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ENERGY SOURCE Sports nutrition is fueling a healthy new category for run retail.

S EL C AN C ER OW L I H A ET ER S e 21. R OR EMB pag O TD NOV ry on OU Sto

Powering Up

An explosion of brands and formulations is fueling growth in sports nutrition. / By Judy Leand


here once was a time during which the most common sports nutrition products consisted of dense, unappetizing bars and gritty, sugar-laden beverages. No more. The latest product evolution features clean, simple, easily digestible ingredients, a vast array of flavor and nutrient profiles (including vegan and plant-based, gluten-free, organic and non-GMO components), and a wealth of options that includes gels, bars, bites, chews, crackers, waffles, ice pops, shots and powders. Brands are also continuing to develop a greater variety of formulations for use before, during and after activities. Although sports nutrition category sales figures aren’t readily available for the U.S. athletic market, many independent research firms concur that the segment is booming worldwide. For example, MarketWatch projects that the global sports nutrition market will reach $53.07 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.66 percent from 2018-2026. Modor Intelligence is even more optimistic, believing that the global market will grow at a CAGR of 8.42 percent from 2019-2024, due to increasing demand from a more diverse consumer group that includes core athletes along with a large influx of recreational participants and other health and fitness enthusiasts. Statista valued the global sports nutrition market at $50.84 billion in 2018, and expects it to reach $81.5 billion by 2023. Finally, Allied Market Research anticipates that North America will account for more than 40 percent of the global sports nutrition market share by 2021. This

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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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Sports Nutrition (continued) ATAQ Electrolyte Hydration Mix is easy to digest and includes highpurity minerals and natural betaine made from sugar beets to help metabolize carbs and proteins (SRP $1.87 each).

Clif Cubes nut butter filled Endurance Bites, intended for use during long-distance activities, are USDA Organic and Non-GMO (SRP $2.49).

Fourpoints’ prune- and fig-based bars offer hours of slow-burn energy without sugar spikes and crashes, and they won’t freeze (SRP $2.99).

GU’s new Cold Brew Coffee Roctane Energy Gel delivers more amino acids and electrolytes than original GU and it has a boosted 70mg of caffeine (SRP $2.50).

Honey Stinger Gluten Free Organic Waffles have a thin layer of honey infused with natural flavors sandwiched between two thin waffles (SRP $23.85 for box of 16).


should all be great news for brands as well as run specialty retailers. “We are seeing new products coming to the market at a faster rate. The channel is heavily influenced by an influx of innovation two times a year from categories such as footwear and clothing, and we’re seeing that innovation expectation carry over to nutrition,” says Pat Bush, national sales manager for Sports Specialty Retail at Clif Bar & Company. In the running category in particular, Kevin Weber, co-founder and owner of Denver, CO-based energy bar maker Fourpoints, agrees that the market is getting more crowded. However, he says, “as far as products marketed specifically to runners, the interesting thing in my opinion is that they seem to all be gels or drinks which are geared mostly for hydration, or quick bursts of energy which then becomes something you have to stay on top of and consistently fuel throughout your run to keep your blood sugar from crashing, because what comes up must go down and your blood sugar is no exception. I don’t see a lot of innovation as far as real food products or products that are aimed at ‘pre-run’ solutions.” But over at GU Energy Labs, marketing communications manager Brian Gillis sees the expanding influence of nutrition products in the running market a bit differently. “The nutrition category is strong in run specialty right now because of the increased awareness of the importance of fueling while running. With diets like paleo, keto and others becoming more mainstream, people are more keenly aware of what they are putting into their bodies, so it becomes critical to think more about nutrition,” he explains. “Also, with the increase in popularity in the trail and ultra communities, fueling becomes a key component to a runner’s success. It is also great to see so many new brands and innovative products hitting the market, as it continues to shine a spotlight on the category as a whole.” One of the most transformational trends to hit the category is the use of clean ingredients. Vegan, gluten-free, organic and non-GMO elements are major selling points, as are natural sweeteners, seed and nut butters along with the use of “super foods” such as berries, beets, bergamot and whole grains. “The most compelling trend in the sports nutrition space is the shift away from dirty

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Sports Nutrition (continued) Infinit Nutrition’s :GO FAR for Women is an all-in-one isotonic ready-to-mix endurance drink that’s easy to digest and absorb and is made with all-natural ingredients and no artificial flavors (SRP $38.99 for 18-serving bag).

“The channel is heavily influenced by an influx of innovation two times a year from categories such as footwear and clothing, and we’re seeing that innovation expectation carry over to nutrition.” PAT BUSH, CLIF BAR & COMPANY

Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans are gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients. Each serving contains 50mg of caffeine, 25 grams of carbs, plus electrolytes and vitamins (SRP $1.29).

