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SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

STAYING SINGLE Many run specialty shops are doing fine with just one location.


Pete Miller at The Lakes Running Company decided a long time ago to remain a one-store wonder.

Fleet Feet Sues Nike Over Ad Campaign Running retail chain claims the Swoosh illegally using its phrases in new marketing campaign.


t’s rare when a retailer sues Fleet Feet since its founding one of its key suppliers, but in 1976. And while Fleet that’s exactly what is taking Feet, with its annual sales place between Fleet Feet, of $230 million, will never Inc. and Nike. be the brand’s largest cusFleet Feet Inc. has filed a lawtomer it is a major player in suit against Nike Inc. over Nike’s the performance running advertising usage of phrases such business, the category that as “Change Everything” and launched Nike on its way “Running Changes Everything.” to $36 billion in annual According to the lawsuit, Fleet revenue. Feet charges that it has tradeHistorically, Nike has marked the two phrases and spent not backed away from substantial resources making litigation. In fact, the those slogans the cornerstones lawsuit states that when for its brand. Fleet Feet complained “Yet despite that knowledge, about what it saw as Nike in July 2019 launched a trademark infringement, national advertising campaign Nike executives allegedly based on the marks SPORT said they intended to use CHANGES EVERYTHING the SPORT CHANGES and RUNNING CHANGES EVERYTHING campaign EVERYTHING. The first of these through the 2020 Super Nike marks bears a confusing Bowl and “that Nike is a resemblance to Fleet Feet’s marks, big company and will, if and the second is identical to Fleet necessary, spend millions Feet’s mark,” wrote Fleet Feet in to defend its continuation court papers. of the campaign.” Images from the Fleet Feet “Running Changes Everything” (top) and Nike’s “Why Sports The July campaign used the Changes Everything” campaigns. Trademark lawyers con“Sports Changes Everything” tacted by Running Insight and was tied to the Major League Baseball The suit also charges that in August Nike’s said part of owning a trademark is protecting All-Star Game, which took place July 9 in website featured the “Running Changes it and that logic may, in part, have contribCleveland. Everything” phrase. When Fleet Feet comuted to Fleet Feet’s decision to file a suit. The complaint said Nike brand managers plained, Nike swapped “running” with Fleet Feet is seeking to stop the alleged have “historically” previewed advertising “sport,” the suit added. infringement and recover damages “to campaigns with Fleet Feet, but Nike provided Legal issues aside, the suit certainly compensate Fleet Feet for the injuries and no advance notice with the MLB campaign. complicates the relationship between Fleet damages it has suffered as a result of Nike’s The suit also claims that Scott Gravatt, Feet and Nike, which is estimated to be the willfully wrongful conduct.” Nike’s running specialty sales director for number four footwear brand in Fleet Feet Fleet Feet’s 2019 sales are projected to North America, sent a note July 22 stating, behind Brooks, New Balance and Hoka and reach $230 million, up from $210 million “Kudos to you guys for using ‘Running the number one apparel brand in many stores. in 2018 for the franchisor, which now has Changes Everything.’” 186 stores in 37 states. n Nike has been a longtime supporter of RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Diversified Communications. © 2019 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published twice each month, is edited for owners and top executives at running specialty stores and available only via email.The opinions by authors and contributors to Running Insight are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. Articles appearing in Running Insight may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. Divesified Communications, 121 Free St, Portland, ME 04101; (207) 842-5500.



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Managing Editor....... Michael Jacobsen:


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One-Store Wonders Why some running retailers resist expansion and stick to one unit. / By Daniel P. Smith


