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THE NEWSMAGAZINE FOR RUNNING SPECIALTY RETAILERS / RUNNINGINSIGHT.COM

A DIVERSIFIED COMMUNICATIONS PUBLICATION

PRESENTING SPONSORS

REGISTRATION OPENS FOR THE 2018 RUNNING EVENT. See details on page 14

Kids on the Run It’s Back-To-School time and America’s children are taking to the streets ... gyms and clubs. SEPTEMBER 4, 2018

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RUNNING INSIGHT

Investing in the Next Generation 10 youth programs crafted to engage and support youth. / By Daniel P. Smith

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t can seem trite to call children our future, but it’s an undeniable reality — and something run specialty shops across the country readily recognize. From youth running groups to charitable initiatives, creative events to educational programming, running shops continue investing time, energy and resources into unique efforts designed to serve the nation’s youth and inspire their commitment to healthy, active living. “Children are the future. They are the future teachers, the lawyers and leaders. They are the future runners and walkers who may work for us one day. They are our future customers who trust us to keep them healthy and fit,” says Chris

RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Diversified Communications. © 2018 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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“Children are the future. They are the future teachers, the lawyers and leaders of the community. They are the future runners and walkers who may work for us one day. They are our future customers who trust us to keep them healthy and fit.” CHRIS HUGHES, TRACK SHACK

Hughes, director or retail operations and special events for Orlando-based Track Shack. In the next five pages Running Insight highlights 10 unique youth programs directed by local running stores.

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RUNNING INSIGHT

The Next Generation (continued) KIDS RUN DURHAM North Carolina’s Bull City Running Co. launched its Kids Run Durham program in April 2013. The fun-focused, five-week program for children ages 4-12 includes a Spring and Fall series on Sunday afternoons. Upwards of 120 kids compete in 100m, 400m, 800m and one-mile events wearing personalized bibs carrying their names. Each session begins with a group warm-up and a brief overview of a key topic such as nutrition, hydration, sportsmanship or goal setting. ”Kids Run Durham gets kids outside to play and helps build healthy lifestyle habits, self esteem and character development,” says Bull City Running Co. owner Kim Chapman. “By keeping this program age-appropriate and fun, we hope to instill a lifelong love of running.”

WEE WARRIOR DASH Two Rivers Treads in Ranson, WV, debuted its Wee Warrior Dash, an entry-level obstacle event for kids, eight years ago in partnership with its local parks and recreation department. About 300 kids participate in the free event, navigating obstacles ranging from a pumpkin minefield to large cylindrical hay bales. The event includes race medals and T-shirts donated by Two Rivers Treads and community partners. “Our store exists as a community spark for public health and it starts with the kids,” says Two Rivers Treads owner Dr. Mark Cucuzzella. “Our kids will be the first generation with a shorter life span and health span than their parents and we must reverse this.” 4

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RUNNING INSIGHT

The Next Generation (continued) CONFLUENCE KIDS In conjunction with its opening five years ago, Binghamton, NY-based Confluence Running introduced Confluence Kids. Over time, the program has morphed from a basic youth running program into a multi-pronged community effort that includes direct education/fitness programs, free youth entries into the store’s Parade Day Mile and partnerships with other youth programming such as Girls Run Our World. In an area battling high obesity, Confluence Running manager Jenna Jenks says the Confluence Kids program takes an extra step by encouraging parents to participate with their children in the exercise program. “Most of the parents are non-runners themselves and generally overweight, which encourages entire ‘village’ exercise and fitness along with building a better sense of community,” Jenks says.

SPACE COAST COUNTDOWN TO FITNESS AND FINAL MILE Florida-based Running Zone launched its Space Coast Countdown to Fitness and Final Mile in February 2016, a free program open to all Brevard County elementary and middle school students. Over the course of 10 weeks, about 2500 children ages 4-14 run a marathon and receive a prize for every five miles they complete en route to a “Final Mile” event at a local high school. To keep it fun, the program ties into Florida’s Space Coast with a space theme: the program logo includes a rocket ship, volunteer coaches are called “Commanders” and Running Zone staff wear space suits at the Final Mile.

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RUNNING INSIGHT

The Next Generation (continued) HIGH PERFORMANCE DISTANCE ACADEMY Since 2003, RunAbout Sports in Blacksburg, VA, has been hosting 200 young runners each July at its High Performance Distance Academy. Held at Virginia Tech, the overnight camp for middle school and high school runners features daily runs, professional speakers on topics such as nutrition and sports psychology and exposure to crosstraining activities such as yoga, Pilates and spin. Amid the hustle, there’s also plenty of play, including archery tag, a massive water slide and a run up Mountain Lake, the setting of the hit film “Dirty Dancing.” RunAbout Sports offers two scholarships each year to runners who can’t afford to attend and also grants local coaches free access.

