VOLUME 46 / ISSUE 3
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THE WOMEN'S ISSUE MARCH 2013
Giving Back 6 Lisa Mattis, Executive Director at Big City Mountaineers, brings experience and vision to change the lives of disadvantaged teens
SGB Profile 8 Jim Zwiers, President, The Performance Group, Wolverine Worldwide
Vendor Focus 12 Stanley Celebrates 100th Anniversary with Thermalware Retail Support Program and Commemorative Bottles
14 Adidas Introduces The Boost and "Cracks the Code" with Maximum Cushioning and Maximum Comfort
Retailer Focus 18 KEEN Reopens Its Keen Garage PDX Retail Space In Downtown Portland
Features 22 Women's Run Opportunity The Female Runner IS the Core Driver At Run Specialty
28 The Changing Female Athlete Better Than Ever Thanks To Title IX
36 Cool Gadgets and Accessories Just For Women This Spring
40 Top-Selling Gift Ideas For Performance Mom's 46 Industry Calendar 48 I Amâ€Ś SGB Lori Herrera, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer Outdoor Industry Association (OIA)
22 This Page: photo courtesy Moving Comfort On The Cover: photo courtesy The North Face
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Big City Mountaineers’ Executive Director Lisa Mattis Has a Passion for Getting Youth Outdoors Former Outward Bound fundraiser brings experience and vision to helping under-served demographics become a part of the outdoor industry, and changes lives in the process. By Aaron H. Bible
Lisa Mattis joined Denver, CO-based Big City Mountaineers (BCM) in September 2010, formerly serving as the National Director of Individual Giving at Outward Bound USA. Not only was she the perfect candidate for the position, but she had a long history with BCM, having served as a Board member and participating as a volunteer mentor on some of BCM's week-long wilderness expeditions. The growing non-profit began delivering life-changing outdoor experiences to disadvantaged teens in 1989, now serving approximately 2,000 youth with a vetted curriculum focused on improving self-esteem, motivation, decision-making and communication skills, cultivating relationships and teaching coping skills and personal responsibility in the unique one-to-one ratio of youth and adult mentor. Partnering with community-based youth organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and adult volunteers who are passionate about the outdoors and helping kids - as well as with some of the top suppliers and retailers in the outdoor/sporting goods industry - BCM not only enhances but transforms the lives of under-served urban youth on expeditions that instill critical life skills. Mattis is leading a charge expanding BCM's reach and doubled the number of service days provided in 2012. She joined BCM at an exciting time as the group was launching its 2011 Summit for Someone program, a series of benefit climbs that support the BCM mission. "Our programs deliver measurable positive impact on urban teens' lives," said Mattis." Each year, hundreds of dedicated adults support our mission by volunteering with BCM, either participating in a summer expedition or joining one of our Summit for Someone climbs benefiting our programs." Results are measured with the independently developed “40 developmental assets” nationally standardized tool.
6 MARCH 2013
Lisa Mattis Executive Director of Big City Mountaineers
“I’ve witnessed the total blossoming of an organization I love through sheer grit and determination,” said Jonathan Dorn, SVP of content and product development for Active Interest Media and former Board member. “Lisa is a force of nature, a non-stop networker, and a sharp intellect - the very definition of an influential woman. As you know, nonprofit employees don’t make a ton of money - this is all about passion for Lisa.” Sitting on BCM’s Board of Directors is a veritable who’s who of outdoor/sporting goods leaders, currently headed by Paul Andrews of Specialty Sports Venture. Also on that list: Schuyler Horton of Thule, Inc., Kat Jobanputra with Speciality Sports Venture, Kelly Kraus with REI, Michael Leming of Nike, Carol Sweasy of Red Wing Shoe Company Foundation, Gaby Toledano of Electronic Arts, Ed Viesturs, Skip Yowell of JanSport and others. A registered 501(c)3 non-profit, BCM runs its mentoring program in urban centers around the U.S., with program areas in Denver, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis and the San Francisco Bay Area. “It’s a couple of things,” said Jobanputra, COO for Specialty Sports Venture, which runs specialty retail shops in both Colorado and California. “From a personal perspective, I’m happy to be a part of BCM because this is the industry that has provided me with a lifelong career, for me and my family, and I have an obligation to the world to give back for that opportunity. And to get kids to participate, and
become part of the future of the industry, is a personal hot button for me.” Secondly, Jobanputra explained, it is the importance of what BCM does on a local level. “What BCM does is to provide all these opportunities to these kids within the communities where our stores are. As we champion different causes out there, it’s important that we do it from a local perspective.” “Outdoor industry consumers we find are also the kind of people who gravitate to BCM as mentors. Retail is the place where people connect. It's where they not only get excited about gear and purchase it, but also connect to the ways they can use that gear, and that's where BCM comes in. Retailers like Mountain Gear, Rutabaga, Any Mountain, Midwest Mountaineering, A16, EMS and REI are all places to engage our kids and customers in BCM's work locally,” said Mattis. “Our partnership with the outdoor industry also connects with manufacturers through their branded stores like Columbia Sportswear, Eddie Bauer, Timberland, The North Face and Red Wing; as well as other suppliers including Jansport, Polartec, Smartwool, Osprey and Gregory.” Of the youth served, 71 percent are from single parent or guardian-led households; 83 percent are from families living below the poverty line and 80 percent have parents with only a high school education, and a similar percentage come from African-American, Latino and Southeast Asian backgrounds from some of the nation’s worst neighborhoods. Kobanputra and Mattis agree that these kids are the future of the industry. “Truthfully, these are kids who would never get outside any other way. With the demographic shift in this country, we are literally trying to create outdoor stewards for the future generation. If we don't reach into these communities now and help kids through significant wilderness experiences who want to be outside, there's no way we can get to the end game, that is, to make sure our wild spaces are protected - and most importantly, to change lives in the process,” said Mattis. “Her first steps were to guide BCM’s board and stakeholders through a rigorous strategic planning process to eliminate barriers for growth and then to lead a transformation of the board itself from a tactical, programfocused group to a more high-level, fundraising-oriented team,” explained Dorn. “She recruited executives from Fortune 500 companies, networked with CEOs from the biggest companies in the outdoor industry, and formed new alliances with other youth nonprofits, like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Through smart planning and 24/7 dedication, Mattis grew BCM’s revenue and service days during the recession - a truly remarkable feat given how many nonprofits floundered or failed in the last five years.” “In receiving so much support from such an amazing industry, one of the key ways that we can cultivate those relationships and continue to be embedded in the work of the outdoor industry is through active board leadership that is largely made up of outdoor industry representatives,” Mattis said. “BCM receives more than $2 million in support from the outdoor industry annually, and today is serving roughly 2,000 kids in the wilderness. Our vision over the next several years is to grow that number to 8,000 kids and grow our presence in major markets across the country.”
ULTIMAX ® MERINO RIDGE RUNNER PRO. Patented moisture control from the bottom - up enhanced with MERINO WOOL keeps feet warm and dry.
Editor's Note: To learn more go to BigCityMountaineers.org and SummitforSomeone.org.
SGB PROFILE This is only important to us internally. We continue to be intensely focused on our brands. We want the consumer to see our brands and love our brands. It's also what we want the retailer to see and our group's structures are for us internally to make sure we have the right sourcing, the right HR support, the right legal support, the right finance support, the right sharing of best practices, etc. It’s also a way to have a ‘small within a big.’ We’re big now and for career development, to know our teams, to understand what their hopes, dreams and opportunities are, it takes an ability to have a little smaller subset within the bigger company. We want the retailer and consumer to see our brands and we want the world-class infrastructure to support incredible excitement, product and innovation in the brands.
What drove the decision to reorganize Wolverine’s segments?
Jim Zwiers President, The Performance Group, Wolverine Worldwide
By Thomas J. Ryan
On January 8, Wolverine announced its decision to migrate from four to three brand Operating Groups: The Performance Group, the Heritage Group and the Lifestyle Group.
• Performance - comprised of Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, • •
Patagonia Footwear and Cushe - is being led by Zwiers. Heritage - comprised of Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear, Bates, Sebago, Harley-Davidson Footwear and HyTest - is being led by Ted Gedra. Lifestyle - comprised of Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite Children's Group, Hush Puppies, Keds, and Soft Style - is being led by Mark Neal.
What attracted Wolverine to Saucony? Saucony is for the dedicated runner and that part of the running sector is phenomenal right now. Saucony has positioned itself well - they're not just the running brand of the moment or on the trend of the moment; they are for the dedicated runner. And when we look at participation in that category - whether it is half-marathons, marathons, women's events, social-cause running events - there is terrific community around and emphasis there, along with strong specialty run store connections with the consumer. One of the big ‘X factors’ of the industry today is how strong specialty running is and that's because they reflect great modern retailing. They're close to the consumer, close to their local community, they create events and excitement, and they provide excellent service when you come in the door. That's rare to find at retail and is a real strength for this sector. How will Wolverine support Saucony’s growth? Saucony has tremendous momentum right now and a tremendous team. We don't think of it so much as how is Wolverine going to help any of the acquired brands as much as how can the combination of the brands and the people along with the strength of the legacy of Wolverine brands and people create opportunities together. What are the opportunities to make these brands stronger? And so from a Saucony standpoint, one opportunity is international. They already have one of the better international businesses within the PLG brands, however, we’re able to add some infrastructure and expertise in international that we think can be incremental and help drive growth. Second, from a sourcing standpoint, we now source over 100 million footwear units or apparel units every year and that's a big advantage that’s going to benefit not only Saucony but all of our brands. Third is the sharing of best practices. When you take Merrell, Saucony or any other brand in the group, there are areas of expertise either in channels of distribution, or business structures or in people that we can benefit from and learn both ways. One brand, for instance, can help another expand into a newer channel. The integration and discussion around best practices has been very positive. Finally, the culture fit has been fantastic and gives us a strong platform to build on. Both Merrell and Saucony sell into run specialty. Any plans to share reps
The restructuring follows Wolverine’s October acquisition of the Performance & Lifestyle Group (PLG), which included Saucony as well as Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite and Keds. Here Zwiers discusses the reorganization and the prospects for the brands across the new Performance portfolio, particularly Saucony.
8 MARCH 2013
We won’t share reps. We don’t need the consumer to know that Saucony and Merrell are connected in the back room. We take a brand-focused approach and we drive our brand with intensity from a product, marketing and sales standpoint. We want the consumer to see that brand’s point of view represented in the product. We will keep them individualized from that standpoint. From a run specialty perspective, we
or realize synergies in that channel?
have two brands that come from a different point of view. For Saucony, you have a history of serving the dedicated runner and that leads to a certain type of product. We are servicing that runner - on the road and on the trail - in their running endeavors. It’s a run-based brand and that's where Saucony is focused. Merrell comes at it differently - to excite, drive and empower the outside athlete. With Merrell we focus on hiking, trekking, trail running and a lot of activities in-between. Merrell also brings that outside performance-minded person into train and a little bit into road but more from an outdoor or outside athlete perspective whereas Saucony comes at it from a point of view where, ‘Sometimes I run on a trail. Sometimes I run on pavement. But I run.’ And that's a very different focus. It doesn’t mean the shoes may not sit directly next
becoming popular, Merrell’s new M-Connect series expands to differing stack heights in terms of drop but also in cushioning so we're expanding to appeal to the broader range of outside athletes. Merrell has also been dedicated to running form and teaching Merrell Bareform running. Saucony has been focused on providing alternatives to the dedicated runner to meet their personal goals both training and competing. They work together but they just have different points of view. There’s been some concern about minimalism slowing with FiveFingers’
We don’t have any worries. What we see is a natural expansion, not a contraction. Consumers want a minimal experience and brands are applying that in ways that the consumer wants to migrate to. For example with our Merrell M-Connect we've added cushioning in certain models where people want it. We've also added drop in areas, so it’s broadening. It's more difficult to identify exactly minimal product now. But if you look at what products sales sliding. What’s your take?
to each other on a shelf in some instances, but it will be easy for the consumer to see where the brands are coming from not only in terms of a look, features and benefits but also from a brand aspirational viewpoint that connects uniquely with them. We feel very confident in the unique point of view of both brands. And you also see each approach to minimalism
We do and it comes from each brands’ point of view. Saucony is again focused on the dedicated runner, and they have approached the category from that perspective. Saucony runs from zero drop to 4mm and they have the ‘Geometry of Strong’ approach at 8mm in select big franchise categories. They've been very smart in taking it from a scientific consumer-focused standpoint. For Merrell, the team has been very focused on the consumer feedback and learnings from Barefoot. We have learned that the feeling you get while running in minimal product heightens the experience outside. With 4mm’s
are influenced by minimal and influenced by lightweight, you’ll see that it continues to expand even more broadly. The market numbers look different because one dominant brand has fallen off, but the other brands and products around it have grown nicely and it continues to be an important influencer of the trend. We see the category expanding and also getting more intelligent and a little less, ‘Hey, just build it thinner and build it lighter.’ It’s much more intelligent than that, which has resulted in improved products and great stories at retail. Any plans to move some of Saucony’s staff from Lexington? Absolutely not.