ay back in 2008, Genie Beaver entered the run specialty game when she opened West Stride in north Atlanta. Her store sat next to a Blockbuster, arguably one of the nation’s most glaring examples of the retail sector’s fickle nature. At the beginning, Beaver, a competitive soul who ran collegiately at Georgetown University, thought multiple West Stride units peppering metro Atlanta could be a possibility. As Beaver established West Stride, though, thoughts of expansion subsided, even as customers increasingly inquired about additional stores and landlords actively solicited West Stride as a tenant. For Beaver, a mother of two children who craves a work-life balance as much as delivering a premium retail environment, one store remains plenty. “I can say with 100 percent certainty that’s not where I’m going,” Beaver says of a potential second West Stride unit. Is Less Actually More? Though the United States’ capitalist ethos champions more as better, running retailers like Beaver remind that’s not always the case. Whether motivated by past experiences, market forces or a refreshing case of self-awareness, many run shop owners stand content with one unit — even if that decision might cut against their very entrepreneurial fiber. “Our mission and desire is to make this one store enjoyable and productive for everyone and we’ve directed our entrepreneurial drive to being exceptional at what we do in this store,” says John Benedict of Okemos, MI-based Playmakers, an industry powerhouse that, after growing to three stores in the 1980s, has held firm to its single-door business model since 1987. Over the last three decades, Playmakers has thrived on that formula, albeit a supersized one with some 120 employees and a 22,000-square-foot home in a former Barnes & Noble. According to Benedict, Playmakers 4

The Lakes Running Company’s one location in Excelsior, MN, is plenty for owner Pete Miller.

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Single Stores (continued) manage a great store because I’m in the business and can directly address what’s happening within my walls.” While Blozy’s confident she could make additional stores profitable and admits she sometimes feels peer pressure to open an additional store, she insists expansion isn’t on her mind. She has little appetite for enlarging her workforce, managing the flow of product between multiple stores or further taxing the work-life balance. “It’s not me,” she says of owning additional units. “I want to give my all to one place and let that be my beacon.”

Genie Beaver, whose one store in north Atlanta keeps her plenty busy, promises there is no chance she will be opening a second running store.

has enjoyed 15 consecutive years of sales growth. Though Playmakers’ brass has contemplated expansion and been approached with opportunities, additional units don’t appeal to Benedict. He fears added stores would water down staff, cannibalize business at “the mothership” and, in some cases, infringe upon its fellow running retailers – and friends – in Michigan. “There are markets we could go to and open a second store, but at what cost?” Benedict says. Being Self-Aware Like Playmakers, Stephanie Blozy needed to own multiple 6

stores to know she just wanted one. From 2014-2016, Blozy, head of Fleet Feet West Hartford since 2008, owned a women’s apparel and bra shop in a storefront about 50 yards away from her Fleet Feet outlet. Despite the stores’ proximity, Blozy found the arrangement unnerving. She struggled to divide her time and frequently felt compelled to be at one store when she was at the other. “That experience gave me the confidence to know I didn’t want multiple stores,” says Blozy, whose Fleet Feet operation was a recent Best Running Stores in America finalist. “I feel I can

Maintaining Focus About an hour’s drive from Blozy’s Har tford location, Megan Searfoss is settling into single-unit life in Ridgefield, CT, following a brief dalliance with two shops. For a year, Searfoss ran Ridgefield Running Company and, less than a half mile away, Everywear on Main, a lifestyle and athleisure store on her New England town’s historic Main Street. The endeavor proved challenging, she says. “As a business owner, you’re constantly trying to craft the experience and this can be a real struggle with a second store no matter how good the manager is,” Searfoss says. While Everywear on Main hit a nice stride in its opening year, Searfoss elected to close the concept in March 2019. She moved Ridgefield Running Company from its tucked-away location on the downtown’s periphery into the highly visible Main Street storefront, where it has enjoyed a strong uptick in business. “I like having the one door,”

she says. “Every day, I’m present to hear the conversations and feel the pulse of the store.” Still, Searfoss, fueled by entrepreneurial energy, acknowledges the urge to expand looms. After all, her business is on solid ground and the run specialty channel is ticking upwards after some lean years. Enticing opportunities tug on her adventurous soul, but she catches herself. “I need to champion [Ridgefield Running Company] before I go on,” she says. “It’s not time for a roadshow.” Running Stores Aren’t Widgets Unlike Blozy or Searfoss, Pete Miller never intended to operate two retail locations. A few months after purchasing the Run N Fun location on the western edge of Minneapolis in January 2018, however, Miller encountered a charming vacant space in downtown Excelsior, MN. Seeing that location as a more promising long-term play, Miller signed a lease and opened The Lakes Running Company there in January 2019. W h i l e wa it i n g fo r t h e Minneapolis store’s lease to expire – Miller had rebranded that Run N Fun store into The Lakes Running Company as well – Miller operated the two running stores simultaneously for three months. It was, he says, “disconcerting,” especially since he spent much of his time in Excelsior laying the groundwork for that store’s future. “Sure, I could talk to employees [at the Minneapolis store] and look at the numbers, but that didn’t show me the actual goingson of the sales floor. How are we engaging customers? How are we interacting with people? I couldn’t see that firsthand,” © 2019 Diversified Communications