Muir Energy Sunflower Energy Gel is a low-sugar, nut butter alternative. It’s vegan, paleo, gluten-free, organic and non-GMO (SRP $2.25).

The Maurten line of sports nutrition includes the Drink Mix 160, which offers both hydration and energy with one serving containing 40 grams of carbs and five natural ingredients; and the Drink Mix 360, billed as the world’s most carbohydrate-rich sports drink with 80 grams of carbs per serving. Below, its Unofficial Range contains the exact same ingredients as the official Maurten products with different packaging that allows elite athletes to use its products without breaking their contracts with other brands.


energy (highly processed, synthetic ingredients) and toward clean energy (minimally processed, real food ingredients),” says Ian Muir McNally, founder and CEO of Muir Energy. “Clean energy brands are ideally positioned to capitalize on this trend. The global sports nutrition market is projected to grow at 9.7 percent CAGR over the next five years, but I expect clean energy brands to grow faster than this. It’s clear customers are demanding real food alternatives to fuel their workouts and events, because they’re tired of the GI distress associated with many of the nutrition products out on the market right now.” He observes that customers are also favoring handcrafted products and lifestyle brands that speak to both genders and align with their personal values, versus mass-produced products and performance brands that predominately target men. For example, Seattle WA-based Peak Sherpa’s products feature Tsampa, a high-altitude mountain barley grown in the Himalayas and used by Sherpas on Mt. Everest. “Tsampa is a low glycemic food that provides steady energy rather than a spike and crash,” says Yena Hu, director of business development for the Certified B Corp. “A lot of consumers want clean ingredients and we’re hoping that Tsampa will become what quinoa is now — the next ancient grain.” Pickle juice is another new and somewhat offbeat addition to the nutrition category. “The focus on nutrition as a whole is growing,” says Filip Keuppens, VP–global sales and marketing at The Pickle Juice Company. “Athletes used to just eat carbs the night before an event and protein afterwards — nutrition has really changed.” He observes that athletes are starting to turn away from sugary products and toward savory, as evidenced by the brand’s fast-growing business in the run specialty channel. With a beet root shot, recovery shot and a CBD product all currently in development, The Pickle Juice

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Sports Nutrition (continued) Munk Pack soft-baked Protein Cookies contain 18 grams of plant protein, six grams of fiber and are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and kosher.

“Because there is so much conflicting information and misinformation about sports nutrition, specialty run retailers are an important source of information and credibility.” ANNIE DWYER, SKRATCH LABS

Nuun Rest has magnesium, tart cherry and potassium to help support recovery and relaxation (SRP $6.99).

Peak Sherpa Energy Bites are made with Tsampa, a mountain barley from the Himalayas that supplies long-lasting energy. The Bites also have twice the protein and one-third less sugar than a typical energy bar (SRP $2.99).

The Pickle Juice Extra Strength Pickle Shot, designed to stop and prevent muscle cramps, contains 10 times the electrolytes of common sports drinks, is USDA Organic certified, and contains no sugar, caffeine or artificial ingredients. (SRP $1.99).


Company is quickly evolving into a functional beverage business. Certainly, variety is the spice of life. “Nutrition remains a primary category among the running specialty channel and is only becoming increasingly relevant as consumers become more aware of the importance of optimal fueling for performance and more conscientious about the ingredients in their food,” says Sara Tlamka, brand director for Honey Stinger. “As a result, consumers are actively looking for more options to refine their own nutrition routine and the category continues to expand to meet that demand.” Other trends in the category include a move toward bars scored or packaged in bite-size pieces, the launch of more easy-to-digest isotonic drink mixes, the use of caffeine in items designed for endurance athletes and the gradual introduction of more women’s-specific products. As far as women’s products are concerned, there are mixed opinions on the necessity of such formulations. Magda Boulet, an elite marathoner and head of GU Energy’s R&D, works to create products in a variety of forms and flavors, but also concludes that because men’s and women’s digestive systems are very similar, there’s not much point in creating gender-specific versions. Conversely, Michael Folan, Chief Powder Maker at Infinit Nutrition, believes there’s a need. “Women often don’t need as much salt or calories as guys, and generally do not like salty flavors anyway. So there are real reasons why a ladies’ formula is better. But I will say that given the option, many ladies will buy the guys’ mix for some reason.” Bridging the gap is Muir Energy’s McNally, who remarks, “Women and men often go toe-to-toe in ultra-running races, but as their physiologies are different, so are their nutritional needs. Muir does not make products specifically for either gender, but we do offer products that are especially rich in specific minerals (e.g. iron,

© 2019 Diversified Communications

It takes a lot of effort to make apparel feel effortless. So we focused on the items every runner needs. Minimalist designs for maximum performance.

Sports Nutrition (continued) Picky Bars use real food ingredients such as dates, nuts, seeds and dried fruits and are balanced to provide easy-to-process, long-lasting energy (SRP $2.75).