First, those teams are well established on the east coast. Second, as a company we have wanted an east coast attractor - an area to retain and build talent on the east coast. That corridor is excellent and rounds out Wolverine’s ability to build the best teams. Globally, we have offices in London, Montreal, Portland, Hong Kong, as well as Michigan. With the Boston office we have a broad set of locations to attract the best in the industry, which is critical to our future success. We're thrilled about many things from a market perspective. We continue to gain market share and the data is powerful in that direction. It’s been a bit of a tough outdoor market this year and Merrell has been
How is Merrell performing?
able to more than hold its own. What's more exciting is the development of the three lanes on the Merrell highway of opportunity – Performance Outdoor, which is where the brand began; Outside Athletic; and Active Lifestyle. Merrell addresses all the needs of the outside athlete and it's where our consumer is moving. More importantly, the retailer needs to strategically expand their stride rite view in a similar way to drive growth in their categories. We had terrific meetings at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Show with our retail partners around strategy. With the size of Merrell, we don't need to ask, ‘Where do you think the consumer is going?’ or ‘Where do you think the water is flowing?’ We can work more strategically with our partners to say, ‘Where do we need to move the consumer?’ ‘Where do we need to move the business to?’ That comes from trust but it also comes from the opportunity that Merrell offers to hit a broad base of consumers visiting outdoor stores. That’s been very exciting.
wanted to make sure we were getting it expanded internationally as fast as possible. Linking it to the Lifestyle Group and Hush Puppies was the right decision at that time. The brand has grown to be very global. But the brand's action sports and outdoor sports focus has become more relevant. It's a natural fit with the Performance Group when you look at the types of construction and the types of sourcing we need to support it but also the types of retail formats where it sells in.
The brand's doing great and is achieving nice exposure with clean distribution. All the way from Nordstrom to surf shops, we have achieved strong brand presence and it's checking though very well. It seems to have hit a nerve with après activity, which is very powerful. Whether its board sports, skate, surf – it’s a terrific alternative choice with sophistication and comfort that attracts a broad Can you highlight some key initiatives to drive Merrell’s audience. It’s not a typical action sport growth? M-Connect is huge and it will hit for spring. As brand but it plays in a big category with we move into fall, we’ll continue to move on the Proterra a unique point of view. Cushe is getting a platform, which has reinvented the hike category. We continue lot of attention right now. with the M-Connect series and for fall we added an exciting M-Select Move casual collection that has been one of the What’s the potential for Chaco? biggest attractions this year. It’s a very tellable story because it’s The opportunity for Chaco remains highly contoured on the top of the footbed, which is unusual huge. It grew at strong double-digits in a casual shoe. Fall 2013 will see key launches in each of our last year and it will do so again in 2013. three categories, Performance Outdoor, Outside Athletic and What’s great about Chaco is that is has stayed very close to its heritage and the Active Lifestyle. consumer continues to respond to that. Why did Cushe shift to the Performance Group? At We’re broadening the excitement of patthe time we acquired Cushe in 2009, we talked about where terns and webbing, and we've also gone it would fit best within our portfolio, and at the time we to three different sandal options - our 10 MARCH 2013
How is Cushe’s momentum?
fully-built original, a medium platform, and a lighter-weight option that's easier to understand, and easier to adjust. We've been able to segment the line and add excitement at all levels. The Fall 2013 line that we introduced at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market has been well received and the consumer and retailer want Chaco to be a four-season brand. We feel great about Chaco. It’s absolutely red hot in certain parts of the country and starting to expand globally. Finally, how’s Patagonia Footwear doing? We are privileged to partner with Patagonia to create amazing product linked to the Patagonia ethos. Patagonia’s authentic and genuine approach to product and the environment is inspiring and provides a strong platform for our footwear. We are excited about our Fall 2013 product and continue to link even more closely to the stories and focus of the Patagonia brand. How is the overall performance opportunity looking for Wolverine?
One of the great opportunities in the market today is around brands that connect with the consumer and meet their needs for active and casual products that they love and cherish. Whether it’s Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Cushe or Patagonia Footwear, our brands are in sync with the consumer and current lifestyle trends. Consumers want to be active, they want to be healthy, and they want a connected life. And frankly, they want to tell better stories, they want more experiences, they want to be empowered to do a little more every day. Our brands have that advantage, and one of the biggest attractors for a lot of people is that ability to do more in their life, to be empowered, and to be more of the person they want to be. The brands in the Performance Group empower our consumers every day. We’re fortunate to have highengagement, high-performance brands that really define the individual who wears our product and we’re thrilled that they choose our brands. ■
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Photos courtesy of Stanley
Stanley Celebrates 100 Years with A New Retail Support Program and Commemorative Products By Aaron H. Bible
12 MARCH 2013
To commemorate the company's 100th birthday, two new bottles pay tribute to the original vintage product.
"Retailers receive help in establishing a Thermalware section in their store, which leads to better sell-through and profitability, while consumers are able to locate and compare these items in one area, which allows them to identify the product most suitable for their needs. Ultimately it’s a win-win for everyone." -Neil Burch, vice president of the Outdoor Division for the Stanley brand.
Seattle, Washington-based Stanley, a brand of PMI, this year is rolling out an innovative Thermalware Retail Support Program (RSP) for dealers, designed to provide retailers with merchandising solutions to drive sell-through and better organize products as a Thermalware category. The first to officially “name” the category, Stanley believes that Thermalware - defined as food and beverage gear such as vacuum bottles, mugs, nesting systems, and food jars represents an untapped category with huge potential for retailers as this gear plays a major role in backpacking, backto-school, camping, work and lifestyle. In testing conducted this past fall with select retailers, dealers saw an average 35 percent sales increase on items featured in the test. Based off this data, Stanley plans a broader roll out of the program this year, offering it to select retailers nationwide as part of their Fall 2013 purchases. “The Stanley Thermalware Retail Support Program helps both consumers and retailers by providing clear communication and organization on the shelf,” said Neil Burch, vice president of the Outdoor Division for the Stanley brand. “Retailers receive help in establishing a Thermalware section in their store, which leads to better sell-through and profitability, while consumers are able to locate and compare these items in one area, which allows them to identify the product most suitable for their needs. Ultimately it’s a win-win for everyone.” The test program was conducted over a six-week period in which Stanley brand representatives worked closely with participating retailers, providing new merchandising tools, displays and point-of-purchase materials. Retailers shared feedback and input on the direction of the next generation of the program. The overall results exceeded expectations, with only positive feedback and results from both sales representatives and participating retailers. Retailers interested in the TRSP can contact Stanley for additional information. And to further commemorate the company’s 100th birthday, PMI/Stanley is releasing two limited-edition anniversary products, taking inspiration from its early designs. These new commemorative bottles pay tribute to the
The Stanley Thermalware Retail Support Program helps both consumers and retailers by providing clear communication and organization on the shelf.
original vintage product - from the recessed signature 100th anniversary badge, to the brushed green finish taken directly from the beloved 1944 version - while retaining the performance features that make the brand special. Invented by William Stanley on September 2, 1913 (official patent date), the all-steel vacuum bottle revolutionized the way people enjoyed food and beverage. “It’s such an honor to still be going strong 100 years after William Stanley, Jr. invented the all-steel vacuum bottle. What’s even more special is the love people have for this iconic green bottle,” said JoAnne Anderson, senior global marketing manager for PMI’s Stanley brand. “This bottle represents the shared memories they’ve had throughout their lifetime. Often times it has outlived the very people they have shared those experiences with and it represents a memory they can still hold on to.” For generations the Stanley brand has been a part of millions of lives, and throughout that time stories of the bond people have with their Stanley bottles continue to be collected and shared online at stanley-pmi.com/stories. Available from now to December 2013, the new Stanley Limited Edition 100th Anniversary 1.1 QT/1L and 1.4 QT/1.3L bottles feature: legendary vacuum insulation that keeps drinks hot or cold for 24 hours; double wall, 18/8 stainless steel construction that’s guaranteed not to rust; insulated lid that doubles as a cup; and a lifetime guarantee, MSRP $38 to $42 respectively. Founded in 1983 by Rob Harris, PMI manufactures, markets, and designs innovative food and beverage solutions for busy lifestyles worldwide. PMI’s two most recognizable brands, Stanley and Aladdin, are both nearly 100 years old. Guided by principles of sustainability, community and integrity, PMI has offices in Shanghai, Amsterdam and Manila and ownership in PMI Joinease manufacturing in China. It currently distributes its products in over 50 countries. ■
Adidas Looks Beyond
Adidas Introduces Energy Boost Cushioning Technology By Thomas J. Ryan
14 MARCH 2013 Photos courtesy of Adidas
"With Boost, we give maximum cushioning and maximum comfort combined with maximum responsiveness and energy return. The two have never been together before." -Eric Liedtke, Adidas’ head of sport performance
t a global media event held last month in New York City’s Jacob Javitz Convention Center, Adidas unveiled Energy Boost, declaring it such a gamechanging cushioning technology that it will one day replace the EVA midsole. Boasting Boost foam has the capacity to “change running forever,” Eric Liedtke, Adidas’ head of sport performance, noted that for years the industry “had endeavored to make the perfect shoe - a shoe that has equal parts cushioning and comfort with equal parts energy return. Until today, all current foam has been inadequate.” The problem with current foam is that runners had to choose either to have cushioning or energy return. The problem ran across running shoe walls since 90 to 95 percent of athletic footwear utilizes EVA foam.
“With Boost, we crack the code,” contended Liedtke at the presentation in front of nearly 400 journalists. “With Boost, we give maximum cushioning and maximum comfort combined with maximum responsiveness and energy return. The two have never been together before.” Part of a new Adidas segment called Energy Running, the Energy Boost’s technology promises to deliver the “energy,” or responsiveness that gives the athlete the extra gear to excel. “In sport, energy is the great differentiator,” stated Liedtke. “Whether you’re trying to run a marathon, finish out a season or drop a few pounds, energy is what keeps you going and delivers you to the promised land.” The foundation of the Boost innovation is centered on its cushioning material. Based on a development process first created in 2009 by BASF, solid granular material (TPU) is literally blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules which make up the footwear’s distinctive midsole. With their unique cell structure, these capsules store and unleash energy more efficiently in every stride.
James Carnes, creative director, sports performance, said the traditional EVA shoe has one piece of foam while the midsole of the Boost has little capsules molded together that are able to absorb energy and then unleash that energy at a consistent rate over and over. Said Carnes, “Every time you step down you feel that, it’s an amazing, unbelievable feel compared to anything else.” He likened the softness to a “fluffy pillow or couch that you just sink into” while the responsiveness acts more like a Formula One car where you ”feel like you have good control, feel light on your feet.” Also noting that those two pairings haven’t been felt in a running shoe before, Carnes compared the effect to the tension and elasticity that exists in the human body. Said Carnes, “One of our athletes talked about the feeling when you put on one of these shoes as being like you’ve got something alive on your foot. We love that.”