Single Stores (continued)

Even though its customers frequently inquired about other locations for West Stride, the retailer happily remains a one-store wonder and a run retail success story.

Miller says. I f t hat u nset t l i ng experience didn’t convi nce M i l ler t hat a si ngle un it was h is im mediate calling card, then the irreplicability of Excelsior has. In the competitive Twin Cities market, a metro area peppered with numerous established running stores, The La kes Running Company is 10 miles clear of any run specialty competitor. That distance has enabled Miller to define his own marketplace niche, craft partnerships with local running programs

and become an active community player in a way he couldn’t in the Minneapolis location. “When people ask about expansion, I say, ‘I don’t know where else I’d find this,’” Miller says. “I see a lot of room for growth in this location and a lot of people walking in our door who haven’t had this type of experience before.” Might expansion be a possibility down the line? Possibly, Miller admits, but any serious exploration stands years away. “There’s so much work to do here first,” he says. “What’s the rush?” n


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Footwear Companies Press Trump on Tariffs President postpones latest round as businesses make their opinions heard.


hardworking American individuals and families to escape the harm that comes from these tax increases,” the companies wrote in a letter to Trump. While tariffs on some Chinese imports will be delayed until December 15, the majority of footwear lines were hit with an added 15 percent tariff on September 1. That comes on top of tariffs that already average 11 percent and reach 67 percent on some shoes, the letter noted. “This added 15 percent tax will cost U.S .footwear consumers an additional $4 bil-

200 United States footwear companies urged President Trump to cancel his recently implemented higher tariffs on Chinese imports, calling them hidden taxes that will jack up consumer prices. “Imposing tariffs in September on the majority of all footwear products from China – including nearly every type of leather shoe – will make it impossible for

liob every year,” it said, citing an estimate by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) trade group, which spearheaded the creation of the letter. Signed by just about every athletic footwear brand in the market and many major retailers, the letter warned that the new tariffs would exacerbate economic uncertainty and could drive up prices in other countries that


“Imposing tariffs in September on the majority of all footwear products from China – including nearly every type of leather shoe – will make it impossible for hardworking American individuals and families to escape the harm that comes from these tax increases.” produce footwear, given limited production capacities. FDRA chief executive Matt Priest warned that the higher tariffs would result in job losses across the industry. “Brands have already said tariffs will dent job growth and shoe stores are saying it’s a job killer,” Priest said in a statement. “We hope the president listens to Americans across the country ... and stops this unnecessary trade war.” “President Trump’s new tariffs should concern every American. Seventy percent of every pair of shoes sold in the U.S. comes from China. Footwear from China is already hit with upwards of 67 percent duties. President Trump is, in effect, using American families as a hostage in his trade war negotiations. Tariffs are taxes and this move will noticeably raise the cost of shoes at retail and will have a chilling effect on hiring in the footwear industry.” The letter also rejected comments from U.S. officials who say China can just devalue its currency to cover the added costs. “This is simply not true when it comes to our industry, because import prices are almost always quoted and negotiated in U.S. dollars not RMB (Chinese yuan),” it said. “For RMB devaluation alone to offset the 15 percent tariff increase for some shoes, the currency would have to drop by more than 40 percent.” The FDRA says the increased tariffs could drive up the price of popular running shoes made in China to $193.75 from $150. n

© 2019 Diversified Communications

Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash

erhaps yielding to pressure from American business leaders, President Donald Trump said he was postponing by two weeks his latest round of proposed tariff increases on goods imported from China. The proposed imposition would have tacked an additional five percent onto the 25 percent hike on $250 billion worth of goods imported from China. That increase was to have taken place on October 1 and has been delayed until October 15. The move comes weeks after more than