“The most compelling trend in the sports nutrition space is the shift away from dirty energy (highly processed, synthetic ingredients) and toward clean energy (minimally processed, real food ingredients.” IAN MUIR MCNALLY, MUIR ENERGY

ProBar Meal Bars offer 8-11g of plant-based protein, 5-6 g fiber, and are non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free and made with organic ingredients (SRP $3.50).

Science in Sport’s GO Isotonic Energy Gel has 22 grams of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates and is intended to be consumed without water to minimize bloating (SRP $11 for 6-pack; $50 for 30-pack).

Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bars feature a whole food ingredient and nut butter base to provide a balanced mix of protein, fat and complex carbohydrate (SRP $2.65).

Tailwind Endurance Fuel is non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and contains no soy or dairy. It is an “all-in-one fuel” and very simple to use. Tailwind Rebuild Recovery is non-GMO, vegan, glutenfree and contains no soy or dairy. It is the first sports recovery drink based on a patent-pending complete protein.


magnesium), a common deficiency in women but also in some men, especially vegans.” Also taking the middle road is JJ Rudman, director of category sales at plant-based nutrition product maker ATAQ (which just changed its brand name from MODe). “As we continue to develop new products – not to mention that one of our co-founders is a woman – the importance of offering women’s-specific product is top of mind. If it makes sense we’re going to do it, but we won’t come out with a marketing gimmick or a me-too women’s product,” he says. Due to the growing number and diversity of products flooding retail shelves, brands, to quote Ricky Ricardo, “Got some ‘splainin to do.” To ward off confusion, most companies provide in-store POP and sales staff education, and often hand out free samples and info to consumers at in-store demos, races and other events. Local as well as major event partnerships and sponsorships also figure into the equation. “Because there is so much conflicting information and misinformation about sports nutrition, specialty run retailers are an important source of information and credibility,” says Annie Dwyer, specialty sales manager at Skratch Labs. “Every body is unique, so product recommendations from employees, run clubs and sampling products at retailer-hosted events are great opportunities for customers to learn more about how best to hydrate and fuel before, during, and after a run.” Looking ahead, “the trend for sports nutrition products to be less engineered, adopting more best practices from natural foods sourcing, continues,” says Steve Anderson, Nuun’s national sales manager-sports specialty. “The desire for performance nutrition that prioritizes all-natural, non-GMO, and organic sourcing is still front of mind for the consumer. Now that we know we don’t have to compromise performance, or experience, just because something is ‘better for you’ means we can enjoy our sports nutrition without regret.” n

© 2019 Diversified Communications


Spiking the Competition The benefits and challenges of slinging spikes and track-and-field footwear. / By Daniel P. Smith


t the RunningCo. of Haddonfield owner Dave Welsh carries a full lineup of cross-country and track spikes, including competition shoes for specialty events like the jumps and throwing events. “The shot and disc shoes, we’ll sell upwards of 70 of those in a season,” says Welsh, who owns four RunningCo. shops in New Jersey. “It makes us unique and positions us to sell trainers, socks and shorts as well.” While some run shops view cross-country and track and field competition shoes as a straightforward sell to a captive audience, others avoid spikes completely — just more inventory to track, they say. Not Welsh, who considers spikes a valuable marketing play as well as a revenue booster. “This is a customer for four years and it exposes us to the parents as well,” he says. “I’d rather commit marketing money to spikes than to an ad in the local paper.” Ditto for running shops like Orlando-based Track Shack and Dick Pond Athletics in suburban Chicago. Both legacy operations are well known in their respective areas as the spots to visit for a deep assortment of competition shoes. “We try to make sure we’re the resource for every runner in town, so why not have one more thing a customer can get from us?” Track Shack’s Chris Hughes says of the retail operation his parents founded in 1977. “Why send them to the Internet?” While Hughes acknowledges that spikes and competition shoes do not drive the Track Shack business, the specialized footwear is nevertheless a rather no-nonsense sell and, even more, an important investment in the culture of the sport and its future. “If we’re not investing in today’s athletes, then we’re failing ourselves long term,” he says. Over the last 50 years, Dick Pond Athletics has largely built its business on catering to 12

A selection of competition spikes for cross-country and track and field helps run specialty shops establish themselves as a one-stop resource for local athletes.

