Running Insight 11.1.2023

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Take a run with TRE23 keynoter Melissa Gonzalez on page 10!


MARCH 16, 202 NOVEMBER 2023

SNEAK PEEK Education, products, special events, networking (and pickleball) all take center stage at The Running Event 2023 and Switchback at TRE this month.


TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

HOW-TO TRE23 The Running Event 2023 and Switchback at TRE are less than a month away. Here’s a look at what’s happening ...

As part of that role this November issue is what we call our How-To TRE23 Issue, offering a sneak peek at so much of what will be happening during those three days in Austin. (For even more details on what’s happening at The Running Event we urge you to click on https://www.therunningevent. com/2023-event-guide/ to view The Running Event 2023 Guide, which has all the details you will need to make she show a truly worthwhile experience.) But providing Sneak Peeks is what Running Insight is all about this month, so in these pages you will find: • A run with keynote speaker Melissa Gonzalez, who shares her big-picture view of the run specialty business and how stores can take it to the next level in terms of strategy, service and experiential retailing. • Likewise, we take a run with Laura Green, a self-described Comedian, Content Creator and Runner who will bring her unique talents to TRE23 as moderator of the first-ever Best Running Stores panel discussion.

RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Diversified Communications. © 2023 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published monthly, is edited for owners and top executives at running specialty stores and available only via email except for two print issues year. 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. Diversified Communications, 121 Free St, Portland, ME 04101; (207) 842-5500.




• Then the Low Impact Alliance co-founder Christian Fyfe, who also co-owns Best Running Store winner Palmetto Running Company, will provide a deep dive into LIA’s efforts to make the run specialty business more eco-friendly. • And senior writer Danny Smith explains how he will bring his years (and years) of industry reporting to life in one of the more than 20 educational sessions by taking attendees on a journey through other businesses whose lessons can be learned in running retail. • Of course, we would be remiss not to also dive deeply into the fastest-growing sport in America – pickleball – with a virtual roundtable discussions with the four sponsors of the pickleball court. Read that and you will certainly want to get into the kitchen for a dink or two — and maybe start carrying some pickleball product. • Our writers have been researching the hundreds of new products that will debut at TRE23 and we sneak peek a few of them on page 44. • Finally, there is page after page of Sneak Peeks at the Tuesday education sessions at TRE23. There is so much to read – and learn – and it’s all in this issue. So read on and join in the excitement. And then we will see everyone in in Austin later this month for The Running Event and Switchback at TRE.

Christina Daemon Glenn Mark Beth Gordon..................................................... Michael


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Cover Photo: Tifosi


he 2023 edition of The Running Event and Switchback at TRE is less than one month away — Nov. 28-30, 2023, in Austin, TX, to be exact. A year of planning will once again come to life during the most important three days on the industry’s calendar — and as the official media partner of TRE23, Running Insight is here to chronicle it every step of the way.

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TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

A Run With …

LAURA GREEN Comedian, Content Creator and Runner and TRE23 Best Running Stores panel moderator dishes on the run business.


omething special – and very entertaining – will be taking place at the end of the Education Sessions on Day One of The Running Event 2023. For the first time the four finalists – yet to be revealed – for the 2023 Store of the Year will be part of a panel presentation that will seek to find out the secret sauce that makes them so darn special. Even better, the session will be moderated by self-described Comedian, Content Creator and Runner Laura Green, who will seek to bring out the best – or at least the fun – in the four finalists who will be honored at the Best Running Stores ceremony two days later on the final day of TRE23. Check out online Laura Green at and, better yet, attend the Best Running Stores session at 5:30 on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Austin Convention Center. What an entertaining way to wrap up the Day One of education at TRE23. To get an idea of just who Green is, Running Insight took a virtual run to find out what she finds humorous in the business of running and where she gets her own inspiration. First, give us the “elevator pitch” on Laura Green. Just what makes you tick?

Well the runner, the real runner, is Laura McCloskey (my maiden name) and she has been chasing her siblings since she was born. Being the middle child of five kids, I did everything I could to get attention and I tried really hard to be better than all of them. I think if we boil it down, that’s how I got here today. Begging for attention and being really loud. 4

Laura Green (right) hopes to have attendees jumping with excitement as she moderates the 2023 Best Running Stores panel on the opening day of The Running Event in Austin, TX this month.

Your website says you are “Comedian, Content Creator, Runner.” Which defines you best?

I make running videos on the internet in an attempt to bring the community together, because I’ve always noticed a

large gap between the everyday runner and the professional runner. Humor has just been my preferred mode of transportation. Turns out we all start from the same starting line and we all laugh at the same stupid jokes.

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A Run With Laura Green (continued)

Check out Laura Green at and on Instagram at @lauramcgreen Does the “business of running” compare to other topics you like to talk about?

It’s probably the area I love the most to make fun of, but also the place I need to be the most careful. The run industry as a whole is quite predictable at this point and the big brands have gotten so large, it’s fun to keep them humble and see who can have a good laugh at themselves. Any good running jokes?

Does a good running joke exist? If it does, I don’t think I’ve heard it. What feedback do you get – good and bad – from the brands or runners you mention in your writing/ presentations? Green finds humor in all aspects of running and looks to share some of that insight during The Running Event this month.

What is your running routine?

If I don’t run in the morning, I don’t run at all. I’m not training for anything right now, which means I run three-to-six miles, about five days a week. I have also gotten very into lifting and Crossfit, which has been an incredibly fun, new challenge for me. I may not be getting faster, but my triceps look good. And frankly, that’s all I care about. What are some of your running success stories — marathons, cool places, friends met?

I started my running career on the track, which gifted me my very best friends. Since then the race results of trail and road races have held zero weight on 6

whether I define something a “success.” With my own two feet I’ve been privileged to run around the globe. How lucky am I? I’ve run in the Swiss Alps, down the dark, city streets of Kyoto to catch a bus at 4 a.m., and across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco more times than I can count. This sport has given me far more than I could ever repay.

Why is running the focus on your writing and humor?

What do you think about while you are running?

If you observe anything close enough, you will find the humor. My favorite comedians are the ones who are able to make you laugh about the most mundane daily tasks we never think twice about. I like to think I’m channeling that energy when I write a skit about stretching or hydration.

Skit ideas. Social interactions where I definitely said the wrong thing and made it super awkward, but didn’t correct it and even though it happened 12 years ago it’s still on my mind. Food I want to eat. Sometimes nothing.

I know the sport and the run industry culture better than I know anything else. I’m not sure it’s where I’ll stay forever — surely I’ll run out of material eventually, right?! But it’s a comfortable little niche for me right now. Where do you find the humor in running?

From the brands and professional runners it’s either laughter and love … or silence. For the most par t though, everyone has had a good time with it. I usually cut any joke I think is mean or insulting because the page really is G rated and just made for us to laugh at ourselves, not make anyone feel bad. Our retail readers would like to know this: What would the perfect running store be like for you?

Oh wow. Great question. The perfect store would have a physical therapist on staff for gait analysis. A sample selection of the tabs/powders/gels so I can taste before I buy. A community area that has Normatec boots to rent, an espresso machine and a really easy way to donate lightly used gear and shoes (something that can be hard to find). Oh and © 2023 Diversified Communications


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A Run With Laura Green (continued)

The Best Running Stores panel featuring the four finalists for Store of the Year takes place Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center.

everything is always 50 percent off. Utopia.

written off as marketing and shallow attempts to sell shoes.

On a serious note, you are a proponent of increasing running safety for women runners. Why is that issue important so important to you and what can our readers do about it?

Will you be hanging around The Running Event for a few days to gather material for your next podcast or video? Would you want to include an interview with a highly-placed and wellrespected magazine editor? (If so, we’ll try to find one for you.)

It’s something I think about nearly every morning when I’m sending a beacon to my husband at home. For me, yes, the lights and the sirens and the pepper spray are important. But the most important thing is openly having these conversations with the other people in your life, especially runners, who may not have the same experiences and concerns. What’s that mean to you personally?

For me, it’s talking to my husband who never really considers his safety before leaving the house. As a white, tall, cisgendered man he has had the privilege of moving through this world with ease. So by sharing what it’s like for someone not like him to also be out in the world running, it makes him a better ally in making sure others feel safe and keeping an eye out

Yes! I’ll be around Monday through Thursday so I’m ready to meet as many people as possible and share a few laughs.

for situations that look sketchy. Any examples of those situations?

Over the years I have been catcalled while out running and men not involved have observed and just run/walked right by me. Simply checking in with the woman, making sure she feels safe, asking her if she wants you to keep her company until they leave the area, can go a long way. You will be moderating the Best Running Stores panel

this year. What is the one most important question you want to ask them (other than “Can I get a free pair of sneakers?”)

I’m always interested to hear what people’s favorite brands are. And not just because of the quality of the shoe, but because what the brand stands for, what they have done for the community, the climate crisis and any other organizations people feel passionate about. It’s always interesting hearing what resonates with people from each brand and what is immediately

Finally, how is 2024 shaping up for you and what are your goals for the next year — in running, in comedy and in your life?

I organize my life in months of three so I have no idea what 2024 looks like. It helps me stay in the moment and enjoy this wild ride that I’m currently on. I would absolutely love to build my mileage this winter (fun fact: I hate summer running and can’t wait for the cold), but also have no burning desire to run a marathon. I love runners who can just run and not need a race and aspire to be one. Maybe 2024 is my year! n

LET’S DO THE LIST THING .. Favorite running shoe … Impossible decision. Right now the ASICS Superblast is on my foot the most often. Favorite clothes to wear during a run … Three-quarter running tights with side pockets and a men’s large, long sleeve. Running Playlist … Florence and The Machine on repeat for long runs. I can listen to her three hours and it puts me in a trance. Favorite race … The North Face Endurance Challenges (they don’t happen anymore) Favorite running store … A tie between San Francisco Running Company and Sports Basement Presidio (more outdoors store than run-specific, but that place fills me with joy). Favorite (most interesting) runners … Emma Bates, Zach Miller, Athing Mu, Paddy O’Leary Hardest thing about running … Getting out of bed. Running plans for 2024 … I applied for Boston. If not that, then lots of 10Ks I won’t train for. 8

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TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

A Run With …

MELISSA GONZALEZ TRE23 keynote speaker provides insight into how run retailers can survive and thrive in today’s environment.


elissa Gonzalez describes herself as “an intellectually curious, innovator, strategist and storyteller at heart.” Prior to becoming a principal at MG2 and founding The Lionesque Group, which was acquired by MG2, she worked in Institutional Equities where she ferociously studied company business models and stories to advise on investment ideas. She shares some of these ideas with Running Insight as she prepares for her keynote presentation at The Running Event in Austin, TX, this month.