The process in making the midsole is also unique and is very similar to the way a bike helmet is constructed. Said Peveto, “It’s done through steam. It’s not done through pressure with the mold. It’s a unique and new way for us to build product but it gives us a chance to change the paradigm.” He also played up the durability attributes. Intentionally referencing language his kids may use, he described the result as, “Flubber meets the everlasting gobstopper.”
“With the launch, we’ll be in 225 to 230 doors across the country, of which 165 are run specialty,” said Brewer. “The majority of our pairs are going to run specialty. We feel it’s important and we’ve got to authenticate this product in running specialty and incubate it before we expand it too far. We’ll expand it in fall outside of running specialty a bit more and we’ll expand it in running specialty doors, too. But we’re going to do it very intelligently and very
Peveto added, “The moment you try it on, you’re done. I’ve been doing this a very long time and it’s one of the rare times it all pays off the way you want it to.” Adidas brought out Yohan Blake, the current 100m-world champion, and Haile Gebrselassie, the legendary longdistance runner who holds 27 world records, for the launch. Asked about his thoughts after trying on an Energy Boost shoe, Gebrselassie joked, “Is it legal?” Energy Boost will be available worldwide at Adidas Sport Performance stores and select retailers on February 27. Chris Brewer, running manager, Adidas America, said Adidas is being selective in introducing the product, with a heavy focus on establishing it in the run specialty channel.
strategically and make sure we’re with the right partners.” At the event, Adidas also briefly talked about another game-changing launch with SpringBlade set for August. The SpringBlade features 18 individual blades underneath the insole to deliver “explosivity” for the runner. Liedtke said Adidas is far from done expanding its Boost foam across its lineup. Adistar Boost, Adios Boost and Sonic Boost are all being planned for rollout over 2014/15. Boost technology will also be extended not only into basketball and training but also into its Originals Streetwear label. Said Liedtke, “We know that Boost is a game changer for our company but it’s a revolution for the industry and we see it in the very near future making EVA obsolete.” ■
The Boost has 2,500 “little energy capsules” in a size nine shoe, “so it’s almost like 2,500 little midsoles.” - Mikal Peveto, director of running, Adidas America Another unique feature of the shoe is that the mingling of soft/responsiveness works regardless of the climate. Tests revealed that, when taken from +40 to -20 degrees Celsius, Boost foam is three times more temperature-resistant than standard EVA material, providing a more consistent run. Said Carnes, “That same responsiveness of the small energy capsule holds true in any temperature.” The shoe is also durable. While typical running shoes wear out and “lose that spring feel” after logging miles, the Energy Boost from the “first kilometer you run retains its response to the 500th. You have exactly the same properties coming out of the energy capsules from the very beginning.” Beyond the midsole, the upper on the Energy Boost features Adidas Techfit technology with highly durable and elastic polyurethane, providing optimal comfort and support to the entire foot while in motion. A stretch, breathable mesh material offers the fit of a sock while engineered powerbands across the upper provide targeted support and stabilize the foot where needed when moving. Mikal Peveto, director of running, Adidas America, further noted that a cross-section of an EVA shoe shows “pockets of nothing” alongside the EVA material. As a result, the midsole is bound to break down over time with the pounding of running. The Boost has 2,500 “little energy capsules” in a size nine shoe, “so it’s almost like 2,500 little midsoles.”
16 MARCH 2013
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R E TA I L E R F O C U S
Keen Opens Innovative Retail Space Beneath New Headquarters in Downtown Portland By Aaron H. Bible Photos courtesy of Keen
In December, Keen reopened its Keen Garage PDX retail space on the first floor of its new headquarters. The building - in the heart of downtown Portland’s Pearl district - is located at the corner of 13th Avenue and Glisan Street at 515 NW 13th Avenue. The new retail store is four times the size of its original location, but more importantly, was designed to incorporate locally harvested and upcycled materials. The base of the counter of cash registers is wrapped in outsoles from its Portland factory. It sits below a suspended roof of sculpted Oregon street signs. The Garage, so named to illustrate the space as an extension of the Keen home headquarters, is filled with playful elements of discovery to spark customers’ curiosity and exploration. Oversized glass pane garage doors facing Glisan Street open to reveal the 4000-square-foot retail space (2,700 of that is selling space), which houses more than 300 styles of Keen footwear, bags and socks. Keen purchased the five-story, 50,000-square-foot building in February 2012 for its global headquarters, demonstrating the company’s commitment to building its business in the heart of Portland. After renovating the 105-year-old building - and generating less than one dumpster full of waste - the company moved its operations into the top four floors in October. 18 MARCH 2013
In Portland since 2006, the company had rented its previous 30,000-square-foot office space on NW 13th Avenue, enabling the team to grow its product offering and support its expanding fan base from around the world. “When we moved the brand to Portland from California in 2006, [the city] was an immediate fit for Keen,” said Linda Balfour, a long-time employee who moved with Keen to Portland. “This purchase provides another exciting milestone in our short history; we are thrilled to create a custom space for our team and to make Portland our permanent home.” Keen said the new building is a leap forward to provide scalability for continued growth; and the ability to own versus rent enables the company to infuse the “Keen Factor” into its offices, customizing and creating new and culturally meaningful space for meeting rooms, showrooms and expanded retail. "The Keen Garages are a true window into who we are as a brand and company," said Keen's Russ Hopcus, VP of global sales and market development. "From displays made of repurposed materials to playful interactive fixtures, to the wall dedicated to our 'Hybrid.Care Partners,' Keen Garages show how we create, play and care." Hopcus also said the Keen Garages serve as a lab for the company. "They offer us the opportunity to meet and greet current and new fans and learn more about them and their product needs. It also allows us to test new merchandising formats and this helps us better understand our products, our merchandising, our displays and our customers - which is great for business," he said. The Garage offers an inviting retail space where friends and families can gather to get outfitted and inspired for their next adventure. It sits alongside the company’s Great Room,
which serves as an employee gathering-place and a place for Keen non-profit partners to meet. “Fans are exposed to the entire Keen product line in this space, and are encouraged to share their Keen stories with our store staff. Our philosophy is that the more we engage directly with our fans, the better we can be,” said Christa DePoe, VP of global online and retail. Keen has quietly become a household name over the last ten years, with roots in boating footwear, then moving on to conquer hike, street, run, bags and socks; and the company has tied its future to Portland and sustainable urban revitalization. The five-story building includes the ground floor Garage retail space, a lower level recreation room for employees (6,000 square-feet) and four floors of office space (approximately 10,000 square-feet each). The company designed the space to incorporate existing innovations such as its Recess Hub while planning an environment that inspires future creativity. Store design features include a gravity chute that team members use to whoosh
shoeboxes down from the mezzanine stockroom to the cash register where the awaiting customers can catch them. One of the doors between the Keen offices and Keen Garage is a sliding wooden door from a dilapidated barn in Corvallis. There’s a table made from an old bowling alley, complete with shoes arranged like bowling pins at the end. Customers can crank a wheel to make the shoes move up and down. Keen constructed the displays for its Utility boots out of recovered scaffolding. And there is a sock rack with handles that acts like the old Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robot game. The playground-inspired kids area incorporates swings and a shoe display like monkey bars. The shoe rotisseries from the old store feature an improved design, and the old Coquille, OR, high school bleachers also have a place in the new Garage. Many other items in the store were harvested from various places in the Northwest, which would have ended up in the landfill as well. During the renovation process, Keen Garage employees were dispatched to scrounge for discarded materials that could be used in the store. “Designing this store with these materials has been like putting together a living, breathing Keen jigsaw puzzle,” said DePoe. Two other Keen Garages are located in Tokyo and Toronto. In addition to the headquarters and retail space, Keen also operates the Keen Factory on Swan Island in North Portland, located less than five miles from the Keen headquarters and Garage. “We are deeply committed to strengthening our foothold and continuing to build our business here in Portland,” continued DePoe. “How many other companies house their headquarters, retail space and a manufacturing facility all in one city?” Founded in 2003 with the launch of the Newport sandal, known for its patented toe protection technology, Keen creates innovative and comfortable products that transition from work to play. Through its Hybrid.Care giving program, Keen supports social and environmental organizations around the world. The company recently launched the Keen Recess Revolution, encouraging adults to take 10-minute outdoor "Recess" breaks every day to re-energize at work and be healthier and happier. Named one of "America's Best Places to Work" by Outside Magazine, Keen products are available in more than 5,000 retail locations in 60 countries. ■
20 MARCH 2013
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Run Opportunity Documented by the surge in women participating in races, the female runner has become not only a much bigger opportunity for run specialty stores but the core driver across the channel. By Thomas J. Ryan
22 MARCH 2013
omen’s purchases now make up about two-thirds of sales in the running channel, up from about a third in the eighties, according to several run specialty shops. The numbers come in even higher on the apparel side. But the shift from largely catering to men hasn’t come without its hurdles and many challenges continue across merchandising, product and service areas. Mike Cosentino, owner, Big Peach Running Company, said the industry has seen a major shift from the “locker room” and “stack it high and watch it fly” attitude from run specialty’s early days, spurred on by the mass arrival of women runners. “The female runner wants an environment that is comfortable, welcoming and not intimating,” said Cosentino. “The store needs to be clean, well lit and professionally merchandised. Independent of selection and pricing, they’re going to recognize the clean restrooms. And in the fitting room they’re not going to notice the color of the garment as much as the lighting that’s behind it. Men appreciate those things, too. They don’t publicly state it, but given a choice they’ll choose the same thing.” Mike On the footwear side, Cosentino believes that the Cosentino, female consumer has driven the explosion of colors. owner, Big Peach And he said while Big Peach has been shuffling Running inventory among its doors to fill missing colorways Company in certain locations, he believes each store will have to carry a full range of colors in the future or lose a sale to the Internet. Said Cosentino, “Suggesting to try another model or brand doesn’t recapture the sale to us. The customer is too smart for us to tell them the colors are not available when they can go online and see the whole collection on Amazon. You’re just giving the customer permission to shop there.” Big Peach plans on going deeper in established lines to cover a full color range, and Cosentino suspects that may come at the expense of inventory room for newer brands. On the apparel side, Cosentino believes the run specialty channel is “caught in the middle” of price points. He believes the cost structure doesn’t fit the $9.99 T-shirt or $14.99 Short that many runners find at other destinations. At the same time, the stores aren’t seen as “cool enough" to fetch the premium prices found at a Lululemon or Athleta. He also said brands are recognizing that even though women may pay a premium for their shoes, that doesn’t mean they’ll do the same for apparel. Cosentino said brands like Moving Comfort, Asics and The North Face are playing up fashionable touches after recognizing “great technical apparel that performs well isn’t enough.” At the same time, he lamented that run specialty overall has to “update our cool factor” to compete in the space. At the store level, Big Peach is going wireless with associates using iPads at the shoe wall to show merchandise to shoppers, check inventory and check them out. Cosentino also said with consumers more educated than ever, his staff has become better armed with information. “She has a lot of preconceived notions right before she ever walks in,” said Cosentino. “And it’s not only product knowledge, we’re also giving advice around proper running room. We also have to know what races are coming up, where the personal training centers are that have yoga classes, and what the class times are. That kind of specialty knowledge wasn’t needed five years ago but it’s the new standard.”