THE ICE CREAM RUN AND SUNDAE SPRINT Arizona’s Tortoise & Hare Sports created its family-centric Ice Cream Run 5K and Sundae Sprint in 2013. During the Sundae Sprint for kids 18 months to 8-years-old, 5K participants and other spectators line the course to cheer on the young runners in advance of the 5K. The finish line includes music, medals and, of course, ice cream as well as other shenanigans, including oversized versions of Connect 4 and Jenga. “It’s important to us to keep families active and healthy together to live stronger and happier lives,” says Tortoise & Hare owner Rebecca Hohenstein. “When kids see their parents running or working out, especially from an early age, it’s so much easier to get them motivated to run, walk, play and be active.” 8

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RUNNING INSIGHT

The Next Generation (continued) TEAM PLAYMAKERS AT THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB Team Playmakers at the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing (MI) started in March 2016 as a way to bring fitness to local at-risk youth. The eight-week Spring program and 10-week Fall program follow the same general format: twice each week, Team Playmakers volunteers meet participants for one hour at the Boys & Girls Club in South Lansing. The children run or walk a quarter-mile loop and receive a Popsicle stick for each lap they complete. Their mileage is recorded each week and they earn prizes for hitting mileage milestones. More than 500 kids ages 7-12 have participated in the program since its inception, which Playmakers Fitness Foundation executive director Marcy Kinzer says provides at-risk youth a healthy outlet, a goal-focused team experience and positive adult coaches.

RUN MOORE’S SHOE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM Since 2016, Run Moore in Westminster, MD, has been dedicating profits from the local Burk/Case 5K race to a special fund providing kids in need a free pair of running shoes from Run Moore. A portion of each race entry feeds the shoe scholarship program and Run Moore cuts a check to match the event’s proceeds and further bolster the fund. Coaches identify specific athletes in need and Run Moore handles the rest. “One of the nice things about the scholarship is the simplicity of it,” owner Steve Moore says. “If a coach thinks [the program] is appropriate for a family, they can come in without being singled out or made to feel different for needing some help getting set up with new gear.” 10

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RUNNING INSIGHT

The Next Generation (continued) TRACK SHACK YOUTH FOUNDATION OF LANSING Orlando-based running retailers Jon and Betsy Hughes established the Track Shack Youth Foundation (TSYF) in 1994 as a gateway to fund local youth organizations promoting health and fitness. Last year, TSYF granted $102,931 to 107 local school and club organizations serving some 38,000 youth. The Smile Mile is among TSYF’s most popular and longest-running events. Children ages 5-11 run a one-mile course with peers from the same age group and gender before receiving a unique designer medal at the finish line. Schools from five counties participate in the annual event, which once included future U.S. Olympian and world champion Jenny Barringer Simpson.

BOCA RATON KIDS’ RUNNING PROGRAM Learning that elementary school children in and around Boca Raton, FL, might not have physical education classes or recess on a daily basis, Runner’s Edge took it upon itself to encourage outside physical activity. Twice each week during an eight-week Fall or Spring session, participants meet at a local park. There, Runner’s Edge coaches use running as a tool to teach children about goal setting and race strategies en route to completing a local one-mile or 5K race. “The program helps not only to build [the participants’] athletic ability, but their confidence as well,” Runner’s Edge co-owner Tom Vladimir says, adding that the now-annual effort has fed Runner’s Edge retail and racing business. 12

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RUNNING INSIGHT

The Running Event 2018 Retail Registration Opens 2018 event will boast largest conference program to date; new interactive areas on trade show floor.