With your background in various retail categories, how would you rate run specialty retailers in terms of “keeping up” with retail trends in technology, marketing, merchandising, etc.?

Sp e cia lt y ret a i lers va r y i n t hei r integration of technology, marketing and merchandising. Smaller retailers have more nimbleness and less corporate infrastructure, allowing them to explore and experiment easier and there are more tools that are plug and play than in the past.

Melissa Gonzalez sees a number of strengths that give run specialty an opportunity to compete with larger retailers and she will share that insight during her keynote presentation at The Running Event this month.

But that smaller size brings other challenges, right?

However, the need to prioritize budget brings different constraints versus larger retailers. I have seen significantly more evolution in digital marketing than other areas that tie to in-store experience. Run specialty retailers are just starting to scratch the surface in terms of operational tools and there is a lot of opportunity to raise the bar of the customer experience by leaning more into that. So what do you see as run specialty’s strengths?

It’s a category with a lot of innovation from a product standpoint, especially as we have seen a shift to consumer preferences in terms of footwear, heightened awareness around wellness, etc. That is an opportunity for run specialty stores. There are creative ways to get closer to your customer on a personal level and glean insights around what they are craving, build community that creates more glue and let your customers know they are heard. What weaknesses do you see?

It’s common to have limitations from a resource perspective versus larger scale competitors who can allocate budget to test concepts. This can be creatively solved via partnerships, however. Run retailers do tend to be passionate individuals who have taken their love of running and made it a career. What is your advice on how to make that passion last and turn into a successful business?

Lean into your unique value proposition. How is that passion enabling you to do it differently and better than your competitors? 10

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A Run With Melissa Gonzalez (continued)

The world is evolving faster than ever, especially with the acceleration of AI. I hope attendees can take inspiration on how to think differently, insights on how to be forward thinking and feel empowered as they approach 2024. Is it how you curate, is it how you elevate the fit experience, styling advice, a combination? Then think about how you are communicating that. How does it show up in the in-store experience, the way you speak, the way you merchandise, the way you program in-store events? And of course the math always matters, so layer in how this all impacts your customer acquisition cost, word of mouth virality and customer retention rates. What can TRE23 attendees learn from the other, larger retailers?

Storytelling, merchandising, best-in-class store associates and omnichannel strategies are all areas TRE attendees can lean into. It is about understanding where you are providing value for your customers. Your story is your unique value proposition, tell that story to build emotional connections. Is what the larger retailers do transferable to smaller stores?


Merchandising strategies can take many forms, but aspiration should also be a filter. The homework is what helps your customer — is it education around fit, demystifying how they style, being inspired by lifestyles or a combination? Additionally with such an evolution in payment technology and ecommerce platforms today, it’s becoming increasingly attainable to ensure you have integrated commerce that allows you to make the shopping experience as seamless and frictionless as possible. On the flip side, what do you think these larger retailers can learn from run specialty?

Your stores are a location for human connection and that is something people still crave, especially Gen Z. Leaning into creating a more intimate, community-centric experiences is a major opportunity for run specialty. Many larger retailers are trying hard to tap into that with smaller format, local stores, but run specialty has that opportunity at its core and with a niche expertise. Your session description teases some of the trends that will occur at retail in the next five years? Can you share one or two of them?

We all see the rise of AI and I believe that will further the opportunity for smarter merchandising and more personalized experiences and will put more data in the hands of store associates. Experiential retail will continue to evolve as well, especially as consumers

Keynote Session: Running Through Today’s Retail Landscape Speaker: Melissa Gonzalez; Tuesday, Nov. 28, 12:00 p.m.

become more fluent with flexible fulfillment, allowing retailers to be more imaginative with space and create experiences that are more based around discovery, lifestyle and community per square foot. How would you suggest smaller specialty retailers approach and work with brands on partnering for a win-win situation?

The opportunity for brands partnering with smaller specialty retailers is the spotlight moment. Think strategically from a marketing standpoint. How do you make this new arrival/partnership feel special? Do you have a signature, flex area where limited edition collections are featured in a way that they stand out? As a retailer can you give first look access to your VIP shoppers? Maybe there is a local ambassador for the brand you can also tap to announce and celebrate the arrival with you? As a brand are you promoting your access in a new territory through a specialty partnership? Are you a runner? If so, where do you shop, what’s your running routine, favorite gear/shoes, any running success stories?

T hat dep ends how you define running! I am not a distance runner, but I am an active person. Currently I am head coach of my daughter’s soccer team, so that is my recent success story. We shop and support our local soccer specialty store where they sell a curated selection of sneakers. For soccer I am an Adidas fan for myself and my daughter.

As an outside observer, when you walk around a trade show like The Running Event, what do you look from vendors and attendees and the overall vibe?

I look for a story. The vibe can vary because it should be a nod to the brand, but I am drawn to unique attributes. Does the design have a correlation to the architecture of the shoe, or the lifestyle ethos or maybe its brand manifesto? Finally, what would you like TRE23 attendees to take away from your keynote presentation?

The world is evolving faster than ever, especially with the acceleration of AI. I hope attendees can take inspiration on how to think differently, insights on how to be forward thinking and feel empowered as they approach 2024. n About the speaker … Pushing boundaries in experiential retail and pioneering the integration of physical environments and digital retail, Melissa Gonzalez, principal of MG2 and founder of the Lionesque Group, guides brands such as Kizik, Sorel and Nordstrom to foster consumer engagement and evolve their offerings. Her keynote address will explore what run and outdoor specialty stores can adapt from large retailers with a focus on actionable customer retention strategies. Attendees will learn tips and ideas for loyalty programs, examples of successful brand partnerships.

© 2023 Diversified Communications

TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

Building an Eco-Bridge The Low Impact Alliance: Helping pioneer a more sustainable future for run specialty. / By Christian Fyfe, Co-Founder


n a world where ecoconsciousness is on the rise, more consumers are considering the environmental impact of their purchases. Reports show that 82 percent of shoppers want brands to embrace sustainable and people-first practices — and Gen-Z is leading the charge. In fact, a recent survey found that three-quarters of Zoomer shoppers see susta inability as more important than brand names (Forbes, 2022). For retailers, especially those in running and other outdoor industries, taking responsibility for our effect on the planet is paramount. This is where the Low Impact Alliance (LIA) steps in by advocating for change, providing retailer education and resources, conducting research and building a bridge between brands and retailers that will better prepare our industry for a more sustainable future. Guiding Stores in Sustainability Recycling can seem like a confusing and daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The LIA recognizes that many stores want to enhance their in-store recycling practices and to support them we’ve created a comprehensive guide ( This guide explains the basics of recycling, why it matters and how to effectively manage recycling in your store. It’s a valuable resource for retailers looking to minimize their environmental impact and meet the demands of eco-conscious consumers. When it comes to the life cycle of products, the LIA is not content with the status quo. While the run specialty industry has 14

done its part in participating in footwear donation and collection programs over the years, the LIA is working closely with key industry partners to shift the conversation towards product recycling and circularity. With the LIA “Better Bins” Program, set to debut at The Running Event this month, we are looking to change the conversation around product recycling and circularity by making it a focal point of run specialty stores through a more engaging and elevated collection fixture (made from recycled materials) that both educates and inspires consumers to consider more responsible disposal of their gear while also tracking industry participation and the total waste diverted from landfills. These bins offer a novel approach, akin to the familiar landfill/compost/recycling centers you find at restaurants and event venues, but tailored to footwear, clothing, socks and nutrition recycling. For retailers, offering LIA Better Bins will showcase their dedication to running a more sustainable and environmentally responsible business while creating another reason for customers to return to their

stores. We also believe an effort like this can dramatically increase product recycling awareness and participation and will better prepare our industry (brands, retailers and consumers) and its infrastructure for the future of circular product take-back and remanufacturing. And the best part about this program is that there’s no cost to retailers. Through the partnership and recycling logistics of Sneaker Impact, Recover and GU/TerraCycle, participation in the LIA Better Bins Program is not only free, but also helps fund the Low Impact Alliance and contributes significantly to our ongoing effort to expand the program into every run specialty retailer in the country. Engaging Events and Research The Low Impact Alliance has been busy putting our words into action. • Beginning with the release of our Plogging Guide and Nationwide Plogging Initiative in April, where we provided 100 free plogging kits to retailers and run clubs across the U.S. and Canada and collectively picked up thousands of pounds of trash along running paths, roads and waterways. • We then hosted an ASICS-sponsored plogging event at RIA’s Runchella event in May where attendees picked up a staggering 100 pounds of litter along Chicago’s Lakefront Trail in less than one hour. Such events not only contribute to a cleaner environment, but also foster a sense of community and shared purpose among retailers and their consumers.

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LIA’s Eco-Bridge (continued)

The Low Impact Alliance Presents: The Impact of Events: Hosting Zero-Waste Events Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023; 2:15 p.m. Speakers: Nick Kovaleski, ARM; Brian Mister, Around the Crown; Kathleen Baker, RPL

Plogging events like those at Pacers Running connect a run retailer and its customers with the outdoors in which they run and play. At right, LIA Plogging Kit.


• Through our collaboration with the University of Minnesota, the LIA has also conducted groundbreaking sustainability research specific to run specialty — an area severely lacking in data. Building off the momentum of our Consumer Attitude Survey launched in early 2023, which collected baseline data regarding the attitudes of more than 400 consumers towards sustainable products in the running industry, the LIA recently launched a new pilot study aiming to gather Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories from retailers across the country. It’s important to note that the collection of emissions data from run specialty retailers is not being done to call any retailers out; rather, it is to show brands the effect their manufacturing decisions have on our industry and offer insight into how each retailer can reduce its environmental impact through more eco-conscious purchasing and product curation. If your store wants to complete your own GHG inventory and be one of the first to learn from this research study, please reach out to us. • The LIA has also offered webi na r s t o t he i ndust r y throughout the year. They ranged from teaching the basics of sustainability key terms in our “Building a Shared Language on Sustainability” roundtable to identifying the ways in which injustices happening to marginalized communities and our planet are interconnected. • In our industry roundtable, “The Intersectionality of Environmentalism,” with the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, the Low Impact

The Running Event has always marked important milestones in the LIA’s journey and we are honored to return this year as the event’s Environmental Impact Partner. This partnership marks a significant step forward in our commitment to environmental responsibility. Alliance created a space to bring sustainability leaders, prominent industry figures, brands and retailers together to learn from each other and create a transformative force and alliance that will lead the industry toward a more sustainable future. The TRE23 Milestone The Running Event has always marked important milestones in the LIA’s journey and we are honored to return this year as the event’s Environmental Impact Partner. This partnership marks a significant step forward in our

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LIA’s Eco-Bridge (continued)

Trail Cleanup at the Ann & Roy Butler Hike & Bike Trail Presented by ASICS and the Low Impact Alliance • Tuesday, Nov. 28; 7:00 a.m.