Photo courtesy of The North Face
ike most Fleet Feet Sports, Fleet Feet New Haven skews heavily women at about 65 percent/35 percent. Owner Stephanie Blozy said with many more experienced runners, men more so than women tend to ”know exactly what shoe they want” and will shop online for a discount. Women are more receptive to the education and guidance her staff provides in a non-intimidating environment. “For a variety of reasons, it seems that more women are at the ‘beginning stages’ of exercise/running programs and need advice on proper gear,” said Blozy. “Women are also less likely to pour over the latest Shoe Review/Guide or do Internet research on shoes – rather, they seek out “human advice” and enjoy the interaction that shopping provides.” The store offers more than 20 training programs a year, with about 90 percent catering to women. Added Blozy, “We love our training group participants because they need most everything and are open to seek out our advice. They become our store’s most loyal customers and best advertisers as they tell their friends, husbands and kids to come shop with us." On the footwear side, women are heavy buyers of traditional running shoes and cross trainers with a few coming Owner Stephanie Blozy, specifically for minimal models. The bulk Fleet Feet New Haven of it is racing flats and minimal shoe sales are from men although a few women do come in specifically for minimal shoes. Said Blozy, “We recommend some ‘minimal’ shoes for various running gaits and injury pattern as well as when women want a fun-colored pair of Kinvara's or Free’s to use as a casual shoe.” The store does well in sports bras, and carries over 15 different styles to provide many fit options. A “Sports Bra Fit Fest” held every few months will typically lead to the sale of 50 to 75 bras. Blozy credited marketing and discounts from brands like Moving Comfort and Enell in supporting the category, and she believes a successful bra-fitting experience often encourages the consumer to shop the rest of the store. Like many specialty run stores, however, apparel remains a challenge with the category declining in the past year. Eighty percent of its apparel business is women’s with men generally having minimal running apparel needs besides shorts. Blozy said the rise of companies like Athleta, Title 9 and Lululemon has pointed to the sizeable crossover opportunity between women’s athletic apparel and casual apparel. And while she cites Nike and Brooks among the traditional footwear brands that have stepped up their game in apparel, many women are still choosing Lululemon in her market, despite their notably higher prices. “Right now, the Lulu brand is hot and for women who want to be seen in the “in” apparel, there is no substitution,” said Blozy. “With that in mind, I wonder if I need to position myself as the go-to store for your everyday running/workout essentials?” t Runner’s Depot, which has five stores in Southern Florida, women’s contributes about 65 percent of sales. “I believe it will continue to grow as running is now something every woman can do,” said Reneé Grant, founder and co-owner of Runner’s Depot, of the women’s run opportunity. “It is a confidence-booster and a social outlet.”
24 MARCH 2013
She believes vendors are doing a better job attacking the opportunity since she opened her first store in 2000, including making womenspecific lasts for shoes as well as being more conscious of matching shoes to apparel. At the store level, Runner’s Depot has brought in “larger, more intimate” dressing Reneé Grant, rooms with the space to founder and co-owner of accommodate strollers for Runner’s Depot running moms. The stores also have a dedicated bra section called the ‘Support Center.’ Added Grant, “Women want special attention.” Women are drawn to the social side of running, and her stores focus a host of events around women, including Ladies’ Nights, Black Girls Run (BGR) as well as bra fittings. “They are making the transition into running from other activities such as CrossFit, Zumba, etc.,” said Grant. “The social aspect of running and these other activities are very important to women.” t Seattle’s Super Jock 'n Jill, women make up about 60 percent of the business. Owner Chet James expects the women’s side to be the primary driver of his business for years to come. “The female consumer has always been more about customer service,” said James. “Since we are a customer service driven retailer, this match makes a lot of sense.” As a whole, most of women’s business at Super Jock 'n Jill, is driven by the recreational and fitness participant. James sees many using running or walking as a way to stay fit, release stress and stay active. “Their ages range the whole spectrum, from young girls just being active, to women in their 20’s to 60’s,” said James. “Many of our female customers are using athletic footwear for work, travel, everyday activities and recovery from injuries. Women as a whole are looking for help in selecting their footwear, where men tend to be more independent. That’s possibly the biggest difference between the two genders. Having the sales staff aware of taking the time with both genders and responding to their individual needs seems to be the best response to answering their needs.” At the store level, the biggest opportunity he sees is addressing the need for organized and established areas for women’s apparel and fitting areas. “Sports bras being 25 percent of your apparel sales should be specific with a clear and defined area and some well thought out options,” said James. “However, like most specialized retail stores, the majority of the sales are centered towards footwear. Your apparel should be displayed well and stocked, rotated
often and a customer service person available if possible. But because having a salesperson available for clothing isn’t always possible, having an area organized for self-help is essential.” As far as product, James finds more challenges on the apparel side with many other places and brands where a women can find appropriate active clothing. He finds that womenspecific brands, such as Lululemon, Moving Comfort, Oiselle, perform best with women, but he noted that Nike seems to have figured out the women’s market. Added James, “They’ve been able to stay current in colors, fit and style.” Overall, James said footwear vendors needed to do a better job being more creative in apparel. Said James, “They seem to always compete against each other’s product, so they end up looking the same. They need to take some risks to stand out and look, fit and feel different from each other. People crave unique choices that inspire them and their activities.” kinny Raven Sports in Anchorage just finished a reorganization of its store layout to better accommodate its female customers but has always tried to keep appearances fresh and interesting since women don’t want to walk in every two to three months and see the same thing. Owner John Clark finds women are more serious shoppers whereas men tend to want to get in and get out.
John Clark owner Skinny Raven Sports in Anchorage
reading and engaging significantly.” Clark finds vendors are doing a solid job addressing the different needs of women. Added Clark, “Obviously, Nike has been front and center with how they approach the female runner and their Nike Women’s marathon series is big. Now you see similar types of premium events across the country.” Skinny Raven is also starting its own women’s-only half marathon this year. Still, Clark believes run specialty has been “slow in figuring out what the consumer wants and in getting those products in addition to the running products they need to have as well.” A related challenge with the run specialty format is addressing the other general fitness needs of women. Dedicating the space and resources around an activity such as triathlon presents a similar challenge. He believes a store like Lululemon gains a natural advantage with its main focus on apparel. “That’s not to say run specialty can’t be better, but we have many other areas we need to be good at and unfortunately we are really good at footwear so we’ll always suffer in comparison with apparel,” said Clark. t Urban Athletics, located on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, women’s makes up half of its business. At least in New York City, the major contributor to growth of women participants in running, at least in NYC, is the growth of charity organizations and their strategy to use running as a vehicle to fundraise. But that’s become more challenging with the recent downturn. “Their supply has outgrown the demand at least hear in NYC,” said Jerry Macari, Urban Athletics co-owner. “This is evident as many charities have been unable to apply their highly prized NYC marathon entries to fundraise when historically there were a premium. The poor economy has hurt these charities as well.”
“If your store doesn’t inspire women to shop while they are there then they’ll find places that they can,” said Clark. Women’s commands the largest share at Skinny Raven, particularly since the main store features a lifestyle footwear and apparel section and the firm also has a women’s boutique across the street. “All our in-store events are designed around women,” added Clark. “The energy it requires to put on these types of events has high payoffs compared to anything we would do for men.” Its group runs, fashion events and races geared toward women are complemented by an active social media push. The store has over 11,000 Facebook fans. Said Clark, “Nearly all our social media is focused on appealing to the female customer. They are the ones
Macari believes that the greater portion of women runners in his market are the beginner/recreational kind, whether they were inspired by a charity run or seeing running as a less expensive option than the gym to stay in shape. Said Macari, “In my opinion the driving force behind most women's reason for running is weight control.” On the product side, Macari believes vendors are doing a good job on the apparel side. “It's tough to argue against Nike's success in this area despite the overwhelming popularity of Lululemon. Also, since there seems to be an unlimited number of choices on the apparel side, experienced and talented buyers can put together an apparel presentation to suit almost any female consumer,” said Macari. “On the other hand there is a limited choice of footwear brands to chose from and in turn a limited amount of styles. While the performance of the vast majority of footwear choices is actually outstanding in my view, the styling appeal to women is lacking to say the least. This is a priority for women more than men and is an even greater one for the beginner/ recreational runner.” ndrea Johnson, co-founder of Blue Mile in Indianapolis, said while it seems stereotypical given the joke about men not wanting to ask for directions, women generally are more open to seeking out advice at a specialty store while “many men will go to a big box store and figure it out themselves.” But with its founders having prior experience in the running industry and fully recognizing the opportunity, treating women “with equal respect” has been a mantra at Blue Mile since the first store opened in 2000. An uncluttered sales floor and clean bathrooms are a priority since women seem to notice these more than men. Blue Mile also tries to make sure women are “well represented” on their staff since some
women are more comfortable being fit by other women. Johnson also noted that “you can find plenty of guys who do a great job of helping fit sports bras. It just takes the right personality.” Still, Johnson said Blue Mile’s mission is to make the store environment comfortable for men as well. “Women may appreciate it more but we also have men who are intimidated coming into a store like ours because they don’t think they’re really runners,” said Johnson. “They may be trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle or may be a little overweight and self-conscious. We try to treat everyone equally.” On the product side, Johnson credits vendors for bringing in narrower heels for women and coming out with shoes with bunion windows which seems to be a greater problem among women. On the apparel side, Blue Mile has brought Lole and apparel from Moving Comfort to address the women’s runner’s desire to wear more fashionable merchandise. She sees core-running brands also recognizing that women are looking for “less-techy,” crossover apparel that can also be used for activities such as yoga and for casual occasions. Said Johnson, “It’s a lot more fashionable to be a runner than it was even 10 years ago. When I started running in the 80s, you were lucky to get a short and a t-shirt.” Johnson said that while most run specialty stores have evolved from their traditional roots as the “jock shop,” it’s still a challenge to compete on the apparel side with an even-more specialized concept like Lululemon. “Lululemon is a dynamic shopping experience,” related Johnson. “You walk in and you get drawn into the hype. Their staff is mostly women, and their stores are very clean and modern. If it offers any lessons for run specialty, it’s that we need to modernize our stores and make them look nice. Of course, Lululemon and Nike have the resources to pump into that but we have to find a way.”