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Sit Back and Sell Massage Chairs Addaday’s BioChair seeks to change the way the category is sold.


ic Yang wants to change the way athletes recover and, in the process, believes he can create a long-term business opportunity for run retailers. Earlier this year, Yang’s company Addaday introduced a massage chair designed specifically for athletes. The chair, which looks like a La-Z Boy recliner, is actually anything but. The treatment in Addaday’s Bio Chair begins by scanning the athletes’ body, mapping the spinal curvature to get to know the user’s height, weight and body shape before each treatment session. After the scan, the recovery massage takes place using dynamic air compression, zero gravity inversion and targeted rollers, which Yang says kneads, compresses and massages various body parts. The chair’s cover is made from a stretch synthetic material that allows for comfort and easy cleaning. The chair comes in three versions, including a deluxe Ironman branded model, ranging in price from about $1200 to $4000 each. And each recovery session can be customized with a hand held remote that allows athletes to select the strength and type of massage they want. Addaday is no stranger to the electronic massage business. Last year it introduced electronic massage devices for feet, calves and other parts of the body, all part of Yang’s vision of building a business that takes a modern technological approach to recovery. “The recovery and massage business should be driven by specialty stores,” Yang says. “They have the customer base, the staff and the understanding of athletes to build this into a $1 billion business.” Addaday has introduced its BioChair with an unusual business model that establishes stores as “showrooms” that can display and demo the product and then sell it without carrying inventory. The theory is that stores will set up a BioChair in their store, showcase its capabilities and when a consumer is ready to purchase, they will make the payment in 12

The Ironman BioChair allows the user to sit down, relax and recover after a hard training session or competition. It allows the uder to experience a full body massage tailored to his or her needs in the comfort of their own home.

the store and Addaday will fulfill the order with delivery to the consumer’s home. The plan is to make the delivery and “installation” as easy as possible. The box that contains the BioChair has wheels so it can roll into the house easily and once the chair is out of the box no assembly is required. Consumers can simply plug it in and start recovering, Yang says. Each chair has a two-year warranty. At a projected average selling price of $3000 across all three models the BioChair offers the potential of some serious gross margin dollars. Yang estimates the average mark-up will be about 40 points. “That will generate as much profit as 62 massage sticks, 12 massage guns or 30 pairs of shoes,” he says. Yang says stores that carry the chair should be able to sell a minimum of one

unit a month. The chair has already been placed in 35 stores across the country and Yang says they have experienced that it typically takes two to three touches to sell the chair. “A runner will try it out and take down, then return with their spouse to get their buy in. It’s a major purchase that takes some consideration, but we are seeing that stores that commit to it are having success.” Another key benefit of carrying the BioChair, according to Yang, is that having it in the store will elevate the entire “massage” category. “Runners may not buy the chair right away, but they’ll buy the gun or something else. The massage business has changed so much and running stores are positioned to be leaders and take full advantage.” n

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Run On! Revisited Bob Wallace provides an insider’s look at the iconic retailer and how it all started.


was talking about the start of Run On! with Brother Jack on a morning dog walk so I thought I’d share it with those of you who are interested and can read at a third grade level. Jack only asked because we were walking on the uphill trails and he was out of breath, having lived at sea level all his life. Probably in 1992 I was working at Athletic Supply and talking to Chris, our Nike shoe rep at the time. We discussed opening a running store and agreed to put a plan together. His idea was to buy Phidippides, a local shop that was not doing well. The store was located in Old Town Shopping Center at Greenville Ave and Lovers Lane. The major problem was that neither of us had a nickel to our names. We spoke to Fran Moore, the store owner, and he wanted way more money than the business was worth. The reason we had to buy an existing business was that Lukes owned the specialty business and threatened every rep not to open any new competing businesses. We put together a business plan, went to every bank in town begging for money. All the banks responded the same way; they didn’t respond. None of them even gave us a “hell no.” After about a year Chris and I gave up.