The LIA is the Environmental Impact Partner of The Running Event and its Better Bins program will make its debut at the show in Austin this month.

commitment to environmental responsibility and underscores our dedication to reducing our industry’s collective carbon footprint. With this partnership, we are poised to substantially reduce TRE’s environmental impact and help set a new standard for responsible event management through a multifaceted approach that includes initiatives across the event’s operations, educational programs and vendor and attendee engagement and responsibilities, as well as onsite recycling opportunities, experiences and events. To kick off TRE 2023, we will be leading an ASICS-sponsored trail cleanup in collaboration with local cleanup organizations.

We will also have a strong presence at TRE’s education sessions, with the LIA leading a seminar on the environmental impact of events as well as participating in various panels. Our booth will be highlighting the many free resources we offer to the industry, debuting the LIA Better Bins Program, hosting multiple educational sessions and unveiling limited edition LIA product collaborations with Ciele and Recover. We look forward to forging new relationships at The Running Event and beyond as we all work toward a more sustainable future. It’s time for us to come together as an industry and take responsibility for our environmental impact. n

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TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

Creating A Connection How a Creative North Star fuels branding consistency. / By Rita Carroll, Out&back Creative


or The Running Event 2023 I have had the pleasure of bringing the Low Impact Alliance’s (LIA) brand presence to life. Each touchpoint for this three-day event was developed by harnessing a general creative direction that would ultimately inform a consistent and intentional identity true to the LIA’s foundation. At the onset of any project I like to start with a general roadmap and outline any considerations before I dive into the process. I find that this helps not only address each need holistically, but also identifies areas of overlap. An important consideration for this project was the development of visceral messaging that spoke to LIA’s ethos. We wanted this to represent the Low Impact Alliance from a more poetic perspective and to really resonate with attendees at a core level, not just as a resource but as a true alliance that stands for impacting change. This is what we landed on: Earth’s wild, winding trails now meet poured asphalt. And rolling hills exist in unity with cobblestone paths. Manmade highways cut through plains and meadows. While shacks and houses dot our harbors and shores. These lands are the paths that we play on. We choose them as ours through the pace of our days. Just as they selflessly give to us. We are inspired to protect them each step of the way. We are proud to be the salt of the Earth. To honor and preserve her, with every step we take. Because every footprint has an impact. But even small strides can create big change. 20

This copy not only connects us with our audience, but also served as inspiration that was leveraged for the booth design, merchandise and LIA’s general presence at TRE. It served as our creative reference point for any visual applications. Adhering to the same tone of the messaging, I illustrated a variety of landscapes familiar to runners that also face the inevitable impacts of environmentalism. I specifically chose to paint the illustrations with my non-dominant hand to mimic the same unlabored nature of the copy. I was then able to visualize how those gestures and illustrations, in combination with the copy, would exist on multiple applications for the Low Impact Alliance at The Running Event this year. In addition to an exciting lineup of activations and participation for LIA this year, we will be selling merchandise to raise funds for research and operational support that will drive the growth of the Low Impact Alliance. We are proud to collaborate with Ciele Athletics and Recover Brands for this limited collection that upholds LIA’s values and speaks to its mission. Make sure to stop by the Low Impact Alliance Booth 922 this year while you’re at The Running Event to see the creative process and development in real time. n

The Low Impact Alliance will be making quite an impact at The Running Event 2023 and has collaborated with Recover Brands and Ciele Athletics to produce a limited collection of apparel and caps that upholds LIA’s values and speaks to its mission.

© 2023 Diversified Communications

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TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

Retail TV Guide I

MOTOTV allows retailers to entertain, inform and educate right on their store’s floor.

f you are at The Running Event in Austin, TX, this month and happen to see a crew with video cameras capturing all of the action, feel free to smile and perhaps answer a few questions. You may end up in a “sizzle reel” for future TRE promotions … or even in a video you can run on a television in your own store. That’s because the people behind MOTOTV will be all over the show with a product and technology that can be the solution to the blank TVs in your store. Simply put, MOTOTV’s digital networks help retailers sell more products by playing video content from the brands that the stores carry — right at the point of sale. MOTOTV gives specialty run retailers a customizable platform to constantly be advertising at that all-important point of sale as its active video network draws attention to their products, events and sales messages. And because the content is constantly updated, it keeps the store atmosphere alive with current content and reinforces customer confidence. “We manage the content, but also have a ton of built-in tools that let stores customize their own video or photo content, tie in their social media, type in messaging and really customize it to their store,” explains MOTOTV account director Mary Reed, herself a former specialty run store manager. “Basically, we educate and entertain the customer while driving purchases.” The key to the success of the product is that it informs, educates and entertains all at the same time. “We know people come to specialty run stores for the excellent and individualized service — and sometimes that service comes with a wait, whether they’re waiting their turn or waiting while you go grab shoes from the back,” Reed adds. “Our active network helps reduce that perceived wait time while also keeping your customers engaged.”


Ridgefield Running sees MOTOTV as “an incredible asset,” according to owner Megan Searfoss.

So instead of distracting them with a random TV show or old races, retailers can keep them in buying mode by showing them the latest videos from the brands they carry and keeping them informed on everything happening at the store. It’s also a win for the brands since MOTOTV delivers that consistent tone and brand promise right at the end of the purchase funnel. Because MOTOTV actively manages

all of the content, a store owner’s time investment is minimal — they simply plug the proprietary Media Player into their TV and get it online. From there they can either set-it-and-forget-it or can use MOTOTV’s simple dashboard to make all of the customizable updates they would like, including adding their Instagram account and selecting or deselecting brands so that the content on the screens is only for the

© 2023 Diversified Communications

Retail TV Guide (continued)

MOTOTV in action with interactive video on the store floor at Charlotte Running Co., Big Peach Running Co. and Ridgefield Running (below).

brands they carry. Between the Media Player and the subscription, the cost is as little as $55 to get started. The cost of the subscription covers content management, customer support and backend technology to keep the network active. A Retail Testimonial The service is already catching on among both single-store and or multi-door retailers, including a number of Fleet Feet stores and, most impressive of all, the 2022 Store of the Year, Ridgefield Running Company. “MOTOTV is an incredible asset to our floor,” says Megan Searfoss, owner of Ridgefield Running and Darien Running. “The ability to have up-to-date brand information allows us to tailor the content to the products we carry and the Dashboard allows us to upload our own content, videos and Instagram, which further personalizes the consumer experience. The TV is in a place that allows people to watch while we fetch shoes, so we are always on.” MOTOTV actually started more than 10 years ago in the Action Sports arena with Power sp or t s, Ma r i ne a nd Ski leading the way. In those 24

markets it allowed dealerships and retailers to bring their showroom vehicles or equipment to life on-screen to make the shopping experience more inspirational and engaging. They have since grown into more than 3000 retailers globally playing on more than 5000 screens. Big brands within these industries took notice too and top names like Honda, BMW, Yamaha and Vail Resorts have approached MOTOTV to design custom in-store networks for their brands to stand out even more. More Than Just TV Aside from educating and entertaining customers, the service is an efficient way to keep the sales staff informed about new product announcements,

shoe updates, store events and more through the content. It helps keep everything top-ofmind and is a tool for guiding additional purchases such as accessories and nutrition. “Floor and wall space are at a premium in many specialty run stores, so having a digital solution that cuts out all of the printed point-of-purchase pieces has been valuable to create an uncluttered and modern feel to stores,” Reed explains. “Running stores are also the social hub of the running community, so they have found value in having this digital space to update their community about group runs, welcoming high school teams for shopping days, race news and community outreach events.” The ideal set-up is in a visible place where customers tend to

watch and wait and it seems to work best on shoe walls and accessory walls. The content is only from the brands each store carries so they’ll see product and lifestyle videos for the products they can purchase there. MOTOTV also provides a promo library stores can choose from with animated promos that are tailored to specialty run, along with window TV displays that are really a good fit for hightraffic, walkable stores. TRE23 and More This will be the third year at The Running Event for MOTOTV and the company will be there with its booth that allows retailers to come by to see its screens in action. (Note: MOTOTV will be offering a TRE Show Special with major discounts on the subscription and a 60-day free trial when a store signs up at the show.) “As we’ve seen with the other industries we’re in, the more we grow our retailer footprint, the louder voice the retailers have with the brands and getting more digital support and relevant content at the point of sale,” explains Reed. “Our goal is to get specialty run stores to that level.” n © 2023 Diversified Communications

TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

‘Beyond Your Four Walls’ Running Insight’s Danny Smith’s session at TRE to spotlight what stores can gain by exploring unrelated industries.


hat might a running store possibly learn from a bowling center? Or a financial services firm? Or quick-service restaurants, human-centered designers, Chicago-style improv or bridal boutiques? At first glance, not much. Dig deeper, though, and it turns out some of the practices regularly deployed in other fields can deliver rich ideas capable of boosting a running store’s performance and driving a healthy, sustainable business. At the 2023 edition of The Running Event, Running Insight senior writer Danny Smith will leverage 23 years of business reporting to show just how much running stores can gain by stepping beyond their four walls and examining operations in external, even vastly different, fields. Smith’s 45-minute program – “Beyond Your Four Walls: Lessons and Ideas You Can Take from Other Industries to Propel Your Running Store” – is one of more than 20 education sessions on tap for the conference portion of The Running Event on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Smith’s presentation is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. following the event’s keynote presentation from Melissa Gonzalez of MG2 and The Lionesque Group. “There’s no question you can gain a lot from your running retail peers about advancing your business. After all, your fellow running store owners and operators possess frontline knowledge, entrepreneurial energy, creativity and hustle alongside a remarkable willingness to share ideas,” Smith says. “But when we explore what others do to be successful in marketing, operations, management and the like, we’re going to find novel approaches and practices capable of driving success in the running store environment as well.” A History of ‘Borrowing’ Smith says the running industry, including run specialty stores, has a fruitful history of 26

While bridal boutiques have a business model quite different than run specialty shops, their efforts to create VIP experiences is worth emulating, according to Running Insight senior writer Danny Smith.