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et a il regist ration for T he Running Event 2018 is now open and there is plenty from which to choose. Retailers can register for a range of packages at: www.therunningevent.com/register/ Retail Packages include: THE ALL ACCESS PASS FOR $650: This includes all Conference Sessions that take place Nov. 27 and 28; all educational and social events that take place on the trade show floor; all networking events, including the Opening Night Reception presented by Balega & Implus Brands, the Best Running Stores in America Awards & Banquet and all Daily Fun Runs and The Indie 5K. THE DAY TRIPPER PASS FOR

$350: The package includes all Conference Sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 27 and 28 and full access to the trade show on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28, 29 and 30. Also included are all educational and social events that take place on the trade show floor and all networking events, including the Opening Night Reception presented by Balega & Implus Brands and all Daily Fun Runs and The Indie 5K. TRADE SHOW PASS FOR $60: This includes full access to the trade show on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Nov. 28, 29 and 30, including all educational and social events that take place on the trade show floor and all networking events, including the Opening Night Reception presented by

Balega & Implus Brands; and all Daily Fun Runs and The Indie 5K. Rates for the All Access and Day Tripper passes will increase by $50 after October 4, 2018. RIA and IRRC members are entitled to $100 discounts on the All Access Pass. Invite a “buddy” and they pay half price. Invite five buddies, and everyone pays half price. Hotels registration is also open. Official TRE hotels and special rates can be found at: https://www.therunningevent.com/ hotel-travel/ Retailers with any questions about registering for TRE should contact Mark Sullivan at msullivan@divcom.com n

The Conference

The Trade Show

The Running Event Conference will feature four major keynote presentations and 10 breakout sessions. The conference will also feature a separate professional development track aimed at race directors and retailers interested in profiting from the events business. Admission to this track can be booked at the link below and includes a luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 28, that will celebrate the release of the BibRave 100, the 100 best races in North America, including the top 20 marathons and half marathons, the top fifteen 10Ks and 5Ks and other non-distance category lists (thebibrave100.com). Keynoters at the conference include: • Barbara Thau, contributing retail writer for Forbes.com, who will focus on “What Specialty Running Stores Can Learn from the Big Guys While Leveraging Their Indie Edge.” • Dan Mann, former retailer turned author, and founder of The Mann Group, will describe, “How Digital is Changing the Customer Journey.” • Neil Schwartz and Patty Kelly of SportsOneSource, who will present “The Only Numbers You need to Know about The Running Market.” • Parker Karnan will share his annual “State of the Industry.” https://xpressreg.net/register/trec1118/landing.asp?_ ga=2.26238719.397456257.1535384618-1842715298.1523976154

The Running Event Trade Show floor will feature a number of new areas, which will feature educational presentations. The Trailhead at TRE was designed to bring attention and education to the growing trail category. The American Trail Running Association will manage the content for the Trailhead Stage, which will be open throughout the trade show. Also new this year is the SportStyle Select area, a curated presentation that will include a sock bar, instruction on proper sports bra fi tting techniques and an array of functional, yet stylish sportswear. SportStyle Select will be managed by 3 Dots Design. “TRE is constantly adapting to the times, seeking educational seminars and events precisely tailored to the needs of the specialty retailers,” says Christina Henderson, Event Manager. “More than a conference and trade show, TRE is an opportunity for the entire industry to share best practices, and learn techniques to enhance profitability.” For more information about exhibiting at TRE 2018: Christina Henderson, chenderson@divcom.com; 214-263-4706.

The Running Event is now owned by Diversified Communications, a leading international trade show company with a portfolio of exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries,

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therunningevent.com/trade-show, @therunningevent including food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, ME, with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business. www.divcom.com n

©©2018 2018Diversifi Diversified edCommunications Communications


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RUNNING INSIGHT

Think Like the Enemy To compete with Amazon, you have to put yourself in its shoes. / By F Chris Nelson To compete successfully against the likes of Amazon and other direct sellers, use the resources you have to fight e-commerce by: 1. Being the expert! Trust goes a long way in a major purchase decision. 2. Offer free synergistic accessories for major buy items – laces, socks etc. – for high-end shoe purchases. 3. Throw in free service — a smartphone holder or a beverage holder installation for bike or baby jogger accessories.

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e’ve all been on Amazon. We may have all bought something on Amazon and if we’re honest, we know our customers have as well. You see at the bottom of each item page a graphic that says “FREQUENTLY BOUGHT TOGETHER. Let’s start thinking like that from now on. Having survived the “industry destroying” Walmart, then Home Shopping, then Big-Box and finally Club apocalypse of the past, one thing I know for sure, so too will e-commerce pass. No, not go away, but like the others, strong retailers will find a way to not only survive, but compete with them. As “specialty retailers” you have a major advantage. You are experts. Consumers want information and where better to get it from you? They come in for $100-plus footwear for a reason — information that will make them feel better about buying a $100 shoe. Granted, some will use your knowledge and leave to save a few dollars online. When it comes to major purchases, it happens with cars, furniture, vacations. But how can you keep the purchase within your doors? Make the major purchase more appealing with “blind” item giveaways or added value 16

