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VOLUME 49 ISSUE 2

2016 SPRING ISSUE

PRESENTING

40 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2016

MEET THE YOUNG LEADERS WHO ARE TRANSFORMING THE ACTIVE LIFESTYLE INDUSTRY


Let's Get

Social @SPORTSONESOURCE

2016 Spring Issue

Volume 49 I Issue 2

Group Publisher | Creative Director Teresa Hartford teresa@sportsonesource.com

Editorial Director

Art Director

CEO & Chief Market Analyst

David Clucas

Chris Loving-Campos

Jim Hartford

clucas@sportsonesource.com

chrislc@sportsonesource.com

jhartford@sportsonesource.com

303.997.7302 ext. 7107

303.997.7302 ext. 7110

303.997.7302 ext. 7104

Senior Business Editor

Advertising Sales

Chief Information Officer

Thomas J. Ryan

Buz Keenan

Mark Fine

tryan@sportsonesource.com

buz@sportsonesource.com

mark@sportsonesource.com

917.375.4699

201.887.5112

561.615.0240

Senior Business Editor

VP & Senior Retail Analyst

VP Business Development

Charlie Lunan

Andy Annunziata

Barry Gauthier

clunan@sportsonesource.com

andy@sportsonesource.com

barry@sportsonesource.com

980.339.7112

860.620.9045

774.553.5312

Associate Editor |

Category Manager | Outdoor

VP Business Development

Sports & Fitness Editor

Matt Tucker

Barry Schrimsher

Jahla Seppanen

mtucker@sportsonesource.com

bschrimsher@sportsonesource.com

jahla@sportsonesource.com

303.997.7302 ext. 7113

503.784.6267

303.997.7302 ext. 7108 Category Manager |

VP Business Development

Contributing Editors

Sports & Fitness

Neil Schwartz

Eugene Buchanan

Ben Pickel

neil@sportsonesource.com

Courtney Holden

bpickel@sportsonesource.com

561.692.6722

Charlie Lunan

303.997.7302 ext. 7116

Thomas J. Ryan BJ Sbarra

Circulations & Subscriptions admin@sportsonesource.com 303.997.7302

SGB, Copyright 2016 is a trademark of SportsOneSource, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by the authors and contributors to SGB are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. SGB is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles appearing in SGB may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. SGB, Volume 49, Issue 1, (USPS 457-390; ISSN 1548-7407) is published four times a year by SportsOneSource, LLC. 1075 E. South Boulder Road, Suite 300, Louisville, CO 80027; 303.997.7302. Subscription rates: one year $79 (U.S. funds) in the U.S. and its possessions; Canada and Mexico $119 (U.S. funds); all other foreign delivery $199 (U.S. funds). Printed in the U.S.A. Periodical postage paid at Louisville, CO and additional mailing offices. Postmaster send address changes to SportsOneSource, LLC. 1075 E. South Boulder Road, Suite 300, Louisville, CO 80027; 303.997.7302.

For BACK ISSUES, call 303.997.7302 or email admin@SportsOneSource.com For EDITORIAL INQUIRIES, email SGBMedia@SportsOneSource.com

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Congratulations SGB 40 Under 40 2016 Award Honorees 2016 SPRING ISSUE 6 PUBLISHER'S LETTER 8 CONTRIBUTORS 10 FOOTWEAR Light Is Right Lightweight Advances Reign Supreme For Roadrunning Footwear 16 APPAREL Activewear Adapts Its Image Run, Yoga and Fitness Apparel Have Merged To Form A Must-Have Category Where Performance Battles Style For Sales 22 OUTDOOR Heading Indoors As Climbing Gyms Boom, So Does The Gear Tailored For The Urban Crowd 26 SPORTMANS 'Go Go Gadget Angler' Tailored Fishing Kayaks Boost Sales and Price Points 32 SPORTS & FITNESS The Recovery Revolution An Overlooked Category Finds Its Legs As Consumers Push Their Bodies Harder and Invest In Self-Care 38 RETAIL BEST PRACTICES POS Systems That Deliver The Latest Point-of-Sale Technologies Meet Customers Anytime and Anywhere From Top Left to Right: Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood

44 SGB CLASS OF 2016 40 UNDER 40 AWARD HONOREES The Names and Faces Defining Today's Active Lifestyle Industry 92 SGB 40 UNDER 40 ALUMNI SGB Honors The Immeasurable Contributions Of All Of Our 40 Under 40 Award Honorees In The Active Lifestyle Market 96 INDUSTRY CALENDAR

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PUBLISHER'S LETTER

HONORING THE INDUSTRY’S BEST AND BRIGHTEST The SGB 40 Under 40 awards are now in their ninth year honoring the best and brightest young professionals who are shaping the future of the active lifestyle industry. The tenants of receiving the honor and membership to this elite club, remain the same — Leadership, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Passion. . To be a leader in the active lifestyle, outdoor and sporting goods industry, you must be as dynamic as the market itself, fostering growth while pursuing professional and personal passions and breaking through the intersection of technology and culture. Nothing less will do and nothing else will continue to foster the talent necessary to lead the most exciting and fastest growing segment we call active lifestyle. The 40 individuals we honor this year were recognized by their peers, mentors and co-workers as the best of the best and who embody the spirit and the future of our industry. Their hardwork and dedication ensures that the sporting goods, outdoor, specialty retail and active lifestyle worlds we live in will thrive for years to come. Read On To Meet The Most Influential Young Leaders, Innovators and Entrepreneurs living life to the fullest — and transforming our active lifestyle industry. We salute this year’s class of 2016 and wish them continued success.

Teresa Hartford Group Publisher | Creative Director SportsOneSource

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CONTRIBUTORS

David Clucas Clucas is the Editorial Director for SGB Media, the leading industry trade news source. David started his journalism career by printing his first in-house family newspaper at six years old. His love for the outdoors also began early with childhood summers hiking in the Italian Alps while visiting his mother's family. Since 2003, he has called Colorado home, and like many locals, is hooked on the region’s plentiful sunshine and active lifestyle along with his wife Amy and daughter Rory. Clucas spent five years as an editor for SNEWS and the O.R. Daily covering the outdoor industry before joining SportsOneSource.

Jahla Seppanen

Thomas J. Ryan

Jahla is an Associate Editor | Sports & Fitness Editor for SGB Magazine. She earned her BA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and began her career in active lifestyle media by copy editing and writing for Backpacker Magazine. Seppanen’s fiction has been published in Fourteen Hills Review, Niche, Litro U.K. and other literary journals. Jahla is an avid runner, SUP paddler and baseball fan. Go Yankees!

Tom is the Senior Business Editor for SGB Magazine with more than 25-years experience as a retail trade reporter. Starting his career in 1990 for Fairchild Publications, Tom has authored more than 200 front-page articles for WWD and written extensively for The Daily New Record, Home Furnishings Network, Footwear News, Sportsstyle, Apparel Magazine, Crain’s NY, New York Post, AdFax, etailwire.com and Multex.com.

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BJ Sbarra BJ Sbarra is a climber and freelance writer who calls the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado home. An avid first ascentionist, he recently coauthored a new guidebook that documents over 1200 climbs in the area, many of which had never before been published. BJ can most often be found out at the local crags with his wife and dog Thunderpup.

Charlie Lunan Lunan is a business news junkie based in Charlotte, NC who enjoys breaking hard news and writing about sustainability, digital marketing and public policy. He has worked for newspapers in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and North Carolina, headed up client communication for a technology company and sold bikes, kayaks and roof racks for REI.

Courtney Holden Courtney is pretty sure she has the best job ever. Thanks in large part to a Master's Degree from the University of Colorado Journalism School and an internship with Backpacker Magazine, she somehow weaseled her way into the outdoor industry's cohort of journalists. Courtney now fulfills her dream of hiking, biking, running and skiing – and writing about it.

Eugene Buchanan Eugene has written about the outdoors for more than 25 years, from the Beijing Olympics for NBC to ESPN.com. A former business reporter and publisher/editor-in-chief of Paddler magazine, his freelance career spans The New York Times, Men's Journal, Sports Afield, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Forbes Life, Skiing and other publications. A member of New York's Explorer's Club, his passion for traveling, writing and paddling has taken him to more than 30 countries on six of the seven continents.

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FOOTWEAR

Light is Right While runners demand a variety of options, including more fashion styles, lightweight advances reign supreme. By Thomas J. Ryan Photo courtesy On and Thomas Stoeckli

W

hile much of the talk over the last few years in road running footwear has been around minimalist or maximalist cushioning, some of the most notable changes have been more quietly occurring with minimalist approaches to upper design. The biggest driver for consumers continues to be lightweight. “Runners are so savvy and well read these days, which pushes us to do the same so we can provide innovative solutions to their needs,” said Claire Wood, senior footwear product line manager at New Balance. ”We want to design product that has what it needs, not just extra pieces for gimmick. Every part is purposeful, if it doesn’t need extra overlays than we don’t put them there.”

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The performance running story also has its challenges, as a big influx of more fashion- and value-oriented running shoes continues to grab market share. Overall running footwear sales are up just 1 percent in dollars at industry retail, over the past 52 weeks through May 14, 2016, according to SSI Data*. And all the growth is coming from the fashion and value subcategories, which now accounts for nearly 60 percent of the market. Multiple Options Many performance running brands continue to focus on delivering minimalist shoes for the segment of runners that learned to love that experience, while also addressing extra cushioning

underfoot and reaching more runners. Overall, the focus is on multiple options. “Runners realize they don’t have to run in the same shoe every day, and different shoes can fit into their training,” said New Balance's Wood. “Some days they might need more underfoot, other days less, and there is a lot of variety in between.” Today's millennials are also craving a variety of running experiences, said Brice Newton, senior manager of global footwear merchandising at Brooks Running. “Runners are getting more adventurous in terms of what they’re willing to try including materials, midsole foams and nontraditional running silhouettes,” observed Newton. “Millennials are a


Photo courtesy On and Thomas Stoeckli

great example of this; they’re more likely to try new and faster looking silhouettes. They also want to be able to use their running shoes for more than just a run.” "More than ever, consumers want choices," Asics' footwear and apparel product specialists said in a combined statement. "Consumers are looking for clean designs, but millennials continue to demand frequent advancements in innovation and are drawn to personalized customization." On, the Swiss brand that stands out for its distinctive rubber pods on the outsole, believes its Cloudtec technology continues to sit in the sweet spot. ”Extremes don’t work,” said Co-founder David Allemann. On’s Cloudtec technology acts

to stabilize the foot strike and activates postural muscles, putting the runner in control. Overall, Allemann believes “simplicity and accessibility” holds strong appeal across a wide spectrum of runners with busy lifestyles. “Today a shoe needs to support effortless running,” Allemann said. “Saying this, it’s not about making extra time for running, running can also be included in your everyday life: you can run to work, you can run to your favorite sport, etc.” Looks Matter The rush toward fashion running styles can be a value play for some consumers — those that want to look the part, but don't actually require

top-of-the-line performance - but it's also about sleek looks and something that works in an urban environment. The question arises for performance brands how to provide, but hide, all that lightweight cushioning, or how to design a stability shoe that doesn't look like one. Wood at New Balance said the brand's 860v6 stability shoe has benefitted from a makeover. “We are modernizing the design with beautiful cosmetics and just because it has been in the marketplace for a few years, it remains extremely relevant, what we call a ‘go-to’ zone.” She added that while some runners want bright, bold colors, others, especially those in the

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Photo courtesy Saucony

Altra Golden Spike Unisex

Altra Men's Torin 2.5

Altra Women's Paradigm 2.0

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city, want a more tonal silhouette. “In the past, we would hone in on one trend or color story where now we are offering a range of colors to meet the needs of the modern runner and the variety that they want.” Altra Co-Founder Golden Harper sees the same trend with a big uptick in saturated natural tones such as forest green, glacier blue and rust orange. The brand is also generally seeing less white. Skechers' head of technical development, Kurt Stockbridge, sees both color and the use of color blocking being influence by a retro running color palette. “Solid colors and earth tones are back with a more limited bright color pallet used as accents. Midsole sidewalls are also a trending canvas for aesthetic exploration,” he added. According to Brook's Newton, "good prints that pop with black tights are hot with women now." At Hoka One One, bright, bold color blocks continue to connect with fans, officials said, especially with young runners. New materials and 3D printing are also helping to add more fashion elements while keeping shoes functional, helping redefine what is considered “fashionable”.

Performance Advances Pat O'Malley, president of Saucony, noted that one of the bigger technological advances is being able to make a cushioned running shoe that’s much more stable than in the past. That has enabling brands to offer lighter, more flexible and more cushioned shoes to runners who typically would need more rigid or structured shoes for support. “You don't have to choose a shoe with more stability features, because cushioning shoes are now inherently more stable,” said O'Malley. In upper construction, the use of engineered mesh provides support in key areas while open weave construction adds flexibility in other parts of the shoe. The overal techniques reduce overlays to create the clean and sleek upper that’s in demand by the consumer, but also makes shoes fit more like a slipper instead of something more structured around your foot. It's the same philopshy driving knitted uppers, said Chris Brewer, Adidas category director for running. Adidas offers knitted uppers that fill different functional needs from creating a highly breathable and stretchable upper, to providing support to the foot where its needed.


“While it might have started as a style trend, we see it as a performance and fashion advantage,” Brewer said. “People wear running shoes for many different reasons, and knitted uppers allow us to speak fluently in the language of each consumer." A more pervasive trend that Altra's Harper sees is that no matter the running category, lighter weight models rule. “Runners can feel a difference when they wear a lighter weight shoe that is still cushioned and supportive, which is really what Altra specializes in,” Harper said. An example would be a nearly 20 percent weight reduction in its Lone Peak Neoshell, which also allowed Altra to make a midheight of the same shoe for about the same weight as the old low-cut version, 12 oz. Said Harper, “This is unheard of for a mid-height shoe with waterproof fabric.” Finding The Sweet Spot As the minimal-maximal debate continues, most brands are settling somewhere in the middle. While stack heights were a focus during the minimalist craze with the attention to zero-drop and 4mm-drop models, O'Malley said they’re

now more of an “expected part” of the purchasing discussion rather than the ”lead” part. Saucony’s tests continue to show that 8mm-offsets for most runners “really sets the body up the right way to interact with the ground to benefit the runner… and it just feels better.” Gretchen Weimers, vice president of product for Hoka One One, said minimal and maximal are well-worn industry terms to describe cushioning, but many runners are just looking for comfortable and protective shoes. “New materials and technology means that runners can still have the comfort of an oversized shoe without the weight and bulk of previous models,” said Weimers. “Hoka continues to push the boundaries by taking their signature cushioning and stability and providing consumers with a variety of weights and stack height options.” Weimers said lightweight shoes that act and perform like racing flats without sacrificing comfort and stability are continuing to gain popularity among the racing community. With its new Carbon Rocket, Tracer, and Clayton models, Hoka believes it has taken its signature comfort

Photo courtesy Saucony

Photo courtesy Asics

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from its bulky models and combined it with super lightweight materials to create shoes suitable for training or racing any distance from the 5k to the marathon. “As consumers continue to demand a shoe that combines cushioning without the weight, materials and foams are evolving and become more important in creating a shoe that is lightweight, cushioned and attractive," Weimers said. Harper at Altra sees the “happy middle ground” between minimal and maximal driving running shoe sales. “Ultra cushion is still a trend, but it is certainly waning at the moment, despite continued strength for the super-fast growing category of ultra runners looking for extra foot protection in very long races,” he said. Brewer at Adidas said with the minimalist craze well back in the rear view mirror, cushioning is now expected. “And not just a little bit of cushioning. Now the cushioning must be abundantly apparent from the first instant,” he said. While this butts up against some of the sleeker aesthetic trends, Brewer said Adidas early on was able to benefit from the shift toward more cushioning with the introduction of its Boost technology in February 2013. Brewer added that while other brands have pushed toward offering maximum cushioning, the “Holy Grail is not simply cushioning but cushioning combined with outstanding responsiveness.” Stockbridge at Skechers sees the middle ground as the best place to be these days. “Runners generally love responsive cushioning, but many do not wish to sacrifice ground feel, weight and stability to get it,” said Stockbridge. Overall, Skechers sees runners responding to a less-is-more approach to design across categories. These include simpler solutions and fewer (but broader) purpose components that weigh less. Onboard Tech Under Armour, which owns MapMyRun as part of its Connected Fitness platform, finds that based on its app-collected data, women are logging more runs than men, especially among runners under 35 years old. “These young female runners are really leading the trend in elevated and stylish running apparel and footwear,” said Under Armour in a combined statement from its running product team. Under Armour believes the ability to track a runner’s performance is becoming a bigger part

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Photo courtesy Asics

of the run experience and will work its way into footwear design. Earlier this year, Under Armour introduced the Gemini 2 Record Equipped, a shoe that can track an individual’s run without a phone or other technology present.