Another six months passed and I received a phone call from Fran saying he was serious about selling. I called Chris and he had received the same call. Chris was no longer interested. Being a person of superior intelligence but being totally stupid I decided to talk to Fran. We agreed on a price of $40K. No problem, except I still didn’t have nickel. Or even half a nickel. Having been rejected by all the banks, I went soliciting friends. Apparently my friends were poor or smart or both. Eventually I came up with about $20K. The agreement was always the same. There was a set interest rate that was paid monthly. After the first year we would start paying back principal plus interest. OK, then. So things were at a standstill. One night Rebecca and I were at dinner with our friends Larry and Nancy. He asked me about how the business plan was going and I told him what was going on. He flicks me a check for the missing amount. His father had recently passed away and he had some extra cash. Talk about a true friend or a total nut case. Not only that, he paid for dinner. Off Rebecca and I went to Fran, cash in hand. Our agreement was that at closing Fran had to come with a list of all the vendors and

Bob Wallace gets in a selfie with his long-suffering wife, Rebecca.


Having been rejected by all the banks, I went soliciting friends. Apparently my friends were poor or smart or both. Eventually I came up with about $20K. The agreement was always the same. There was a set interest rate that was paid monthly. the money he owed them. Checks would be written for those amounts and he would be responsible for any amounts that were not disclosed. He walked away with about $5K and Rebecca and I had a key to a shop that was full of old inventory, a business name that nobody could spell or pronounce and total annual sales of $180K. The good news was we had avoided the local reps being threatened by Lukes and new signs were not that expensive. Right? In early March 1995 Phidippides became Run On! A Little Paint Never Hurts Luckily, Rebecca had a real job as a dental hygienist, which allowed us to eat at home if we had the time and energy. My good friend, Brent Trammel, took a week off work and helped me replace 30-year-old peg walls with slat wall, fix holes in the ceiling and walls and paint the place — all during business hours. As a novel concept we even relocated the phone from the dressing room. There wasn’t much business that was interrupted as we worked through the week. How do I pay back a friend for that? Not with cash, I didn’t have any. How about an endless supply of stale kale and tofu or a lifetime supply of sarcasm. He could not make a decision, so I did. Kale is a seasonal item and sometimes difficult to find. Having a clean slate of accounts we were able of purchase current inventory. In our first full month of business our sales were a whopping $30K. Our staff was me, Steve (Gonna) Goodman and Eric (Mumbles) Mountin, both part timers. Rebecca would come in at lunch time and after work and

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Wallace (continued) One of the things I quickly learned working the floor every day was how little the runners knew about training. Every day people would limp in, shoes in hand, wanting to get some shoes that wouldn’t injure them. It was like the shoes had set their training schedule that took them from running three miles twice a week to running 70 miles a week. Being an astute business survivalist I started our training classes. I could see that we would lose our entire customer base of runners in a year if I didn’t help them train correctly.


pay the mounting bills, work the register or sell shoes. Luckily for us we had a timing business and we moved the packet pick up from Athletic Supply to the new Run On! and generated a lot of potential sales traffic. It also meant that Wednesday nights were late nights getting race numbers ready, Friday nights were late nights setting up for races, Saturdays were 4 a.m. starts setting up for races. Of course, we also implemented new store hours that included being open on Sundays! Boy, what a concept. The Training Thing One of the things I quickly learned working the floor every day was how little the runners knew about training. Every day people would limp in, shoes in hand, wanting to get some shoes that wouldn’t injure them. It was like the shoes had set their training schedule that took them from running three miles twice a week to running 70 miles a week including hills and mile repeats on the track in a few weeks time. Being an astute business survivalist I started our training classes. I could see that we would lose our entire customer base of runners in a year if I didn’t help them train correctly. It became one of the cores of our business, when my only goal was to keep the doors open. So add the training classes to late nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays and early Sunday mornings. The working hours were rapidly adding up, the sleeping hours rapidly declining. One of the first running classes for the experienced runners was training for the White Rock Marathon. We had purchased on old red Chevy cargo van with