26 MARCH 2013
oulder Running Company puts a big emphasis on building relationships and creating better in-store experiences to cater to its burgeoning women’s customer base. “She runs the gamut of being completely new to the scene, to being a multi-decade long runner with double-digit marathon experience,” said Amanda Charles, director of operations, apparel and accessories buyer, of the wide range of women Boulder Running Company sees. “Regardless of her age, she is seen bringing her friends and family to the sport of running.” Charles said women understand the importance of cross training for overall fitness and can be found at boot camp workouts, track workouts, hiking, Pilates, yoga and Zumba sessions. Said Charles, “Our team realizes this and enjoys the opportunity to discuss her various workouts that she does throughout her week. The social aspect of running continues to grow but is definitely stronger on the female side of the business.” Daily fitness classes established over the past two years have helped drive traffic, along with weekly newsletters. Said Charles, “Weekly, casual fun runs have been a phenomenal way to interact with our running community and help encourage new runners into the sport.” Charles’ best advice is to train male associates in the category of sports bras and help them view it as a piece of equipment. “This is a category that should be a key driver to your overall apparel business and is one that continues to be a focus from the initial buys all the way through checking back in with these customers as they come back to replace their shoes after 6 months,” said Charles. “The odds are high that if her shoes are that old, her bra is more than likely needing to be replaced. We have plans on structuring a bonus system specifically oriented to this department on a monthly basis in the near future.” From a merchandising standpoint, the women’s area should be inviting with “great color and open spacing,” with accessories such as headbands, bags, wallets, hydration, recovery products incorporated into displays. Displaying by category is another option, such as statement wall of bras. “Utilize your fitting rooms as silent salespeople to get them to think about categories that they might not necessarily be shopping for, create visual cues,” she added. “Hanging various bra sizes on hooks may trigger someone to either try them on or begin a conversation on being properly fit.” On the product side, complaints her stores typically hear from both genders are usually surrounding their favorite shoes "always changing." Added Charles, “No brand escapes this complaint.” In apparel, maintaining key styles for long enough periods has also been helpful in driving the in-store purchase
decision. Said Charles, “The ability for a woman to enter a store, see a style that she is comfortable and familiar with merely in a new color is a fantastic opportunity to create a sale and increase your average transaction.” Still, Charles said the success of Lululemon shows that run specialty still has a way to go in making female customers feel welcome when they enter the store and a trusted source for their apparel needs. “Run specialty fully understands this on the footwear side but has not yet embraced the opportunities and potential that exist on the apparel and accessories side of the business,” said Charles. ndy Kimerling, owner of Westchester Road Runner, estimated that women’s sales represented only around 30 percent of his store’s sales when he founded the store in 1980 and now represents about 60 percent. Over that period, he credits the ongoing benefits of the passage of Title IX, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, that has encouraged women to get active in sports earlier in life. He also believes that in most families, women, whether by embracing running or walking, appear to be driving to push toward healthy lifestyles. He believes the much broader range of color across running styles has been driven by the women’s side, but now men are looking for greater color options as well, including some looking for certain color spikes to match their cross country uniform. This creates an inventory challenge when trying fit people if a store doesn’t have a steep stockroom to carry a wide range of colors. Inevitably, a shoe buyer will settle on three colors from a style but the shopper will want a fourth or fifth color. “They may have a great fit but they’ll reject a shoe just because of its color.” On the apparel side, he doesn’t believe vendors are not doing as good a job as on the footwear side
explaining the benefits, whether moisture-management, UV protection or just comfort. Many runners are choosing to train or race in a basic cotton t-shirt. Said Kimerling, “Shoes are more important but clothing plays a big role in the running experience too.” He also said vendors have a tendency to push too many smalls or mediums. Said Kimerling, “We have a lot of women who are getting in shape or exercising for the first time. The cuts don’t recognize that. And women who are not in shape yet don’t want to wear something that body-hugging.” At the store level, Kimerling conceded that he often finds it tough to find women associates with a deep-enough running background to qualify as experts for advice. Adding mirrors to dressing rooms and around the store, uncluttering racks, and brightening the store are some adjustments Westchester Road Runner has made over the years to better appeal to women shoppers. He said, “They’ll notice that also more than men will.” Westchester Road Runner holds women’s-only runs once a week but is also conducting more clinics at local corporate offices, health clubs, and in local hospitals as part of its outreach efforts. He believes it’s becoming more essential for run specialty to reinforce its position as the place to go for advice around running. “We have to do a better job convincing people that while
their friends, the Internet blogger, or personal trainer might be well intentioned, we’re the ones testing all the shoes months before they come out and they don’t fit people 52 weeks a year. We’re the place to go for information.” laymakers in Okemos, MI, recently created a men’s and women’s side to its store designed to keep gender specific product together and allow for multiple sales. A “boutique” area was also added in the back of the store to house lifestyle apparel and bra selections. The bra wall will receive particular emphasis in 2013. “Little details and special touches to displays and fixtures appeal to women and make them feel special,” said Nikki Benedict, women’s active apparel buyer, Playmakers. “It is warm and stylish…chic and fashionable. A special space designed just for women.” “Women comprise a significant portion of the business at Playmakers,” said Benedict. “Whether they are shopping for
REINFORCEMENTS ARE COMING
themselves or their families, they are the primary shoppers. We have customers who will come to the store on a regular basis just to “check out” what is new.” Many of the new female runners join “Team Playmakers,” which provides coaching, camaraderie and support to help assist runners of all levels achieve their goals, whether training for a 5K or a marathon. Added Benedict, “I have found most women begin running to get in shape and discover they have a real passion for it. A lot of the women runners we see compliment their training with yoga.” Benedict believes the success of Lululemon is leading to more active apparel pieces that are becoming more feminine in design and more versatile in their function. She added, “Vendors have grabbed a hold of this concept and have made a stronger push to add value and to design their lines with the active, on-the-go woman in mind.” ■
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Opportunity Knocks Profiling the Changing Female Athlete By Fernando J. Delgado
28 MARCH 2013
he female athlete is now better than ever. Young women nationwide are playing a record number of sports in record numbers. Marathons and other competitive citizens' races continue to sell out. The level of competition has never been higher as professional female athletes and Olympians earn accolades in dozens of sports and inspire young men and women alike. The gap between females and males closes by the day. Most importantly, young women have more opportunities to play sports in school than ever before - something that many females may take for granted these days. It wasn’t always easy to start playing a sport or reach the heights of athletic achievement we see today at every age and skill level. What helped contribute the most to shaping the modern day female athlete? The answer can be found in a sentence issued decades ago:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” That one declaration, representing the federal law known as Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, forever changed women’s athletics more than 40 years ago. By ensuring equal opportunities for both genders, and applicable to all educational institutions both public and private that receive federal funds, Title IX has allowed both men and women to take advantage of opportunities to participate in sports. Since women were severely under-represented in sports at the time of Title IX’s introduction, female athletes in particular have benefited a great deal from the law, receiving an equitable amount of scholarships and financial aid to participate. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) "Trends in Team Sports Fall 2012 Report," female participation in a number team sports continues to grow even though overall participation has been declining. When
combining the 23-team sports for purposes of the report, SFIA found that total participation in 2011 decreased 4.4 percent from 2010, a loss of 1.3 million participants and 6.1 million team members. Looking back three years, when all 23 team sports were first tracked, 3.6 million participants and 13.2 million team members have been lost. However, a vast majority of the loss is on the adult side, as youth females in particular have shown strong participation. SFIA and Stitch Marketing + Research shared that female team sports participants aged 6 to17 grew 14.4 percent from 2008 to 2011 while overall growth was about 10.2 percent. VJ Mayor, director of marketing & communications at SFIA, has studied the effects of Title IX on team sports participation and shared some observations with SGB. “We’re seeing that 6 to12 year-old girls are adding significant growth,” said Mayor. “Participants were up 14 percent over the last five years. Core participation by females is close to half in a lot of traditional team sports including soccer and track and field, and it’s as high as 70 percent in court volleyball.” SFIA’s “Trends in Team Sports Report” shows increased participation by female athletes, as well as potential growth, in several key team sports. Women’s basketball has room to grow in the core sector, with just 22 percent core participants that are female. “It will be interesting to see if the U.S. women winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics will have any effect on participation,” said Mayor. “We should know by [this month].” Lacrosse core participation is similar to basketball, with 29 percent female core participants compared to 71 percent male participants. Overall participation continues to grow in lacrosse as the sport moves West and maintains a strong presence in the Mid-Atlantic states. Volleyball is another sport that females are gravitating towards. “As with basketball, we wait to see if there is a post-Olympic bump in court and beach participation,” observed Mayor. “Beach volleyball core participation is close to being equal with male participation - 47 percent versus 53 percent - while court volleyball skews heavily toward female participation - 70 percent female versus 30 percent male.” The recent SFIA Volleyball Council meeting focused on keeping the anticipated new participants. Soccer remains a massively popular sport among females, with 5.6 million participants, behind basketball’s 5.9 million. Forty-five percent of core participants are female, compared to 55 percent male. “Being no exception to the rule, we’re keeping an eye on female participation post-Olympics after Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and the rest of the U.S. squad brought home Gold,” said Mayor. “With the launch of the new National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the spring of 2013, it will be interesting to see if this has any impact on
the game at a younger age. Will there be affiliated youth teams to the pro team, similar to clubs in Europe or even MLS clubs? I don’t have the answer to that, but if there are, it would be intriguing to see the participation trends in those eight markets where teams will be set up.” Understanding how the past has shaped the current female athlete and the opportunities available today is an important lesson. Without a doubt, Title IX helped lay the foundation for the rapid growth of females participating in sports. Karen Morrison, director of gender inclusion for the NCAA, is responsible for overseeing the education of member schools, the public and media concerning various women’s issues, including sport, Title IX and women’s professional development. By considering how the female athlete has evolved as a result of that key piece of legislation, she explained that Title IX has impacted society in ways that transcend sports. “It’s such a world of difference for women in education Karen Morrison, director of gender and in athletics now compared inclusion for the NCAA to where it was 40 years ago,” said Morrison. “If you’re looking beyond the athletics numbers, you can look at our society having seven to nine percent of our doctors and attorneys [that] were females [in the 1970s], and now we’re pushing 50 percent or more, and that’s because of Title IX. That opened up the door for women to be able to pursue their post-graduate careers as much as it did athletics.” The doors that Title IX opened created an athletic environment in schools today that is drastically different. Now, females in high school and college have unprecedented opportunities and a wide selection of sports to choose from. “I think one of the big foundational differences with female athletes today compared to where we were before Title IX is this complete sense of entitlement to the same opportunities that their brothers or their fathers had with regard to athletics competition and values,” continued Morrison. “Forty years ago, we were fighting just to get on the field, just to have coaches, and to overcome society frowning upon women who wanted to be athletes and wanted to be competitive. They were also fighting a perception that there was something wrong with wanting to enjoy those competitive opportunities. It’s so different now.” Today’s female athletes have their older sisters, mothers or grandmothers to thank for paving the way. “A lot of females will say that they don’t know what Title IX is. And most women’s advocates will say that’s both good and bad,” Morrison explained. “You want young men and women to understand how different the world was before 1972, but you also want them to live in a world where that seems like a ridiculous perception because they know that they ought to have the right to pursue their educational and athletic competitive goals.”
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Morrison still battles misperceptions about Title IX, saying some male athletes believe their opportunities have gone down in the process. “We’ve come a long way through those 40 years about perceptions and about what commitments we have by our school systems to provide athletic opportunities," she said. "I still think we have a ways to go with fan appreciation for women’s sports. We shouldn’t compare it to men’s sports and find it inferior. I think we’re in that phase of cultural change where we need people to appreciate women’s sports for what it is.” Nate Heckman, principal at Stitch Marketing + Research, is in tune with the statistics of female athletic participation - both at work and at home. “I have a pretty unique perspective because as part of my job, I’ve worked with a lot of sporting goods companies and I’ve worked on the manufacturing side,” said Heckman. “But I also have three daughters, with the oldest being 10 and two of them playing sports. And in my free time, I also coach club basketball, and I coach all girls.”
Stitch Marketing + Research helped compile the 2012 U.S. Trends in Team Sports participation report for SFIA, and Heckman shared some of the findings with SGB. “The data, when it’s broken out by gender and age, really tells a huge story,” he said. “The only group that has increased the number of sports that they’re playing is the females 18 and over. I think what’s happening there is a result of the Title IX idea where adult females, who during the course of their lives were given more opportunities to play, are now more excited about more different sports. “From a basic number standpoint, it’s easy to see that Title IX has had an impact because more girls are playing sports. But the problem is that it’s coming from a much smaller base," Heckman said. "From the big industry standpoint, you can’t count on female consumers to make up for all the losses of the male consumers and players.” Heckman also said that, along with increased participation, a trend toward
But gymnastics was growing already, and it’s really taken off. When the team performed amazingly at the Olympics, we’ve seen significant interest and participation growth from females as a result.” Lacrosse is a sport where females in particular are fueling growth, while field hockey has seen some growth with females despite its relatively smaller participation numbers. “Outdoor soccer continues to grow for females, even though participation has been declining for males,” said Heckman. “The females have been making up for that.” Today’s High School Female Athlete
The high school female athlete offers a glimpse into women at a vital stage in development, both scholastically and athletically. It is during their freshman year that many females pick their sport or sports of choice, and dedicate themselves more seriously to athletic pursuits. Terri Moeser, who has served as athletic director at Maryvale Preparatory School since Fall 2003, reflects fondly on the advancements made by female high-school athletes and believes they are in a better position to succeed than ever before. “There’s more opportunities Terri Moeser, has served for the female athlete,” said as athletic director at Moeser. “There are more Maryvale Preparatory School since 2003. sports available to them in the high schools. This is my tenth year at Maryvale, and in that time we’ve started outmore specialization is happening with female athletes, starting at a younger door track, and we’re starting a badminton team this year. age than ever before. “As they’re getting older, they’re taking up new things and Even 40 years ago, our school only had soccer, basketball and they’re actually adding sports,” he explained. “Whereas with kids - both females lacrosse. And now we have 24 teams in various sports.” Moeser said a big difference today is the extent to which and males - there’s this whole area of specialization which is controversial. Some people say it’s great, that you should specialize in order to be better, others say it’s a sport becomes part of their lives after high school, and bad because you could get hurt if you’re only doing one sport all year long. But it’s in many cases even after college. “The increased variety of happening with both female kids and male kids because it’s the way of the culture sports allows girls an opportunity, who might not otherwise now and they’re being coached that. It’s interesting to see that all this growth from participate in a sport, and encourages them to go out and try out for something,” she said. “I think having the wide selec2008 to 2011 comes from the female side. “We’re seeing the young girls coming to team sports in particular in huge num- tion available is great. We have some girls who say, ‘Hey, I bers, but they still have a relatively low number of sports that they play because of might give this sport a try,’ who might not have ever played it the specialization factor," Heckman said. "Meanwhile, we’re seeing adult females before or participated on a team sport. “After they go to college, they might even come back and branch out into more sports because I think what’s happened is that they were volunteer with our coaches to help, or they might come back exposed to more opportunities.” According to Heckman, the team sport that has shown the most significant during winter or spring break to hang out with the team," congrowth among females is gymnastics. “You cannot underestimate the impact of tinued Moeser. Of course, any given high school athletic department has the Olympics,” he continued. “We love our women’s Olympic gymnastics teams.
a unique situation, including student body size and budgets. Maryvale, as a small all-girls private school with a student to faculty ratio of 1:9, can offer its students chances to play on varsity teams that larger public high schools may not have. “In the past, when I first started here, you only heard about lacrosse scholarships. Now it’s opened up,” Moeser said. “I’ve got girls who are top contenders in track and field, whereas five or six years ago, that wouldn’t have happened.”