team athletes, including a robust inventory in competition shoes ranging from high-end sprint spikes to javelin shoes to close-out shoes for the discus. “We’ll even have Division I schools with multimillion-dollar deals call us up looking for product because they can’t get it through their sponsor,” Dick Pond Athletics buyer Jim Stuart says. The team business, Stuart continues, will remain a pillar of Dick Pond Athletics’ business model as it delivers an important point of differentiation in the competitive Chicago marketplace and helps propel awareness of the company’s five retail locations. “Spikes legitimize us as a full-service running store, give us an opportunity to sell more product to our existing customers and provide us access to younger athletes that

hopefully will become lifelong customers,” Stuart says. Those appealing benefits, however, come at a cost. Principally, stores need to invest in product that consumes dollars and space. That often means redirecting investment from training shoes or another category like sandals or trail shoes. Yet more, the only change between one model year and the next on a throwing shoe, for example, might be color. That makes the older year’s “version” a tough sell at MSRP and, most often, necessitates a markdown, especially as brands show a diminishing appetite for stock swaps. “Even so, I’d still bet you’re going to make more money than you lose,” Hughes says. When retailers find the right balance, though, the results can be powerful. During

© 2019 Diversified Communications



USATF Champion


Spiking the Competition (continued)

In South Jersey, the RunningCo. of Haddonfield has created an environment reminiscent of the Penn Relays to enliven the experience for team athletes.

the recent track and field season, Welsh reports he had 88 percent sell-through on his Saucony spikes, a profitable gain for his running stores. “But that’s because we’re super precise with our ordering,” Welsh says. Of note, Welsh says many vendors are not building as much excess inventory, largely because spikes aren’t massive moneymakers for the brands. That translates into less opportunity for at-once orders and increased risk of disappointing customers. On the plus side, however, less inventory is flooding the market. “Demand is there, supply is not,” Welsh says. Finally, it’s worth noting that the presence of spikes can bring an overly competitive feel to a

“This is a customer for four years and it exposes us to the parents as well,” he says. “I’d rather commit marketing money to spikes than to an ad in the local paper.” DAVE WELSH HADDONFIELD RUNNING COMPANY

store. If only in perception, that vibe can heighten the intimidation factor run shops battle. “That’s certainly something to be aware of,” Stuart acknowledges, adding that strategic in-store placement of competition shoes and off-site sales at schools and meets can help a running shop strike the right balance. n


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Selling Spikes

Six ways run shops are capturing the cross-country and track and field market.

#1: BE VISIBLE WITH PRODUCT. Like many others, Dick Pond Athletics visits track meets and schools to showcase and sell product. Online, the company’s website features its full assortment of in-stock goods, making competition product readily accessible to anyone searching it out. “A nd that ’s imp or ta nt because it might not be at their local running store.” Dick Pond’s Jim Stuart says.

engages local coaches with personal notes, while Dick Pond Athletics sends print catalogs to high school and college coaches across the U.S. as well as

a mid-distance spike can function as a jack-of-all-trades shoe for multiple events. “You need to develop a reputation

notes to every coach who has earned a Team Bucks reward. “The number one thing is getting in with coaches and having them believe and support your business,” Welsh says. “Kids listen to their coaches.”

that you know what you’re talking about,” Track Shack’s Chris Hughes says.

#2: SPREAD THE WORD. With every spike purchase, RunningCo. of Haddonfield hands out a spike bag, one owner Dave Welsh had printed in a variety of colors aligning with local schools. “And as kids are out walking around meets, that bag’s a marketing tool for us,” he says. #3: DANGLE A CARROT. An incentive can help move the needle with the team athlete crowd. Track Shack provides athletes a discount on their spike purchases, often in the 10-15 percent range, while Welsh places a coupon on the race bibs of major scholastic invites in his area to entice visits. Dick Pond Athletics’ Team Bucks program takes a different approach, directing a percentage of each team athlete purchase back to the athlete’s program. That move inspires coaches to send their athletes to one of Dick Pond’s five Chicago area stores. #4: KNOW THE INFLUENCERS. Speaking of coaches, they’re key influencers in this game. Track Shack


#5: TRAIN STAFF. Though spikes are a rather straightforward sell, staff must still know technical features and understand product scope. A sprint spike, for example, can do double-duty for the long jump, while a high jump shoe is far more event-specific and

#6: CREATE A COMPELLING ENVIRONMENT. When Welsh redid his store six years ago, he incorporated a four-lane track surface for athletes to test spikes as well as a brick wall and metal bleachers reminiscent of the Penn Relays. When he took over his building’s basement five years ago, he then created a dynamic, inviting spot for coaches and teams to gather. n