*SSI Data, powered by SportsOneSource, collects and analyzes POS data from more than 15,000 retail doors across nine channels of distribution. To learn more, call 303.997.7302 or email Solutions @ SportsOneSource.com


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APPAREL

Photo courtesy Tasc

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Activewear Adapts Its Image Run, yoga and fitness apparel have merged to form a must-have category where performance battles style for sales. By Jahla Seppanen

A

t one point, the fit-conscious consumer stood in line for a post-cardio latte, looked down at their baggy running clothes and thought, “I look horrible.” In a world where looking good means feeling good, and feeling good means pursuing healthier choices, style has naturally taken a place in the court of performance apparel. With it, the mixing of fashion-first labels and functionfirst brands have recreated the space, experimenting to find a middle ground for consumers who no longer associate with one activity, but want to try their hand at them all. “The popularity of Yoga apparel has pushed Athleisure product to more closely resemble traditional Yoga items,” said Megan Lordi, Sports & Fitness Product Specialist for SportsOneSource, SSI Data. “According to SSI Apparel Data*, Yoga bottom sales have declined 36 percent in the past year while Active|Athletic pants continue to capture market share,” said Lordi. Popular fitness classes have lent a hand in the doing-it-all trend, as studios like Orangetheory and CorePower offer fitness/yoga crossover training. Not only do consumers need apparel to transition from studio to street, but from endurance to yoga all in the same hour-long session. “Consumers used to be more tribal and therefore brand loyal,” said Montane’s Director of Marketing, Jonathan Petty. “But now we’re seeing trail runners buying from athletic brands and vice versa, and the yoga/fitness worlds merging with outdoor consumers coming into the fold.” The trend of wearing sportswear in public, commonly dubbed “athleisure,” has been en-vogue for some time, and more performance-oriented apparel brands weren’t sure it would stick. Prepping for 2017 styles, it’s clear consumers have latched to the fad and it’s become the new normal. “We’re having a lot of fun developing lines that speak to the woman grabbing a lunch-hour yoga class or pre-work treadmill session,” said SOAS Racing Founder Stephanie Swanson. Originally launched as a women’s triathlon apparel venture, SOAS now offers lines for running and lifestyle, and will come to market with an “In The Gym” collection by 2017. “It took us a while to realize not everyone needs apparel with space for five gel packs,” Swanson continued. Buying Based On Visuals The fusing of what used to be three separate apparel genres into the activewear space has upped the competition perhaps more than any other category. “We see consumers shopping from even wider brand pools, channels and

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Photo courtesy Montane and Alex Buisse

Photo courtesy SOAS

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price points,” said Ellen Krimmel, PrAna’s vice president of design and merchandising. The good case study is Fabletics. Toted as “affordable, high-quality and stylish workout clothes,” this online subscription retailer didn’t just capitalize on the fit frame and bubbly energy of actress Kate Hudson, but on its ability to sell visually for actual profit. “It is true, consumers are shopping online more, but in 2015 only eight percent of Active tops and bottoms’ sales came from the Internet channel. It is likely that direct-to-consumer efforts are driving a significant portion of additional online activewear sales which is not a tracked sales channel in SSI Apparel data,” said Lordi. In 2015, Fabletics brought in $150 million in sales without so much as one consumer trying on a piece of apparel.


Photo courtesy Pearl Izumi

“Fabletics’ success may in-part be a result of its consumer customization process, where anyone coming to the site answers a series of questions about their color preference, body type, end-sport use, along with the site prematching outfits for the consumer to select from,” added Lordi. There are a variety of choices for everyone without the stress that can sometimes occur with too many options. A brick-and-mortar retailer might manage the latter by “keeping their offerings basic, with blacks and greys,” Lordi said. Pairing or outfitting has become a leading trend in athleticwear, which not only distills the category’s focus on style, but also increases average dollar sales. A “less-is-more” approach will become a proponent in matching, with carefully constructed crops or bras pairing with a high-waist bottom, a style lead Manduka said. Consumers have become more comfortable and confident shopping online. “With more technical information available and more recommendations from online sources such as bloggers, product ratings and reviews, consumers are better informed and are therefore looking for higher performance products,” said Greg Thomsen, Managing Director for Adidas Outdoor U.S. Enlisting Fit-Celebs To Influence Sales The strategy of visually selling athleticwear has also made social media sites like Instagram and Tumblr the runway for brands to market complete looks (and more importantly, lifestyles) to consumers via “Internet celebrities.”

Kayla Itsines, a 20-something trainer from Australia made it big on Instagram with her reblog-worthy photos of crunches in curated workout outfits. Itsines now has 4.8 million followers and is a verified celebrity in the fitness world, being interviewed by Cosmopolitan, Today.com and Shape magazine. Looking through her archive, the evolution of her outfits from brand-less shorts to Stellasport bras signifies the big apparel guys saw how strong her influence reached, and understood outfitting one pic could mean new customers whose “hearts” convert to apparel sales. Because of the switch to more e-commerce purchasing and social media promotion of visuals, small brands entering the activewear space are able to compete with category leaders Nike and Under Armour. “Apparel being inexpensive to manufacture has made it a very attractive enterprise for newcomers,” said Ben Pickel, Sports & Fitness Category Manager for SportsOneSource | SSI Data. The increase in competition has provoked responses from more core brands that are doubtful as to where the hail of cheap-but-good-looking endurance apparel will lead. “Activewear inspired by fast-fashion and hot-off-the-runway style excites consumers, but this endless barrage of newness has increased the value for timeless, high-quality pieces,” said Krimmel with Prana. Style Taking Lead Over Performance Performance features and fabrics have become an expectation in activewear. “Brands tend to call out the same key features — high wicking properties, UV

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Photo courtesy Pearl Izumi

protection, anti-microbial — but everyone is doing this,” said Swanson with SOAS. “The focus will shift to more high-end, eye-catching design.” Brands from Montane to Beloforte confirmed performance is no longer the focus of run and endurance apparel. “Athletic apparel will continue to evolve and expand as a fashion category,” said Kevin Dorey and Whitney Quaresma, founders of Beloforte, a label that calls itself “designer before athletic.” But it’s not just core running brands adapting to the curve of a fashion-focused industry. More than ever before, designers and fashion icons are learning what it takes to develop an active component to their collections — as is the case in Beyonce’s recent Ivy Park collaboration with Topshop, Carrie Underwood’s workout line Calia, fashion retailer Zara adding a Gymwear category, Whitney Port designing an activewear line for Target, and Kylie Jenner and Rihanna teaming with Puma to inspire a generation of fans to get sporty. For the first time, fashion brands have to ask what it takes to make performance wear, but only to a certain level. The creators of Beloforte found that “more technical applications have proven less popular than anticipated … there was a time when it looked like activewear was going to be very techinclusive, but that didn’t happen.” On the flip side, performance brands are still pushing toward, “innovations that actually help increase the performance of athletes,” said Thomsen with Adidas — who will bring a huge increase in trail running products for long-distance runners come spring 2017. (The pieces will still look slick and stylish). And there appears to be a great divide between activewear brands, half of which believe promoting proprietary fabrication will be huge in attracting consumers, and the other half who believe it’s just clever marketing. “Our customer is more conscious than ever about what they’re putting on their bodies - they want to know where it was made, what it’s made with and even who made it,” said Manduka Vice President of Product Joanne Sessler. Environmental stewardship in fabric production will continue to grow as a focus for many activewear players, especially as it relates to the personality of the brand. Tasc Performance for instance has built its image

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around using alternative fabrics like bamboo, and this face continues to resonate with consumers. Another boutique activewear brand really listening to consumers about fabric wants is Stonewear Designs, originally founded by a female climber and now designs yoga, run, adventure travel apparel, too. Going forward, their Tencil fabric (aka super soft, cotton-type feel versus traditional synthetic performance fabric) will take lead, especially in pullovers - another hot piece in activewear for the coming year. As for whether fashion or fabric will win the bout in activewear, Kate Nowlan, co-founder of GracedByGrit yoga apparel boiled it down to a draw. “Women love great fabric and clothes that make them look good.” Mesh, Pattern and Zippers Design details brands will use to set their apparel apart over 2016 and 2017 will include unique patterns, cut-outs and textures. Opedix Kinetic Health Gear, for example, uses more zippers and seams as part of their garment’s color schemes, instead of concealing them. Marika/Zobha preps for more color blocking (instead of just prints) with new space dye and jacquard patters, while Prana, BoCo Gear and even hydration brand Ultimate Direction are resurrecting the Trucker hat. Wearable tech will also be a buzzword going forward, and mesh insets will be a big visual distinguisher, while providing strategic ventilation. Manduka’s Sessler said the brand will continue integrating mesh, “as it’s highly functional and great for design.” Lastly, consumers will look for different weights and feels in fabric, wanting some featherlight pieces and others with wet-suit inspired properties. For menswear, inspiration from surf and traditional sports will lead, with new patterns also making a big play. *SSI Data, powered by SportsOneSource, collects and analyzes POS data from more than 15,000 retail doors across nine channels of distribution. To learn more, call 303.997.7302 or email Solutions@SportsOneSource.com.


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OUTDOOR

Photo courtesy So ILL and Tim Kemple

Heading Indoors As climbing gyms boom, so does the gear tailored for the urban crowd. By BJ Sbarra

T

he rise in popularity of climbing gyms in the United States is rapidly reshaping the definition of what it means to be a climber. Many people are trying out the sport for the first time in a setting where there is little-to-no emphasis on eventually climbing outside, where it can be enjoyed solely for its athletic and social merits. This is a new kind of climber, and one that manufacturers are slowly figuring out how to reach. Thanks in large part to these same gyms; climbers are progressing at a faster rate than ever

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before. No longer spending years going through the grades, many are moving into steep climbing in a matter of months. As a result, higher performance shoes are seeing increase sales, but comfort is now the top consideration. Many climbers are taking the sport more seriously than ever, with dedicated training programs, eating well, and having the right gear all factoring into performing at the highest level. That's benefitted the industry's retailers, which have seen an 11 percent increase in sales

(up 5 percent in units) for overall climbing equipment and footwear over the past 52 weeks as of April 30, 2016, according to SSI Data*. Within the category, sales of climbing shoes are up 21 percent, protection and climbing hardware sales are up 12 percent, harnesses are up 3 percent and accessories up 2 percent. Ropes and webbing sales are the one area of weakness for the category, but not by much, just down by a percent for the period. Although the smallest section of the sport, snow and ice climbing


equipment, shows some of the strongest sales — up 28 percent in the past year. New technologies are bringing with them exciting innovations to give climbers the right tool for the job, whether it be fast and light alpine climbing or high-end sport routes. Given the more rapid pace of product development, these cuttingedge innovations are quickly trickling down into medium and entry-level products, raising the bar across the board. Gym Explosion According to Climbing Business Journal, at least 36 new gyms will open in the United States in 2016. With that kind of growth, you can be sure that this burgeoning market has the attention of every climbing company. In the past, climbers went to the gym because they had to, maybe due to bad weather or limited time. “For a long time in the U.S., climbing in the gym was not viewed as being as valid as going out cragging or into the mountains,” said Mark Busby, climbing category manager at Scarpa North America. “That mindset has taken awhile to change.” There are two noticeable differences about today’s gym crowd. One, they may be living in metropolitan areas that don’t have easy access to outdoor climbing, and two, a large percentage of the demographic are going to the gym simply to enjoy the social and physical aspects. “For many, climbing is becoming a more attractive alternative to doing CrossFit or going to the gym to lift weights,” said Kolin Powick, climbing category director at Black Diamond. These new entrants to the sport aren’t coming in through a traditional channel, and present a major opportunity for manufacturers. “There’s been a shift in our thinking from ‘how do we get these folks outside’ to ‘let’s meet them where they are at, and create products that address the lifestyle in these cities,’” said Dave Furman, hardgoods manager at Mammut North America. Several companies are focusing on products solely for the gym environment, like rental shoes, harnesses, and quickdraws. Gym-specific ropes are increasingly popular, typically in a 40-meter length that’s ideal for today’s mega gyms. Urban Athletes With so many new-to-the-sport participants having their first introduction in the gym, companies are not missing the importance of getting their brand in front of new climbers in a

prominent and positive way. These folks are more familiar with Under Armour and Lululemon than any of the major climbing brands, and they haven’t necessarily spent much (or any) time in the outdoors, so they are coming to the sport from an entirely different perspective. As such, the products that appeal to them are quite different from those that are marketed to the more “traditional” climbing consumer. Whereas for the latter function is generally the top priority, in

the gym market it’s much more about appearance and designs that fit in with the urban lifestyle. “Millennials are the market — people who drink craft beer, young urban professionals living in downtown areas,” said Dan Chancellor, owner of So iLL, Inc. And he would know, given the success of the brand's latest product launch on Kickstarter. So iLL is bringing a new line of climbing shoes to the market, with a focus on style, taking inspiration from vintage soccer and bowling shoes — things

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that are still considered classic thirty years later. Thinking outside the box to get to the factory minimums they needed to produce the shoes, they decided to fund the project via Kickstarter. While some climbers are scratching their heads at these types of new shoes, it’s clear that there’s a market for this kind of product. “This is a consumer that wants toned-down, subtle colors that won't stick out like a sore thumb in an urban environment, but that still identifies them as a climber,” said Dave Kassel, rock and outdoor category manager at Five Ten. In that vein, Mammut is launching new packs that have more of an urban look, but are also very functional. The kind of bag you can take to a meeting without getting strange looks from your boss, and then head straight to the gym to meet up with your friends afterwards. All About That Comfort When it comes to climbing shoes, comfort has become the number one priority across the board. Even if it performs well, if it’s not comfortable, people are less interested in checking it out. It used to be that you learned how to climb from a mentor, and that person probably told you to get your shoes really tight or they wouldn’t work. These days, people are coming to the sport in a different way, so the legacy of painfully tight shoes seems

to be disappearing. Modern shoes are also better built, with improved materials and engineering so you can get the same performance in a much more comfortable fit than was possible five to 10 years ago. An interesting trend shoe companies tell us they are seeing is that sales of higher-end models are on the rise. “With the prevalence of steep walls in today’s modern gyms, climbers are getting on overhanging terrain earlier in their career, and as such they are buying downturned shoes sooner,” Scarpa's Busby said. Even outdoors, steeper climbing is more fashionable than slabby, technical routes, and those two factors combined seem to be driving sales of more aggressive shoes. Velcro slippers also continue to be popular, especially in the gym setting where people are doing a lot of climbs quickly and want to be able to put their shoes on and off without hassle. It’s Time to Get Serious A jack-of-all-trades is a master of none, and nowhere is this more evident than in the specialized gear that is being developed for climbers who are pushing their limits. At the opposite end of the spectrum from all the new climbers coming in through the gyms, you have a group that is taking the sport more seriously than ever.