Adrienne Lofton Shaw, senior marketing director at Under Armour
Meeting the Needs of a New Generation
For schools overseeing the athletic departments charged with offering programs for females athletes, as well as the manufacturers providing products they use every day in their sports, understanding the demands of the evolving young woman is essential, and physical and philosophical considerations remain which make females unique. For many brands, including giants such as Under Armour, Nike and Adidas, innovation drives product. “For [Under Armour], innovation is critical when meeting the demands of female athletes,” said Adrienne Lofton Shaw, senior marketing director at Under
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Armour. “It’s about getting that product that helps her be the best she can be. Innovation on the women’s side can be anything from performance fabrics that can control body temperature and get her ready to play or cool down faster, you name it. I can’t underscore enough how important a sports bra is. That helps her with her every move.” Athletic apparel that can double as lifestyle pieces has also become more important. Once again, the sports bra proves to be a vital item. “Convertibility for women is also essential, because the wearing occasion for her is more extensive than on the men’s side,” explained Shaw. “For us, the team sports females are demanding products that are in line with participation,” she said. “We continue to see volleyball trending up. It’s one of those grassroots sports that we’ve been in for many years now. Same thing goes for soccer and basketball.” “Our goal is to have girls grow up in our brand,” shared Shaw. “We have many grassroots activations across all of our 14 sports. We’re seeing her and the coaching staff buy uniforms from us, but we’re also seeing training apparel trending up for the age groups of 13 to 17, and our run and footwear apparel are also trending up. When we start to see those numbers continue to move on an upward trajectory, we know that she’s not only playing in our gear when she’s participating in team sports, but she’s also working out and living in our gear as well.” Core items for Under Armour team sports include the Sonic line of baselayers and the Armour Bra family of high impact sports bras. “When you win the female athlete in sports bras, you win her with the brand in total,” pointed out Lofton Shaw. Another critical piece for team sports players and runners is the running shoe. Under Armour’s Spine Venom Women’s Running Shoe is built for the team sports athlete wearing a running
Under Armour Bra
Under Armour Charge RC 2
Under Armour Spine Venom
shoe to train or practice in, while the Charge RC 2 Women’s Running Shoe has a silhouette for the long distance runner. Adidas offers several apparel and team sports options. The Adidas Women’s Ultimate Fleece Collection offers warmth and performance for running, training and team practices. Amy Mason, product manager at Adidas, highlighted the women’s Quickset Volleyball Jerseys, miCrazy Fast Basketball Collection and Fast Pitch Diamond Queen Collection for softball in which Adidas expects the most business. Meeting the demands of young female athletes requires athletic departments doing whatever is necessary to make the lives of young women balancing academics and athletics easier. “Time management is definitely one of the things athletic departments can offer,” Moeser said. “[In our high school], we have classes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., practices from about 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. - or sometimes later - so making sure that they manage their time to get their schoolwork done is important. A lot of our athletes get honors academically because they know how to manage their time.” Looking after the health and safety of athletes is also a priority for athletic departments. “Preventing and treating injuries is important,” continued Moeser. “We’re seeing a lot more injuries now because a lot of girls will be doing club sports outside of high school sports, and that’s a demand on them. During the week they are playing for their high school team, but on the weekend they might be doing travel, club or AAU activities. It’s a lot for them and we want to make sure that they’re not overdoing it and risking injury to their bodies.”
Adidas Women’s Ultimate Fleece Collection Jacket
For Softball, Adidas Women's Fast Pitch Diamond Queen Jersey and Pant
The Next 40 Years
How will the female athlete and the opportunities available to her evolve? Answers change based on how long into the future we look. The NCAA’s Morrison sees continued gradual progress. “I think in the near future we’re still working through some acceptance and still battling the myths a little bit,” she said. “In tight economic times, when we’re trying to allocate resources, we still see people blaming Title IX every now and then if a sport is
cut or individuals make the suggestion that women aren’t as interested in participating in sports as men are. The numbers don’t prove that to be correct.” The dominating performance by female athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games was also monumental, both reflecting the progress women have made competitively and offering a chance for young women to become more interested in a variety of sports. “When people this past summer talked about the fact that the U.S. Olympic team had more women than men, and that we had more medals and Gold medals on the women’s side, and that they called it the Title IX Olympics, that might be something that 20, 30, 40 years from now we look back and say, ‘Well that was a moment in history when the tide began to shift.’ I think that women are going to keep exploring new sports,” Morrison said. To foster such exploration and encourage more female participation, the NCAA has established the Emerging Sports Program. The NCAA attempts to identify sports that girls and women want to participate in. In the past 15 years, some have become championship sports, while others have been added to or removed from the list. Bylaws require that emerging sports must gain championship status (minimum 40 varsity NCAA programs for individual sports and 28 varsity programs for team sports) within 10 years or show steady progress toward that goal to remain on the list.
of that thinking,” Morrison said. “I think the more successful that women are in a variety of sports, the more it improves their interest and their ability to be great competitors. I hope in 40 years we look back at this time and say, ‘Why were we even talking about that?’” Morrison also expects the competition gap between men and women to narrow. “Someday, long after I’m gone more than likely, there will be a lot more men’s and women’s competitions where they’re competing against each other in more sports,” she said. “We’re evolving there, but we had to start from nothing - no training and no physical research attention to female athletes. We’re still working through that practical cultural change.” Stich Marketing + Research’s Heckman agreed that the future will see a more even playing field. “I think the female athlete at the high school and college level is going to look like the male at those levels,” he said. “Because these girls now, they don’t come into high school saying, ‘We shall overcome,’ and, ‘We’re going to win our way into letting us play a sport.’ They just assume that they’re allowed to play any sport they want to, and they don’t feel held back in any way. That’s why you see specialization in the young girls just like you see specialization in the young boys. They’re pursuing scholarships, they’re pursuing excellence, they’re pursing extra coaching - they’re doing all the same things that the boys are. I think you’re going to see a lot of leveling out between the males and the females.” ■
Four sports have gone through the process and have become championship sports: rowing, ice hockey, water polo and bowling. Rugby, sand volleyball and equestrian are the three sports that currently have emerging status, with triathlon poised to join them. “I think we will keep looking for women to expand their competitive interests and opportunities into new places where they’re not yet gaining those opportunities at the scholastic level,” said the NCAA’s Morrison. “There’s always going to be new sports that pop up that we didn’t think about, and I don’t know which ones will become NCAA sports, but if you look at some of the X-Games’ events, which are just phenomenal, there are both men and women competing in those games and they’ve moved past a little of the notion that women aren’t going to be participating in the same level of competition as the men.” Morrison pointed to women’s ski jumping as an example of a non-NCAA sport that was recently accepted for inclusion into the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games after a hard-fought battle. “Detractors claimed that women weren’t participating in big numbers in that sport, or believed that the sport was dangerous. I think in the short-term we’re still getting past some
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Introducing the Hyper Split BC running shoe, part of Fila’s Breast Cancer Collection of footwear & apparel. Fila is proud to support the American Cancer Society ® and has committed to contribute $150,000 to support the Society’s work in breast cancer research, education, early detection, and patient services.
The American Cancer Society does not endorse any product or service. Fila paid a fee for the use of American Cancer Society logo.
Gadgets Galore! SGB takes a sneak peak at some of the cool but also helpful accessories hitting the sales floor this spring.
By Thomas J. Ryan
36 MARCH 2013
Amphipod AirFlow Lite Race Belt
For night running, the LightBender LED Armband, MSRP $20, provides 360° visibility and multi-settings for steady or blinking options. It’s also waterproof. The StrobeLight, MSRP $10, is a stylish update to Nathan’s best-selling SafetyStrobe. The slim, lightweight, and waterproof strobe includes a secure clip that attaches to belt, apparel, packs or gear.
Arc 4 Belt System
Ironman branded R20 Belt
Sprint Palm Holder
Marathoner Vest Rock 'n' Roll branded R20 Belt
CamelBak CamelBak is introducing the Arc 4 Belt System, MSRP $60, featuring four Podium Arc bottles (8oz or 10oz) to keep runners effortlessly hydrated. The bottles are equipped with CamelBak’s self-sealing Jet Valves that allow athletes to grab, drink and stash the bottle without worrying about opening and closing the valve for every sip. Three belt sizes along with elastic webbing create a secure, comfortable and precise fit. Ideal for long-distance runs and providing quick access to cargo, the Marathoner Vest, MSRP $100, boasts a 2L Antidote Reservoir that stays snug while hydrating thanks to adjustable side straps, overflow storage on the back for shed layers and front harness pockets.
Nathan Nathan is bringing out the Fire & Ice Water Bottle, MSRP $12, that features a hi-viz reflective cover that explodes with light for 360° reflectivity plus double-wall insulation that stabilizes liquid temperatures in the harshest conditions.
LightBender LED Armband StrobeLight
FuelBelt Fuel Belt continues to roll out its exclusive Ironman and Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series collections covering hydration belts and low-profile handhelds. The Ironman branded R20 Belt, MSRP $44, as well as the Rock 'n' Roll branded R20 Belt, MSRP $44, each holds two 7oz. bottles and is one size fits all. The Ironman branded Sprint Palm Holder, MSRP $15, is a 10oz. hand-held bottle with zipper pocket. Besides at retail, the collection will be available at Ironman and Rock 'n' Roll events.
Amphipod Amphipod is introducing the AirFlow Lite Race Belt, MSRP $30. Patented Amphipod construction combines moisture protective compartments with full AirFlow Mesh breathability. Two roomy, expandable compartments, fit all iPhones/phones with room to spare for keys, cards and other race/ training essentials. Also features bounce-free, ergonomic, ultra-light and ultra-comfortable cushioned design with zippered security. The Hydraform Ergo-Lite 20oz. Handheld, MSRP $25, locks to the contours of a runner’s hand for effortless on-the-go access to water and basic essentials. Forty percent flatter, ergonomically contoured bottle eliminates hand- cramping tension, fully insulating thumb-lock sleeve design provides graspfree hydration. Includes an expandable zippered stretch-pocket for essentials.
Hydraform Ergo-Lite 20oz. Handheld
Version 2 Knuckle Lights
Knuckle Lights Making it safer for night runs, Knuckle Lights fit comfortably across the knuckles to illuminate the pathway ahead while weighing less than three pounds. Version 2 Knuckle Lights, MSRP $40, are designed with an easier-to-access electronic power button, soft edging, a virtually unbreakable adjustable silicone strap, tighter seals for greater water resistance, and a redesigned PCB board for improved battery life and light stability. Offered in five colors, a set of Knuckle Lights includes two units, each with four LED bulbs and multiple lighting options (low, blinking and high power) for maximum illumination (up to 200,000 hours).
SPIbelt The SPIbelt Endurance Series, MSRP $35, features a larger neoprene pocket to carry all a runnerâ€™s race day essentials. With larger elastic (1.5"), this SPIbelt is more stable with heavier loads. It also comes with holsters for energy gels and adjustable race bib toggles. Reflective trim increases visibility.