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One Degree Beyond 361 Degrees goes the extra mile to make its mark in run specialty. / By Daniel P. Smith


n July 2014, veteran running industry executive Jim Monahan walked into a largely barren second-floor office on Goodyear Road in Irvine, CA. He settled in behind a desk and began crafting his immediate to-do list. Then, he paused. For the first time since accepting the position of president of 361 Degrees USA two months prior, Monahan recognized the enormity of the task before him. “We didn’t even have a single sale to build on. Not one,” says Monahan, who joined 361 Degrees following a decade-long run as vice president of footwear at ASICS. “That’s when I really realized how much work there was to do.” Instead of being paralyzed by fear, Monahan went to work and has spent the last five years unapologetically and unabashedly focused on pushing 361 Degrees’ growth in the U.S. market, a hefty task that has involved educating running retailers and the public at large about 361 Degrees, battling for space on shoe walls with a litany of legacy players and savvy upstarts and developing a team capable of building a pristine, premium brand positioned to compete. Those spirited efforts have propelled the upstart Chinese brand’s movement in the U.S. market. In the first half of 2019, 361 Degrees experienced 59 percent growth in revenue and is now in nearly 200 run specialty accounts across North America. Through May of this year, 361 Degrees also boasts the second fastest year-overyear growth rate of penetration in the run specialty channel, coming in at a brisk 240 percent increase, according to Sports Marking Surveys. “We’re making headway and earning trust,” Monahan says. Establishing an Identity Though relatively new to the U.S. retail landscape, 361 Degrees is far from a bit, fly-by-night player. Started in 2003, the public company – one listed on the Hong 16

Kong Stock Exchange for a decade – boasts global revenues of $753 million. By comparison, Brooks Running reported global revenues of $644 million in 2018, a record for the U.S. run specialty channel leader. Since its founding, 361 Degrees has been active in China’s swelling athletic scene, tapping into the running boom in the world’s most populous nation through some 6000 stores scattered across the country. 361 Degrees was also the official outfitter of Rio 2016 and has been a multi-time sponsor of the Asian Games. When the Chinese company opened its U.S. office in 2014 it did so in tandem with outposts in Europe and Brazil, aggressive steps to elevate 361 Degrees’ global position as a top athletics brand. “Company leadership recognizes the importance of being successful beyond the Chinese marketplace,” Monahan says. For Monahan and the U.S. office, one that includes head of sales Ike Alvear, another seasoned running insider who’s held posts

with Hoka One One, Adidas, ASICS and Brooks, that has meant an almost-obsessive focus on the details to produce “damn good running product for the everyday runner.” “Though it isn’t the sexiest,” Monahan says, “we block and tackle very well and understand fit and comfort matter. We believe the common principles – cushioning, guidance and forefoot flexibility – are important, but have worked to attack those in a more modern way.” In recent years, 361 Degrees has unveiled its proprietary QU!KFOAM midsole that pairs a plush underfoot feel with a fast, responsive ride, integrated a carbon fiber plate called QU!KSPINE to act as a stabilizing force during the gait cycle, worked to provide a consistent fit in the heel and midfoot through reverse engineering and honed in on the seemingly smallest of details. The footwear’s pressure-free tongue, for instance, routinely earns rave reviews and is an immediately noticeable point of differentiation among those who try the footwear.

© 2019 Diversified Communications

“We’re solving that pesky problem of the migrating tongue,” Monahan says. “The littlest details matter to us.” Gaining Trials During a spring demo run at a Marathon Sports location in New England, Alvear stopped behind a group of runners at a traffic light. Eavesdropping on the group’s conversation, he heard them collectively agree that they had forgotten they were wearing new shoes. “It felt that natural to them, which is about the best compliment we could receive,” Alvear says. “We keep it simple – fit, performance and comfort – because we believe that’s a winning formula.” When Ken Sung of Michiganbased Gazelle Sports was first introduced to 361 Degrees in 2014, he saw a brand with promise, but product that “wasn’t there yet.” He continued monitoring the brand’s evolution and, noting improvements, began trialing 361 Degrees footwear in one Gazelle unit last year. This past spring, 361 Degrees footwear entered a second Gazelle store. “361 Degrees is doing better than some of our other niche brands and fits a wide range of customers,” Sung says. “As the quality has improved, it’s become a more compelling option for people.” Spurred by his familiarity with Monahan and Alvear as well as the duo’s industry track records, Scott Dvorak of the five-unit Charlotte Running Company chain in North Carolina brought 361 Degrees into his stores last year. Today, Dvorak says 361 Degrees is as high as the fourth best-selling footwear brand in some of his doors. 17

“The product is sound and has a good first fit and feel, which is important these days,” he says. Particularly interested in niche brands with tighter distribution, Dvorak hopes 361 Degrees continues to guard distribution and present innovative product. “As a brick-and-mortar retailer, we need to think about ways to set ourselves apart and one way to do that is with niche brands like 361 Degrees,” he says. “Showing new, innovative product that people haven’t seen before is what makes us special.” Building Momentum To be certain, 361 Degrees is interested in the vibrancy of the run specialty channel. Since arriving stateside, 361 Degrees has prioritized retailer feedback, actively working to engage retailers to understand their needs, what they want from a brand like 361 Degrees and what’s resonating with consumers. That’s spurred new developments in 361 Degrees’ product line, its go-to-market strategy and its relationships with vendors. Earlier this year, for instance, 361 Degrees hired its first tech rep and plans to continue putting tech reps in play as local markets develop. The brand is also preparing for the release of its highly advanced midsole foam, QU!KSPRING+, later this year. The highest rebound EVA the company has every produced, QU!KSPRING+ will launch in unity with QU!KFOAM in the Spire 4 to provide runners a distinctive, varied experience. In early 2020, meanwhile, 361 Degrees will debut the Pacer ST, an everyday speed trainer that aims to bring the fast and flirty story characterized by the likes of