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“Climbers that are dedicated and focused will have a tool for each job they care about,” said Brian Block, sport division manager at Petzl. There has been a recent surge in the number of people interested in training programs, and you only have to do a quick Google search to see a variety of online coaching options that have appeared in the last year. With many climbers taking it more seriously, they are looking for every advantage to help them reach the next level, whether it’s the lightest rope, harness, cams, or shoes that are tailored to the specific demands of the routes they are trying to redpoint. “With more focus on the effort, shoes are getting more specialized,” Busby said. But it’s not only the highest-level athlete that benefits from these innovations; as the technology eventually trickles down to improve lower end gear. Entry-level shoes and harnesses, especially, are light years ahead of where they were a decade ago. What’s innovative today will likely be mainstream in a few years, with the end result being that climbers of all ability levels will benefit from the highly specialized gear being developed for today’s cutting-edge climbs. *SSI Data, powered by SportsOneSource, collects and analyzes POS data from more than 15,000 retail doors across nine channels of distribution. To learn more, call 303.997.7302 or email Solutions@SportsOneSource.com.


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SPORTSMANS

‘Go-Go Gadget Angler’ Tailored fishing kayaks boost sales and price points. By Eugene Buchanan

Photo courtesy Confluence Outdoor

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ells and whistles, hands-free propulsion and hulls that are both fast and stable. That’s the buzz in the fishing kayak world as manufacturers continue to cater to anglers’ every need, whether they’re chasing rooster fish or bass. The reason: potential sales. The nation’s nearly 40 million licensed anglers generate more than $46 billion in retail sales, with kayak fishing having the highest, three-year participation growth of all kayaking disciplines (more than 20 percent), according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing. Throw in a median household income of between $75,000 and $125,000, and it’s a ripe market to cast to. Over the trailing 52 weeks, through April 16, 2016, fishing (or sporting) kayaks have accounted for the second largest sub category in kayak unit retail sales, behind recreational models, according to SSI Data*, and their higher price points have them nearly matching the latter in dollars sold during the period. Sales of sit-on and sit-in sporting kayaks are up a combined 25 percent in units and up 32 percent in dollars sold at retail over the past 52 weeks, suggesting a healthy market with rising average sales prices. Sales aren’t automatic, however. Today’s kayak anglers are picky, brands and retailers tell us. Customers want rod storage, attachment points for fish finders and coolers, bait wells, tackle platforms and more, all in a craft that’s stable and responsive. Here are the trends we’re following for fishing kayaks heading into this summer and next. Sit Or Stand More manufacturers are realizing that anglers often want to stand up to better see their quarry, cast farther and reel it in. Case in point: a new breed of Kayak/ SUP hybrid craft catered toward anglers. “For the novice and more experienced kayak angler, the desire to stand or walk around the deck of the boat is a must, which has driven the ultra-stable sit-on-top design trend,” said Confluence Director of Marketing Evan Lyendecke. SSI Data* shows the majority of sales and strength coming from the sit-on-top models. Wilderness Systems addresses the trend with its “highly walkable” ATAK, a sit-upon fishing kayak also stable enough to walk on for sight casting and reeling, despite its low-profile and wind-shedding hull. Also walking this line is Hobie’s new i11, an

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inflatable, low-profile design for sitting or standing. The i11 is the lightest weight model in Hobie’s fleet with two air chambers on each side and a dropstitched center chamber with insertable fin. “It’s about enhancing the small boat fishing experience by providing stable, dry and efficiently propelled craft,” said Hobie Designer Keeton Eoff. Companies are also hopping on the SUP bandwagon for fishing, as illustrated in Boardworks’ new Tracker SUP, an 11-foot-long, 35-inch-wide angling-specific platform with flat deck for walking around and cooler storage, and tie-down Connex deck plugs for extra gear. Made from tough KryptoMat Innegra fiberglass construction, the model comes with a double concave hull for stability and single stern fin for tracking. Native Watercraft also enters the game with an angling specific SUP called the Versa Board Angler, a stable platform with retractable skeg system, paddle holder and a groove track for mounting rod holders. Comfort At All Costs No one wants to be uncomfortable for hours on end, which is often the time it takes to land a lunker. So comfort remains a cornerstone of design with builders pulling out all the stops to ensure consumers have couch-like comfort in their craft. Hobie’s Vantage Seating System offers a high-back padded seat with multiple adjustment points and breathable mesh (bonus: it can also be removed to use as a beach chair). Wilderness Systems makes the cush push with its new AirPro MAX Lite seat, with an innovative slide-on-track system for fore/aft trimming. Look for it on the Tarpon 130X sit-on-top.

Photo courtesy Native Watercraft

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Propulsion And Control Whether you have a fish on the line, or are sneaking up on a school, control is paramount for today’s kayak anglers. That’s why hands-free propulsion systems and rudder technology is de rigueur, be it on a pedal system like Native Watercraft and Hobie offer, or a paddle-propelled craft. “Forward and reverse pedal drive systems in fishing kayaks is huge and it makes sense as it provides the ability to control the boat while being hands free,” said Native Watercraft’s Tyler Brown, whose models offering it include the Slayer Propel 10 and 13 and Ultimate FX Propel 13. Also addressing the handsfree craze, Hobie’s i11 combines its patented MirageDrive with Glide Technology propulsion, letting anglers put down their paddles and pedal to troll or get Boardworks Tracker SUP to that favorite spot. Hobie also debuts a new finger-tip rudder control that can be paddled kayaks. The ability to propel a kayak without a paddle gets those who may be paddleswitched to either side for use with either hand. And don’t forget motor adaptations. adverse or even those with disabilities into kayak “Propulsion is the next frontier in kayak fishing,” fishing and drives the overall growth of the sport.” said Confluence’s Lyendecke. “More designs are For this season, Wilderness Systems unveils its new emerging with these compatibilities as are more Helix Propulsion Technologies products, including fishing tournaments allowing motorized or pedal the Helix MD Motor Drive launched in April and driven kayaks into their competitions among the Helix PD Pedal drive coming this December.


Photo courtesy Hobie

Gadgetry When he’s reincarnated, Inspector Gadget would do well to come back as a kayak angler. Manufacturers are hitting their consumers over the head with every tool available to make the pastime as easy as possible. “A big trend is the need for anglers to be able to customize their kayak platforms to their individual fishing preferences,” said Confluence’s Lyendecke, toting Wilderness Systems’ SlideTrax and self-contained Flex Pod console concepts as industry standard for adding accessories, electronics and propulsion opportunities. In addition, the company’s new Tarpon 130X offers

a bevy of customizable features for electronics, accessory mounts, seat adjustments, and more. Anglers also want to hop on and go. “Kayak fisherman are seeking feature-rich boats right out of the box,” said Native Watercraft’s Brown. As an example, he points to such features on the new Ultimate FX Propel 13’s as Propel Pedal Drive System, easy-turning rudder system, anchor trolley system, Paddle Parks for paddle storage, open deck for storage, built-in transducer mount and battery box for connecting electronics, box storage behind the seat, groove tracks for mounting accessories along the deck of the boat, and adjustable thwart box.

Stability For The Long Haul Beginner or expert, you don’t want your boat to be tippy, especially when casting or, worse, with a fish on the line. “Most anglers getting into the sport are not necessarily kayakers and the first obstacle to overcome is their fear of overturning the kayak,” Confluence’s Lyendecke said. “But many manufacturers have over-compensated in response to this need; a kayak hull doesn’t have to sacrifice maneuverability, acceleration, responsiveness and tracking for more stability. Nor does it need to be excessively big, wide and heavy.” He heralds the Wilderness Systems

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A.T.A.K. 140 and its new hull technology as addressing this need. Long known for its rec boat designs, Pelican debuts its Catch 120 for beginners and intermediates thanks to a wide and flat stable platform, new Ergocast dual position seating system, Flush mount rod holders, paddle and rod tie-downs, and a large storage well. The 11-foot, 8-inch-long, 34-inch-wide boat also comes with a tunnel hull for stability. Fishing On The Fly Kayak fishing isn’t just for the spin-casting crowd. Manufacturers are also targeting fly fishers with features specifically for them. “Kayak angling has matured in its toolset,” said Jackson Kayak marketing

Photo courtesy Confluence Outdoor

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director James McBeath. “The future is trending towards technique and species-specific craft, addressing evolving paddling skill sets and specific river, lake or ocean locations.” He touts the Jackson Coosa HD as a craft focused on the advanced river angler who targets fish for both fly fishing and casting, with performance in maneuverability, stability for standing and fly fishing and options in the decking that can be used as is or stripped down for fly fishing. Growing The Market Companies are also prioritizing getting new customers involved in kayak angling by offering price-friendly beginner models. “Over the past 10 years kayak fishing has grown exponentially. It’s no longer a niche sport, it’s mainstream,” said Pelican’s

Joel McBride, whose new Catch 120 fishing kayak comes in at a more wallet- (and walleye-) friendly $749. “It allows people who would otherwise maybe not own a boat to get off the bank and expand their horizons with confidence.” Perception addresses the newbie crowd with its new Pescador Pro 12, whose hull shape tracks well while still offering beginner-friendly initial and secondary stability. Other features include a stadium-style seat and easy-to-reach foot braces. *SSI Data, powered by SportsOneSource, collects and analyzes POS data from more than 15,000 retail doors across nine channels of distribution. To learn more, call 303.997.7302 or email Solutions@SportsOneSource.com.


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SPORTS & FITNESS

The Recovery Revolution An overlooked category finds its legs as consumers push their bodies harder and invest in self-care. By Jahla Seppanen and David Clucas Photo courtesy Gaiam

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ustomers and elite athletes are going harder, faster, longer and stronger. This boost in activity has cleared the way for the recovery category to blossom, as more users visit retailers seeking products and advice on body maintenance. The upstart training, recovery and sports medicine active lifestyle category has only really been around for the past decade, coming out of the shadows of the health-care world. But as more amateur athletes get advice from trainers and see the pros wearing compression sleeves and braces on the field, the space has experienced notable growth over the past few years.

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After a 13 percent rise in 2014 dollar sales for the SSI Data* Sports Medicine category (which includes braces, supports, wraps and compression sleeves), business has cooled some at retail in the trailing 52 weeks (through April 9, 2016) — down 5 percent in dollars and 7 percent in units — but brands say the category is still hot. A closer look at the category shows there is retail sales growth in brace sales — up 6 percent with strong uptick in knee, elbow and back products over the past 52 weeks. Compression sleeves are also up 2 percent during the period. Compression wear sales (which SSI Data covers as part of its appar-


el figures) show modest improvement in compression tops — up 2 percent in units and flat on dollars — and explosive growth in compression bottoms — up 62 percent in units and 50 percent in dollars — for the trailing 52 weeks. So what’s the overall prognosis of Recovery trends to follow? SGB takes a look at what’s driving growth and consumer interest. Muscles Is The Magic Word Among the most well known pieces of recovery equipment is the roller, and brands report its popularity is keeping stride as the industry evolves to include

new products and players. “Foam rollers and self-massage sticks are currently the category leaders,” said Susan Haney, senior vice president and head of marketing at Gaiam. Moji’s Founder and CEO, Victor Viner reiterated, “companies continue to innovate with hand-held rollers, foam and rolling balls and other muscle therapy products.” The key word here is muscle. “The muscles are the most neglected part of the human anatomy,” said Spring Faussett, founder of Tiger Tail and a pioneer in hand-held foam rolling. Faussett brought her classic 18-inch hand-held roller to the

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Amy Cragg, (below), U.S. Track & Field 10,000 meter and elite marathoner, is part of Zamst’s all-star athlete line-up. Zamst’s mobile compression and ice braces along with the AT-1 Achilles support product and the RK-1 IT band support are part of Amy’s recovery and training for injury prevention and support.

Photo courtesy Zamst

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masses in 2006, when the lifestyle recovery category was in its infancy. Beforehand, the products were largely targeted toward the health-care industry. SPRI, owned by Gaiam, is targeting muscles, along with joints and nerves, in strategies that enhance mobility. “Much of the shift in recovery approaches is the result of a deeper understanding of the significant role the fascia plays in movement,” said Greg Niederlander, director of programming at SPRI. Fascia is a thin layer of tissue covering our muscles, and it’s the buzzword we’ll be seeing used more in the recovery roller space. The trend can be credited to an ancient recovery method dating back thousands of years —massage. The goal of foam rolling is to mimic the deep steady frictional pressure of massage to create micro stretch tears that help soothe and repair muscles while eliminating waste. Growth Drivers In The Space Include: • An aging population living longer and looking for ways to stay active; • More marathons, CrossFit gyms and Tough Mudder races pushing bodies to a breaking point; • The adoption of more at-home exercises; and • An efficiency mindset for faster training and recovery with preventive care. “The average age of the recovery user is 42,” said Jon Graff, director of marketing at SPRI. There is no doubt the aging consumer is number one on the list for targeted users, followed by the athlete. At Gaiam, officials also see growth in “body part” conditioning, which tells us consumers are looking for condition-specific products that address chronic pain, most commonly associated with active aging. In Fall 2016, a new Gaiam Relax line will look to address physical and mental stress-relief recovery. Meditation will become a “recover” focus — a trend that has picked up momentum after heat maps of the brain proved its tranquilizing affect. TriggerPoint, owned by Implus is also expanding from foam rolling into balls, sticks and travel-friendly products. “Consumers are calling for it, and it shows society is starting to take rolling and mobility enhancement seriously, while taking pride and investing in a self-care routine,” said Implus Fitness Marketing Director Janelle Ronquillo. Tiger Tail also will come to market with a new ball product — The Curve Ball — departing from its heritage stick roller. Balls are making a surge across the category, as they are both portable and target tight-spots in the glutes and back. Compression And Support The former stereotype of compression socks, knee braces and tape was that of an aging, broken athlete. As technology has advanced making many of these items lighter and less restrictive, now the gear is viewed to not only aid recovery, but enhance performance and prevent injuries. With high-profile stars such as Stephen Curry and Von Miller sporting the gear every game day, these high-visibility items have become a fashion statement for some consumers. Compression wear and socks were once only worn to recover - helping increase blood flow through sore areas and reducing inflammation. Now, they’re also being worn during the activity to help keep muscles in place and reduce vibration, said Mike Potter, U.S. director for German compression sock brand CEP. The key for these socks and apparel isn’t just about tightness, but graduated compression, with a greater squeeze on the body parts farther away from the heart to get blood and waste moving in the right direction.

Photo courtesy SPRI

The difference in a running compression sock versus a recovery one? The running sock will likely have graduated compression in the ankle but consistent compression in the calf so it stays up, Potter said. It’s best for users to switch to a recovery sock with full, graduated compression all the way up through the calf post run. Synthetic materials mixed with spandex have worked best for compression, Potter added. Other materials like merino can be used, although the company finds that the strength of compression breaks down faster with merino versus synthetics. Athletes are also wearing braces more often as the products have slimmed down, become less obtrusive and more joint-specific to target problem areas, said Dawn Ferreira, senior product specialist with Zamst. “We analyze 217 points on the body.” Expect to see more customized fits also, thanks to variable compression offered by brands like Boa (the same as in your ski boots).

