the pinnacle, and we’re so excited to support, build and grow both of our brands around the world,” Doolan says. The UTMB partnership presents an undeniable opportunity for Hoka to continue its rapid ascent in the performance running world and grow its global business, especially in areas across Europe and Asia. The partnership enables the Deckersowned brand to deepen its ties with the trail running market and trumpet its mountain-running roots, seeds first planted in the French Alps by Hoka co-founders Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud. In addition to its success with trail running footwear franchises like the Challenger and Speedgoat, Hoka also sponsors trail icons such as Jim Walmsley and Magda Boulet. ­— Daniel P. Smith

sales, marketing and merchandising from 2019–2020. “The progress our business has

made in the last year is a true testament to the team here in ASICS North America, our global colleagues and the partnerships with our North American customers,” says Sullivan. “I look forward to continuing this momentum as we strive to deliver innovative product offerings to our consumers, while staying true to the mission that our brand was founded on ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body.’” Sullivan’s ANA leadership team includes Barbara Turner, chief administrative officer; Paul Ljucovic, CFO; Naomichi Hatori, exe cutive VP – business strategy; Ian Dickinson, V P – c a te g o r i e s; S e a n M a n n i o n , VP–U.S. sales; Sean Condon, VP– Omnichannel; and Cat Ayers, senior director of marketing.

© 2021 Diversified Communications


running shorts Fleet Feet Acquires FITniche’s Three Florida Locations FLEET FEET RECENTLY ACQUIRED running retailer FITniche and its three locations in the Tampa, FL, area. Current owner Rich Wills, who founded FITniche in 2005, will exit the business as he moves on to his next career venture. Under company ownership, these locations will bring Fleet Feet’s count of Florida stores to ten as the brand launches its personalized services and community outreach programs to a new market. “We are extremely grateful to Rich and the entire FITniche team for the strong foundation they’ve established over the past 16 years and the trust they have in Fleet Feet to build upon that,” says John Moloznik, director of business development at Fleet Feet. “This is a milestone acquisition that propels Fleet Feet’s growth and brings our national resources and infrastructure to the

Tailwind Nutrition Unveils Brand Refresh

Tailwind Nutrition has undergone a brand refresh, complete with a new logo, new packaging and a new website. Tailwind is simultaneously introducing its newest flavor – Matcha – that joins the Tailwind Endurance Fuel family of flavors. “After nine exciting years of Tailwind helping our customers have the best experience they can, we thought it was time for a little brand refresh,” explains Jeff Vierling, co-founder of Tailwind Nutrition. “We felt strongly that our look and feel should match the simplicity of our products, plus the 42

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Tampa and Lakeland communities. We see nothing but potential ahead.” An entrepreneur, and former senior project manager at Publix Super Markets corporate headquarters, Wills opened the first FITniche in 2005 in Lakeland, FL eventually adding locations in Brandon and Flatwoods. Over his 16-year career, Wills earned recognition as one of the Top 50 Running Stores in America three times – in 2013, 2018 and 2019 – and as a Top Four Store in 2008. “Through FITniche, I’ve had the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with employees, customers, community members and partners, and reps, so many of whom have become my friends and family,” said Willis. “I’m so proud of what we all accomplished together, and I look forward to witnessing their continued success with

Fleet Feet.” Erik Adams will manage the three locations effective immediately. Adams previously served as operating partner of Fleet Feet’s locations in Charlotte, NC and Fort Mill, SC. Prior to his career with Fleet Feet, Adams served in the Army as a medic and completed two tours in Iraq. Adams concluded his military career as the operations manager of the Eisenhower Medical Center in Augusta, Ga. Since joining Fleet Feet, Adams leadership as an operating partner has spurred ongoing growth and success in the Fort Mill and Charlotte markets. The stores will rebrand to Fleet Feet on a rolling basis throughout the next few months. Customers will also soon have the option of shopping FITNiche online as part of the fleetfeet.com experience.