© 2023 Diversified Communications

Beyond Your Four Walls (continued)

Beyond Your Four Walls: Lessons and Ideas You Can Take from Other Industries Speaker: Danny Smith, Running Insight Senior Writer Tuesday, Nov. 28 ; 1:15 p.m.

Running stores can use the foundational tenet of Chicago-style improv to propel customer service and a positive workplace culture.

taking successful ideas from one arena and adapting them to the running world. Long before compression socks and calf sleeves peppered r un shop walls, for instance, the hosiery had a strong foothold in the medical market. And well before bone-conduction headphones became a wonderful add-on sale for running stores, the military deployed the technolog y i n t he f ield. Bot h innovations were well-established in one market before being redesigned for the running and fitness market. “Think of the sales running 28

shops have generated from the repackaging of those two products alone,” Smith says. Run shops, meanwhile, have taken ideas like referral prescription pads, which primary care physicians have long used to scribble recommendations to a specialist, and online appointment bookings and used them to corral new customers and elevate customer service. “We have many great examples of the running industry taking products or practices in one field and morphing them for the running marketplace,” Smith says. And it can continue to occur,

Smith assures, particularly on the retail front. Over the last two decades, Smith has written for a variety of niche business audiences, from restaurants and jewelers to bridal shops and bowling centers, and identified intriguing parallels – and compelling opportunities. Regardless of one’s industry and how different it might seem, Smith reminds that many small businesses are fighting the same battle. “Whether you’re selling a $150 pair of running shoes or a $5 hamburger, there are universal questions we’re all facing as small business owners,” Smith

says. “How do we attract new customers? How do we retain quality staff? How do we effectively and economically market the business? How do we create a business built for long-term success?” Business-driving Ideas In evaluating other fields and actively looking for inspiration, Smith says running retailers can find ideas, solutions and strategies to inform their work. “Yes, something may need to be morphed and massaged and re-imagined, but it can apply and help your business,” says Smith, who has been involved © 2023 Diversified Communications




The very first thing that you’ll need in order to survive in the wild is water. That you can drink. Look for signs of fresh water nearby areas of green foliage. Healthy looking leaves, plants and trees indicates that water is nearby. Also search at low-lying areas where water could be collected, and signs of wildlife like animal tracks. It could mean that a creek, stream or pond is nearby. But if the tracks belong to a bear, a pack of wolves or any other predator, please search elsewhere.


Search for a dry, flat area between 2 trees, with splits in their trunks. If possible, the 2 trees should have a split in their trunks about 1–1.5 m (3–4 feet) off the ground and be about 3 m (10 feet) apart from each other. Then find a branch 3 m long (10 feet). This will be your support beam, so look for a sturdy branch. Insert the branch where the tree splits. Then, gather a bunch of branches that are long enough to be propped up against the

main branch of your shelter. And finally, lay twigs and leaves of the branches to form a layer of insulation. If this feels like too much work, at least crawl up under a tree or hide inside some bushes.



This is no time to be a picky eater. Flip over logs to search for insects that you can eat. They are packed with protein and fats that will help you survive. Check under rotting logs for ants, termites, beetles and grubs. And keep an eye out for worms in the dirt. Yummy! You can eat most insects raw, but you might want to cook spiders.


Find small, dry material to use as tinder. Look for dry grass, leaves, tree bars, pine needles or any other small flammable materials you can find. You need material that is easy to light and will produce a large flame so you can start your fire. If cavemen could do this, so can you!


Yes, animals are our friends. But some aren’t. Like bears. If you run into a bear, keep cool and remember the bear is unlikely to attack. But if it does, direct punches and kicks at the bears face might help. And use any weapons like rocks or branches. But if the bear is a grizzly or a brown bear, play dead. And you might survive.


Don’t panic if you get lost in the woods. Panicking can cause you to make poor decisions and affect your judgement. If you’re going to get out of the woods, you need to have a clear head. Take deep breaths and focus on the tasks at


Beyond Your Four Walls (continued) with the run specialty industry since 2003, including nine years working at a running specialty store. Smith’s TRE program will spotlight specific examples of other industries whose efforts can inform running stores. For example: • Human-centered designers provide a new way to think about the customer experience. • Financial services firms demonstrate how we can capture customer insights and build a more customer-centric store. • Chicago-style improv offers a two-word strategy to bolster customer relations and foster a more collaborative workplace environment. • Bowling centers showcase

the value of formalizing peer connections. • Quick-service restaurants demonstrate how to use data to inform business decisions. • Full-service restaurants present a savvier method to evaluate job candidates. • Bridal boutiques highlight the value of creating VIP experiences to cultivate deeper connections and spur sales. Learning From Others “On their sur face, these businesses seem to have nothing in common with running stores, but there are definitely nuggets we can pull out to guide our work in run specialty retail,” says Smith, who will also show different ways

running stores are currently deploying these concepts in their operations. Through these examples and others, Smith hopes to inspire running retailers to look for ideas, solutions and strategies both with and beyond their running store peers. “The run specialty marketplace is undoubtedly filled with enterprising and creative people whose insights and support will help your business performance,” Smith says. “I simply hope to encourage running store leaders to look beyond their peers as well, so they can discover even more ideas to maximize their potential and earn the results they work so hard to achieve.” n

Restaurants can be a powerful source of ideas and inspiration to help running stores elevate their performance.


“The run specialty marketplace is undoubtedly filled with enterprising and creative people whose insights and support will help your business performance. I simply hope to encourage running store leaders to look beyond their peers as well, so they can discover even more ideas to maximize their potential and earn the results they work so hard to achieve.”

© 2023 Diversified Communications

TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

Sharing A Pickle Four sponsors invite run specialty retailers into the kitchen for Pickleball Education at TRE23.


hen an activity becomes the fastest-growing sport in America it understandably demands some extra attention — and that’s exactly what pickleball will receive for the first time at The Running Event 2023. There will be a full-size pickleball court right on the show floor of the Austin Convention Center that will host two education seminars, product demos and maybe even a pickleball athlete or two — all designed to educate run specialty retailers on why and how they can add pickleball to their product mix. The court and sessions are being sponsored by four brands making a name for themselves in the pickleball space – K-Swiss, Official Footwear Sponsor; Selkirk, Official Paddle and Ball Sponsor; OS1st, Official Sock Sponsor; and Currex, Official Insole Sponsor. Running Insight gathered the sponsors into the kitchen (that’s a pickleball term, in case you didn’t know) for a Virtual Roundtable discussion on the potential of the sport at run specialty and how to take advantage of pickleball passion. Sitting at the Table … Kyle Whatnall, Senior Manager Public Relations/Content, Selkirk Sport Dave Larson, VP-Marketing, K-Swiss Josh Higgins, President, OS1st Stephen Pifer, Director of Marketing, B2B, Foundation Wellness (Currex and PowerStep)

Let’s start with this: For those of our readers who don’t know about pickleball or haven’t played it yet, what’s so darn special about it?

Kyle Whatnall: Pickleball is more than just a sport. It’s a community and a 32

To Selkirk’s Kyle Whatnall, pickleball is more than just a sport — it’s a community and a passion.

passion. It’s one of the fastest-growing sports in the USA and its charm lies in its inclusivity, the camaraderie among players and the joy of play it offers to people of all ages. Josh Higgins: It’s diverse, it’s inclusive, it’s easy to pick up for all ages and skill set. Most importantly, it’s a lot of fun. Dave Larson: It’s easy to learn, it’s fun, it’s social and it’s addictive.

Stephen Pifer: Anyone who’s fascinated by the intrigue that is pickleball should go down to their local court and just watch people play the game. You’ll see the excitement, enjoyment and fun and get a feel for the community of pickleball that is somewhat similar to the running community. At the Sports Fitness Industry Association Conference I attended earlier this year one of the presenters said the recipe for a hot, new sport is that the rules must be easy

© 2023 Diversified Communications

Sharing A PIckle (continued)

Pickleball Education: Why Sell Pickleball Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2:30 p.m.; Moderated by Tom Webb, Association of Pickleball Players Speakers: Dave Kazanjian, Whirlaway; Jeff Anderson, Kelley’s Pace; Jeff Harris, Run With It product knowledge and fitting expertise to pickleball, there’s a huge opportunity. Whatnall: Given the incredible growth and mainstream adoption of pickleball, there’s a significant market out there hungry for quality products. By adding pickleball to their mix, run specialty retailers can tap into this demand, diversify their offerings and open up a new avenue for add-on revenue. Larson: There is a lack of brick-and-mortar shops that sell tennis/pickleball. Run specialty retailers are experts at selling premium footwear and could easily sell top-end pickleball shoes. It is a way to add a new customer to shop in their store.

Stephen Pifer of Currex believes pickleball has what it takes to keep growing.

to understand, the activity doesn’t require a high skill level to play and be a game that involves multiple people — so, we believe this sport is here to stay. Now let’s get right to the heart of the matter: Why should run specialty retailers add pickleball to their product mix?

Higgins: Pickleball is an interesting sport and channel for shopping. Almost all of it is being done online or in big-box retailers. Product selection is minimal and generally pretty basic. This is typically an affluent customer. They want to stay active, stay healthy and play 34

with better product. This doesn’t take up much space and adds a whole new demographic of customer. Pifer: First, let me say that we support runners first and we are not experts in this category – we are rapidly learning about this hypergrowth sport. With that said, the number one reason is because it’s a great way to attract new customers to your store. We’re at a moment in time where we have a sport that is rapidly growing in participation, but there’s not a retail destination for consumers to learn more or purchase equipment. If run specialty retailers can apply their

Is the pickleball player similar to these store’s typical running customer?

Higgins: Definitely! They are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, remain active, make friends in groups and want to shop at a store that treats them special. Larson: Yes, they are both active sports enthusiasts and have a passion to get better. They are also willing to spend money if a performance enhancement is perceived.

could see people who primarily run, getting interested in and playing pickleball, while I’m not 100 percent certain people who exclusively play pickleball will be interested in becoming runners. Whatnall: While there might be some overlap, pickleball attracts a broad demographic. However, like runners, pickleball players are passionate about their sport and seek out quality gear that will enhance their game. Any similarities to other retail categories – such as golf pro shops – that are adding the category?