no power steering, no air conditioning and unfinished plywood planks in the bed of the vehicle. We would use the vehicle to get runners to the start of their run and to pick them up if they had a bad day. One early Sunday morning I took the crew in the van to White Rock Lake to start their training run. It was one of those miserable fall days, cold, wet and windy. My crew stood around moaning and groaning in anticipation of the three hour run. After a while (three or four seconds) I’d had enough of it. “Shut up and run!” I yelled in my most encouraging tone. At the end of the year I received a poster, signed by everyone in the group, headed by “Shut up and Run!” Humbly, I was a known to be a very supportive coach. The next unplanned advance to the business was moving locations. We were running out of space, and quickly. The inventory storage area could hold about two weeks of stock. We literally had crates that we would store outside during business hours because we had no room in the backroom. One day the Fire Department came in for a safety inspection. Luckily the emergency exit was completely covered with shoe boxes and we passed the inspection. A close call. Right behind our store was an empty suite. Our lease was running out after we owned the shop for a year. I pleaded and begged to get a lease on the extra space. Nothing happening. The space had been vacant for years, but with my outstanding financial record it was out of my reach. We moved to Mockingbird Lane, a far better location and the business kept improving, just like my already outstanding good

looks and humbleness. I should have been a politician. The move to the new Mockingbird location was memorable like everything else we did. Call on friends, customers, employees and bystanders. Load up your car after we locked up the doors for business, drive down to Mockingbird, unload and repeat. There may have been some pizza and beer consumed. Turn on the Lights You’ve all heard of putting the cart before the horse — that was us in our early days. We opened up the new location without having electric. That’s right, no electricity. I’m sure I had called the power company to have the service switched. Luckily we had generators we used for our event timing business. We had wires running all over the place for a whole week. If the lights or register started flickering, someone had to run out the back and refill the generator and we were back in business. Such a sophisticated operation. Eventually we had power and Run On! was normal for a few minutes. The new Run On! location was opened, the old one forgotten. Fly by the seat of your pants, work 80 to 100 hours a week and hope for the best. Not a great strategy but it worked until Calvin stepped in and helped us steer the ship. If it wasn’t for a truck full of luck, some unbelievable employees, Brent Trammell and other friends, customers and Calvin’s guidance we would have been another long forgotten business. Such are the makings of small business. Thank you for the fine editing skills of Rebecca, Brother Jack and my four legged friends Rocket and Bullet. n © 2019 Diversified Communications

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Deadline for Big Pitch Ideas is October 25 Retailers can win $5000 in Big Pitch Competition at The Running Event.


etailers attending The Running Event will have a chance to win up to $5000 for a promotional campaign to drive younger customers to their stores. The $5000 is the grand prize in “The Big Pitch,” a Shark Tank-like competition presented by Brooks, and sponsored by Balega, BodyGlide and Amphipod. The Big Pitch is open to stores with sales of less than $1.5 million annually. To enter The Big Pitch competition, stores need to submit entries of 350 words or less that say how they would use the prize money to drive a new younger consumer into their stores. Entries should be submitted to The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 25, 2019. “This contest was created to support stores who may not typically receive marketing support and to have retailers share ideas in a fun format that will inspire other stores to come up with similar promotions,” says Matt Weiss of Brooks, who developed the idea. Three finalists will be selected from all entries received and will get to “pitch” their ideas on stage Tuesday, December 3 at 4 p.m. to a distinguished panel of judges from the sponsoring companies. Each of the retailers who are finalists in the competition will receive five minutes

to make their pitch and then be questioned by the judges. The three finalist retailers can use Pitch decks of up to three slides. Props and costumes are also allowed if they support the presentation of the idea. The Judges for the competition will be: • Matt Weiss of Brooks. • Bert Pictor of Balega. • Bill Sternoff of BodyGlide. • June Angus of Amphipod. The winning store will receive $5000 to execute their idea; Second Place will receive $3000 and third place will receive $1500. Winners will be announced at The Industry Awards dinner on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at The Hilton Austin. n

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Retail Nominations Sought for TRE Awards Widely respected industry awards will be presented at The Running Event in Austin.


s your store outstanding in its community service? Does your staff have a star whose story is worth telling? Are you helping to stimulate physical fitness in your market and create a new generation of runners? And in doing all of this, are you able to maintain a balanced professional and personal life? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you should

nominate your store for one of the awards listed below to be presented at the annual Industry Awards Party at The Running Event on Thursday, December 5, 2019, in Austin, TX. These following awards, along with The Canadian Store of the Year and new version of the Just Do It Award sponsored by Nike, will be presented that evening. n

to help both customers and fellow staff. A cheerleader for their store and its culture, this individual inspires an active lifestyle and personifies what Run Happy means.