Tuna Belt Tuna Beltâ€™s latest innovation includes the adjustable Sport Armband for the iPhone 5, MSRP $20, that offers fully navigational control through a clear, protective window cover. Cushioning neoprene protects the device against sweat, bumps and scratches. A stable armband securely holds the player. SPIbelt Endurance Series
Sport Armband for the iPhone 5
Sport Armband for Larger Smartphone Protective Devices
The Sport Armband for Larger Smartphone Protective Devices, MSRP $25, was originally designed to fit the Otterbox Droid X Defender Series Case but also fits other larger smartphone protective cases such as Otterbox Defender Series Cases for Samsung Galaxy S 111, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Droid Razr Maxx, HTC One X and others. It can also fit some protective cases when inserted upside down to help in reading the screen when viewed on the arm.
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From YurBuds, the Armband iPhone5, MSRP $30, protects your iPhone 5 from the elements, but still allows the user to access controls through the touch screen cover. Neoprene material wicks away sweat & moisture, while providing a secure and comfortable fit for most arm sizes. Versions are also available for the iPhone 4 and other smartphone devices.
Ice Sleeve allows for targeted placement of 110% Reusable Ice Inserts to prevent swelling and reduce inflammation. The soft compression sleeve fits perfectly over the compression sock with openings at the arch of the foot, the ankle and just below the knee. Orb Deep Tissue Massage Ball Y Roller
Clean Bottle Clean Bottle’s Original Clean Bottle, MSRP $10, unscrews at both ends for easy cleaning. The silicone washer on top and bottom cap ensures a leak-proof seal and it's 100 percent non-toxic and BPA free.
Original Clean Bottle
Petzl Pro-Tec Athletics Pro-Tec Athletics introduces the Y Roller, MSRP $45, a contoured foam roller with dual or single ridge options for a targeted deep tissue massage. Promotes flexibility and myofascial release. Pro-Tec’s Orb Deep Tissue Massage Ball, MSRP $20, features a 5" diameter ball that provides aggressive deep tissue massage to the IT band, hamstring, quadriceps and calf. The 7" diameter High-Density Ball, MSRP $25, provides moderate deep tissue massage to the IT band, hamstring, quadriceps and back.
Petzl is bringing its Reactive Lighting technology from its Nau headlamp to the compact Tikka series for night running. The technology adjusts the intensity of the main white light to match the surrounding ambient light. Other features are a new double lobe head strap, red strobe, infinitely adjustable white light between 8 to 135 lumens on the Tikka R+, MSRP $75, and 8 to 180 lumens on the Tikka RXP, MSRP $90. ■
MilestonePod The MilestonePod, MSRP $15, tracks the mileage placed on running shoes through a pod attached to the shoelace. Runners pre-program their desired lifetime miles of that shoe and MilestonePod will alert them when they're ready to be replaced. The pod can also store emergency contact information, eliminating the need to remember an ID bracelet. Overdrive Compression Sock and Ice Sleeve
110% Play Harder From 110% Play Harder, the Overdrive Compression Sock and Ice Sleeve, MSRP $100, delivers the benefits of compression and the power of ice to heal common running injuries. Engineered to make rehab simple, Overdrive’s
Gifts For The Active
Avoid the chocolates this year and let mom know you really love her by exploring some of these top-selling gift ideas for performance moms. By Aaron H. Bible
40 MARCH 2013
Keen Kanga Collection
Gifts that keep on giv ing are s o much b etter than ones that w ilt aw ay. Active moms know what they want, and their options for performance cuts, women-specific products, exciting colorways and ergonomics continue to increase. Women’s fits and models, fashion-inspired designs, and trail-to-table functionality all continue to drive conversations at trade shows, including January's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Even performance fabrics like the new Gore-Tex Pro have a softer hand and broader applications than in years past. Another sales-counter must-have that keeps coming out of the woodwork are the new protective and/or waterproof cases for smart phones. The LifeProof Frē Case for iPhone 5 is the thinnest, lightest, strongest everyday all-protective case. LifeProof delivers waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shock proof protection, giving you the freedom to go everywhere and do anything with all the amazing apps available these days. Available in five colorways, MSRP $80.
LifeProof Frē Case for iPhone 5
Moms of all ages are demanding the same gear as men. Retailers have been cognizant for a while now of the actual purchasing power moms have, and selection has begun to reflect that. And while performance is certainly one of the top categories, more important is the every-day active mom, whose performance products cross over into work, into the gym, and into friend- or family-style outings each weekend. At Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, for Fall/ Winter 2013, Keen launched its Kanga Collection - a new, cross-category collection including socks, bags and foot-
wear designed for sophisticated and athletic women. Featuring fresh floral prints and vibrant hues, the Kanga Collection is designed to brighten up a visit to the yoga studio or the farmers market. The Commuter market is also still trending with more moms on bikes, and that’s where bag innovator Timbuk2 got its start. The Harriet Shoulder Bag is an everyday bag that can be anything, go anywhere. It’s generously sized with a side pocket that frees up the main compartment; but a zipper extension doubles the capacity when you need it. It has a printed liner and internal organizer pockets, MSRP $60.
Timbuk2 The Harriet Shoulder Bag
Also in top-selling bags of the performance nature, Osprey Packs has introduced their new line of womenspecific hydration packs, the Verve, MSRP $99, the Raven, MSRP $119, and the Mira, Osprey Packs FlapJill Mini MSRP $149. These hydraSeries tion packs have all the bells and whistles, come in three sizes each, and are built for day hiking, mountain biking, and trail running. For Osprey Packs Raven high-quality everyday-type bags, don’t miss the FlapJill Mini Series. This messengerstyle bag has a padded 10” sleeve, internal pockets, and adjustable padded strap, available in five trendy colors, MSRP $59. This Mother’s Day, Lilypond has a few options for mom as well. The first is the Silver Sky, a reversible tote bag weighing less than a pound, with an interior and exterior made from waxed canvas, MSRP $110. Another option is the smaller Firefly, featuring a secure zip-top closure to insure that everything in the bag stays in the bag, including your laptop, which can be placed in the
Columbia Sportwear Women’s Trail Drier Windbreaker
Isis Corsa Skort
Isis Forza Top Columbia Sportwear Sun Chill’d Hoodie Kelty AirPitch Mach 4
Isis Gemma Halter Dress
padded 15-inch interiIsis Aurora Rain Shell or laptop sleeve, MSRP $69. Made only for women, Isis literally has you covered this Mother’s Day. Their Corsa Skort will take care of mom whether it’s a morning run or an afternoon at the gym -this trending skort is all about performance. The Corsa features a wide, stretch waistband and lined gusset crotch for comfort and freedom of movement, MSRP $59. Another great option is the Forza Top, perfect for workouts in all shapes and sizes. The Forza Top is a polyester/spandex blend that moves with the body while providing superior moisture management. Flatlock stitching eliminates chafing, MSRP $45. A gift for the mom who has no issues battling the elements, the Isis Aurora Rain Shell, is a blend of rugged outdoor performance with feminine fit and styling. An adjustable hood with brim ensures a perfect fit while underarm zips help regulate temperature. With a performance fit and a flattering cut, the Aurora layers easily while complimenting an active outdoor lifestyle, MSRP $129. Extended travel is no longer a challenge with the Gemma Halter Dress. Featuring enough style for a night on the town yet informal enough for the beach, its an ideal travel companion. Made with a blend of cotton and spandex, built-in shelf bra, and elastic halter neckline, this dress is designed for easy care/easy wear performance. Wrinkleresistant, the Gemma retains shape over the long haul and looks great right out of your luggage, MSRP $65. An essential outdoor piece from Columbia Sportwear is the Women’s Trail Drier Windbreaker. It is ultralight
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and slightly translucent, very packable, and features Omni-Wick EVAP technology to wick moisture away from the body during aerobic activities in windy conditions, MSRP $90. For active days in warmer weather, go with the women’s Sun Chill’d Hoodie. It’s a stylish cover up featuring mesh side panels, elongated zipper and Omni-Freeze cooling technology, and boasts UPF 50 sun protection, MSRP $65. Not afraid to get her hands dirty? This year Kelty has the perfect gift for the mom who likes to spend time in the Backcountry. The Ignite DriDown 20° Sleeping Bag boasts outstanding three-season performance. Light, warm, and dry in the presence of moisture, this two-pound, 12-ounce mummy bag features Kelty’s DriDown hydrophobic insulation which allows the Ignite 20 to stay dry 10 times longer, retain 170 percent more loft when exposed to moisture and humidity, and dry 33 percent faster than untreated down. Available in regular, long, and women’s specific sizes, MSRP $199. Kelty also has campsite comfort taken care of with its AirPitch Mach 4 and Mach 6 Tents. By replacing traditional poles with inflatable AirPoles, these outsized shelters pitch in under a minute with an included high-volume, dualaction floor pump. An integrated, fully vented rain fly further simplifies set-up while removable “sleep rooms” add versatility. Sleep rooms are fully enclosed with a large door and abundant mesh for convenience and comfort. When it’s time to go home, just pull the plug and the AirPitch takes itself down. The Mach 4 weighs about 20 pounds and sized 120 x 108 x 74”, MSRP $399. The Mach 6 weighs in 27 pounds with dimensions of 180 x 108 x 76”, MSRP $499. Also check out the Betty SL 27° sleeping bag, part of Big Agnes’ women’s traditional mummy series. These synthetic bags are built for the mom who likes to spend a lot of time in the backcountry or who wants a high-quality synthetic bag. Featuring the latest synthetic technology, Pinneco Core, these bags are engineered to keep mom warm, dry and comfortable with as little additional weight
Big Agnes Betty SL 27°
X-1 Women’s Momentum In-Ear Headphones
Redington Marquesas Hoody
Outdoor Research Torque LS
Outdoor Research Torque SS Tee
Rab Myriad Jacket
gain a synthetic bag could offer, MSRP $200. In accessories, the Women’s Momentum In-Ear Headphones from X-1 are ultra-small, lightweight and designed for female athletes. The headphones are weatherproof, sweatproof and can withstand being rinsed off after a hard workout. The Momentum In-Ear headphones also feature a retro-reflective, tangle free cord for extra visibility and safety in low light conditions. Available in five colorways, MSRP $50. For performance outerwear, the Torque LS and SS Tee, made of Polartec Power Dry fabric, are great gift options from Outdoor Research. The Torque Tee offers best-in-class moisture management fabric technology for aerobic pursuits in hot conditions. Polygiene Active Odor Control provides anti-microbial properties, while UPF 15 aids with sun protection. Fold-over cuffs on the long sleeve shirt offers warmth for mom’s hands when it’s cool in the morning, but are virtually unnoticeable when not in use. Exceptional fabric stretch, careful seam placement, trim fit and simple, clean design create a tee that works for every kind of aerobic adventure from a backcountry ultrarun to alpine approaches, MSRP $69 Longsleeve; MSRP $59 short-sleeve. From Rab comes the 12oz. Myriad Jacket. New, for spring 2013 this technical shell with performance for the harshest conditions and clean style for casual wear can provide mom with a great piece of outerwear. Rab employed what is currently the lightest version of Polartec NeoShell, the most breathable waterproof fabric on the market, with mechanical stretch for increased range of motion. The regular fit will accommodate layers without being too boxy, MSRP $375. Similarly, Marmot’s new Nabu Jacket is a fully featured, hooded softshell jacket made of Polartec NeoShell, the most breathable waterproof fabric on the market. With the new Polartec High Efficiency grid back, the Nabu Jacket is capable of accelerating the wicking process and provides increased warmth without weight. Meaning, this feature combined with the unprecedented level of air permeability provided by NeoShell can move moisture more effectively than other waterproof fabrics on the market, MSRP $325. Marmot Nabu Jacket