Nike’s Vaporfly 4% to everyday consumers. “We’re a nimble brand interested in building a dialogue and partnership with run specialty retailers,” Monahan says. “We’re not sitting in this office saying we know everything. We believe in collaboration.” For his part, Dvorak says 361 Degrees has been giving Charlotte Running Company “great support.” When the retailer introduced 361 Degrees into its doors last year, the brand’s regional sales rep spent a week in Charlotte ensuring a smooth start – “Maybe the best launch we’ve ever had with a brand,” Dvorak says – and 361 Degrees has continued to remain engaged in the year since, including offering spiffs for associates. “I believe our retailers see us as a challenger brand sincere about servicing the channel and being engaged partners,” Alvear says.

Further to that point, 361 Degrees unveiled the 361 Degrees Cup in November 2018. In its inaugural year, 56 U.S. and Canadian retail teams comprised of more than 400 associates signed up for the retail racing league with a $50,000 prize. “This has created a level of banter among the channel and offers us an opportunity to celebrate running and associates across the country,” Alvear says. Eager to Succeed These layered efforts have translated into results. According to Monahan, 361 Degrees’ remaining open order book is more than 100 percent ahead of its 2018 pace. “The retailers who have gotten behind us realize we’re a viable option,” Monahan says. The gains are encouraging, especially from where Monahan started five years ago, but the 361 Degrees president is far from © 2019 Diversified Communications

361 Degrees (continued) content. He pledges continued investment in service to the channel and, above all, product designed to resonate with consumers. “As the industry has swung from minimalism to maximalism, we’ve been a part of it all,” Monahan says, a nod to the long careers he and Alvear have both enjoyed in the running marketplace. “We’re taking the learnings from these perspectives and bringing compelling products to market.” And that’s what retailers like Sung, who don’t have infinite budgets and space, want to see.


“I hope they put more value into the footwear, that they stay updated on midsole technology and ride,” Sung says. “In my opinion, this is what will give 361 Degrees more credibility as they expand out.” While 361 Degrees has made undeniable gains in the channel, Monahan understands skepticism remains and there are retailers hesitant to take a shot on a novel brand. “So, the onus is on us to be consistent, to improve and be patient,” he says. “There are no free passes and we understand shelf space is earned.” n

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‘The Future is Personal’ At TRE Parker Karnan will run a Summit for The Best Stores in America Stores at The Running Event 2019.


arker Karnan and Erin Flynn from Karnan Associates will lead a pre-conference session at The Running Event on Tuesday December 3 from 8 a.m. to 11:30. The session, entitled “The Future is Personal,” will focus on how running stores can personalize their brand communication from end to end, from the in-store experience to external marketing. “The customer wants personalized messaging in every aspect of their consumer relationship,” Karnan says. The session will be comprised of two parts. Part I will show why personalization is the number one trend in brand communication

The session is open at no charge to stores that were named as one of The Best Running Stores in America for 2019. Other stores wishing to attend can register at and how retailers are delivering it. Part II will emphasize technology and other tools that stores can integrate to their business that will allow them to succeed. A third part of the Pre-Conference session is “Your Captain Class” and will identify what owners and hiring managers should look for when tapping store leadership.

“Specialty retailers can learn from the attributes of leaders from the greatest sports dynasties of all time. What leadership looks like is different from our traditional image. Knowing and identifying leaders who develop great team cultures is key to winning, in sports and in business,” Karnan says. n

Registration Is Now Open for The Running Event in Austin Registration is now open for The Running Event (TRE), the premier trade show in the running specialty industry produced by Diversified Communications. TRE 2019 is set for December 3-5, 2019, in Austin, TX, and will provide attendees with opportunities to share best practices, discover ways to engage customers and explore the latest products. The Running Event is North America’s largest running specialty trade show, hosting 260 exhibitors and more than 2500 attendees. The newly adjusted three-day event is comprised of breakout conference sessions

for both retailers and race directors, two days of exhibitions, demos and more. The 2019 show will also debut new opportunities to learn and share ideas. • New Product Showcase: Set up on the trade show floor, attendees can scope out what’s new and vote on their favorite product. One winner will be announced at the Industry Awards Party and will be gifted $1000 to the charity of their choice. • The Big Pitch: Attending retailers have a chance to win up to $5000 for presenting a winning idea to some of the best in the

running business. The challenge: Develop and share a campaign that would attract younger customers to their stores. The Big Pitch is 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. • Training Camp at TRE: An area on the trade show floor will be dedicated to bite-sized learning opportunities and product demos. Wednesday will be all about the Wide World of Run and Thursday will focus on all things trail running. n