bold and joyful spirit of our customers.” “Rest assured, we’re still the same mountain biking, trail running, dusty, sweaty crew you have always known, and continue to make our products in our hometown of Durango, Colorado,” adds co-founder Jenny Vierling. “Our product has not changed and will continue to be the fuel and recovery source you have relied on throughout your adventures for almost a decade.” The inspiration behind the new look evokes the joy of what Tailwind customers experience as athletes and outdoors people. From the vibrant colors and gradients, to the hues, tints, tones and shades, every detail draws from what is seen on the trail. Content on the packaging and website is simplified to highlight ease of use and focus on the joy. The Tailwind logo has evolved, as well — simplified and modernized while retaining the vortex of motion like a Tailwind at your back.

The new Matcha flavor becomes the brand’s eighth Endurance Fuel flavor offering. Matcha is earthy and light, and offers a refreshing pick-me-up for athletes. USATF Foundation Awards Johnson Grants To put an exclamation point on a record-setting year of grants, the USA Track & Field Foundation (USATF Foundation) has awarded a final round of grants to elite athletes with 50 Pitch Johnson travel grants. These grants total $75,000 and are funded by USATF Foundation director, Franklin “Pitch” Johnson to honor his late father, also named Pitch. A total of 50 athletes will receive $1500 each as part of a grant travel program that was created in 2019 by Pitch. These grants are intended to provide support for travel expenses as athletes often must fly across the country or even overseas to find elite competitions.

© 2021 Diversified Communications


running shorts The ASICS Falmouth Road Race Raises $4.75M for Charity in 2021 FALMOUTH ROAD RACE, INC., THE organizers of the 49th annual ASICS

GU Unveils Small Bite Energy Chews GU Energy Labs has added smallbite mini Chews now available in a convenient pouch to its Energy Chews lineup. The new format complements the existing original Energy Chews stick pack, giving athletes more options for fueling on the go. Both the original stick pack and the new pouches are available in four flavors: Strawberry with caffeine and caffeine-free Watermelon, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Orange. Both the 43

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Falmouth Road Race, one of America’s premier running events, helped more than

160 nonprofits to raise $4.75 million at its August race for Massachusetts-based nonprofit organizations — including $486,113 for eight Falmouth-based nonprofits — through its Numbers for Nonprofits program (NFNP). “We’re incredibly proud of our charity program,” says Scott Ghelfi, president of the Falmouth Road Race board of directors. “Despite this year’s limited in-person field capacity, the program still delivered in a big way thanks to both those charity runners who participated in-person and in the At-Home Edition, the virtual component of the race. It’s awesome when you think of all the good work the road race is able to facilitate.” Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS), the top Falmouth-based fundraising team, employed a unique approach for their fundraising in 2021. Survivor Fans vs. Bachelor Fans were encouraged to choose a side to compete on to raise funds for the organization that supports those who are diagnosed with ALS, their families, health care providers, and communities as they navigate the complexities associated with the disease. Funds raised in 2021 brings the NFNP total to $50 million raised since the program’s inception in 2000.

original stick pack and new mini Chews pouches are double-serve and are priced at $2.50 per individual package. The new pouch design, with smallerbite Energy Chews, was created in response to athlete feedback. All GU Energy Chews offer the same benefits as a GU Energy Gel, in chewable form: energy from carbohydrates absorbed through non-competing dual pathways, amino acids to decrease muscle fatigue, and electrolytes to replace what’s lost through sweat.

© 2021 Diversified Communications


NOV 30 - DEC 2, 2021 Austin Convention Center | Austin, TX #TRE21

Meet with Market-Leading Brands at The Running Event!

160+ Exhibitors

Returning exhibitors, such as Saucony, Brooks Running, On, and New Balance New-to-TRE exhibitors, such as Puma, Veja, and Birkenstock

Do Business In Person at #TRE21 The 15th annual The Running Event will bring retailers, race directors, and top brands together for three days of networking, education, business—and fun.