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options. Let me give you an example or two. You hope to sell a customer a pair of Nike Air VaporMax Flyknits for $190. Would it hurt to throw in a pair of laces and socks with MSRPs of $4.99 and $8.99? (but actually cost you $5.00). Because accessories have far higher margins, it won’t affect your bottom line as much as you may think. And you aren’t discounting the shoes. How about that woman or guy who has a child and uses a baby jogger? I did, every day for nearly five years with my two kids. You know they want to stay in touch with work or family, keep track of their route or workout with an app, want the safety of a light after work, and perhaps a bottle holder for water and/or drink? You can sell the baby jogger and include either the service of free installation of these items, or perhaps throw them in with the sale. Amazon cannot, and will not, do that. Or if you don’t sell joggers, have available these types of accessories, because if you don’t, they be heading to Amazon or the local bike shop to find them. Local support is also big. People want to shop local and support their local retailer. Give them a reason to do so. n

4. Give your customer a reason to come in, stay and return!

About the author F Chris Nelson is a 30-plus year veteran of the sports and running industry, having most recently designed the strategy for Penguin Brands (2001–2005), USA distributor for Ronhill Apparel (2010–2013) and specialty director for Dr. Scholl’s (2013–2015). He is now the Managing Director of FC3 Consulting Group, a fractional sales, strategy and management team that works with small brands and manufacturers who desire expert advice within the footwear, run and cycling industry.

© 2018 Diversified Communications


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RUNNING INSIGHT

A New Roost Takes Wing Runner’s Roost puts itself on the map of a redeveloped Denver airport site. / By Michael Jacobsen

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aking an old Radio Shack store and turning it into the newest Runner’s Roost retail location was a labor of love and has resulted in a 2700-square-foot modern running specialty shop servicing the redeveloped Stapleton Airport area of Denver. “Needless to say, we made a lot of changes,” says Runners Roost owner Kent Worries, pointing to three in particular. • The ceiling tiles and grid were removed to open up the ceiling and make the space feel a lot bigger. • The backroom position was rotated to open up two large window bays that faced the street and turned one of the window bays into a second set of double doors. • The tile carpeting was removed and replaced with a combination of polished concrete and LVT. “It was a transformation from a bland, unexciting Radio Shack to a unique, modern shoe store,” he says. It was very important to Worries to weave in some local threads of the Stapleton community, so the final design incorporates a large tonal image of the neighborhood as the backdrop of the footwear wall. Among the other unique touches are the cash wrap feature lighting that has a propeller

influence and a “Roost Routes” in-store local trail map that highlights preferred running routes. The size sits in the middle between the size of the nine-store chain’s larger stores and its smaller locations (Worries’ company operates six Roost locations and licenses the name to three businesses/stores). “This was a new store location for us and the first specialty running store in the Stapleton area,” Worries says, explaining

that Stapleton is a redevelopment of Denver’s former airport, which has positioned itself to be very community-oriented and has placed an emphasis on outdoor recreation. “The new Runners Roost store was about further developing that fitness and running community with great product and great people,” he says. Before opening last March, the project took about seven months to complete split between the design and construction phases. It was spearheaded 3 Dots Design, a retail design and visual merchandising company based in Boulder, CO, that works with specialty run and bike store owners. A number of permitting issues with the city and a few surprises with the construction blew through the original schedule, which had eight weeks allotted for construction, but it also gave time to tweak a few details. “Throughout the design process I was really relying on the expertise of 3 Dots Design to guide the decision-making,” Worries says. “As we reviewed each iteration of the sketch design I could see the vision for the space being realized. It was really special to see it all come to life in-person that last week of construction.” n

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RUNNING INSIGHT

Now I’m Going to Tell You About Cake A sweet case history on how to develop customer loyalty. / By Tom Griffen

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Mike would ask. “Because if you have, you’ve seen it all.” But still, folks wanted a behind-the-scenes view of the place. So Mike began offering 30-minute “tours.” And since he is no stranger to good retail, he knew these visits needed to be more than a what you see is what you get sort of event. To enrich each visitor’s experience, Mike needed to somehow include them in the ordeal. Which reminded him of the history of cake. After World War II, lots of new products hit the market. Instant cake mix – a mix of flour, sugar, baking powder, powdered milk, powdered eggs, and powdered vanilla – was one of these innovations. Consumers only had to open the box, pour its contents in a

bowl, add some water, and bake. A simple way to add a sweet slice of joy to the end of a meal. It was going to fly off the shelves. Right? Wrong. It was a bust. The brand decided to flip the product on its head. They pulled out the powdered milk, eggs and vanilla and told buyers to add their own. Didn’t change the price one bit. The result? It went bonkers. Folks went crazy baking cake from scratch. But let’s be honest, it wasn’t from scratch. But by adding their own ingredients they participated more in the process, which gave them deeper ownership of the outcome. IKEA is a modern-day example of this. Just because you screw four legs on a table doesn’t mean you built a table. But IKEA’s © 2018 Diversified Communications