Whatnall: Just like golf pro shops, which cater to enthusiasts seeking premium equipment, pickleball retail can benefit from targeting both beginners and seasoned players. As much crossover between the sports exists at the club level, Selkirk Sport has strategic partnerships with Troon, the world’s largest golf club management company, and Invited Clubs, the largest owner and operator of private golf and country clubs in the United States. Both sports prioritize equipment quality, brand reputation and community engagement.

Pifer: Yes and no. There are some similarities in the sense that they both appreciate quality products, a knowledgeable staff and strong sense of community. Where I see some differences is that I

Pifer: We’re starting to see a few Golf Galaxy’s and PGA Superstores add pickleball sections, but in most cases those are self-service shopping experiences. What run specialty excels in is the personalized shopping experience and that’s the real

© 2023 Diversified Communications

Pickleball Education: How To Sell Pickleball Thursday, Nov. 30, 10:30 a.m.; Moderated by Michael Jacobsen, Running Insight Speakers: Dave Larson, K-Swiss; Josh Higgins, OS1st; Tait Engbretson/Kyle Whatnall, Selkirk Sport competitive advantage that run specialty has over other retail players entering the space. Higgins: While there are some independent family footwear stores that are entering the channel, no other retail compares to specialty run. Pro shops are very small and don’t offer the service levels of run specialty. They don’t understand the biomechanics of the lower extremities at the same level. There are specialty tennis shops in certain markets that could service this customer, but most are still not taking the sport seriously — tennis players can be snobby about pickleball. Larson: Yes, in fact some golf retailers are already selling pickleball shoes. What would be the challenges for retailers in adding some pickleball product and how do they overcome them?

Whatnall: Retailers might face challenges in understanding the game, its equipment nuances and the specific needs of players. Overcoming this requires training, partnering with trusted brands and engaging directly with the pickleball community to gather insights.

Higgins: There was a problem with supply in the last year or so, but there are so many options now that I don’t see this as an obstacle anymore. Pifer: Location and staffing. The challenges will vary depending on where your store is located. For many Northeast stores, the footprints tend to be smaller, so space is always a concern. For stores located in the Plains territory, is there a dense enough population of pickleball players that will probably justify bringing pickleball products into the store? There are a lot of case-by-case scenarios retailers will have to identify in order to decide if adding pickleball products is the right move for the business. Finally, retailers may need to consider adding some staff that are familiar with the sport, the gear and the community. That is what makes our channel so unique and retailers need to stay true to that point of difference versus big-box retail. What would you suggest would be the first steps in adding the category?

Dave Larson recommends retailers start with proven brands to enter the game.

Larson: Start with proven brands and their top-selling pickleball shoes. Don’t overbuy. Pifer: The first step for adding the category would be to better understand the local market. Frequent your local pickleball courts, get to know who’s playing, how often and for how long. Learn their needs and what they’re currently missing and then make a decision on whether it make sense to enter the category and what is the appropriate offering based on that feedback.

paddles for beginners to advanced players. Ensure a good mix of paddles, balls and accessories. Partnering with an established brand can provide guidance on quantities and popular products. What merchandising tips would you offer to help the process along?

Whatnall: Start with a diverse product mix, covering

Higgins: Create a home for pickleball players in the store. Make sure the product is separated from the run product, have fun signage directing people to it. If you are fortunate enough to have some extra space, add an area for “dinking” practice, maybe buy a portable net for the parking lot.

© 2023 Diversified Communications

Larson: They will need to educate their customers on the specific needs of a pickleball player and how it differs from running, tennis or basketball. Stores should have someone on their staff 35

who actually plays and understands the nuances.

Higgins: My general suggestion to running stores looking to get into the channel is to start slow. Add two-to-four shoes (two men’s, two women’s), two-to-four paddles in the $150-250 range and, of course, OS1st Pickleball Socks and compression.

Sharing A PIckle (continued) is to sponsor local pickleball courts or tournaments to get the word out and show you are part of the pickleball community. Whatnall: Host pickleball introduction events, collaborate with local clubs or ambassadors and use social media to announce the new addition. Sharing stories of people’s experiences with the sport can also resonate well. Larson: Use social media, emails and in-store signage. Choose a kick-off date with a store party. Maybe serve some deli sandwiches with pickles.

An early adopter of the sport, Josh Higgins urges retailers to get in the kitchen!

Larson: Stock a commercial color and a color pop in both men’s and women’s. Stick to premium price points above $100 — let the customer go elsewhere to get an $80 shoe. Highlight the pickleball shoes in a separate area of the wall or store. Whatnall: Highlight the uniqueness of the sport with interactive displays. Maybe set up a mini pickleball court or a demo area. Showcase testimonials or endorsements, especially from top professionals associated with trusted brands. The profitability it can offer with limited floor space is what makes pickleball particularly exciting for retailers. 36

Pifer: I would ensure that people know you are entering the sport. I have seen a few stores add a couple pairs of pickleball shoes, but there is no signage or information letting shoppers know these products are available. If the opportunity is large enough in your area, consider a dedicated space or area to highlight the offerings. How would you suggest run retailers spread the word if they do start carrying pickleball product?

Higgins: Reach out to the local Y and Rec centers. They will have tournaments or classes that are very inexpensive to sponsor. Make sure they know that you are the pickleball retailer in your market. What will your message to TRE attendees be as they explore the pickleball court?

Whatnall: Embrace the growth and potential of pickleball. It’s more than just a product category — it’s a movement. Joining now can position retailers at the forefront of this exciting wave.

Larson: Learn what makes a pickleball shoe different and/ or better than a running shoe. Try the sport on the demo court and learn how easy and fun it is. Pifer: Take the Currex PickeballPRO insoles for a test drive. These insoles have been specifically engineered for pickleball and tested with professional players. We hope you love them as much as our testers have. Finally, are you a pickleball player?

Whatnall: Absolutely! Once you play, you’re hooked. I have experience competing at all levels, as I began playing in 2020 and compete part-time on the professional tour, where I have been ranked in the Top 50 in men’s doubles! The energy, the community, the thrill of the game — it’s all too irresistible.” Pifer: I am a runner first, but I have played pickleball and have been really impressed with the growth of this sport and the spirit of the community. Larson: Yes, I play five times a week and some tournaments. I love it.

Higgins: My message will be the same as the past three years, as I was an early adopter and believer in this channel — Bring it in! Give this a shot, it’s super low risk and high reward. If other retailers don’t want this business, take it.

Higgins: I, admittedly, was one of those snobby tennis players. Those days are long gone. While I don’t get to play as much as I want to because of this dang job, I love the sport and hope 2024 puts the paddle in my hand more often. n

© 2023 Diversified Communications

Pifer: I would start with in-store signage, emails to current customers and then social media could be a great way to get the word out quickly and reach a broader audience. One last thought

TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

Doing Well, Doing Good TRE23 is an ideal place for running and outdoor advocacy groups to reach out to retailers.


n addition to the hundreds of brands and thousands of run and outdoor specialty retailers who will be walking the aisles of the Austin Convention Center during The Running Event and Switchback at TRE, a number of advocacy groups whose mission is to spread the word on how the industry can


do well by doing good will have a significant presence both in the education program and on the show floor. Running Insight reached out to three of those groups to gain some insight into how TRE23 attendees can benefit from partnering with them:

Kathleen Baker, Managing Director, Runners for Public Lands (RPL) Nancy Hobbs, Executive Director, American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Peter Murry, Corporate Development Manager, Leave No Trace (LNT)

© 2023 Diversified Communications





Youth and Running Deep Dive Located inside the Hilton. Open to retailers & brands.

6:00 AM

CommUnity Run/Walk to the Trail of Lights, powered by Saucony Meet at the corner of E. 4th St. & Trinity St.

3:15 PM

Interactive: The Power of Community with On Located in the Training Camp Theater.

6:30 PM

THE COOKOUT: Community, food, and dancing. Free to attend! Located at 315 Lavaca St. > Click for full schedule <

The Running Industry Diversity Coalition unites the running industry to improve the inclusion, visibility, and access for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.

Doing Well, Doing Good (continued)

The Elevator Pitch … Runners for Public Lands is the national organization dedicated to connecting runners to environmental protection and advocacy. We lead the largest human-powered recreation group in the United States to advocate and activate for equitable access to outdoor recreation, the protection of public lands and climate action. American Trail Running Association was founded in 1996 and the mission is to represent and promote trail running, mountain running and ultra-trail running. ATRA’s theme in 2023 is Celebrate Youth on Trails. Each year ATRA focuses on content related to the present theme and also continues to provide programs and services related to past themes.. Leave No Trace is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing programs, education, training and outreach in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Utilizing the power of science, education for all and stewardship to support and protect nature, Leave No Trace is on a mission to ensure a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet. No matter where or why you get outside, it’s yours to protect. The Most Pressing Issues … RPL: As runners, we don’t require a lot to pursue our sport. However, there are inherent barriers to entry for many, especially for those from marginalized communities and those with challenges related to accessing outdoor spaces. Access often comes at a cost and at RPL we prioritize breaking down the barriers to ensure equitable access to running for everyone. RPL’s mission is to build inclusive 40

ATRA’s Nancy Hobbs is among those leading efforts to expand the welcoming nature of America’s trails.

running communities dedicated to protecting the environment. We recognize that this isn’t just a social issue, but one that intersects directly with how people connect with and care for the natural world around them. ATRA: The sport continues to expand its reach, change and thrive and ATRA stays alert to the pulse nationally and worldwide. Opportunities continue to grow and the welcoming nature of the trails (literally and figuratively) abound. With that comes the need to be good stewards and work with like groups to coexist on

trails that are bursting with users. LNT: Our most pressing issue is also our most significant opportunity for positive stewardship: the increase in outdoor users. At a foundational level, everyone deserves to be accepted, welcomed and seen in the outdoors. With increased outdoor recreation, many outdoor areas are feeling the impact of being loved to death. While this presents challenges in protecting these areas, it also creates a huge opportunity for positive impact. If, by welcoming new recreators to build relationships and love

for these spaces, we can convert new users to life-long stewards, the net positive impact will be much more significant than the short-term impacts seen in highuse areas. Changing Challenges/ Opportunities … RPL: Diversity in leadership is necessary to be successful in protecting our environment. As we work to make outdoor recreation and nature more accessible, we also recognize there are impacts that result from more runners using trails © 2023 Diversified Communications