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Kinesiology tape, made famous by KT Tape sponsor and U.S. Olympic Volleyball star Kerri Webb, is another area of increased interest from consumers wanting to train like the pros. Again, the product started in the injuryrecovery space as a non-obtrusive way to support injured muscles, but has moved to an essential piece of equipment for healthy athletes, said Ted Forcum, a chiropractor and member of KT Tape’s Medical Advisory Board. “From a performance standpoint, you can utilize tape to alter the range of motion and help feel the body in space,” he said. “It also creates neuromuscular feedback, called proprioception, that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons.” Advances in tape include better recoil (stretch with support) and waterresistance with synthetic materials. Adhesives have also gotten better, allowing users to wear the products for consecutives days. Training And Recovery 101 The numbe one challenge in the training, recovery and sports medicine field is education. The flood of new products in the category does not make the human body invincible, and when the body is really hurt, rest is the doctor’s first order. “But everyone wants to be their own doctor, today,” Zamst’s Ferreira said. To stop consumers from rushing to WebMD, brands are partnering with medical experts to develop educational content, increasingly through instructional

Photo courtesy CEP

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online videos and virtual training for retailers. KT Tape, for example, has more than 50 videos online on how to apply its product for a long list of injuries. TriggerPoint also has an education portal (tptherapy.com/watch) where specialists provide free, progressive training on how to use its recovery products. Ronquillo at Implus added, “We want to build programming and proper guidance first, because we have a lot of nerves in our muscles, and need to be careful how we treat them.” And as for new brands entering the category she said, “We will see new players trying to creep in with new products, but I believe education should be the judge on whether they are beneficial and will last.” Another trend to watch, digital feedback on how that brace, tape or compression wear is performing on the body via sensor tracking. The fitness tracking movement was bound to seep into recovery, so keep an eye out for that shift. More brands are also investing in clinical studies that prove their methods, while looking to clarify use to the consumer. “Retailers want to appeal to the largest audience, so brands can’t get way too technical,” said Faussett with Tiger Tail. In the next five years, players in the category project to see more technology, like lasers or muscle stimulation, but for now the industry is trying to walk before it runs. *SSI Data, powered by SportsOneSource, collects and analyzes POS data from more than 15,000 retail doors across nine channels of distribution. To learn more, call 303.997.7302 or email Solutions@SportsOneSource.com.


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RETAIL BEST PRACTICES

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POS Systems That Deliver The latest point-of-sale technologies meet customers anytime and anywhere. By David Clucas

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etail point-of-sale (POS) systems, which long ago made a big leap beyond the cash register, are again evolving to the next level. The latest technologies in the space not only track sales and inventory, but will also work handin-hand with retail marketing and merchandising initiatives and customer relations. Mobile, omnichannel and cloud-based POS systems are other fast-growing trends in the space. And then there’s the new EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) — e.g., chip card readers — security protocols, which haven’t been the smoothest of rollouts here in the United States. So with plenty to talk about, we checked in with some of the top POS providers in the active lifestyle retail space to see where they see the trends heading for the year and beyond. Beyond The Sale Today’s POS systems do much more than track a sale and update inventory. Now, an entire suite of accompanying software and systems can help retailers make decisions on when they should reorder based on seasonal trends, or which customers need a nudge. “They're all things to make the retailer more efficient,” said David Albert, president at Retail Control Systems (RCS), which sells and services the NCR Counterpoint POS system. Got too many size 10s of a running shoe? The POS system features built-in email marketing that can mine the database and send out a coupon to any customer who is that size, he said. New models of product coming in? Let customers who have purchased the item in the past know they may want to stock up on the older model because they really like it, or be excited to try the new version. Retailers can also benefit from built-in loyalty programs.

“Retailers have to adapt to millennials — they want the retailer to reach out to them,” RCS Marketing Coordinator Casey Albert added. The goal is building a customer profile from the very first purchase and then finding the right incentives that work specifically for them to spur repeat business. It can all be done in one system, Casey Albert said, avoiding the need to import and export databases from system to system. In the sporting goods and outdoor retail worlds, POS systems should also be flexible to deal with rentals and service orders for bike and ski shops — again, all linking to that central customer database. Mobile, Cloud And Omni-Channel POS “The new trend is that your customer is everywhere,” said Ian Goldman, CEO of Celerant, which provides POS systems. The buzzword here is omni-channel and helping consumers complete a purchase when they are ready to do so, whether it’s in the store, at home online, or while browsing for products on the subway to work. The shift toward omni-channel has businesses consolidating all their inventory — online, instore and at other stores — in one place, said Dax Dasilva, CEO of POS system provider Lightspeed. That’s frequently achieved with a cloud-based POS system that can be accessed anywhere and makes opening up new or even temporary pop-up stores pretty easy. Of course an Internet connection isn’t always available, so there are also hybrid cloud versions that do most of their business onsite, then update in the cloud every few hours. Or back-up 3G wireless connections can fill in when needed. The more real time the better for today’s customers, who are increasingly buying on demand and seeking instant gratification.

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Cloud systems also promise to bring down costs, with less specialized hardware and more software that can run on the latest tablets or smartphones. The mobility can help reduce long checkout lines and get consumers to make a purchase before they have second thoughts. Mobile POS works to a certain extent, David Albert at RCS said, “iPads aren’t meant for highvolume retail and Bluetooth connections can drop out a lot.” But that’s not to say the technology won’t eventually become reliable, he added, noting it’s the direction the industry is headed. Another trend to watch for in the onmi-channel space is what’s known as vendor or distributor integration, Goldman said. Brands and retailers are increasingly working together to share real-time inventory figures to match buyers to product even if the store doesn’t carry it onsite. “The sale might be made at the retailer’s store or their website, and they get the margin, but they might never touch the product … it ships directly from the distributor or vendor,” Goldman said. In essence, the retailer takes the order and the brands fulfill it. Elsewhere, brands are experimenting through partnerships with stores to employ them as a network of warehouses and distribution centers, eliminating the need for central distribution centers across the country. In these cases, it’s the brands that might take the order (through their direct-to-consumer channels) and then have retailers fulfill it.

New Security High-profile customer credit card data breaches have sped up the push for new security measures at point-of-sale, including EMV or the new chip cards. They are already prevalent in Europe, but have had a bumpy introduction here in the United States. “The idea is that the data is encrypted between the customer and the bank and the store never gets the chance to see the card numbers,” Celerant’s

Goldman said. Without payment information on file, retail store customer databases would become less of a target for thieves. The transactions with the new chip readers aren’t exactly swift, however. Customers who have grown accustom to a quick swipe to pay, now insert their card and wait… and wait — 10 seconds can seem like an eternity at checkout. The not-so-speedy experience and other advances may begin to push more customers toward paying with their iphones, which many of the newer POS hardware systems can now also accept. Buying The Right System When it comes down to buying the right POS system for your store, retailers have to understand what’s important to them and how they conduct business on a day-to-day basis, Dave Albert at RCS said. “You have to make sure you’re going to use what the system offers,” he said. “The number one issue can be retailers buying the system for the wrong reason. They want to buy the system with all the potential, but don’t want to spend the time to learn all the potential. Or, they might not need a new system… they might just need a faster Internet connection.” The POS vendors provide a lot of that education for free — although sometimes there’s an extra cost — but “the biggest cost is time,” Albert said. “The retailer needs to be committed.”

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urt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin But ennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant uber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Jo weeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Bied ontway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden H ewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Mu hean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Clai olin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie D Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, eters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith llyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christense Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lam rian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer She Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robe Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Je ippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian B ai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Wil randy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Mo er Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, Ge obert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kath eremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason er Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednali rian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandle armer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Rus Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, J arah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Co Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, W Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, K Leadership, Innovation, and Townes, Passion.George Ward, Claire Woo sedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Entrepreneurship Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah utts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling no shortage of these qualities In the following pages they credit their nudson,There’s Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Lu among this year’s class of SGB 40 Under supporting staff and families for getting rebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, 40 Award Honorees. them to Tsedo the top. Sherpa-Ednalino, Many talk about the Davis Smith, Lindsey Sw importance to stop andChandley, truly listen and While the tendency of this recognition cheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Nikolai Christensen, Scott C might be to say that these are “tomorrow’s learn from the customers they serve. arper, Wendy Howlett,TheGrant Knudson, Russell Brandy Lamb, Kim leaders,” Hofstetter, the reality is thatJeremy they are already 40 individuals honored on Laeding, the there. Olmstead, These are theSpencer names and faces following pages arePrebich, being recognized Murphy, Kelly Orr, John Peters, Joe John by Sears, Jennifer Shea, Pete defining today’s active lifestyle industry. their peers — the people they work with laire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bow When they walk into a room, people give every day — as the best the active lifestyle atie Darling, JenniferAnd Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Ho has to offer in its people that will their attention. each is making a industry ensure that the industry continues to be difference for his or her company, staff, erger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, J mentors, colleagues, customers and an environment that rewards hard work mith, Lindsey Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Bec and fostersWard, advancement. friends. Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George SGB salutes eachKatie of theDarling, honorees and These honorees aren’t just leaders, but hristensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willi good listeners and team members as well. wishes them continued success. randy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Mo er Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, Ge obert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kath eremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason 44 2016 SPRING ISSUE er Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednali rian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandle

Class of 2016


tts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling t Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh oe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey dscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scot Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim urphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Pete ire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett r, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John h, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead en, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford mb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey ea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George ert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy eremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason r Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Niko llie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding orrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jenni eorge Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker hy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter n Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spen ino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth ey, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn ssell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney ourtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean od, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin g, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Gran uber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe weeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Bied Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden m Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian er Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward wers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby owlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding, Brandy Lamb, Kim Lewis, Aaron Liebert, Jason Lippen John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jennifer Shea, Peter Shean, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, Davi ckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker, Robert Bowers, Colin Butts, Ken Chandley, Nikola ie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter, Jeremy Howlett, Grant Knudson, Russell Laeding orrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spencer Orr, John Peters, Joe Prebich, John Sears, Jenni eorge Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth, Brian Beckstead, Ellyn Biedscheid, Courtney Blacker hy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn Farmer, Willie W. Ford, Golden Harper, Wendy Hofstetter n Lippenberger, Josh Luber, Katie Meizer, Megan Morrissey, Brian Murphy, Kelly Olmstead, Spen SPORTSONESOURCE.COM 45 ino, Davis Smith, Lindsey Sweeney, Sarah Townes, George Ward, Claire Wood, Kurt Ainsworth ey, Nikolai Christensen, Scott Contway, Adam Craig, Kathy Dalby, Katie Darling, Jennifer Lynn

UNDER FORTY


KURT AINSWORTH

Co-Founder & CEO | Marucci Sports Age 37 | 13 Years in the Industry

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urt Ainsworth is the co-founder and CEO of Marucci Sports, the company that the Associated Press calls the "bat maker for the stars," and that Forbes Magazine highlighted as one of the top growth brands in the country. Ainsworth was part of the 1997 NCAA National Championship baseball team at LSU and named All-American in 1999. He was a first-round draft pick for the San Francisco Giants. In 2000, he played for the Olympic gold medal team before making it to the World Series. In 2003, he started the Marucci Bat Company with another Big Leaguer and their athletic trainer. Fast forward five years and Ainsworth co-founded Marucci Sports. Now the number one bat in the Big Leagues, Marucci Sports also manufactures aluminum bats, fielding gloves, and other baseball and softball equipment. Ainsworth lives in Baton Rouge, LA with his wife and their four children. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Louisiana State University I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My family, the Marucci team, and the guidance of our Board of Directors. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Persistence and positivity pay off. Do everything you can to stay positive. Negativity gets you nowhere. Even when everything seems lost and doomed, keep your head up and push forward. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Trust yourself. Don’t let yourself get to the end and wish you would have followed your instincts. Follow them now. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Marucci went through a decertification of two bat lines in 2012 that has made us a much better company today, even though it was extremely painful at that time and for the next couple of years following the decertification. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Staying happily married for over 16 years and having four kids while balancing professional baseball and Marucci.

favorite quote

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." — Mario Andretti

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My brother, Kevin, always pushed me to do better and work harder than everyone else if I wanted to be successful. He always told me that when we are sleeping, there is another kid working to get better than we were. I took that mentality and competitive spirit from sports into the business world. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: I worked to grow the game of baseball by helping to create the products that kids want and need to be successful and promoted the great life lessons that come from playing the game. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Don’t wait for tomorrow. Do it today. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Hardworking and Driven

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BRIAN BECKSTEAD

Co-Founder, Vice President of Sales | Altra Age 35 | 18 Years in the Industry

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aving started at age 16 in an independent run specialty store, running has been at the core of Brian’s experience. His competitive drive and passion for running has led him to more than 50 ultramarathons worldwide including the 106-mile Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji and the 105-mile Ultra-Trail du Mt. Blanc. His passion, enthusiasm, and experience has spearheaded the growth and culture at Altra where he has helped form the unique components of what has made the company successful. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Exercise Science & Outdoor Recreational Management, Utah Valley University BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Altra of course! I’m not sure which is bigger, getting Altra off the ground or making it successful over the years, but I’m immensely proud of my efforts on both fronts. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Funding and acquisition. Getting someone to buy into your concept for investment, particularly with the economy in 2009/10, was very hard. Then merging various beliefs into building a successful company.

favorite quote

Only those who will risk going too far can know how far one can go. — T. S. Eliott

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: Altra’s initial angel investor. He is the silent partner that without his help Altra wouldn’t exist. He has given me amazing and crucial advice. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Inspiration, creativity and effort. I think when you have a great idea and put forth maximum effort then you can accomplish so much in life. I hope to inspire others to take a few risks. And when you get some runway, push hard and take full advantage. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Persistence and positivity pay off! Even when everything seems lost and doomed, keep your head up and push forward. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My wife. She has been a rock and an unsung hero in supporting me unconditionally from the start. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Relentless Progress

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ELLYN BIEDSCHEID

Vice President of Finance | Hydro Flask Age 40 | 4.5 Years in the Industry

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llyn is responsible for finance, information systems, legal and Human Resources. She joined Hydro Flask in 2011 with over 15 years of finance, accounting and process improvement experience. She has advised clients in the high tech and consumer products industry on internal controls and GAAP accounting treatment through her work in the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit group. Ellyn also held positions at Intel, Global Accounting and Financial Services group overseeing transition to a shared services model and implementation of the first business process management program for the Fixed Assets Accounting group. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Bachelor of Business Administration, emphasis in Accounting. Certificate of International Business (cum laude) University of Notre Dame; CPA in Oregon state; Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My team. I am fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of smart, talented, and passionate people that strive to deliver delight every day and have some fun while we are at it. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: There are no mistakes. What matters is what you learn from the experience. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Don’t ask why; ask why not. Focus on solutions. Challenge yourself to be open to new ideas. Make sure you are solving the right problem. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: My biggest challenge has also been one of my accomplishments; being a part of the rapid growth at Hydro Flask. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: My two children. They inspire me to be true to myself and do my best. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: Jim Collis and Scott Allan from Hydro Flask have given me the freedom, encouragement and trust to grow my knowledge and experience with Hydro Flask. favorite quote

"Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet Is fighting some kind of battle." — Anonymous

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WHAT WOULD YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Someone who made a difference, who didn’t give up when things got tough and who lived life with passion. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Despite your best plans, things may not always turn out the way you expect. Sometimes the results are better - sometimes not - but don’t let that stop you from moving forward.