Photo by Ana Paula Lima from Pexels

y brother Mike used to own a bakery. It sat on the main drag of a quaint little village in upstate New York. Folks walked by and waved through the glass window while he busily baked daily goodies. Even though the shop’s hours were posted on the door, customers would often knock to ask what time the bakery opened. Nobody could pass by without wanting a closer whiff of what was baking in the ovens. The bakery itself took up barely 200 square feet. The entire shop – kitchen, storage, and retail space – was packed into the minuscule space. Mike called it a “fishbowl.” When the bakery first opened, the community began reaching out for tours and field trips. “Have you been in our shop?”


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RUNNING INSIGHT

Talking Cake (continued) Mike had facilitated a well-forecasted customer experience that allowed each customer to be part of the end result. This changed everything.

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products require just enough consumer participation for them to fall a little bit in love with their purchase. Baker Mike, donned in a floury apron and puffy white hat, would greet buses as they rolled up. “Everybody ready to check out the bakery?” he’d ask. They always were. Once inside, he’d welcome them in. He’d step aside so folks could look closer at vintage photos from our family bakery in San Francisco. He’d tell stories about our grandfather who hoboed across America honing his baking skills. He’d explain that recipes were passed down verbally. None ever written down. Mike would only tell them

the next singular thing that was about to happen. It served as bait to keep them hooked. Okay, now we’ll take a look inside the pastry cases…now we’ll press some worn buttons on the century-old cash register...now we’ll all put on aprons. Customers awaited the next step with baited breath. Their sharp attention rooted in being included in the process. He masterfully utilized the one skill that separates veteran retailers from newbies — forecasting. Tour groups always made a batch of cookies together. Mike would ringlead the process while including everyone in it. “First why don’t you add this, then you add that that…(etc.).” Once the tray was in the hot

oven, he’d get some antique tools of the trade in everyone’s hands. Make them guess what they are for. By the time the cookies were ready, folks were locked in. Not a single group left without exclaiming that Mike’s were the best they’d ever eaten. And make no mistake, they were delicious, but for more reasons than just taste. Mike had facilitated a well-forecasted customer experience that allowed each customer to be part of the end result. This changed everything. The other outcome was loyalty. Proof? Every day he sold out of everything. Like ev-reything. Not a bad retail problem to have, I’d say. n

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RUNNING INSIGHT

running shorts Fleet Feet Launches Two Customer Personalization Programs

F

leet Feet has launched two proprietary programs to help personalize the customer experience — Fit Engine and User Profiles. The programs work in conjunction with Fit ID 3D foot scanning technology that Fleet Feet launched in 2017, which outputs measurements that store outfitters use to better personalize solutions for customers based on their individual needs. Using the data collected from Fit ID, Fit Engine reflects the most commonly selected shoe size and width based on the purchase decisions of other customers with similar foot shapes and measurements. The purchase decisions display on a bell curve, so the store outfitter can showcase and display the

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full range of outcomes from most to least common for customers based on their foot size and shape. “There’s power in data, which Fit Engine provides to our store outfitters to help the customer make an informed choice,” says Victor Ornelas, director of brand management and the project manager for Fit ID for Fleet Feet. “Coupled with the new User Profiles feature, which both tracks how a customer’s feet evolve and records answers pertaining to their running habits and goals, these additions allow for more personalized product recommendations from the store outfitter to best equip customers on their individual running journeys.” The next step for Fleet Feet is working

with vendor partners to offer 3D-printed products, such as insoles and footwear. Fleet Feet is also preparing for customized product lines based on Fit ID data and feedback from the company’s franchisees and customers. The Ikoni, launching exclusively at Fleet Feet in September from the Finnish running brand Karhu, features a shoe last informed by the foot measurements of over 100,000 customers scanned with Fit ID. Balega and TriggerPoint Partner with Ragnar

Balega and TriggerPoint have entered into a partnership with Ragnar, a series of overnight road and trail running relay adventures in the United States.