Doing Well, Doing Good (continued)

The Runners for Public Lands volunteers certainly enjoy their role in protecting open spaces in America for everyone.

and accessing public lands. RPL sees this as an opportunity. The more runners we can empower to protect the land they use by getting involved in local-level service opportunities and advocacy issues, the bigger impact we can have as an organization. ATRA: Like many other nonprofit organizations, funding is always at the forefront of planning and often dictates what programs are added or modified. ATRA will continue to welcome all trail runners to the sport and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion through its programs. LNT: As many know, there was a massive influx of users into 42

the outdoors during the pandemic as many turned to socially-distant outdoor activities. While this increase has slowed slightly as we have learned to live with COVID-19, we still see outdoor recreation numbers at a much higher rate than pre-pandemic. That is why we see it so necessary to continually create and evolve our education to be applicable and accessible for all outdoor users, something we call Training for All. Retailer Connections … RPL: Last year RPL launched the RPL Brand Coalition, which provides tailored opportunities

for brands and retailers to connect and collaborate with us on varying levels. Brands that are currently partnering with RPL include Hoka, Patagonia, Kahtoola, On Running, Gu, Trail Butter, rnnr and Topa Topa Brewery, as well as a number of high-profile races and run clubs. Through our Coalition we curate opportunities for collaboration through RPL Programs such as the Everyone Runs Fund, the RPL Ambassador Program, the Race Director Resource Hub or through involvement in our advocacy and educational initiatives. We take great pride in creating lasting partnerships and ensuring

alignment in priorities, goals and vision. ATRA: Check out ATRA’s website at www.trailrunner. com, include trail running events (camps, film nights, races) in ATRA’s comprehensive online calendar (no charge for inclusion) and direct their constituents to Trail News for current and archived content. LNT: As individuals, we recommend you take advantage of our new free-for-all online course, Leave No Trace 101, at Learn. This course represents the current Leave No Trace — a Leave No Trace for all outdoor users. As retailers and vendors, we encourage you to use your brand and platform to promote and partner on meaningful and impactful causes. Not only will this help to elevate your brand in an otherwise busy market, but it will help to lead with good. We are always excited to partner with and support like-minded brands in everything from social media and event collaborations to largescale brand integration. Benefits To Brands/ Retailers … RPL: A relationship between RPL and a brand or retailer is mutually beneficial. If a brand is investing in our programs they become part of our larger goal to create inclusive running communities dedicated to protecting the environment. With the support of a coalition of brands and retailers, RPL can provide the framework needed to organize and amplify independent efforts and resources to create an impact greater than the sum of its parts. ATRA: A variety of content and resources on our website, knowledge of our board and ATRA team’s expertise on all © 2023 Diversified Communications

American Trail Running Association: Runners for Public Lands: Leave No Trace: things trail running, a voice for our sport. ATRA also enjoys featuring retailers and brands in press release or interview form in Trail News or on social media. LNT: First, it is fair to assume that most of us have a vested interest in protecting our outdoor areas. By financially supporting nonprofits you allow us to continue creating meaningful and impactful education. This education helps keep our outdoor spaces beautiful and open. Open trails benefit you as a user and your brand, because without trails, trail running shoes lose some significance. There is also a significant benefit to your brand image. Consumers are more attuned now than ever before to where their money is going. Simply making high-tier gear is no longer enough. You must demonstrate to your consumers that buying from you brand supports impactful and meaningful causes. By partnering with nonprofits like Leave No Trace, you are helping to tell that story and build your brand as more than just a company. The TRE23 Agenda … RPL: We are excited to meet new outdoor industry reps, retailers, race directors and runners. Join us at the panel discussion presented by the Low Impact Alliance “The Impact of Events: Hosting Zero-Waste Events.” This event is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28 from 2:15–3 p.m. ATRA: Reconnecting with existing partners, members and brands and pursuing new connections. LNT: What I look forward to most at The Running Event are the conversations that are sure to be had between fellow outdoor lovers. Events like The Running 43

Leave No Trace welcomes everyone to get their hands dirty to keep the outdoors clean.

Event help connect and provide a meeting place for our community’s extraordinary and impactful energy. The conversations and brainstorming sessions with likeminded brands on ways to work

together to protect our outdoors give me the fuel to come to work every day. Plans for 2024 … RPL: 2024 will be a big year for Runners for Public Lands. Through digital campaigns, the collective organization of inclusive local running communities and partnerships with like-minded organizations we will bring the diverse voices and perspectives of the largest humanpowered recreation group in the U.S. to the environmental protection movement. We are excited to strengthen our current programs, especially the RPL Ambassador Program, which will expand our presence.

ATRA: Announcing a theme for 2024 and facilitating programs, messaging and content that responds to that theme and also continuing to support past themes to supplement and fulfill ATRA’s overall mission. LNT: Our primary focus, as always, is to continue expanding our education and brand to represent all outdoor users, from the backcountry skier to the monthly hiker to the neighborhood picnicker — as we like to say, from the backcountry to the backyard. We plan to do this in a variety of forms, from in-person activation events like our Spotlight Program to creating more online and free resources. n © 2023 Diversified Communications

TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

What’s New! To whet your appetite for all of the new products at The Running Event 2023, here’s a sampling of what we found first.

Whoa, Hossa … The Hossa insole is a new addition to the FootBalance custom insole portfolio. Designed with sustainability in mind, the insoles have been developed for runners, offering cushioning and support and helping to reduce stress-related injuries. MSRP: $80

Going Low … Jogology’s low cushion socks are for those runners who like no bulk in their shoes with a moisture-management layer between the foot and shoe and flat knit coverage on big toes for added protection. MSRP: $16 44

A Delicate Matter … The Jason Markk Quick Clean Kit pairs its Ready-To-Use Foam Cleaner with a softbristled Delicates Cleaning Brush to deliver a thorough clean for delicate materials. MSRP: $20

And No Seeds!... Dauwaltermelon joins Tailwind Nutrition’s Endurance Fuel family, bringing the taste of watermelon with lime. Used by Courtney Dauwalter to power her Triple Crown win this past summer, Dauwaltermelon mixes clearly with water and is designed to be used without upsetting the stomach. MSRP: $2.50–$39.99

© 2023 Diversified Communications

At The Speed of Light … The VJ Lightspeed is an ultralight racing shoe developed together with elite trail runner Juuso Simpanen. The shoe features VJ’s new perFOAMance midsole, made of ultralight material that offers cushioning and energy return. The midsole is finished with a branched composite plate designed to push runners forward as a spring would. MSRP: $200

Up To Everyone … UP2U’s protein electrolyte waters contain a blend of native whey protein, naturally occurring electrolytes and essential carbs to help recover from a workout or need onthe-go sustenance to fuel a busy day. MSRP: $36.99 (for a 12-pack) 45

Ice, Ice Baby … ProTec’s CryoSteel Ice Recovery Roller is a cold therapy tool to expedite muscle or injury recovery. The ice massage helps to reduce inflammation while mobilizing soft tissue and stays cold for more than one hour, providing multiple ice massage applications per freeze. MSRP: $29.95

On Your Guard … The Go Guarded ring is a self-defense ring with a blade on runners’ fingers offering protection when needed. The Go Guarded Ring is a ring with a hidden blade and securely attaches to runners hands so it cannot be taken. MSRP: $14.99

Cork It … Fulton’s Athletic Insole is designed to add support, stability and cushion and to help prevent injury by aligning the body and absorbing shock with each step. The cork foundation naturally molds to the runners’ arch, providing customized support. MSRP: $48

© 2023 Diversified Communications

#TRE22 Sneak Peek


In these following pages presenters

Plus there’s the Training Camp Theater

scheduled for the education program

right on the show floor during TRE, along

at The Running Event 2023, in Austin,

with Brand Education and, of course,

TX, tell us what attendees can expect to

Pickleball (see page 32) and a few other

take back to their stores if they attend

surprises for attendees looking for some-

their session. There’s a lot to learn!!!

thing special.


© 2023 Diversified Communications

LIGHTSPEED Coming Early 2024 Fast, Lightweight, Grippy

MAXx2 Coming Early 2024 Versatility, Performance, Comfort




A PERFECT FIT Pedorthics and Run Specialty When: Tuesday, Nov. 28; 3:30 p.m. Speaker: Robert S. Schwartz, CPed, Executive Director of the Pedorthic Footcare Association (PFA), and President and CEO of Eneslow Pedorthic Enterprises Have you ever wondered exactly what or who pedorthists are and what they do — and how they can benefit your run specialty store? Well, Robert Schwartz is ready to not only answer those questions, but to also provide guidelines into how and why an increased emphasis on pedorthists can help expand the business for the typical run specialty retailer. He certainly has the credentials. Eneslow, founded in 1909 in New York, includes two retail stores and and the Eneslow Pedorthic Institute has been educating retailers, allied healthcare professionals and consumers on the benefits of footwear, orthotics and shoe modifications since 1995. Today, Schwartz is particularly excited about the future and potential growth of the pedorthic profession and as executive director of PFA, the voice of all pedorthists, he is leading the effort to increase pedorthists in America from 2000 to 20,000. That’s where run specialty comes in. The diabetic epidemic is causing millions of Americans to suffer from foot disorders that lead to ulcers and amputations. As a result, PFA’s mission is to end footwear-related ulcers and amputations. Schwartz says he is seeing these customers in his stores and is eager to see more people trained in pedorthics so that PFA’s mission can be accomplished as soon as possible. 48

“As first responders at the fitting stool for people with diabetes and footwear-related ulcers and amputations, pedorthists and shoe fitters can help dramatically reduce this epidemic,” he explains. Schwartz says that pedorthists practice a combination of art and science and no two practice the same way. “Pedorthists are like Leonardo da Vinci creating their Vitruvian man with each client,” he adds. “Their goal is to improve balance, posture, alignment and gait with footwear, orthotics, shoe modifications and adjustments to improve fit and biomechanical shortcomings. That’s why shoe retailers, physical therapists and many other professionals add pedorthics to their skills and credentials.” Eneslow and many other pedorthists operate retail brick-and-mortar enterprises, providing a large selection of footwear and related products for people of all walks of life who want pain-free living on an unforgiving flat planet in tight boxes that are shoes. “The profession is a practice,” he continues. “Learning comes from each experience and each person’s biomechanical, comfort and endurance needs are unique.” What pedorthists learn and help solve are footwear-related foot and ankle disorders that most people suffer from. When pedorthists sell shoes and

related products they are helping their customers overcome issues that prevent them from enjoying fully expressed lives and activities. This is a significant competitive advantage that creates loyalty and repeat visits and business. Schwartz’s presentation at The Running Event will focus on retailers who provide footwear solutions for their clients’ walking and running needs. Understanding why and how a product’s features and benefits relate to how the body, especially the feet, function produces increased revenue, profit and customer loyalty. Pedorthic skills are designed to achieve optimum results. KEY TAKEAWAYS … 1. Pedorthics helps improve relevant skills to address and solve a client’s needs, wants and desires. 2. Learn how becoming a pedorthist is a proven career and income-enhancing formula. 3. Today, it is easier to enter the pedorthic profession. 4. Incremental revenue is based on utilizing current a retailer’s product selection and fulfilling customer’s needs. Note: The Pedorthic Footcare Association (PFA) will be holding the PFA LIVE! Educational Conference at the Austin Convention Center during TRE 2023.