COURTNEY BLACKER

Director, Brand Marketing | The North Face Age 39 | 11 Years in the Industry

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ourtney leads global go-to-market strategy and consumer-facing brand and content marketing across all consumer touchpoints for The North Face as Director, Brand Marketing. She joined VF Corporation in 2005, serving in various roles at JanSport including brand director, where she led the repositioning of the brand as a youth culture outdoor lifestyle brand. Prior to VF Corporation, Courtney held marketing positions at Levi Strauss & Company and several advertising and branding firms. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and twin girls. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Bachelor of Arts, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Advertising focus, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: People are the most important part of any job. Find your people and everyday will be more fulfilling. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Manage your balance — always come back to your center and you’ll never lose your footing. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: The ongoing and fluid challenge of adapting to new and emerging conditions. But every challenge presents an opportunity to push through to show commitment, mettle and character. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Professionally, I am most proud of The North Face efforts to connect to consumers by representing our brand message of “Never Stop Exploring” as a state of mind, physically, emotionally, creatively and intellectually. In 2014, I spearheaded a multi-touchpoint integrated brand campaign to inspire people to live a life of exploration, get outside and protect the places we play and love. I orchestrated a partnership with Apple iTunes and recording artist, My Morning Jacket, that enabled consumers to support the Department of the Interior’s 21st Century Service Corp initiative. Personally, I am proud to be a dedicated mom to my girls and to set an example everyday that women can kick butt. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL? Ann Daw, VP of Marketing at JanSport

favorite quote

“It's funny how day by day nothing changes. But when you look back, everything is different." — Calvin & Hobbes

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Everyday, she gave it her all. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Be kind, be confident, be yourself. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Fearless and Passionate

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favorite quote

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs

ROB BOWERS

Chief Strategy, Analytics and Innovation Officer | Total Hockey Age 39 | Number of Years in the Industry 11

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MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: To always ask why and consider why not.

ob started his career as a business consultant in high school. After earning a degree in finance, he spent five years as a consultant before joining Total Hockey. For the next decade Rob has helped grow Total Hockey focusing his attention on customer service and pushing to modernize the hockey industry.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Fail fast and keep on trying.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBLIITIES IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION: Assist the CEO with creating, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives. Evaluating market positioning, competitive war gaming, using data analysis to drive supply chain, marketing, business development, retail site selection and customer retention strategies, assessing future technologies, cultivating strategic partnerships, spotting future market trends and translating them into company innovation efforts.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Running the Chicago marathon.

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Finance

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Two toddlers on the home front.

WHAT OR WHO (MENTOR) HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL? I am very lucky to have many individuals who have profoundly shaped my career over the last twenty years. That said, Michael Benoit, Total Hockey’s President and CEO, is most worthy of the badge. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE? To have made a positive contribution and people will say, “he helped me consider new perspectives to challenge the normal way and we had fun doing it.”

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Fail fast and keep on trying.

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: If you can dream it, then it is learnable.

I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: An open disposition to change.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Hopelessly Driven

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COLIN BUTTS

Marketing Director Wolverine World Wide, Chaco Age 35 | 5 Years in the Industry

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olin’s love of the outdoors sprouted through annual family ‘drive and camp’ vacations covering much of the U.S. during his youth. Today, he is driven by a desire to encounter as much of the world as possible and his personal interests revolve around travel, personal relationships, and exposure to new cultures, food, and people. After roles at a foodservice packaging company and The Laughing Cow cheese brand, Colin found the passion of the outdoor industry exciting, and made the leap. Helping guide Chaco’s path from a small brand to a nationally iconic one has been a labor of love for Colin. He is currently responsible for the marketing team leadership of seven associates, developing and managing Chaco’s consumer marketing plan. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BA, Marketing, Michigan State University; M.B.A. Marketing, Michigan State University, Eli Broad College of Business. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Deciding the CPG industry was not the right culture for me and looking for more passionate work. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My parents for my education and backing, my husband for his constant support, and Chip Coe (now WWW EMEA Managing Director) for the best four years of business and personnel training possible. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Life isn’t fair. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Professionally, being part of the team helping to build the iconic Chaco brand. Personally, launching my own mobile video game Totem Tap. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: From the mini ad campaign: Normal can never be amazing.

favorite quote

"Wherever you are, it's your friends who make your world." — William James

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: His presence enriched the lives of everyone he had contact with - a perpetual work in progress. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Driven and Playful

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favorite quote

"Leadership is not about titles, positions or flow charts, It is about one life influencing another." — John C. Maxwell

KEN CHANDLEY

Category Manager Winter Sports & Camping | Nation’s Best Sports Age 40 | 18 Years in the Industry

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en was raised in Mentor, OH and moved to Texas in 1999. Living in Ohio allowed Ken to experience winter sports and develop a passion for skiing. In 2001, he started his career at NBS in the distribution center and has worked his way up to his current position as Category Manager, Winter Sports and Camping. Ken and his wife both work at NBS and have two wonderful children. In his leisure time, Ken enjoys spending time with his family, leading his fantasy football league and cheering for his favorite team, the Cleveland Browns.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Life is short. Live every day to the fullest.

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Associates of Arts

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: I want to be remembered as someone who has overcome obstacles and achieved great success. A good husband, father, son, leader, mentor and friend.

I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Teamwork BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Going back to college while working full-time, owning my own company and starting a family. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Develop and maintain relationships

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BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: My career, college degree and children. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My parents, wife, Rand Whitney and Bryan Davis.

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Never give up on your dreams. Obstacles will always arise, but learning how to get past them is where you will truly exude leadership and determination. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Ambitious and Easy-going


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favorite quote

"There are no short cuts to any place worth going." — Beverly Sills

NIKOLAI CHRISTENSEN

Vice President, Product | Keen Footwear Age 36 | 13 Years in the Industry

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ikolai has lived most of his life in Denmark. After three years in college, he spent a year in the military, which lead him to his 16-year shoe career. At a reasonably young age, he embraced change — both professionally and in his private life — which has given him a fantastic variety of life experiences. Being able to understand and lead teams in many cultures has given Nikolai confidence and results. Nikolai lives in Portland, OR with his wife and three children. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Attended Business College in Ribe, Denmark; one year of footwear making training in Surabaya, Indonesia learning the footwear manufacturing and management; attended leadership courses, Harvard Business School - USA, Shanghai University, China and IMD (International Institute for Management Development), Switzerland. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: A fantastic team. Their only focus is quality in everything they do – constantly striving to create innovative collections and next level quality for Keen’s global fans.

give you the ability to test new processes and solutions in order to grant new avenues for change management and optimization. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: I started my career on the factory floor making shoes. This is and always will be my strongest foundation that I base the majority of my decisions on for building the Keen brand. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Fully understand your brand, fans, product, service and function to drive innovation and perfection while guiding others on the same path. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: When I see my team drive new ideas; which directly impact our fans and creating space and opportunity to succeed within our brand. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: A leader who created world class teams with next-generation ideas and solutions. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Lead by character and integrity.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Though timelines are always an issue from one perspective – while through a different lens they

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DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Passionate and Driven


SCOTT CONTWAY

Buyer | Guns, Ammo, Archery & Fishing Dunham’s Sporting Goods Age 34 | 17 Years in the Industry

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orn and raised in Michigan, Scott worked for Dunham’s Sporting Goods part-time in high school before joining the U.S. Army after graduation. He served four years of active military duty including a tour in the Middle East in 2006. When he returned home, Scott went back to work at Dunham’s in store management at its headquarters store while attending college. He was promoted to associate buyer in 2007 and became a buyer in 2009. Scott and his wife have two children and together they enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle boating, camping and hiking. Scott has a passion for Whitetail deer and turkey hunting, which he eagerly awaits passing along to his children. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: U.S. Army four years; AS, Business Administration, Oakland County Community College. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Winning the Dunham’s Buyer of the Year award twice and raising our two sons. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My father instilled in me a strong work ethic and morals. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Never be afraid to admit what you don’t know, and always be willing to make yourself better. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Passion, hard work and dedication pay off.

favorite quote

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." — Matthew 19:26

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Great father, husband, son and businessman. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Don’t sweat the small stuff. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Family man

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ADAM CRAIG

Director of U.S. Sales | Columbia Footwear Age 38 | 19 Years in the Industry

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arly in his career Adam worked in a ski shop in Crested Butte, CO where his love for skiing and the mountains originated. He is grateful to have grown up in Cleveland, OH with parents and a large family that were always supportive and encouraging of his pursuits. Adam currently resides in Portland, OR with his wife and children who all share a love of the outdoors. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Attended Cleveland State University majored in Economics; attended Western State Colorado University, majored in Business. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: The remarkable sales team I have had the pleasure to work alongside throughout my career. And the support and encouragement I receive from my wife and four children. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: You cannot control the uncontrollable.

favorite quote

"Plan your work and work your plan." — Margaret Thatcher

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Think big. “What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?” BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: It’s always a monumental challenge to change someone’s perception when they are grounded in their opinions. I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside a great team that has helped reshape the perception of the Columbia brand within the minds of many retailers. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: I started working at a young age for my grandfather’s textile business and his drive, work ethic, and relationships help set the foundation for who I am today. My career in the outdoor industry is a result of my love for the outdoors that my parents instilled in me. I have been fortunate to work alongside my father at Columbia for two decades and, I continue to learn from him on a daily basis. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: My devotion to increase outdoor participation among youth. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: A happy personal life makes for a fulfilled professional life. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Passionate and Optimistic

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KATHY DALBY

CEO | Pacers Running Age 38 | 20 years in the Industry

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athy Dalby is CEO of Pacers Running, a leading run specialty retailer and events production company in Washington D.C. She is responsible for identifying and driving strategic growth, branding and marketing, financial management and optimizing the relationship between all channels of the Pacers Running business. Kathy is also the publisher of RunWashington, the D.C. area’s largest and most comprehensive print and digital news source for area runners. She has served as race director for many events including the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and the USATF National Road Racing Championships. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Masters of Public Health, The George Washington University; Bachelor of Arts, Michigan State University I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Our staff, vendor partners, friends, family, and community. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: We have to run an organization unlike the running stores of yesteryear. It’s critical to optimize the relationships in all business channels, refine our business practices and strategy, invest in long-term professional growth of our employees, and be unapologetic when it comes to the integrity of our brand. Customer expectations are high and while some retailers bemoan the competition, we say bring it. A rising tide really does raise all ships. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Give people the tools to do their job and get out of their way; always have a plan B; and remember the prime directive: stay away from boys. All they do is suck your brains and zap your strength – my Dad, circa 1990. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: The creation of the DCXC project, our charity to elevate the sport of youth cross country in inner city Washington D.C. and the surrounding metro area. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: The women in my family, especially my grandmothers, who are resilient, loving and hard-working. And my best friend and business partner, Chris Farley, who gave me the courage to make the leap into entrepreneurship. His eternal optimism and genuine empathy for all runners is a North Star for our longrange strategy and a reminder that in all we do, helping others is what really matters. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Laser-focused on our mission to support and celebrate the journey and accomplishments of all runners. It’s why we exist and how we maintain authenticity and relevancy. We also want to show our staff that community-focused retail and events are noble professions and if you work hard and take a chance on yourself, everything is possible. favorite quote

“Good things come to those who hustle.” — Abraham Lincoln

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: If its not fun, its probably not worth it. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Hustler, baby.

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KATIE DARLING

Senior Director of Merchandising | Puma North America Age 36 | 12 Years in the Industry

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s a former collegiate gymnast, Katie is proud and honored to work in the active lifestyle industry and is equally honored by the opportunities she has had to positively impact customer’s businesses and lives and to play a role in the development of great people. Since joining Puma North America 12 years ago, Katie has had the pleasure of working with and leading great teams focused on transforming the go-to-market process, conceiving and creating compelling new product offerings and developing and executing new and innovative customer experiences that build brand loyalty and ambassadorship. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.S. Sports Management, Springfield College. M.B.A., The University of Massachusetts, Isenberg School of Management I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My family and friends. They ground me, they energize me, they inspire me and they support me by always being there to ensure my three children (all under 6!) are loved and cared for when I’m traveling. And my team. I’m surrounded by great, passionate people who give everything to drive the business and make each other and me better. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Great product is important. Great people are more important. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Balancing work and life. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Personally my children. Professionally my current role at Puma. I’m a member of a team that is steadily driving the turn-around of our direct-to-consumer (DTC) business. When I was given the opportunity to lead retail merchandising, business and employee moral were low and Puma was in the midst of a restructuring. With no prior retail experience, Puma and my team believed in my leadership, and anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge. Within the last 12 months we have reset our merchandising strategy across all DTC channels and restructured the team including on-boarding 75 percent new teammates. Work remains to be done, but we are seeing results. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My parents, gymnastics coaches, and great teachers helped me establish a strong work ethic, a high standard of excellence and a solid foundation to start my professional career. The biggest influence on my professional development are Jay Piccola, President of Puma NA and Pancho Gutstein, SVP of Merchandising at Puma NA. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Excellence

favorite quote

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden

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BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Balancing competing priorities is always a challenge whether personal or professional. I was given great advice on how to help make those difficult decisions in the moment by asking the following question, “will this matter in an hour, a month, or a year from now?” DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Curious and Positive


JENNIFER LYNN FARMER

Director of Merchandising, E-Commerce North America | Crocs Inc. Age 37 | 8 Years in the Industry

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ennifer grew up in Waxahachie, TX. After graduating from college with a degree in Economics, her goal was to become a merchandiser/buyer and within two years and she moved to Pittsburgh, PA to achieve her goal. Subsequently she lived in NYC before moving to Colorado to further her career aspirations and to explore living the outdoor life. It was the change Jennifer was looking for and where she met her husband. Jennifer wouldn’t change any of the mistakes she has made along the way because they have all led her to her current role as Director of Merchandising, E-Commerce North America at Crocs. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.S. Economics, Texas A&M University I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My team. They do all of the heavy lifting, and I would be lost without them. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Be open to all experiences good or bad. When something makes me uncomfortable, I know it’s something that I absolutely must do because it will make me grow as a person. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Leadership comes in the form of people following you because they want to, not because they have to. Leading through influence is much more powerful than leading through direct reporting. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: I once was fired from a job. It was a life-changing event because I had to look deep inside and realize that I needed to change. It also made me a stronger leader. I know that I will make mistakes in my life, but knowing that I can rebound stronger after a mistake is what keeps me pushing and taking risks. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: I ran my first marathon in 2006 with Team in Training. The accomplishment wasn’t finishing the race but supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and running in honor of my cousin who had been diagnosed with leukemia the prior year. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: I've had many great mentors who have advocated for me. If I had to name one person, it would be my mother. Before I could learn anything about leadership, my mother gave me a base that included a strong work ethic, drive, and determination to achieve goals. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Embrace change — in whatever form it comes. When you stop changing, you stop growing. favorite quote

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” — Phil 4:13

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Inspire women to be leaders and to see the value in developing the next generation. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Loud Texan

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WILLIE W. FORD

Managing Director | POC North America Age 29 | 6 Years in the Industry

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illie became connected with POC in 2007/08 as an athlete when he was a sophomore at The University of New Hampshire while being a key member of UNH’s Division I ski team. During his four years at UNH, he was a three-time Academic All American and a two-time NCAA All American. Willie began his career at POC in 2011 as its marketing director. He has been a key member in evolving POC’s business from a winter focused brand to a year round brand delivering quality safety products to snow-sport and cycling enthusiasts. When Willie is not working, he serves on the boards of the Shane McConkey Foundation, the UNH Skiing Friends and is a volunteer firefighter in the community. Aside from building a healthy business with POC, you can find Willie skiing, biking or coaching. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Communications Major, Business Administration Minor, University of New Hampshire I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: An amazing team, globally. Everyone is driven and wants to do their best to contribute to our mission of saving lives and reducing the consequences of accidents. When the team is driven and cares deeply about what we’re doing, it creates an all-hands-on-deck mentality where everyone contributes whether it’s in their job description or not. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Things do not always go as planned. It’s crucial that we stick to our reason for being, our mission and continue to deliver the best product and the best experience to our customers. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Surround yourself with people that are excellent at what they do; ask a lot of questions; learn from people that have great experience; do what you love. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Building a team that was once optimized solely for snow sports but is now focused on both snow and cycling. We have hired a great percentage of new cycling sales reps, while optimizing the in-house staff in a way that allows us to service both markets. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Building a passionate and energetic team who care deeply about our consumers and POC Brand.

favorite quote

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My network of mentors is what I credit most for my recent successes. I have a list of 8 to 10 individuals who I call frequently. I refer to them as my personal board of directors who I can call and consult and bounce ideas off of at anytime. Some of these individuals are amazing at sales, some of them are amazing at accounting and some are very weathered individuals that have built meaningful brands and have sustained great success. I owe a lot to my mentors - they’re the best. And, they know who they are, so thanks! WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Empowering individuals to do what they want to do. And, most importantly, always motivating and inspiring people to do things differently - for the better. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Positive and Persistent