ASICS believes that the key to a healthy and happy lifestyle is through a sound mind in a sound body. ASICS is an acronym, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano — a sound mind in a sound body. The winner of the Sound Mind, Sound Body Award embodies these values on a daily basis in both their personal and professional life. In honor of ASICS’ founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, a donation of $1949 will be made to the winner’s charity of choice.

THE UBUNTU AWARD Presented by Balega Sports

This is awarded to a store that makes a tremendous difference in its community. The culture of Balega draws its inspiration from the humanistic philosophy focusing on people’s allegiance and relationship to one

another. It is the relationship to our communities that resonates with store owners every day in their hometowns. Changing lives, helping to improve the lives of those living in our communities.

RUN FOR GOOD AWARD Presented by Saucony

At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run; a great day is when we inspire others

RUN HAPPY AWARD Presented by Brooks

The Run Happy Award celebrates a specialty retail store employee who brings a glass-half-full approach to his or her job every day. This individual always has a positive attitude, dedicated work ethic, and is a total team player — going the extra mile

to run. And now, more than ever, that must include our kids. The Saucony Run For Good Award recognizes a retailer who inspires kids to run their world through communitybased youth running programs. The winner will receive a donation to help introduce even more children to the power of running, creating a happier, healthier future for the local community. Saucony will join the winning retailer in the hosting of a local running event for children and their families.

Nominations for all these awards can be submitted to Mark Sullivan at or Christina Henderson at 19

© 2019 Diversified Communications

running shorts New Balance Unveils 2019 New York City Marathon Collection


n 2017, New Balance began its sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon inspired by the notion that “All Roads Lead to NYC.” The campaign has evolved over the years, and this year the marathon collection focuses on one particular aspect of those roads that play an important role in this race — the bridges. “Bridges are objects that connect people,” says New Balance in a sneak peek preview document. “There are bridges that connect runners all over the world, that connect the five boroughs of New York and create the connection that is the 26.2 miles of the TCS New York City Marathon.”

Ironman Names O’Brien The Ironman Group, a Wanda Sports Group company, has appointed Elizabeth O’Brien as the company’s managing director for North America. O’Brien joined The Ironman Group in June, 2017 with the acquisition of Competitor Group. As senior VP–financial planning and strategy with The Ironman Group, O’Brien oversaw the financial analysis functions for the business while developing key advisory relationships with leaders across all areas of the business. She also led the improvement of systems and processes. In this new role, O’Brien will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the North America Business unit for The Ironman Group, leading the four North American offices (Colorado, Nashville, San Diego and Tampa) and the more than 150 full-time employees. The North American business unit is The Ironman Group’s largest, with more than 70 annual events. O’Brien and her team will be responsible for the performance of running and triathlon events 20

As an inspiration for this year’s collection, New Balance looked at five specific bridges, one for each borough: The VerrazzanoNarrows, the Pulaski, the Queensboro, Willis Avenue and Madison Avenue. Five bridges along the course, connecting all five boroughs, totaling nearly five miles. This inspiration comes to life in the collection through prints and graphics that are placed on technical running product from shirts to tights. New colors of the iconic 2019 New Balance TCS New York City Marathon Windcheater Jacket will be available, with the silhouette being inspired by the brands first apparel collection in 1978. n