© 2023 Diversified Communications

SNEAK PEEK THE NEXT GENERATION Youth and Running: What the Next Generation Actually Wants and Needs to Run When: Tuesday, Nov. 28; 9:30 a.m. Speakers: Kiera Smalls, Executive Director, Running Industry Diversity Coalition; Rob Simmelkjaer, Chief Executive Officer, New York Road Runners; Lauren Kobylarz, Executive Director, Students Run Philly Style; Dustin Martin, Executive Director, Wings of America; Fikayor Babtunde, RIDC Researcher

Just who is the next generation of runner – and run specialty customer – and where are they coming from? A dynamic 90-minute panel deep dive centered on the next generation of runners will be driven by RIDC’s latest research insights and industry conversations that recognize the crucial role of youth engagement in running for many retailers and brands. The interactive session will discuss: • The perceived and actual barriers to access and participation. • The role mentorship in youth programs and events plays in growing the sport of running. • The powerful tool that youth engagement can have on future generations. KEY TAKEAWAYS… 1. How to build inclusive programs and events to attract youth attendance and their loyalty. 2. Learn directly from youth organizations in running that can support your efforts. 3. The future of running is demographically racially diverse. Engage in rethinking your spaces to shift towards ones that are more inviting, safe and inclusive to all youth.

EDUCATION FROM HERE TO Z Gen Z(s) are not Millennials When: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 3:30 p.m. Speaker: Neil Schwartz, President, SBRnet Just when we have been able to fully understand Millennials and their unique habits and behaviors, along come the Gen Zs. The Gen Z presents a whole new set of challenges from both a sales and hiring standpoint. Most Gen Zs have never written a check, most have never mailed a letter, most have never learned how to write in script. Now to be totally fair, the Gen Zs have come through the COVID pandemic with a whole new set of issues and challenges and behaviors. To help understand them, this session will take a deep dive into the Gen Z consumer and look at the unique behaviors that are making them a challenge of both selling to and also hiring them. The session will also look deeply into Gen Z runners and compare them to Millennials and also Gen X. The Gen Z are rejecting much that has come before them and want to be dealt with on their own terms. KEY TAKEAWAYS … 1. Gen Z are not Millennials 2. Hiring Gen Z 3. Selling to Gen Z

Note: This session is open to retailers and brands.


© 2023 Diversified Communications

SNEAK PEEK MORE THAN JUST A JOB Building Careers at Specialty When: Tuesday, Nov. 28; 3:30 p.m. Speaker: Parker Karnan, Karnan Associates It’s usually sounds something like this. “I started working at a running store because I needed to make some money while I was looking for a real job. I loved running and helping people and thought it would be a fun way to earn a few bucks. That was 20 years ago. Now I realize that the running industry is where I was supposed to be all along. I’ve made a living working with great people in an industry I love.” This quote is a compilation of dozens of conversations Parker Karnan had had with industry professionals who discovered the running industry and made it their career. Some of them are store owners; some are general managers. Some are vendor executives; others are product developers. Some have started a service or are event directors. The one thing all these people have in common is that they didn’t know what they wanted to do when they were first introduced to the running industry. Their introduction to it ignited something inside them and they made their way. The Building Careers at Specialty session at TRE23 will discuss how specialty running retailers can reframe their message to attract the next generation of talent for their business and the running industry. KEY TAKEAWAYS … • Identifying the type of candidates you are trying to attract. • The attributes of specialty personnel who stick. • Providing a development path for your employees. • Guiding your team to reframe specialty as a profession, not a job. • Setting up your store as a landing pad for career minded employees. Since 2006 Karnan Associates has been guiding specialty run retailers to develop the business they want, take the lead, do amazing things and Run Great. Advising on all things specialty, they work with retailers of any size and maturity:


EDUCATION SUCCESSION SESSION Is Your Business Prepared for Succession? When: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 9 a.m. Speaker: Mark Denkler, President, National Shoe Retailers Association; Pete Mohr, CEO, Shoetopia and Simplifying Entrepreneurship So, who is going to take over your business when you are ready to move on? Too many run retail store owners have no idea and certainly have no succession plan in place. It’s time to change that. Join the National Shoe Retail Association to learn more about their NextGen Program, which helps future footwear retail leaders and their predecessors with the many challenging aspects of developing a succession plan. First, Pete Mohr will go through his C.P.A. framework of honing in on your Communication, Process Management and Accountability for an even better transition. Since 2010, Mohr has been the owner of Shoetopia in Ontario, Canada, two small-town, open-stock stores focusing on comfort-casual footwear to help its customers “Look Great and Feel Fantastic.” After Mohr’s presentation, a panel featuring NSRA president Mark Denkler and members at various stages of transitioning to NextGen roles in their businesses will discuss their experiences. KEY TAKEAWAYS … 1. Discover important questions you should be asking each other. 2. Learn about critical topics that you hadn’t recognized or talked about. 3. Find new ways of thinking and how to navigate tough conversations. 4. Identify the need for cross-training. 5. Develop a strategy for shifting responsibilities and set timeline goals.

© 2023 Diversified Communications


SNEAK PEEK REVOLUTIONIZING RETAIL Look at Store Design and Visual Merchandising Strategies When: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 9:30 a.m. Speaker: Holly Wiese, 3 Dots Design Running Insight asked Holly Wiese, a regular and well-respected speaker at The Running Event, for her sneak peek at what attendees will learn in her Deep Dive session. She responded … Throughout my decades of helping specialty retailers design, update and remodel their stores, a common thread of how to keep challenging categories looking good comes up time and time again. Often, a store has a great layout and overall look, but the moment a customer digs through some product as they’re browsing, the store looks messy and the staff is unable to return it to its original, well-organized self. I find this happens frequently for two reasons. First, merchandising is intimidating to many employees, so it’s feared and consequently avoided like the plague. Second, staff members may be open to merchandising and have good intentions about wanting to help organize the store, but have no idea, knowledge or training in this area, so they don’t know how to execute it. That is the background on how we landed on the topics I’ll be discussing this year at The Running Event. My presentation will be divided into three segments, each one roughly 30 minutes long. Two of these segments are targeted on how to keep challenging product categories looking great on the floor. 52

• For the first segment, I’ll be focusing on categories such as apparel, nutrition and accessories. All of these categories are consistently “merchandising stumpers” for our clients. I’ll share a lot of visual examples on how you can take a messy, uninspiring wall or floor display and easily turn it in to something that invites your customers over to shop and explore. Some easy tricks on visual weight, hanging products properly and color tricks can go a long way. • The next segment will carry on this idea of merchandising tricky products, but it will focus specifically on the footwear display. As all specialty run retailers know, this is the big category of the store. But even though it brings in the most money, it often gets overlooked when new ideas are being implemented for merchandising elsewhere in the shop. So many stores still have a long, boring slatwall display with a bunch of shoes thrown up on shelves that isn’t creating any excitement with your customers as they enter your store. We’re here to help you change that and to give you some creative ideas that can go a long way in mixing up your shoe display.

• Finally, I’ll include a segment about what to expect if you’ve been considering a remodel or update to your store. I frequently have store owners reach out to us saying they’ve been considering an update for years (maybe decades) and are watching all of these new stores open around them, all looking better and more modern than them, but they just don’t know to start. It’s overwhelming! This is our expertise and over the years we have managed hundreds of store remodels in the specialty run and bike channels. I will walk you through lots of important considerations such as: important things to consider BEFORE getting into your project, what the biggest expenses are likely to be, how to develop a realistic budget, how to navigate the buildout process and lots more. I’m confident you’ll feel much better about the prospect of updating your store by the time we’re done with our deep dive session! I want to fill your brains with ideas and inspiration that you can take back to your own stores to implement. About the speaker … Before founding 3 Dots Design, Holly Wiese worked for many years in both the specialty bicycle and run industries. She worked on both retail and the manufacturing side of the business and was the director of retail services at Giant Bicycle for several years. While leading 3 Dots Design since 2009, they have designed flagship stores for Fleet Feet in Sacramento, Carborro and Raleigh-Durham.