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favorite quote

“Our task is to become our best selves.One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final.” — Thomas S. Monson

GOLDEN HARPER

Creator & Founder, Product Development | Altra Age 34 | 24 Years in the Industry

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olden Harper ran his first marathon at age 10 (3:08:05) and holds the world's best for a 12-year-old in the marathon at 2:45:34. He went on to become an All-American Cross Country runner. After college, he won his first 50-mile race — the Alpine to Slickrock 50 — by nearly an hour. He grew up working in his family’s running store and has been driven to help people overcome injury and accomplish their goals since a young age. He did his collegiate studies on running technique and running injuries and continues to study foot problems and running injuries extensively. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Exercise Science-Fitness & Wellness with Business Management emphasis, Brigham Young University I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Great people. Prayer. Luck. Willingness to think outside the box. Persistence. Genuine desire to make the world a better place. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Do the right thing and don’t give up. If your motives are pure, everything will eventually work out. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Our first investor, Xango Founder Joe Morton, always told me that if you have a unique product and message, and if you differentiate from your competition, it will be successful.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Having our funding fall through at the same time we were experiencing manufacturing problems that had us on the verge of going under before we ever sold our first shoe. Somehow persisting and getting through the dozens of times we were on the brink of destruction was huge. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Just having validation that our shoes do what I designed them to do. I’ve received thousands of letters, emails, etc. along the lines of “Your shoes and education helped me to overcome this injury and accomplish my goals.” WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: An undying belief in our product being the most healthy running shoe a person can put on their foot. That said, without my father Hawk Harper and Xango Founder Joe Morton, we never would have made it. Their mentorship has always been absolutely invaluable. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: One, that I changed the face of the running shoe industry for the better with foot-shaped, cushioned, zero-drop shoes. Two, that I always tried to do the right thing, regardless of money or business pressures. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Serving a two-year, self-paid mission for my church. Putting others before yourself and continuously trying to become a better person, results in ultimate peace and joy. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Faithful and Pioneering

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WENDY HOFSTETTER

Senior Director, Digital | JackRabbit, The Finish Line, Inc. Age 33 | 4 Years in the Industry

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endy is the Senior Director of Digital for JackRabbit by day; amateur photographer and Disney fanatic by night. She has a passion for data, traveling and running half marathons in costume. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Information Systems. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Launching JackRabbit.com last September. Creating a new site, with a new brand, end-to-end meant thinking through our long-term vision while also paying attention to the details. We have grown the business from nothing into something in less than a year and it feels good to sit back and take it all in. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Hire people smarter than you. At first, this suggestion seems counter-intuitive if you’re competitive by nature and think the best way to the top is by proving your value. However, having a team of people who excel in areas you don’t, allows you to make progress much more quickly than on your own. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Having to walk away from relationships to stay true to myself. Saying goodbye is never easy and often means short-term pain for long-term gain. I’ve learned so much from these relationships, and they have made me a more compassionate person today. WHAT WOULD YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: To be known as someone who builds others up. Whether it’s my team or my friends/family. If I can inspire others to be a better version of themself, then I will be happy. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: I am extremely fortunate to have access to a leadership team at Finish Line and JackRabbit that care enough to develop and inspire me every day. I have to give a shout out to my boss, Imran Jooma, who is the smartest person I know. Under his leadership, I have learned so much about our industry and myself.

favorite quote

MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Being a successful leader is not about doing it all yourself; it’s about knowing when to give up control to someone who can do it better than you.

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: I can get through anything. Even during the toughest times.

— Proverbs 18:21

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Devoted Achiever

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JEREMY HOWLETT

Co-Founder, Director of Marketing | Altra Age 36 | 7 Years in the Industry

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fter finishing his education, Jeremy entered the world of finance and shortly transitioned to grassroots marketing strategy. While running his own digital marketing agency, he set off on the adventure of a lifetime with Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead to bring Altra to life. They did this in one of the most competitive markets. With the help of mentors and hard work, together they have grown Altra into where it is today. When not working, Jeremy is hustling around to his family’s various activities or off getting lost in the mountains. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: A.S. Business, Utah Valley University BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: The financial trial of starting up a business in an extremely competitive market. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: Having two dedicated and passionate Co-founders has been a huge advantage. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Never limit yourself to what others think you can accomplish. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Support from my wife and children.

favorite quote

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” — Steve Prefontaine

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WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: The ability to lift a company from nothing and be competitive in the running space. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Hard work pays off and success can be found by doing things a bit differently. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Strategically Passionate


favorite quote

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” — Mark Cuban

GRANT KNUDSON

Global Head of Footwear & Accessories | Cobra Puma Golf Age 33 | 11 Years in the Industry

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ince joining Cobra Puma Golf in 2012, Grant has helped grow the global footwear business leading the design, creation, development and go-tomarket strategy for a footwear range that has received rave reviews. Prior to joining Puma, Grant held positions at the Adidas Group, including product marketing manager and cleated product testing manager. Grant lives with his family in Carlsbad, CA.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Public speaking. It’s a skill that takes a lot of practice, repetition and hard work to master and enjoy. Anyone that says it’s easy is probably lying.

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BA, Chemistry, Willamette University

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: The love and support of my parents who empowered their children to go for and achieve all life goals and ambitions.

I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: The amazing relationships in my life, most importantly my wife, who excels at all the things I’m not so good at. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s going to happen and the more you embrace it, the more you’ll learn, experience and grow. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Figure it out. There are so many tools available at your fingertips to find information and solutions – it doesn’t matter how you get there, but figure it out. And write thank-you notes.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Riding a bicycle across the U.S. from San Francisco to New York.

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Work hard, do good along the way and live life to the fullest — the legacy will fall into place. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Be present and live in the moment. Think about, prepare and plan for the future, but don’t constantly dwell on what’s next as that will drain you. Learn to enjoy where you’re at right now, everything else will fall into place. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Confidently Inquisitive

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RUSSELL LAEDING

Divisional Merchandise Manager, Fishing & Marine Academy Sports + Outdoors Age 38 | 10 Years in the Industry

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ative to rural East Texas, I was afforded the freedom of running amok in the outdoors with my older brother. My father encouraged an active lifestyle of camping and waterfowl hunting and I encountered the breadth of the country sleeping in a camper as we zigzagged across the U.S. After graduating from Texas A&M University, my first job was assistant buyer at May Department Stores where I worked for five years. I joined Academy as an athletic footwear buyer in 2006 and have served in a variety of buying roles including baseball equipment and camping. My wife and I enjoy travel, backpacking, and literature with our three children. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Communications, Texas A&M University BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Opportunities to cultivate relationships with team members, vendors and customers are the most sustainable reasons to come to work every day. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: In my last DMM role, we implemented a modified line review process. By defining success as “better today than yesterday,” we worked to continually improve without falling into the trap of targeting perfection. We also encouraged each other to “embrace the nuance,”- a reminder that we could build a healthy level of discipline without becoming excessively rigid in process. With contributions from all team members and a few process modifications, we gained traction and delivered great results. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: To contribute to the personal and professional goals of those around me. Helping to make us effective and efficient can lead to more time spent with family away from work. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Team members want to learn and be challenged in a satisfying work environment that values engagement and allows for autonomy. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My former manager and our current VP of Merchant Systems, made a significant investment in my development and  reshaped how I think about our supply chain and assortment planning. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Learn how to manage your energy, not your time.

favorite quote

“Sunshine and warm water seem to me to have full meaning only when they come after winter’s bite; green is not green if it doesn’t follow the months of brown and gray.” — John Graves in Goodbye To A River

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BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Leading change at a growing retailer – especially in merchandising. Planning disciplines are changing rapidly to make use of increased customer information and technology. Our team has had a lot of success working with internal partners to adopt new methods that enhance our ability to deliver on our customer service promise. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Curious and Intentional


BRANDY LAMB

Senior Brand Manager, Mountain House | OFD Foods Age 40 | 2 Years in the Industry

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everal years after graduating from Saint John’s University, Brandy ventured off to San Diego and plunged into surfing and snowboarding. While there, he accelerated his brand marketing career working at the WD-40 company and launched several product lines used by tradesmen and action sports professionals and enthusiasts. In 2011, he maintained his relationship with WD40 while working remotely from various locations in Colorado, Cambodia and Australia. Seeking a career more tightly aligned with his love of the outdoors, Brandy relocated to Oregon in 2014 where he currently champions Mountain House Adventure Meals at OFD Foods as Senior Brand Manager. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.A., Management, St. John’s University I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My customers who are also a community of dedicated and active outdoor enthusiasts. In addition, OFD would not be successful without our loyal dealers. Internally, it takes a committed team to produce the quality-level product we deliver and the customer support we are known for. The cross-functional group at OFD makes this happen. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Don’t be afraid to be the first person on the dance floor. Don’t worry about being judged, just make the effort, follow your heart and get out there before the better dancers show up. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Mountain House has been the leading cult favorite of camping food for nearly 50 years. By bringing the Mountain House experience to others, I am hitting on core personal values by helping people get outside and connect around a campfire. The fully integrated campaigns that I spearheaded have led to double-digit growth from within a mature category. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Team members want to learn and be challenged in a satisfying work environment that values engagement and allows for autonomy. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My former manager and our current VP of Merchant Systems, made a significant investment in my development and reshaped how I think about our supply chain and assortment planning. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Develop and internalize a solid and fact-based brand essence and goals. Once this is locked in, decisions come easy.

favorite quote

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Providing people more accessible, attainable, and achievable adventures to reflect, react, relax, and reset. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Explore the world outside of your bubble. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Trailblazing Workhorse

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Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, Dedicated, Driven, Passionate, Innovative, 68 2016 SPRING ISSUE


KIM LEWIS

Vice President, Omnichannel Marketing Golfsmith International Age 38 | 3 Years in the Industry

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im leads the award-winning omni-channel Marketing group at Golfsmith International, responsible for brand execution and experience across all customer touchpoints. Her responsibilities include overseeing brand and creative, ecommerce, media, CRM, digital/social/email marketing, PR, direct mail, private label credit, community engagement, field marketing and store environment across the Golfsmith USA and Golf Town Canada brands. Previously, Kim launched the current CRM, direct mail, email and loyalty programs for accessories retailer Charming Charlie and spent 10 years at Sally Beauty Supply, helping to develop the $3 billion company’s successful loyalty program, email marketing initiatives and website. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: MBA, Business Management, University of Dallas; BS, Integrated Marketing Communications, Abilene Christian University. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: It is okay to be wrong. When you make a mistake, own it, apologize, learn from it, and move forward. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Never send an email when you are mad. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Guiding our team through a major reorganization to align our resources with GSI’s omni-channel strategy to produce award-winning work. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Successfully building Golfsmith’s new cross-channel customer database from the ground up and helping guide our company’s transition to an omni-channel focus. We are now communicating with and marketing to our customers in a way that was never previously possible.

favorite quote

“The harder you work, the luckier you get.” — Gary Player

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: I’ve been lucky to have a number of professional mentors, but I’m only who I am today because of my parents. I’ve never known anyone who works harder and is more supportive than my mom and dad who have always stressed the importance of trying new things and approaching life with a loving, positive attitude. These guiding principles shape everything I do. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: That I always enabled those around me to succeed. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Life isn’t fair. Do your best with what is in your control and try not to worry about the rest. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Persistent and Determined

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AARON LIEBERT

CEO | Rally House Age 40 | 7.5 Years in the Industry

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aron began working for Kansas Sampler, the original retail concept of Rally House, when it was just a mail order company in his family’s basement over 25 years ago. Prior to rejoining the family business in 2009, Aaron attended George Washington University and spent 12 years in Washington, DC developing luxury apartment buildings and mixed use projects in the MidAtlantic region. Since 2009, Rally House has opened 40 locations expanding into major cities in the Midwest and the Northeast. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BBA, Finance, George Washington University MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Even at the speed of the retail business, you have to stay focused, compartmentalize and maintain an even presence. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Letting go and trusting my team. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My team but also my mother and father. They were instrumental in starting and building the business. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Never accept the status quo. Life changes quickly and you must change with it. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: I belong to several organizations that are there for young leaders, such as YPO. I’ve made a lot of great friends and contacts inside YPO. And I try to run or ride my bike daily to recharge my batteries. favorite quote

“The easiest way to make a buck is to ask for it.” — Anonymous

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: In business: the growth of our company. There are retailers shuttering across the country. From a certain perspective it looks grim. I don’t see it that way. Rally House/Kansas Sampler is a very special brand that delivers a different experience through nontraditional marketing approaches. We work very hard every day to refine that experience and make it even better. Personally: My family keeps me grounded. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Trust your own instincts. If my inner voice contradicts the external influence, I’ll default to my instincts. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Pragmatic Warrior

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JASON K. LIPPENBERGER

Vice President, Investment Banking | D.A. Davidson & Co. Age 35 | 5 Years in the Industry Jason is originally from Marin County, CA where he was active in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed hiking and biking around Mill Valley and on Mount Tamalpais. After college at Claremont McKenna, Jason moved to San Francisco, CA where he worked at Bear Stearns in investment banking and later at Summit Partners in growth-equity investing. In 2010, he moved to Seattle, WA to pursue his MBA at the Foster School of Business. In Seattle, Jason met the investment banking team at D.A. Davidson focused on the active lifestyle sector and shortly thereafter joined. In his free time, Jason enjoys travel and exploring “off the beaten path” in both the Puget Sound region and around the world. He is also an avid skier, weight lifter and runner. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: MBA, Foster School of Business, University of Washington; BA, Dual Majors in Economics and International Relations, Claremont McKenna College I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Clients who put their faith and trust in my colleagues and me. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: One cannot underestimate the importance of relationships in business and life. favorite quote

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” — Ben Franklin

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Always remember to seize opportunity and take full advantage of your skills and resources. Take nothing for granted. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: After the financial crisis of 2008/09 and uncertain career prospects, I took a chance and moved to Seattle to pursue my MBA degree. Shortly thereafter, I met the investment banking team focused on active lifestyle at D.A. Davidson & Co. that provided the opportunity to combine my experience in finance with my passion for outdoor activities. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Marrying my wife, Caitlin. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: To look back and see a robust group of satisfied clients where I was able to help them attain lifechanging transactions. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Pick and choose your battles carefully. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Meticulous Planner


favorite quote

“Practice?!?!” — Allen Iverson

JOSH LUBER

CEO & Co-Founder | StockX Age 38 | 4.5 Years in the Industry

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osh Luber is the co-founder and CEO of StockX, the world’s first “stock market of things”. StockX is an online marketplace, initially focused on sneakers, which connects buyers and sellers using the same method as the world’s stock markets — an anonymous, transparent and authentic ‘bid/ask’ market. Before StockX, Josh founded Campless while working as an IBM consultant. Campless, which evolved into StockX, was a “sneakerhead data” company that tracked the secondary market for sneaker sales, a $6 billion global industry. Josh has collected sneakers for more than 30 years.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Take every call BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Sold Campless to Dan Gilbert. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My wife

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: JD/MBA, Emory University

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: If you say it out loud it won’t come true. Or is that birthday wishes? Either way, I’m not taking the chance.

I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Sneakers, Excel, and sneaker data in Excel.

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Ideas are worthless; execution is everything.

MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: To write

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Zero Cool

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favorite quote

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” — Francis of Assisi

KATIE MELZER

Director | Robert W. Baird & Co. Age 38 | 14 Years in the Industry

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atie Melzer joined Baird in 2002 and is a member of Baird’s Consumer Group working with private equity firms and multinational companies on sell-side, buy-side, and financing transactions. Katie has significant crossborder transaction experience having spent three years in Baird’s London office and six months in Baird’s Asia office. Katie’s most recent investment banking transactions within the Consumer Group include Southern Tide, ENVE, Icebreaker, Fox Head, PrAna, Peter Millar, Helly Hansen, Filson, Snapware, Speck Products, Dunkin’ Brands, Body Central and Gordmans. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.A., University of Michigan; M.B.A, UCLA Anderson School of Management I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: A strong cup of coffee and a blue 0.5 Pilot G2 Retractable Pen. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Learning how to manage clients and processes in a global environment oftentimes means little sleep. But being fortunate enough to have this cross-border experience has enabled me to develop a practice that is visible across the globe. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My parents have always been my biggest fans and encouraged me to pursue

anything I set my mind to. From a very early age they inspired me with their strong work ethic and passion for everything they encountered. Their influence continues to humble me daily. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Every client I have been fortunate to work with provides a different accomplishment and one that continues to remind me why I love this industry. Meeting entrepreneurs and industry leaders and having the opportunity to add value to their dream will always be my biggest achievement. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Success is not measured by what you accomplish in life, but by what you give back. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: To live a life full of purpose, passion and perseverance…and have a little fun living it. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Never take anything for granted because there are three things you can’t recover in life: the moment after it’s missed, the word after it’s said and the time after it’s wasted. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." –Colin Powell DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Good Crazy

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MEGAN MORRISSEY

Vice President of Marketing, Americas | Thule Group Age 40 | 9 Years in the Industry

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rior to joining the Thule Group in 2007, Megan worked for Schick, Allied Domecq and Pernod Ricard as Director of Marketing. Since joining Thule, Megan has been responsible for marketing five brands in the Americas and for the growth and expansion of the Thule brand from a car rack company to an outdoor lifestyle brand in 17 new categories. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS Marketing, University of Rhode Island MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: To give 100 percent, you have to have 100 percent to give. Being aware of my limitations, eliminating the negativity and taking things in stride has allowed me to put my best foot forward. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Try something new every day. It’s boring to stay within limits. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Learning how to create balance in my life through the understanding that I am one person, there are so many hours in a day and only so many ways you can stretch yourself. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: While I am proud of what I have accomplished professionally, my biggest accomplishment to date has been starting a special needs division for cheerleading and having it recognized by the State of Connecticut. favorite quote

“The best way to predict your future is to create it” — Abraham Lincoln

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: I have been fortunate to work with outstanding people throughout my career that have given me guidance and opportunities to be successful. From the beginning, my true mentors have been my father and stepmother that have supported me through college, provided advice and have given me the tools I needed to become who I am in my career. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Having helped even one person and positively impacting their life as so many have for me. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Dedicated and Sincere

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favorite quote

“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men — that is genius.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

BRIAN MURPHY

Vice President Corporate Development | Vista Outdoor Age 32 | 3 Years in the Industry

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fter receiving a finance degree Brian joined Houlihan Lokey, an investment banking firm, where he combined his interests in selling, finance and strategy. He marketed and sold companies with revenues ranging from $50 million to $500 million. Taking a creative break, Brian left banking and published a book on mixology, called See Mix Drink. The book was awarded the “Best Cocktail Book in the World” by Gourmand and featured in GQ, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. Brian then joined ATK, an aerospace, defense and sporting company where he led M&A deal execution, acquiring Savage Firearms and Bushnell Holdings, giving ATK’s sporting segment the scale to spin into a standalone public company (Vista Outdoor). Following the spinoff, Brian became VP of Corporate Development and since then has helped reshape the company to become a diversified outdoor recreation company.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Within one year we completed three acquisitions totaling approximately $850 million in transaction value shifting the Vista Outdoor’s Outdoor Products segment sales from 35 percent of total sales to approximately 50 percent of total sales, balancing the Shooting Sports and Outdoor Products segments. We’re now successfully integrating the businesses into the Vista Outdoor platform.

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS Business, Finance, Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: A mentor told me “Your greatest opportunity is the one in front of you, no matter how mundane.” Focusing my energy on doing great work, no matter the topic or who sees it, has made the difference.

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: My mom taught me empathy and the importance of validating people. We moved a lot due to my father’s work, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to attend multiple schools within the same grade. I developed a knack for quickly connecting with people by genuinely listening. Those repeated experiences formed the basis for who I am today and influence how I work.

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BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: “Sometimes you just need to put your head down and charge through walls.” That simple advice has enabled me to push through tough times. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Time. I’ve learned to be more conservative on shorter timelines and more bullish on longer timelines.

MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Unless I’m receptive to multiple ideas and outcomes, I will continue to have the same thoughts and patterns of behavior. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Anonymous Energy


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KELLY OLMSTEAD

Vice President, Brand Activation | Adidas North America Age 39 | 16 Years in the Industry

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elly grew up in Oregon playing sports from youth soccer to collegiate volleyball and softball. Through sports she learned teamwork, winning, losing and leading. After supporting Kelly through college, her parents did their best to hide their concern as she proudly announced she was taking a job in the call center for a brand she loved (1-800-4Adidas, she still remembers the number). Sixteen years later, Adidas has given Kelly far more than a paycheck, it has given her life long friendships and where she met her husband. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BA, Willamette University I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My team. The Adidas culture and the people that I work with are a huge part of what makes me so excited to do what we do. I gain so much inspiration from the amazing team around me; we play as a team, fight as a team and win as a team. We push each other in the best way possible, and I love every second of it. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Being the most authentic version of you. To develop respect and trust, all starts with authenticity. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Listen more than you talk. Don’t take yourself too seriously. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Balancing motherhood and career. Tackling any challenge in life requires support, and I have an amazing husband who is there with me sharing the work and reminding me to laugh and enjoy it. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My parents. They always believed in me. My dad as a mentor; coaching, teaching and challenging. My mom as my ultimate advocate; encouraging, believing and seeing more in me than I could in myself.

favorite quote

“Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the [face].” — Mike Tyson

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WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: The nice guy can finish first. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: It’s not only what you do but also how you do it that counts. Never be above doing the work. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Laughing and Learning


SPENCER ORR

Vice President of Design and Merchandising Canada Goose Age 39 | 15 Years in the Industry

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s a self-proclaimed “gearhead,” Spencer is a cyclist and dedicated to remaining active with his family, enjoying camping and skiing. They currently reside in Toronto. With 15 years of experience in the outdoor industry, Spencer is responsible for the line planning, design direction and development of Canada Goose’s collections and has led the immense growth of its product portfolio from 35 styles to more than 300 for the 2016 Fall/Winter season. Prior to Canada Goose, Spencer worked at Sierra Designs in design and development. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Studied Outdoor Recreation at Lakehead University; M.B.A., Ivey Business School at Western University BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Breaking into the industry. Loving outdoor activities and being a gearhead aren’t the only traits needed for success. I knew design would be my career focus, but I lacked professional experience. I started working on the sales floor of a local outdoor store during the day and building a gear review service at night. I was finally given the opportunity to design my first collection of outerwear at Sierra Designs. While my attempts were not pretty, they showed promise and passion. The following years were full of tech packing and long nights, but once I earned my stripes, I was asked to present at the annual sales conference. The rest is history. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Prioritization. Canada Goose is growing almost exponentially. I’ve learned to carefully evaluate what the most impactful projects are for the company and what should wait for the right time.

favorite quote

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: To be remembered as someone who was extremely passionate and brought energy into work every day, but also someone who kept things in perspective and put family first.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for advice. You never know what you will learn and who you can learn from.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Determined and Loyal

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JOHN PETERS

Senior Director of Business Development Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Age 27 | 3 Years in the Industry

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ohn is responsible for managing all membership within SFIA and launching new projects such as the Consumer Electronics Show Sports Tech initiative and the SFIA Start-Up Challenge at the Industry Leaders Summit. When John isn’t fundraising, he spends time with family and friends. He is an avid reader and student of learning and at least one weekend every fall you can find John in The Grove cheering on his Ole Miss Rebels. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Masters, Sports Business, Georgetown University; BA, Journalism, University of Mississippi MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Everyone is trying to sell their service or a product to you. What I’ve learned is how to create value for your prospects. And, if you can create that value before they realize they need it, you’re golden. Once you stop worrying about what you want, and start focusing on what they want, you’re miles ahead of the competition. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: You can learn something from every person no matter his or her status or “intelligence”. What better way to gain an edge than learning from a person who’s done it? BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Finding a job where I feel I make a difference and contribution. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My family is the sole reason of my success. I’ve always been held to high standards and am much better because of it. There’s tremendous power in always raising the bar.

favorite quote

"Fail your way to success." - J. Michael Derem

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BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Stop looking forward so much – slow down and bask in the moment, appreciate your successes and failures, because, before you know it, the next collection of successes and failures will already be in motion. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Ultra-Competitive


JOE PREBICH

Vice President of Brand | Fjällräven North America Age 32 | 10 Years in the Industry

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oe is a creatively driven brand builder putting employees, brands and consumers together to build things that are more than just products — they are movements. He never settles. His career continues to be driven by believing in the products and the people he works with, and dedicates his time, talent and energy to creating unique solutions that deliver real value and motivate others. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BA Journalism, University of Montana – Missoula I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My three C’s: Coffee, Computer and Co-workers MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Keep your mind open and your ego in check. Great brands have missed a lot of opportunity through overconfidence, attitude and arrogance. To be a needle-moving brand you have to challenge what has worked in the past, dig into the way you think about your daily routine and take risks. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: I am an excited, vibrant, emotional marketer. Executive leadership often looks at emotional marketing as a weakness. Overcoming the stereotype and proving that I am a brand

builder that delivers valuable ideas and opinions integral to corporate success with emotion is something I am proud of. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: The 2010 Winter Olympic gold medal journey with Shaun White. I was Shaun’s brand manager when I worked at Red Bull. We put a multi-year project together that took us into uncharted waters, delivered huge returns on a global scale and culminated with Shaun winning the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: Pat Bridges. When I was 16, I started a magazine. Pat was/is the editor of Snowboarder Magazine. I was sending him copies of my magazine and one day he called me. At my young age I asked Pat “how do I get to do what you do?” He told me that if I wanted to be at Snowboarder, I should be a snowboard journalist. That was it. When I graduated from journalism school, he called me and I got the shot. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: To kickstart the careers of people around me and to help them grow their dreams. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Love Life

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favorite quote

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life… the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking…” — Steve Jobs

JOHN SEARS

Vice President Design & Development | Gregory Age 38 | 14 Years in the Industry

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ohn moved from the East to the West in 2002 to join Gregory as product designer. He mentored under Wayne Gregory to learn the cut-and-sew business, helped the company win multiple design awards and learned the operational realities of what it takes to build high-quality products both domestically and abroad when he became responsible for global sourcing and development. Through multiple ownership structures, John was fortunate to find himself at the center of the operational and P&L fundamentals that drive a business, leading him to his blended responsibilities. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Industrial Design, Georgia Tech; Executive Leadership Certificate, Westminster College MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Focus on making the company you work for and the people around you successful, and you will achieve more than you can imagine. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Lead from the center, not the top. And when you find yourself there, delegate. To do this well accept that everything will not be done the way you would do it, but let trusted employees find their own path and learn by both failure and success. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Keeping Gregory true to its mission, globally vibrant and steadily growing.

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BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Staying loyal. I’m most satisfied when I am building something. I’m very proud of the discipline and the perseverance I have had to help build Gregory into the company it is today. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My Family. I have been lucky enough to mentor under and learn from a very diverse and highly accomplished group of leaders, but when asked this question, I can’t help but lean toward my roots. My mother taught me gratitude and compassion, my father taught me the power of consistency and common sense, my sister’s life inspires and impresses me everyday and my brother is my rock in more ways than I can count. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Happy and fulfilled employees and friends that have built great lives for themselves and their families. If I can claim some small part in that by helping Gregory and its employees thrive, I’ll continue to sleep well every night. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Gratitude for the small and simple things in life, particularly every time I find myself in the outdoors or with my friends and family. This perspective provides me a great deal of happiness, optimism and calmness. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Pragmatic Optimist


JENNIFER SHEA

National Sales Manager | Honey Stinger Age 40 | 4 Years in the Industry

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ennifer is the National Sales Manager for Honey Stinger but prefers the title “worker bee at the Honey Stinger hive.” To support her professional growth and to strengthen her business relationship and leadership skills, Jennifer is an active community volunteer for organizations that have a personal meaning for her, i.e., Family Development Center Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels, Routt County Riders trail maintenance, Girl Scout Troop leader, Steamboat Springs High School Business Mentor, Girls to Women, LiveStrong partner events and New York City’s Welfare to Work Mentorship program. Jennifer is also a busy mom of two and married for 13 years to a man who inspires her every day. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.A. Business Administration and Art History, University of St. Thomas I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: An incredible sales team passionate about the brand working closely to strategize and to share best practices. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Become comfortable with the unknown. Push yourself into uncomfortable situations to maximize your personal and professional development. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Emerging from a complete packaging conversion that provided a unique and uncharted challenge and opportunity. It helped our team build strong communication and reinforced strong vendor partnerships to avoid sales disruptions. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Working with a smaller, emerging company allows the opportunity to directly impact the people and product that make the brand pecial. Flexibility and creativity are absolutely a requirement. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Keep open lines of communication on what is working and encourage collaboration to problem solve. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: I was honored to meet Sally Jewel and incredibly inspired by her energy and passion for the industry and engaging people in the outdoor world around them. Her message wants me to become more successful and make a difference!

favorite quote

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” John Lennon said it so well. When we are resistant to change we fall behind. Be a part of our changing industry dynamics and be open to shifts in ways to reach and inspire customers. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Determined and Genuine

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PETER SHEAN

Vice President of Sales | Hi-Tec & Magnum Age 34 | 11 Years in the Industry

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eter Shean’s path into the Sporting Goods Industry began when he earned a full scholarship to play football at Boston College from 2000/05. Peter was a three-year starter, named to the Big East “All freshman team,” and earned a Big East Championship. Fast forward … Peter found a place at Implus Footcare, LLC and Kitteredge & Associates. In 2016 he assumed the role of VP of Sales for Hi-Tec, Magnum and the private label business. Peter enjoys vacationing with his family at the lake or on the ocean where watersports are plentiful. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: General Management, Marketing and HR Management; Masters, Administrative Studies, Boston College Carroll School of Business Management I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Great mentors, both personally and professionally. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Learning to balance work and family. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My Mother and Father. From her shear grit and determination, and him instilling in me core principles. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: I control my own destiny.

favorite quote

“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” — Anonymous

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BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Do what you say your going to do and never lie, especially to yourself. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: That I was honest, fair and had high moral character. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Trustworthy and Driven


TSEDO SHERPA-EDNALINO

Chief Operating Officer | Sherpa Adventure Gear Age 33 | 11 Years in the Industry

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y primary responsibility at Sherpa Adventure Gear is to maintain the unique brand story and heritage while continuing to develop the brand identify within the industry. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and continue to live there with my family. I love to travel the world and enjoy being immersed in new cultures. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS International Communication, University of Washington MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Business is all about relationships. Building lasting relationships with good people is extremely important. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: My daughter, Quinn Tashi Ednalino. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Gracefully earning the respect of others, since we are a family business. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: I want people to think about what I accomplished and to say that I was passionate about what I did and although I worked hard, I was able to enjoy my life to the fullest. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Learning to be adaptable and remembering that tomorrow is a new day.

favorite quote

“Always be the student, never the teacher.” — Tashi Sherpa

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My father. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My wonderfully supportive family. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Dance and Party

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favorite quote

“The desire to create is the deepest yearning of the human soul.” — Dieter Uchtdorf

DAVIS SMITH

Founder and CEO | Cotopaxi Age 38 | 2.5 Years in the Industry

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avis is the CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a social mission at its core. He is also a member of the eight-person United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council. Davis was previously the Co-CEO of Baby.com.br and Dinda.com.br, Brazil’s Startup of the Year in 2012, which raised over $50 million in venture capital. In 2004, he also founded, and later sold, PoolTables.com, America’s largest pool table retailer. Primary responsibilities in his current position include setting Cotopaxi’s vision, mission, strategic growth, team building, fundraising and social impact. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.A., International Studies, Brigham Young University. M.B.A., The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. M.A., International Studies, University of Pennsylvania BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Culture is everything. If you want to build an amazing business or brand, you must first build an amazing place to work. Culture and Brand are just two sides of the same coin. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: The biggest physical challenge I’ve ever overcome was kayaking from Cuba to Florida. The biggest