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RUNNING INSIGHT

running shorts (continued) The partnership will allow Balega and TriggerPoint, both part of the Implus family of brands, to provide participants at the remaining Ragnar trail and road races with product access. As part of the arrangement, 10 percent of Balega sales from Ragnar events will give back and strengthen South African communities through Balega’s Lesedi Project. Ragnar is a two-day, overnight adventure run that brings friends together to accomplish a relay-style run. The race series has a trail and road option with events all over the country. For the road series, the race is divided into 36 sections with teams of up to 12, whereas the trail series consists of three loops with teams of up to eight. Balega is offering an assortment of its styles at the Ragnar events, including

Enduro, Ultralight, Blister Resist and Silver Running Socks. TriggerPoint is offering a variety of solid foam rollers, which contour to the body to address the superficial muscles, and hollow core foam rollers, which are more rigid and address the deeper muscle tissue. Under Armour Returns To 3M Half Marathon in Austin

Under Armour will once again serve as the presenting sponsor of the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX. The second-year partnership with High Five Events will highlight Under Armour’s support of the running community. “At Under Armour, there’s nothing we support more than helping athletes achieve their personal best,” says Josh Rattet, GM of Under Armour Run. “Our brand’s mission is to make athletes

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better and engineer the gear that helps them do just that.” Under Armour will outfit participants and race volunteers with its HeatGear running shirts and provide participants with sack packs. It will also outfit the 3M Half Marathon pace team with race kits and the UA HOVR performance running footwear. The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 25th year running on January 20, 2019. Motiv Parent Rebrands

Consumer Concept Group, the parent company of running content creator and race event organizer Motiv Running, has rebranded as Black Shamrock Partners. Black Shamrock Partners is the founder and owner of Tom’s Urban as well as Motiv Group,

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8/28/18 1:28 PM © 2018 Diversified Communications


RUNNING INSIGHT

running shorts (continued) an experiential company with a portfolio of brands within the sports and entertainment sector, including running and endurance events, triathlons and festivals. Recent investments include t h e Syd n e y M a r a t h o n , L ove Ru n Ph i ladelph ia Half Marathon, Napa-to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, The Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon, The Wildflower and Malibu Triathlons as well as the Denver Oktoberfest. Hyland’s Coasts

Hyland’s recently partnered with the Hood To Coast relay, which began on August 24 at the base of Mount Hood and finished 199 miles later in Seaside, OR. It is billed as the largest relay race in the world, featuring more than 1500 teams and 3600 volunteers. The Hyland’s Leg Cramp relief product was available to walkers and runners via race participation bags, but also at Hood To Coast exchange 12 where the brand was sampling its products. Hyland’s also fielded a 12-person team that included many from its 2018 Boston Marathon team headlined by ultrarunner and 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Mirna Valerio and renowned distance coach Mike Ehredt, the originator of Project America Run. Running USA Gets Happy

Entries for the Running USA Run Happy Pitch Fest Presented by Brooks opened Sept. 1 and finalists will pitch for sponsorships from 28

runninginsight.com

Ultimate Direction Unveils Women’s Design Ultimate Direction, a manufacturer of hydration products and accessories for runners, has released its Signature Series 4.0 women’s Vestas in a 20 percent lighter design. A new fit technology called Comfort Cinch gives women more adjustability. Ultimate Direction’s women’s ambassador team is showing the high performance of the Signature Series 4.0 Vestas at races and fastest known time (FKT) projects around the world.

Brooks and Nuun at the 2019 Industry Conference powered by the Active Network, set for Feb. 10-12, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Like the ABC business pitch show “Shark Tank,” presenters will be vying for first, second and third place while presenting their races. All three winners will receive value in-kind sponsorships at varying levels from Brooks and Nuun. “We’ve worked closely with Brooks and Nuun to create a new conference event that we think will be great fun for both the participants and

spectators,” says Running USA VP–programming, partnerships and operations Christine Bowen. “The Run Happy Pitch Fest is an exciting way for us to learn about the innovative ways event organizers are engaging with runners,” adds Stevie Jones, event marketing manager at Brooks Running. “At Brooks, we’re looking to sponsor races that inspire people to get out and run. We’re thrilled to provide the three best pitch fest participants with Brooks gear and support from our dedicated team.”

To participate in the Pitch Fest, applicants must: • Be a current Running USA event member in good standing. • The event must have less than 3000 registered runners. • The event must not have a current shoe company sponsor. Only one submission per person/event/event management compa ny. A ny organization or person submitting more than once will be automatically disqualified. Application links and information can be found on the RunningUSA.org website. n © 2018 Diversified Communications


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