through the Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series brands, while developing other platforms such as mountain biking Omax Health Launches CryoFreeze CBD Omax Health this month launched CryoFreeze CBD, a sports performance brand focused on advanced pain management. Formulated specifically for athletes and active adults, the CBD-based product line includes a Pain Relief Roll-On, Advanced Joint Defense Supplements and Rapid Relief Drops. C r y o Fr e e z e w a s i n s p i r e d by Cryotherapy, a therapy that means “cold therapy.” The treatment exposes the body to cold temperatures to numb and reduce pain or inflammation. The flagship product in the line is CryoFreeze CBD Pain Relief Roll-On. The topical analgesic delivers an arctic blast of cooling relief for sore and tired muscles, joint pain, back aches and bruising. The deeply penetrating formula instantly ices out the pain with a

one-two punch of potent menthol and THC free CBD, along with other healing botanicals. CryoFreeze products incorporate full-spectrum CBD from organic hemp sourced from U.S. farms and processed through a clean technology called Supercritical CO2 extraction. This process extracts the CBD from the plant, while removing the THC and other toxins. All CryoFreeze products are third party tested for quality assurance, and certificates are available to retailers and customers. n

© 2019 Diversified Communications

Training. Recovery. Performance. Learn how you can help your clients achieve more PRs with Functional Remedies EndoSport. Stop by our booth (#1830) at TRE19, Call 847-274-7026 or go to to learn more and order today!

Jonathan VanDyke Ultramarathoner

Bringing Lives Into Balance™ This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

running shorts ‘Kicksology’ Explores the Running Shoe Industry’s Most Noteworthy Kicks and Key Industry Players


unning shoes are every runner’s favorite obsession and a new book, “Kicksology: The Hype, Science, Culture & Cool of Running Shoes,” lets readers run a mile inside the running shoe industry. Brian Metzler, seasoned running journalist (and frequent contributor to Running Insight) and veteran shoe-tester, delves deep into the stories and hype of shoes and brands that have made running history. With his insider access, Metzler examines every facet of this lucrative, innovative and massively popular industry. Kicksology will be available in bookstores, running

shops and online in October. For a preview, visit kicks. In Kicksology, shoe fans, runners and business enthusiasts alike will follow the rise and innovation of running shoes — through major cultural fads, attempts at

injury prevention and techy experiments done in the name of speed and performance. Metzler goes overseas to factories where shoes are built, into brick-andmortar shops facing increasing online competition and right into the shoes of some of the sport’s favorite celebrities. Kara Goucher, Scott Jurek, Deena Kastor and others contribute to the wealth of shoe intrigue with personal anecdotes of their own favorite shoes. Kicksology as a look at the business is a fun, fascinating exploration of the running shoes that came before and the kicks that are coming next. n

Fleet Feet Honors Its Pacesetters The contributions of 15 employees from across the country were celebrated and recognized at the recent 2019 Fleet Feet Pacesetter Summit. The Fleet Feet Pacesetter Award recognizes and honors employees who have made significant contributions to the brand, demonstrated leadership, exceptional customer service, and have made an impact in their communities. During the Summit these prestigious award winners had an opportunity to network with Fleet Feet’s Franchise Advisory Council members, the Store Support Team and work on a special project together. They will also be recognized at the 2020 national conference. The 2019 Pacesetter Winners: • Brandi Ba rbre, Running Club Manager (St. Louis, MO) • Chloe Bellows, Outfitter (Round Rock, TX) • Ta m e e G u n n, S to re M a n a g e r (Roanoke, VA) • Andrew Ciaccia, Assistant Store Manager, Footwear/Essential Buyer

(Greenville, NC) • Christine Busby, Outfitter (Athens, GA) • S e re n Jac o b s, Ru nnin g Club Manager (Augusta, GA) • Kerr y Kiely, Medical Outreach Coordinator (Mount Pleasant, SC) • Sharon Kyner, Marketing Manager (Raleigh, NC) • Brendan Mertz, Operations Manager (Orlando, FL)

• Alex Mimlitz, Team Leader (Meridian, ID) • Wayne Morse, Retail Experience Manager (Columbia, MO) • Marcia Palamara, Purchasing Manager (Syracuse, NY) • Katie Rodriguez, Outfitter (San Antonio, TX) • Nancy Staib, GM (Hartford, CT) • Mark Zickefoose, GM (Cleveland, OH) n


© 2019 Diversified Communications


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