Information on all registration packages can be found at


© 2019 Diversified Communications

Outdoor Retailer In Flux November show is cancelled; Winter Market to unite with Snow Show


utdoor Retailer has cancelled its November show. The OR Winter Market was scheduled for Nov. 5–7, 2019, but Emerald Expositions, owner of the show, now says that it will be “united with Snow Show,” slated for Jan. 29–31, 2020, also in Denver. Brands that had signed on to exhibit at the cancelled November show will be given refunds or credits. Retailers who had purchased airfare in anticipation of attending the November show have been told to contact OR’s retail relations team. Chris Sears is OR’s attendee relations manager and can be reached at Outdoor Retailer has historically been one of the strongest shows in the active lifestyle market, but the cancellation of the November show is the latest in a series of mis-steps that has shaken market confidence in the show organizer. Emerald Expositions, the owners of OR, moved the show from its longtime home

in Salt Lake City starting in January 2018, bowing to pressure from several large exhibitors who said they no longer would do business in Utah because they did not like the state’s policies on land protection and the environment. Many attendees also believed OR had outgrown Salt Lake City and that the city could not provide adequate hotels at affordable pricing. As part of the move to Denver, Emerald announced they would hold three OR shows annually in January, June and November, but the first November show in 2018 was poorly attended. Footwear exhibitors in particular grumbled that the show was poorly timed for them, with some saying they would end up showing the same lines at both shows. Many in the industry also believed that Emerald, which went public in Spring 2017, was more interested in serving its shareholders than the stakeholders in the outdoor industry who had been loyal to the show and enriched the company’s coffers for years.

While all this was taking place, Emerald also struggled with its Interbike trade show, which served the bicycle industry. In December 2018, Emerald announced it was cancelling the 2019 edition of Interbike and later said it would have a Bicycle Pavilion at November OR. With the cancellation of the November show, OR SVP Marisa Nicholson has said that bike exhibitors will be welcome to attend either the January or June 2020 shows. After the announcement to cancel the November OR show. Emerald’s stock fell to $9.17 per share, almost half of the $17 per share of its Initial Public Offering price in April, 2017. Since the IPO, Emerald CEO David Loechner and longtime EVP over the sports brands Darrell Denny have both left the company. This past May Emerald hired Sally Shankland as president and CEO. Shankland is an experienced trade show and communications executive and was previously CEO of UBM. n

Addaday Is Named the Official Massage Chair of Ironman Series Addaday has been named the Official Massage Chair of the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 U.S. Series. The partnership brings the award-winning recovery massage chair brand to triathletes across the United States competing in some of the most challenging races in the world. Beginning with the 2019 Ironman Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health on October 13, Addaday will be on site at select Ironman and Ironman 70.3 U.S. Series events. Addaday will have a presence in the Ironman Village Expo and will be featured in media and digital extensions. The BioChair, is an at-home massage chair that allows individuals to fully customize their massage. The chair features intelligent software technology that gets to know the body of the 21

user and delivers a full-body massage experience. “We are excited to be partnering with Ironman and each incredible athlete at these world-renowned races,” says Victor Yang, CEO of Addaday Intelligent Technologies. “After a long day of training or a competition, athletes just want to lay down and let technology do the recovery work for them. The BioChair does precisely that. It’s the ultimate recovery tool that every Ironman should have.” Addaday is a premier injury prevention and recovery company committed to getting customers moving and feeling like the best version of themselves. Addaday tools are designed with technology that mimics the techniques used by professionals on elite athletes to help speed recovery. n

© 2019 Diversified Communications

running shorts Brooks Running Teams With Locally for Same-Day Delivery to Runners Brooks Running and Locally have partnered to launch Same-Day Delivery to runners in 10 markets across the United States late last month to get performance running product onto feet and into hands fast. Brooks is the first running brand to offer same-day delivery partnering with Locally and local running stores in this way. In addition to the 10 original Same-Day Delivery markets, plans are for Locally to also begin offering the service in 25 additional U.S. cities. Runners will be able to shop on and find available inventory at local specialty running stores using Locally software. The local store will fulfill the order and deliver it via one of Locally’s delivery partners, Deliv or Postmates.