REGISTER NOW therunningevent.com

Have questions about attending or exhibiting? Contact Christina Henderson, Executive Director, at chenderson@divcom.com. Produced by:

@therunningevent


#TRE21 Sneak Peek

One More Thing Time to Show Up! Strategize togetherness at TRE 2021 and come away a better (business) person. / By Tom Griffen

B

ack in August, I put together a few unsolicited article ideas for Running Insight. I heard back quickly, per usual, but the response eschewed my own proposals and expressed interest in an article about the upcoming The Running Event 2021. “A going-to-show sort of piece,” was the suggestion. Something to appeal to rookies and veterans alike. I agreed, and promptly slipped into nostalgia mode — sat back at a local café sipping my Americano and reveled in all my past days at the most important days on my calendar every year. All those shows in Austin, the one weird year in Orlando, then more still back in the Texas capital. I quickly realized that all my years at TRE feel like one big gathering. Though I distinctly remember various keynote speakers, vendor extravaganzas and the myriad educational offerings I’ve led or attended, it’s impossible to differentiate what detail happened during precisely which year. Somehow the TRE narrative has evolved to be ageless in my recollection, which strikes me more as a compliment to the show’s format than as a symptom of my middle age. I’m pretty sure I can summarize in a word all that TRE represents — togetherness. Make Sure You Show Up Sure, we all land in Bat City to envelop ourselves in the standard conference rigmarole: Education, inspiration and fancy brand offerings are all valid excuses to take a much-needed couple of days away from our daily and passionate grind. But these are but peripheral details to what we’re really after. What uplifts us most is each other. At TRE our humanness is exalted simply by being in intimate quarters with fellow industry 45

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leaders. Yes, the whole ordeal is exhausting and it takes a solid week (at least) to recover from the fanfare, but there’s no denying that the potential of these short few days that zip past in a blur. The biggest piece of TRE advice I can offer newbies and well-versed attendees alike — make sure you show up. • Show up, in this case, doesn’t mean simply attending. • Show up isn’t encouragement to sit in on as many sessions as possible. • Show up has nothing to do with the multitude of fancy dinners or schmoozing or telling tall tales about how good everything is back home. • If you truly show up to TRE, you allow yourself to step into a vulnerable place where authenticity becomes currency for ongoing success. This might mean a night of karaoke, sure, but it also might mean humbly opening yourself to an industry colleague who can teach you a thing or two. • Showing up requires a mutual effort. It’s like that Zulu greeting you’ve likely read about in business books. The greeter says, “I see you,” and the receiver responds, ”I am here.” I see you — I am here is a powerful way to intentionally capture each other’s realness. Which is precisely what will make your TRE experience so rich. Don’t be one of the attendees who lies about what’s good, or self-aggrandizes their reality to impress industry colleagues. Not worth it. Instead, take the risk to be genuine. Share successes and hardships. Ask questions and listen. Say yes to all the things and pace yourself. Seek out time with people you don’t know yet. If you add such details into your repertoire, you’ll inherently leave with way more than your registration fee’s worth of actionable strategies.

Somehow the TRE narrative has evolved to be ageless in my recollection, which strikes me more as a compliment to the show’s format than as a symptom of my middle age. All of us are pining to feel this togetherness again. We’re desperate to share thoughts on everything from our own businesses to the direction of the run industry. COVID-19, the supply chain, national politics and social justice all need our attention as we evolve into a stronger and more inclusive space. All About Us, Not Me But in order to do this smartly we must share our collective stories. So let’s use this time in Austin to make sure all voices are heard Let’s make the conscious choice to put our minds together and thus improve upon what we’ve got. I, for one, am motivated to grow our togetherness far beyond my lineage. This is about us, not me. As for all those topics I initially proposed — they remain worthy conversational topics. Together you folks will have far more thoughts to ponder than any article I’ll ever write. But still I’ll offer you this — if you want to know what’s on my mind, seek me out for a chat over a cup of Houndstooth coffee (best in town, in my opinion). I’ll be thrilled for a moment of togetherness with any and all of you. I see you. I am here. Let’s together take whatever risks we need to take in order to make this an extraordinary TRE. n

© 2021 Diversified Communications