© 2023 Diversified Communications

SNEAK PEEK KEEPING PACE How to Leverage Vendor Relationships and Local Partnerships to Drive Participation When: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 3:30 p.m. Speakers: Elyse Braner, Director of People + Culture and Community Marketing, Pacers Running; Sam Burmester, Community Lead at Pacers Running; Jason Millison, Deputy Director of Public Engagement and Strategy at the DC Department of Parks and Recreation; Sarah Scott, Public Affairs Specialist at the DC Department of Parks and Recreation; and Tom Taylor, Senior Manager, Go to Marketing and Retail Marketing. Pacers Running has a proven track record of fostering authentic and impactful partnerships between brands and local community organizations that create successful activations, further inclusion and access in running, along with increased awareness about their brand partners. In fact, this year Pacers launched weeklong programming with multisite activations with Altra that resulted in increased brand exposure and more direct touchpoints with consumers. In another example, FITDC, a subsidiary of DC Parks and Recreation, and Pacers formalized their relationship, which resulted in increased participation in running activities and increased access to free running activities with the co-launch of the FITDC and Pacers Learn to Run Program. This proves that there can be powerful synergies between private business and government entities. Altra, Pacers and FITDC joined in 2023 to cosponsor and support the free Juneteenth Half Marathon and 10K in DC. Building on that experience and wishing to share their blueprint for success, this panel will explore where small business fits in with local government public engagement strategies, provide advice with engaging with local government and see how exploring strong partnerships can help engage people in our communities. Also important is understanding what is attractive to brands that retailers are doing with community engagement. 53

EDUCATION ARE WE HUMAN? Deep Dive: Humanize Your Retail Brand When: Tuesday, Nov. 28; 9:30 a.m. Upper Quadrant Speakers: Nadia Durán, Creative Director; Camryn Claud, Digital Account Manager; Teresa Nguyen, Graphic Designer Are you ready to set your retail brand apart? Then Humanize Your Brand, as the title of this session from Upper Quadrant says, by embracing the human touch in your marketing efforts and taking the first step towards an authentic, successful and customerfocused retail experience. Unlock the Power of Organic Marketing In today’s fast-paced run retail landscape, authenticity is the key to building a thriving brand. Join in for an immersive workshop where you’ll learn how to cultivate a powerful organic marketing strategy that forges genuine connections with your audience. We’ll explore the dynamic synergy between blogging, website development and social media to create a unified, customercentric message that tugs at heartstrings and sparks interest. KEY TAKEAWAYS … 1. Build Meaningful Customer Relationships: Learn how to leverage organic social media strategies that nurture connections with your customers. No more faceless interactions, just genuine bonds that last. 2. Design Websites That Drive Conversions: Unearth the secrets to crafting websites that don’t just attract visitors, but transform them into valuable leads and boost sales. 3. Become an Industry Expert: Discover how a well-crafted blog can establish you as an industry authority, driving trust and loyalty in your brand. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain tangible tools and resources that you can implement right away, and a wealth of fresh ideas to enhance your audience engagement.

© 2023 Diversified Communications


SNEAK PEEK ONE STEP AT A TIME Simple Steps To Make Your Store More Inclusive When: Tuesday, Nov. 28; 2:15 p.m. Speakers: Erin Flynn, Bentley University; Michael Clemons, Louisville Running Company, Queer Running Society; Martinus Evans, The Slow AF Run Club; Andrea Kelly, Make Plus Equal Have you ever been told that someone felt intimidated to come into your store? That they weren’t sure if they belong there? If so, this session is for you. Attendees will learn simple, attainable ways to invite and attract new customers to their store. The speakers will provide straightforward steps that will make your outreach and your store environment more welcoming to beginner and “nontraditional” runners. “This session will provide practical, attainable tips for retailers to make their stores more inviting to consumers they’re not currently reaching. “It’s an inclusive session for anyone looking to become more inclusive as a business operator,” says Erin Flynn. KEY TAKEAWAYS … 1. Firsthand perspective from previously marginalized consumers about ways to attract new customers to your store. 2. Practical tips to make your store environment more inclusive overnight. 3. How and why to write an inclusivity statement


WHO’S NEXT? Your Next Customer Isn’t a Runner When: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2:15 p.m. Speakers: Heather Trainor, Maker of Friends and Purveyor of Fun at Big Peach Running; and Brittany Katz, Owner/ Operator, Terra Running Company This topic is so important that two of the leading women in run specialty retail – Heather Trainor and Brittany Katz – have been brought together to take a dive into who exactly the next customer of your store is going to be. Turns out, he or she might not even be a runner. So how do you reach and sell to them? We’ve all noticed it: Retail, certainly running specialty, is undergoing a transformation. So, how do we adapt to include a much broader audience that goes way beyond running? KEY TAKEAWAYS … 1. Be Focused. We are not just “running specialty.” We specialize in using this expertise to help all who use their feet to move. We now specialize in the “Pedestrian Active Lifestyle.” It’s realizing the importance of shifting our focus from a category to a service. 2. Be Inclusive. “People will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou. So become the friendliest place on the planet. Be creative and broaden your appeal with events and guests. 3. Be Accommodating. Always choose “Best for Guest.” Embrace “Frontline Obsession” (thanks Brooks!). Prioritize “Great for Service” ahead of “Great for Retail”

SPECIAL EVENT: HOW-TO TRE23 A webinar will help attendees get the most out of The Running Event 2023 When: Thursday, November 16; 2:00– 2:45 p.m. ET Where: https://www.therunningevent. com/webinars/how-to-tre/ Moderated by Christina Henderson, TRE Event Director Taking this Running Event 2023 Sneak Peek Issue of Running Insight a step further, a special webinar on How To TRE will focus on what to expect at The Running Event and Switchback at TRE 2023 and how attendees can maximize their time. Hear directly from the TRE team about what’s happening, can’tmiss events and onsite activities and some insight into what it’s like to organize an event the size, scope and improtance of TRE. KEY TAKEAWAYS … • Understand how to get the most value out of TRE, from planning out your educational session schedule to deciding which networking events to attend. • Get the inside scoop on what’s new and noteworthy this year, including the TRE Livestream and The Hub. • Feel prepared to attend The Running Event and be equipped with the knowledge and resources you need to experience the conference and trade show to the fullest. While this webinar is open to all, the content will be most relevant for TRE 2023 attendees, exhibitors and those interested in attending. Whether you’re a first-timer or a TRE veteran, there will be plenty to learn about this year’s event!

© 2023 Diversified Communications


SNEAK PEEK INSTILL A COACHING CULTURE A Lunch and Learn session on management for brand personnel. / By Piper Abodeely When: Thursday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. Speaker: Piper Abodeely, Pivotal Transitions As part of the inaugural Brand Education at The Running Event 2023, a number of educational sessions will focus on leadership and management skills for brand personnel attending TRE. On Thursday afternoon, as part of the novel Lunch and Learn sessions, Piper Abodeely, an organizational development consultant and executive coach and a well-respected speaker at The Running Event, will offer a session on Coaching for Performance. Here is a sneak peek at what attendees can expect to learn from her in this unique session. When we marvel at the performance of the world’s best athletes during the Olympic Games, remember they didn’t get there alone. Behind every athlete’s triumph stands coaches whose invaluable contributions are pivotal to their success. This profound lesson transcends sports to any organization working to develop world-class leaders. In today’s evolving culture, prioritizing coaching your team and employees is paramount. The correlation between their performance and an organization’s success cannot be overstated. If they perform well, you perform well. It’s the difference between simply competing in the Olympics and bringing home a medal. 55

Establishing a performance coaching culture is challenging because few can coach others effectively. Leaders are held accountable for the development of team members, yet the art of coaching eludes them. They often deliver reviews and offer advice without comprehending how to engage in a meaningful coaching conversation. As teams and organizations strive to navigate the new landscape of excellence, it is clear that developing and instilling a culture anchored on performance coaching’ will transform engagement, morale, and overall success. Key Principles to Coaching Excellence Listen to Understand Genuine coaching begins with listening attentively, repeating concepts to build understanding and summarizing what you hear. Listening to truly understand someone starts with recognizing that multiple levels of information are conveyed in a conversation, including facts, emotions and values. Ask Powerful Questions The hallmark of an effective coach is

the ability to ask courageous questions that move the conversation forward and provoke new insights rather than provide them. Asking non-directive inquiries that draw out more information and stretch the other person’s thinking is a learned skill that must be practiced. Examples of powerful questions include: • What obstacles do you foresee and how can you overcome them? • How will you measure your progress and know when you’ve reached the desired outcome? • What support or resources do you need to succeed? How will you access them? Challenge and Support All of us benefit from having our thinking tested at times. Challenging notions can stress-test ideas, yield productive dialogue and uncover unexamined assumptions, ultimately leading to more substantial, shared understanding. Effective coaching involves encouraging individuals to explore alternative approaches, creating a significant shift in perspective. Uncovering answers through inquiry, openness and exploration will build trust and promote honesty and transparency rather than triggering defensiveness. Establish Ownership and Accountability Having an effective conversation is only one aspect of successful coaching. True transformation occurs when insights are applied and new behaviors are tried. Transferring ownership and instilling accountability lies in creating clear, specific and meaningful actions for individuals to follow.

© 2023 Diversified Communications

TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

Meet the Meb Foundation CEP Compression Happy Hour to support Meb Keflezighi’s charity efforts during TRE23.


ne of The Running Event’s favorite personalities, Meb Keflezighi, will as usual be all around the Austin Convention Center during TRE23 and this year he is even taking the opportunity to promote his Meb Foundation charity with a special event. The Meb Foundation’s mission is to be a collaborator and leader in the areas of youth health, education and fitness. Since 2010, the Foundation has been a leader in providing impactful support to those in need. It supports programs and events that: • Empower youth and their families to “Maintain Excellent Balance.” • Provide the tools and resources to lead healthy lifestyles. • Provide opportunities for children to play and learn positive life skills through involvement in sports. • Engage entire communities in promoting youth health, education and fitness. “By winning the New York City Marathon, the Boston Marathon and an Olympic silver medal, I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed of in my professional running career,” Meb tells Running Insight. “Now my goal is to help inspire people to lead healthy and active lifestyles and the Meb Foundation is a big part of my mission.” And, of course, The Running Event is an ideal place to spread the word on the Foundation’s efforts and to help raise some funds to support its mission. To that end, one of Meb’s partners, CEP Compression, is sponsoring a Happy Hour – Take Flight With CEP To Oktoberfest 2024 – on Wednesday November 29, from 5 p.m.– 6:30 p.m.


Meb Keflezighi and the CEP Compression crew will be supporting the Meb Foundation at TRE23.

– that will allow people to join in the effort. Attendees can stop by CEP Compression Booth #1325 to meet Meb and support his foundation by giving donations for a chance to win a trip to Oktoberfest 2024 with CEP Compression. Here are the details: • Entries will be accepted from 5 p.m.–6 p.m. • Winner will be announced in the

CEP Booth at 6:15 p.m. by Meb himself. • All donations will be taken through the Meb Foundation website via a QR code at the CEP booth. • Every $25 donation receives one giveaway entry; donate $100 and get five entries. • Two additional tickets will be drawn to receive a CEP prize pack. • Must be present at time of drawing to win Next stop: Oktoberfest 2024! n

© 2023 Diversified Communications

NOV 28 - 30, 2023 Austin Convention Center | Austin, TX

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TRE23 Sneak Peek Issue

One More Thing ... To get everyone fired up about The Running Event 2023 in Austin, here’s a look back at TRE22. More excitement ahead!


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