In addition, the first 1000 runners to place an order for Same-Day Delivery in the 10 launch cities will receive free delivery using a promo code that will be available via Brooks’ social and email channels. After that point and outside of those cities, runners will have the option to pay a delivery fee – which starts at $5 and depends on proximity to the store – to have their gear arrive within the day, often within hours. Exact delivery times and cost will depend on the runner’s proximity to the store, store operating hours and the time of day the order is placed. “We know that for many runners, going for a run can depend on having the right gear on hand at any point in the day, which is why we’re thrilled to partner with Locally,” says Brooks Running VP–U.S. Specialty

Retail Accounts Rick Wilhelm. “In addition to delivering gear to runners within 24 hours, Same-Day Delivery will create new sales for our specialty running accounts by introducing new customers to their local stores.” The launch cities include Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington. As the Same-Day Delivery launch partner for Locally, Brooks will be the first running brand to offer its service to runners. Brooks and Locally will evaluate how to increase the number of cities they make the service available in. The Brooks’ partnership with Locally allows runners to locate performance running gear at stores near their homes, driving sales for local retailers. n

The Running Event is the intersection of all key players in the run industry.

Interested in Exhibiting?


Contact Us! Christina Henderson (214) 263-4706

DECEMBER 3–5, 2019 • AUSTIN, TEXAS Produced by


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running results

By Brian Metzler


Korir Finally Outruns Sambu At Falmouth Road Race Leonard Korir finally avenged his longtime rival when it mattered most at the Falmouth Road Race. The 32-yearold native of Colorado Springs took third and beat Stephen Sambut by one place last year, but that came after four straight years of placing second or third in the race as Sambu claimed victory. The natives of Kenya and former college rivals, Korir at Iona and Sambu at Arizona, have raced each other hundreds of times in cross-country, on the track and on the roads, but they’ve never been quite so competitive as they have been at this historic,

seven-mile race from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights on Cape Cod. In this year’s race on Aug. 18, Korir made a move at the 5.5-mile mark and ran away from his rival to win in 32:11 with an 18-second margin. In doing so, Korir, who became a U.S. citizen in 2016, become the first American to win the race since Mark Curp did it in 1988. Korir’s efforts earned him a handsome paycheck of $18,000 total: $10,000 for winning, plus $3000 for finishing as the first American, and another $5000 for finishing before the gender-equalizing “countdown clock” ran out. Sharon Lokedi of Kenya was the women’s winner, (36:29), outrunning American Sara Hall for the victory.

Mathys Sets Pikes Peak Marathon Record There was a new record set at the Pikes Peak Marathon on Aug. 25, but it wasn’t the one everyone was anticipating. All eyes were on Catalan superstar Kilian Jornet (Salomon) as he went after Matt Carpenter’s longstanding record in the grueling race up and down the iconic, 14,115foot mountain in Manitou Springs, CO. Carpenter, a local legend who retired in 2012, was nearly invincible on Pikes Peak, winning the 13.3-mile Pikes Peak Ascent and the 26.2-mile Pikes Peak Marathon a combined 16 times, including his seemingly unbeatable records (2:01:06, 3:16:39) set in 1993. Although Jornet ran strong and won the race in one of the fastest times in history (3:27:29) to win the Salomon Golden Trail World Series race, it was Swiss star Maude Mathys (Salomon) who stole the show. Jornet took a big early lead as he climbed 7815 feet to the turnaround point, but his 2:09:21 summit time was far off what he thought he’d need to challenge Carpenter’s mark. He still ran the fifth fastest time in history and won with a sizable gap over runner-up Sage Canaday (3:39:05). On a weekend when Arlene Pieper was honored on the 60th anniversary of her 1959 Pikes Peak Marathon finish, Mathys obliterated the women’s record by completing the course in 4:02:41 and taking nearly 13 minutes off Megan Kimmel’s 4:15:04 effort from 2018. She had a 5-minute lead at the 5-mile mark and stormed to the top in 2:29:15, and despite taking a gnarly spill on the way down, she continued her dominance to the finish line.

Bellemore, Morgan Win Beer Mile World Classic Titles While Canada’s Corey Bellemore continued to exert his supremacy in beer mile racing, American Allison Grace Morgan (in photo) became one of the all-time best on Aug. 4 at the 2019 Beer Mile World Classic in Berlin. Bellemore, the world’s most dominant beer miler and world record-holder (4:33), avenged his disqualification in last year’s championship with an impressive 4:36 effort on a dirt track in Berlin to win his second title in four years. (American Chris Robertson was a distant second in 4:47, but his time was just one second off his American record.) Meanwhile, Morgan, a strong runner on the track and roads with a 4:40 mile PR to her credit, might have found a new niche as a beer miler. The 37-year-old Bend, OR, resident, dominated the women’s elite race wire-to-wire in Berlin to win in 6:24, the fourth-fastest women’s time ever.

© 2019 Diversified Communications

Profile for Running Insight

Running Insight 9.3.2019  

Running Insight 9.3.2019