The Marquesas Hoody from Redington has been very popular of late and the new Apricot color is sure to delight. The Marquesas Hoody takes sun protection one-step further with a crossover neck design connected to the hood and thumbholes in the elongated sleeves to protect the backs of hands. This super soft fabric is a must on any of mom’s adventures this spring and summer, MSRP $60. Redington RediBalance Made of the same great fabric, the RediCrew Balance Crew, comes in both long and short-sleeve versions with a stylish crew neck design and raglan sleeves. The VersiSun technology incorporated into the fabric protects at a rating of UPF 30, and the VersiWich technology is moisture wicking and quick drying. The CastCut design has a gusset under the arms for reduced lift and to maximize mobility, MSRP $55. This Mother’s Day go all out by putting together a Honey Stinger sample gift basket instead of the candies and chocolates. Honey Stinger Mocha Cherry Pro Honey Stinger, the leading manufacturer of honeybased nutritional products, has a number of new products you can turn into a unique gift basket. Honey Stinger Blueberry Buzz Mocha Cherry Pro is the first Honey Energy Bar Stinger Caffeinated Bar with 10g
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of protein and 30mg of caffeine. The new Blueberry Buzz Energy Bar has a light and crispy texture with a yogurt-coated bottom. The Buzz Bar provides 5g of soy protein to fuel exercise or provide a healthy snack. Stinger Waffles are now available in honey, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and lemon. Each individually wrapped waffle provides 160 calories of organic Honey Stinger Stinger Waffles energy. The new gels are available in Vanilla, Fruit Smoothie and Acai Pomegranate, and each product is USDA-certified organic. Newton Running offers a few performance gift options for the mom who likes to rack up the miles, the Gravity Neutral Performance Trainer and the Terra Momentum All-Terrain Trainer are great options for the road or trail running mom. Both shoes are ideal for daily run training that can also function as a shoe for the gym and other activities. On the technical side, these shoes are great for women who want to discover a natural running form. Gravity Neutral, MSRP $175; Terra Momentum, MSRP $149. Newton Running Gravity Neutral Performance Trainer
Newton Running Terra Momentum All-Terrain Trainer
While youâ€™re shopping performance footwear, be sure to take a look at the S-Works Road Shoe from Specialized - said to be the most technologically advanced road cycling shoe Specialized has ever created. The S-Works has a new format developed through a decade of working closely with pro riders to give them a performance-enhancing fit. This new foot form combined with the adaptive-fit upper construction provides mom with a custom fit. An infinite degree of fine-tuning with the top dial of the Boa Closure System locks down the ankle and heel while the mid-foot dial snugs the arch and forefoot. Pressure points and hot spots vanish. Weighing just 210 grams, the S-works is the lightest mechanical-closure cycling shoe, MSRP $400. Specialized S-Works Road Shoe
In the paddlesports isle, from Bomber Gear comes the women's Blitz Splash Top, which boasts a large neck opening made of tri-panel polyurethane coated nylon with a hook-and-loop neck Bomber Gear closure system. Anatomically Blitz Splash Top correct performance cut designed specifically for women, the Blitz Splash Top will keep mom's dry out on the water. With plenty of ventilation and Bombtech waterproof breathable fabric, mom can keep light water sprays off without feeling stuffed in a dry top. Also features a sleeve pocket on the long sleeve version, stitched and taped seams and cone-shaped cuffs with SlickSkin for added seal. Available in long and shortsleeve versions, MSRP Long-Sleeve $99; Short-Sleeve $89. The all-new Wilderness Systems Aspire 100 delivers the kind of high performance versatility in a kayak that handles easily on flat water but is equally equipped for slow moving water. Excellent for both novice and intermediate paddlers, the Aspire Wilderness Systems is easy to maneuver Aspire 100 and is designed for many types of paddling destinations. The Aspire offers stability in rivers, lakes, and flat open water and is an excellent kayak for the beginner to intermediate paddlers looking for confidence, or the mom looking for the opportunity to expand her kayaking experience beyond flat water, MSRP $699. A new offering from a trusted name, and an essential for trail, for yoga and the office, the Active Top Bottle from Sigg has a rotary slide valve control system, implemented for the first time on a Sigg bottle, combined with an intelligent flow rate. It's equipped with an open, close, air and clean function that helps dictate what mode mom wants to be in. In the convenient "clean" mode, the top pops off ensuring safe and hygienic cleaning; in the "close" position, the bottle is leak-proof. The Active Top Bottle is lightweight, durable and BPA and phthalate free, MSRP $23-$29. And perfect for hiking and yoga, Stonewear Designs recently introduced their Sprinter Capri, with quick-dry and moisterwicking technology. The Capris comes from recycled plastic bottles, which is a Stonewear Design first. Reflective logos add safety and a front zipper pocket below the waist offers convenient storage space, MSRP $67. â–
Sigg Active Top Bottle
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ASA-ICAST Fred Hall Shows Long Beach, CA
ASA-ICAST Saltwater Fishing Expo Somerset, NJ
ASA-ICAST Fred Hall Shows San Diego, CA
22-24 ASI Long Beach Long Beach, CA
MAY SOS Leadership Development & SGB 40 Under 40 Awards South Beach Miami, FL
5-8 N.S.G.A. Mgmt. Conference Palm Beach Gardens, FL 8-9
ASI New York New York, NY
NBS Specialty Outdoor Market Fort Worth, TX
NBS Summer Market Fort Worth, TX
Outdoor Retailer Open Air Demo Salt Lake City, UT
12-14 SGB Golf Outing Charleston, SC
16-18 ASI Chicago Chicago, IL
Licensing International Expo Las Vegas, NV
26-28 TAG Spring/Summer Show St. Charles, MO 27-29 Sports Inc. Athletic Show Denver, CO
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Salt Lake City, UT
1-4 SGB Active Lifestyle Investors Conference Salt Lake City, UT 8-10
Sports Inc. Outdoor Show Denver, CO
Altanta Shoe Market Atlanta, GA
NBS Fall Semi-Annual Market Fort Worth, TX
Interbike International Trade Expo Las Vegas, NV
OIA Rendezvous San Diego, CA
The Retailing Summit Dallas, TX
TAG Summer Show St. Charles, MO
15-17 SGB Sports & Technology Convergence Palo Alto, CA
BCA International Billiard & Home Recreation Expo Friedrichshafen, Germany
European Outdoor Trade Fair Friedrichshafen, Germany
A.D.A. Spring Show Milwaukee, WI
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TAG Fall/Winter Show St. Louis, MO
A.D.A. Fall Show San Antonio, TX
24-26 Sports, Inc. Athletic Show Las Vegas, NV
TRADE ASSOCIATIONS | BUYING GROUPS
Athletic Dealers of America 1395 Highland Avenue Melbourne, FL 32935 t 321.254.0091 f 321.242.7419 athleticdealersofamerica.com National Shooting Sports Foundation Flintlock Ridge Office Center 11 Mile Hill Road Newtown, CT 06470 t 203.426.1320 f. 203.426.1087 nssf.org National Sporting Goods Association 1601 Feehanville Drive / Suite 300 Mount Prospect, IL 60056 t 847.296.6742 f 847.391.9827 nsga.org Nationâ€™s Best Sports 4216 Hahn Blvd. Ft. Worth, TX 76117 t 817.788.0034 f 817.788.8542 nbs.com Outdoor Industry Association 4909 Pearl East Circle / Suite 300 Boulder, CO 80301 t 303.444.3353 f 303.444.3284 outdoorindustry.org SFIA 8505 Fenton Street Silver Spring, MD 20910 t 301.495.6321 f 301.495.6322 sfia.org Snow Sports Industries America 8377-B Greensboro Drive McLean, VA 22102 t 703.556.9020 f 703.821.8276 snowsports.org Sports, Inc. 333 2nd Avenue North Lewistown, MT 59457 t 406.538.3496 f 406.538.2801 sportsinc.com Sports Specialists Ltd. 590 Fishers Station Drive / Suite 110 Victor, NY 14564 t 585.742.1010 f 585.742.2645 sportsspecialistsltd.com Team Athletic Goods 629 Cepi Drive Chesterfield, MO 63005 t 636.530.3710 f 636.530.3711 tag1.com Worldwide 8211 South 194th Kent, WA 98032 t 253.872.8746 f 253.872.7603 wdi-wdi.com
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I AM... sgb Why did you join OIA? Even though I’m a Colorado native and outdoor enthusiast, I wasn’t familiar with the outdoors as an industry and potential career until 2005 when a friend forwarded me an OIA job posting. I loved that it allowed me to combine my oil industry “for-profit” experience with my “not-for-profit” experience. I didn’t know at the time how fortunate I was to join such a fabulous industry and incredible organization, which blended my diverse experience. Some people spend years trying to get into the industry. I fell into a job I love. What surprised you the most when you joined OIA? The power and voice that a strong industry association can provide for a disparate industry and amazed that such a diverse set of competitors could work so collaboratively towards common goals. We are presently an industry that represents $646 billion in annual consumer spending, and our industry is made up of thousands of businesses large and small that employ more than 6.1 million Americans. It’s impressive. Unlike industries that are effective with just a handful of big powerhouse companies driving and funding their industry agenda, we have the opportunity to show the broad influence and impact of our industry through broad industry participation and involvement. The more companies and individuals engaged in OIA within our industry, the better business environment we can create to help outdoor businesses succeed. What do you like most about your job? I learn every day in my job. I work with smart, passionate, committed individuals on our staff and have the honor of working closely with the OIA board and other industry leaders. It’s like receiving another “MBA” each year and I get paid to do it. What’s not to love?
Lori Herrera Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) How did you become an outdoor enthusiast? While I car camped with my family growing up, it was joining an inner city ski club in Junior High School that solidified my love of the outdoors. My first ski trip I was cold and miserable and I never wanted to return. My dad wasn’t going to let me quit after one trip and I fell in love by the second one. My siblings, many cousins, nieces and nephews have followed my passion. How did you get started in your career? My career has been accidental and blessed with good luck. I wanted to be a pilot and began studying aviation in school. After a year of classes and a few flying lessons, I ran out of money. With a “temporary” job in the accounting department at an oil company, I pursued a finance degree. Thirteen years and a couple of degrees later I left that company. Oh, and I married a pilot. I see you worked at Qualistar Early Learning, why such a change in career direction? When I had my first child, I quickly experienced a lack of family-friendly policies in the oil industry. Qualistar was a Charitable Organization focused on early childhood education and it allowed me to balance my work and home life. It also gave me a taste of blending my personal interests with my career.
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What are the strategic priorities for OIA in the year ahead? OIA strives to secure the best strategic partnerships and benefits to support the growth and success of the outdoor industry. Every year, OIA focuses programs in four key areas:
• • • •
Building the business acumen of the industry through our education and research programs; Actively working at the state and federal levels to advance favorable recreation and trade policies to benefit the outdoor industry; Helping the outdoor industry identify and implement best practices and tools in environmental and social responsibility; Working through the Outdoor Foundation to grow the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
Every professional in the industry is crucial to this work and can get involved through one of our many councils or events. What outdoor activities do you participate in now? Snow skiing has remained my primary outdoor passion. Luckily equipment technology has improved at a pace to allow my aging body to continue to pursue the bumps and trees. I took up water skiing a while back. After a few years and a few back injuries, I discovered wake surfing. It is so fun and relatively easy. Boating has become our primary family focused recreation. I can’t keep up with the teenagers on the slopes anymore and you have to be able to get along on a small ski boat.
Summer Market JULY 31-AUGUST 3, 2013
Open Air Demo JULY 30, 2013
UR S YO AR K D R A EN M L CA
Winter Market JANUARY 22-25, 2014
All Mountain Demo JANUARY 21, 2014
30 Y E A RS NE W We believe in personal bests. We challenged ourselves to kick our own collective McDavid ass and shatter our personal best. The result: A transformed, reignited and forward-charging McDavid. This is all 30 years of innovation and inspiration infused with new attitude, confident mojo and serious resources. This is McDavid First On. Last Off. First On. McDavid invented SportMed™ to bring athletes back stronger and performance to the next level. McDavid SportMed vs. the injuries, burdens and challenges of gamers young, old, pro and all of the passionate unpaid
zealots of the sporting life. Those are our people. We are new from logo to email disclaimer. We are better from tagline to hanger clips. We are rolling out the results of a heels-dug-into-the- dirt, not-‘til-we’re-finished, Last Off attitude. Get in on this McDavid vs. McDavid win-win.
Coming to a sales floor near you in March 2013 Contact your McDavid Sales Rep to bring the renewed power of McDavid to your game.
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