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emotional challenge I’ve overcome is the failure of a ten-year friendship and business partnership – it was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Businesses have the ability to use profits to have social impact, but they also have the power to inspire their followers/customers to do good. We have a responsibility to find ways to impact people’s lives for the better through business. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My team. I have two amazing co-founders and a team who are passionate about building the next big outdoor brand, while helping make the world a better place. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Showing my children that success is measured by how you’ve used your life to be in service of others. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My wife has been my biggest support from my first day as an entrepreneur. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON:

Serving

others

brings

true

happiness.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Entrepreneurial Humanitarian


LINDSEY SWEENEY

Divisional Merchandise Manager, Athletic and Kids’ Footwear Academy Sports & Outdoors Age 40 | 17 Years in the Industry

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indsey grew up in Massachusetts and is a huge fan of all Boston teams (Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins). Lindsey always wanted to work in the sporting goods industry. The first 15 years of her career were with Adidas where she gained product, marketing and sales experience. She joined Academy Sports + Outdoors more than two years ago to learn the retail side of the business and to utilize her past experiences to drive Academy’s footwear business. Throughout her career, Lindsey has been fortunate to work with some of the best teams in the industry and attributes much of her success to them. In her free time, you can usually find Lindsey either on the golf course or at the dog park with her three dogs. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.A. in Business and Marketing, Barry University MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: To look at everything through the eyes of the consumer. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My grandmother has been my role model and mentor. She instilled her values, drive and directness into me while remaining supportive and understanding. She has been instrumental in all the success that I have experienced, and even though she is now gone, my memories and teachings from her still keep me driven and grounded. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Moving from the brand side of the business to the retail side, which meant I had to learn everything from scratch while still setting long-term strategic direction for my team and re-focusing our key investments in footwear. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: There are times in life you have to take a couple of steps back to move many steps forward. It does not mean that you’ve failed. You’ve only failed if you never try something new. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: I was the best leader my teams worked with because I was supportive, lead by example, pushed them to reach outside the norm and helped transform them into great business leaders. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Strategic and Bold

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SARAH TOWNES

Vice President of Marketing | Gander Mountain Age 39 | 18 Years in the Industry

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arah Townes has 18-years of marketing and advertising experience working with a range of global consumer brands. Throughout her career she has spearheaded brand and re-branding strategies, AOR relationship management, creative development, production, omni-channel media strategy, digital/ social media, strategic partnerships and public relations to exceed business trajectories. As a mom of three children, Sarah loves to teach them the importance of giving back to those in need. In their free time, they love to travel and explore the outdoors. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Bachelor of Science, Communications & Advertising, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Lead by example. BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: To advocate for what is right, even if it is the unpopular choice. BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: During career move to Atlanta in 2009, the area experienced a catastrophic flood. Our family lost almost everything. This challenge taught me what’s truly important in life. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Providing my children with the same hardworking, committed and caring life perspective that I was taught. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My mom. She was a teacher and entrepreneur who taught me the value of loving what you do and loving who you’re with.

favorite quote

“Before you can have a share of market, you must have a share of mind.” — Leo Burnett

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WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: As a person who honored, respected and encouraged others to pursue their passions. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: To always be in a state of pursuing inspiration. Without inspiration, nothing great can be accomplished. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Energetic and Devoted


favorite quote

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” — Theodore Roosevelt

GEORGE WARD

Chief Financial Officer | OluKai Age 40 | 11 Years in the Industry

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eorge was born in Leicestershire in the U.K. As a teenager his family moved to Southern California where George fell in love with the beach lifestyle. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, George began his career as a CPA at Deloitte and Touche. Upon finishing his MBA, he secured a position with an action sports company and relocated with his family to Ireland for three years; which allowed him to combine his love of travel, action sports and accounting. Returning to Southern California with his family, George accepted the position as controller at OluKai. Today George and his family continue to enjoy the beach lifestyle. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BA, Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara; MBA, Finance, Operations, University of California, Irvine - The Paul Merage School of Business. MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Never hire someone you can’t go to lunch with.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Be humble and work hard. BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: As a child my family moved around quite a bit, which allowed to me to understand how to work with people from different backgrounds. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My father was a great inspiration. He worked tirelessly to provide for his family, was always a gentleman and had an adventurous personality. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: My family BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Loss of my dad at an early age. WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: That I influenced people to be the best they could be. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Sarcastic and Thoughtful

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CLAIRE WOOD

Senior Product Manager – Performance Running Footwear | New Balance Age 35 | 12 Years in the Industry

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laire is passionate about the active lifestyle industry despite the tough days. She is a world traveler forming lasting friendships with colleagues while working hard to strive for life balance. Claire is an avid runner, yoga instructor and strives to consistently surround herself with friends and relationships that nurture her spirit. With a loving and supportive family, Claire considers herself lucky to have had all the opportunities that have come her way including her position at New Balance as senior product manager – performance running footwear. EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: B.A. Sociology, James Madison University; Certified Yoga Instructor MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: There is listening, and there is really listening.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.” BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: I’ve experienced big change as it is occurring. It’s hard not to take resistance personally but I’ve learned to put myself in the position of others, understanding their perspective. It’s rewarding when you cross over into new territory together. I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: My team BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Have a point of view. It can change, but have one. WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: Tom Carleo, my boss He has taught me how to navigate and inspire our organization to achieve better product and experiences for our customers. He sees the big picture, and challenges me to think outside my comfort zone. BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Being bold in my career, in advocating for myself and for what I believe in. favorite quote

“I’d like to be the sort of person who can enjoy things at the time, instead of having to go back in my head and enjoy them.” — David Foster Wallace

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WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Running shoes travel miles that carry a lot of stories, dreams and hardships – if I can somehow contribute to making those miles better, then I sleep well at night. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Passionate and Bold


CONGRATULATES the SGB 40 UNDER 40 2016 Award Honorees

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40 UNDER 40 ALUMNI

2008 2008

40UNDER40 ALUMNI

Looking Back with Pride. Looking Ahead with Passion.

SGB honors the immesurable contributions of all our 40their under 40 award honorees Weofhonor in the active lifestyle market. immeasureable

contributions to the industry.

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Jacqueline Lenox, Antonio Bertone, Alex Boian, Chris Speak, Dustin Robertson, Dave Lambert, Kalinda Bogue, John Gaither, Matthew Schlecht, Adam Blumenfeld, David Regnerus, Megan Russell, Ari Friedman, Michael Rubin, John McMahon, David Nichols, Tony Hsieh, Greg Shapleigh, Vince Kuehler, Bryan Davis, Tyler Jordan, Jason Gautereaux, Craig Chmura, Ryan “RC” Cruthirds, Evan Schwartz, Tommy DeSimone, Isaac “Ike” Alvear, Todd Vore, Jared Briskin, Steve Battista, Jorge Fuenmayor, Sean Scales, Brian Cousins, Ross Saldarini, Jennifer Adams, David Abeles, Erin Black, André Murphy, Jill Martin, Steve Upham


2010 2010

2009 2009 Bob Dahlin, Susan Viscon, Rod Foley, Kim Walker, BJ Maloy, Kevin Sheehan, Faust Capobianco IV, Joe Hyer, Jeff Brodeur, Seth Richards, Brian Moore, George Kollitides, II, Louie Burgos, Dan Sheridan, Jeremy Moon, Nicole DeBoom, Seth Cobb, Jason Volk, Ted Manning, Chad Clark, Rob Mogolov, Toby Bost, Joe Earley, Robert Minsky, Todd Raskin, Todd Levine, Craig Brommers, Nathan Pund, Jason Steris, Nate Treadaway, Dave Ortley, Todd Dalhausser, Todd Spaletto, Mike Steck, Andy Tompkins, Austin Williams, Jeff Beraznik, Roy Notowitz, Scott Frnka, Dave Morrow

Brian Anderson, Sutton Bacon, Jason Borg, Jim Bel Bruno, Rob Coughlin, Dana Davis, Angela Dominick, John Fahnestock, Robyn Goby, Evan Greenberg, Jeff Gruenhut, Seth Hockberg, Ronald Jefferson, Seth Horowitz, Neal Klein, Todd Krinsky, Brent Lamm, Jonathan Lantz, Thac Lecong, Jill Layfield, Katrin Ley, Jason Lutz, Andrew Martin, Michael McAbee, Jason Levinthal, Marshall Merriam, Denise Miller, Andrew McLellan, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Christopher Peake, Clint Pierce, Daniella Reichstetter, Parks Robinson, Ryan Samuelson, Nate Simmons, Dan Sullivan, Christopher Svezia, Craig Throne, Jon Vacca, Kris Versteegen

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2012 2012

2011 Nate Alder, Jeremy Andrus, Tripp Baird, Varetta Banks, Jed Berger, Willy Booker, Linda Brunzell, Kimberly Cayce, Steve Cuthbert, Kelly Dachtler, Hoby Darling, Peter Davis, Martin Dean, Keith Duplain, Elizabeth Earley, Robert Fairnholt, Chris Farley, Vin Ferrara, Ronnie Fieg, Brian Frank, Joel Heath, Jonathan Hirshberg, Robert Hough, Todd Kirssin, Tim Knowlton, Michael Martin, Carie McAuliffe, Jason McGibbon, Peter Messana, Melanie Mitchell, Chris Pappas, Bob Philion, Jesse Porter, Lance Richardson, Darren Rovell, David Schultz, Marc Simon, Lisa Thompson, Craig Vanderoef, Rob Will

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Simon Atkins, Randy Benedict, Jaime Bethke, Jake Brandman, Nicholas Brayton, Callum Brown, Charlie Bruder, Jay Custard, Jarka Duba, Mark Eggert, Sean Finucane, Mark French, Kip Fulks, Matt Geske, Sally Grimes, Peter Ha, Jonathan Hart, Petra Hilleberg, Bob Holding, Brett Jordan, Jeremiah Mackmiller, Ann Vernon Malik, Damian McCusker, Rob Morales, John Naekel, Matthew Navarro, Mary Cecile Neville, David Oksman, Mike Olsen, Theresa Palermo, Steven Regenold, Eric Rubel, Matt Schwartz, Troy Sicotte, Lee Silverman, Michael Sørensen, Henry Stafford, Matt Tingler, Edward Van Wezel, Nick Vu


DRIVEN

2015

2013 2013 Aimee Arana, Tim Bantle, Simon Bonham, Jackie Brown, TJ Ciaravino, Kris Dahlgren, Scott Daley, Matt DiLorenzo, Mike Etienne, Ze'ev Feig, Louise Formby, Antonio Gray, Greg Greenberg, Damien Huang, Salym Hunter, Mark Ish, Paul Labarbera, Jules Lambert, Janica Lane, Bridgit Lombard, Marc Misiewicz, David MossĂŠ, Charles Murray, Daniel Near, Marisa Nicholson, Kyle Orme, Brian Phillips, Carey Platto, Joey Pointer, Ian Pund, Dani Reiss, Doug Smiley, Laura St. George, Joe Suboticki, I Ling Thompson, Colin True, Eric Tung, Melissa Valentine, Katie Wagner, Vanessa Walton Keefe

Dan Abrams, Linda Balfour, John Barrett, Lauren Blanda, Todd Bronson, Brian Burnett, Margaret Chesebro NewHard, Tammy Christensen, Drew Davies, Guillaume DeMonplanet, Jonathan Degenhardt, David Feld, Brendan Gibbons, Fynn Glover, Joel Grabenstein, Matt Helbig, Jason Hill, Ted Kushion, Wendy Lee, Lauren Mallon, Sarah Matt, Kent McKeaigg, Michael Meyer, Kelly Milazzo, Stephanie Militello, Tai Neal, Sara Parker, David Polivy, Danielle Quatrochi, Michael Rossi, Chris Sackett, Matthew Schultz, Josh Shaw, Katie Swenson, Neal Taylor, Megan Tompkins, Tina Wade Matt Weiss, Gavin Whelan, Laura Wolf Stein.

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INDUSTRY CALENDAR

JUNE 9-10

Womens Running and Fitness Event Chicago, IL

13-17

Grassroots Spring Summit & Connect Albuquerque, NM

SEPTEMBER 1 Worldwide Fall Show Reno, NV 8-10 Imprinted Sportswear Show Orlando, FL 8-10

Surf Expo Orlando, FL

JULY

14-15

SFIA Industry Leaders Summit Denver, CO

13-17 IDEA World Fitness Convention Los Angeles, CA

21-23 Interbike Las Vegas, NV

14-17

ADA Spring Show Orlando, FL

25-28 NBS Fall Market Ft. Worth, TX

12-15

ASA-ICAST International Fishing Expo Orlando, FL

26-28 OIA Rendezvous Denver, CO

13-16 17-19

European Outdoor Trade Fair Friedrichshafen, Germany

23-25 Sports Inc. Athletic Show Minneapolis, MN

Project New York NY, NY

26-28 Shop.org Digital Summit 2016 Dallas, TX OCTOBER 6-8 Imprinted Sportswear Show

AUGUST 2-4 FFANY

13-14

2

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Open Air Demo Salt Lake City, UT

27-30 NASGW Annual Meeting & Expo New Orleans, LA

3-6

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Salt Lake City, UT

11-13

Sports Inc. Outdoor Show Minneapolis, MN

15-17

EORA Greenville Summer Show Greenville, SC

15-17

MAGIC Show Las Vegas, NV

15-17

Agenda Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV

23-25 EORA Summer Market Killington, VT 28-1 30-2

Worldwide Fall Show Reno, NV NBS Fall Semi-Annual Market

30-4 Eurobike Friedrichshafen, Germany 96 2016 SPRING ISSUE

The Retailing Summit Dallas, TX

27-30 ADA Fall Buying Show Glendale, AZ NOVEMBER 7-11 Grassroots Fall Summit & Connect Knoxville, TN 14-16

NBS Fall Athletic Show

17-19

Athletic Business Conference & Expo Orlando, FL

20-22 Sports Inc. Fall Team Dealers Show Las Vegas, NV 29-2

The Running Event Orlando, FL

DECEMBER 1-2 The Running Event Orlando, FL

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS BUYING GROUPS Athletic Dealers of America 1395 Highland Avenue Melbourne, FL 32935 t 321.254.0091 athleticdealersofamerica.com National Shooting Sports Foundation Flintlock Ridge Office Center 11 Mile Hill Road Newtown, CT 06470 t 203.426.1320 nssf.org National Sporting Goods Association 1601 Feehanville Drive I Suite 300 Mount Prospect, IL 60056 t 847.296.6742 nsga.org Nation’s Best Sports 4216 Hahn Blvd. Ft. Worth, TX 76117 t 817.788.0034 nbs.com Outdoor Industry Association 4909 Pearl East Circle I Suite 300 Boulder, CO 80301 t 303.444.3353 outdoorindustry.org Sports & Fitness Industry Association 8505 Fenton Street I Suite 211 Silver Spring, MD 20910 t 301.495.6321 sfia.org Snow Sports Industries America 8377-B Greensboro Drive McLean, VA 22102 t 703.556.9020 snowsports.org Snowsports Merchandising Corp. 235 Cadwell Drive Springfield, MA 01104 t 413.739.7331 Snowsportsmerchandising.com Sports, Inc. 333 2nd Avenue North Lewistown, MT 59457 t 406.538.3496 sportsinc.com Sports Specialists Ltd. 590 Fishers Station Drive I Suite 110 Victor, NY 14564 t 585.742.1010 sportsspecialistsltd.com Tennis Industry Association 1 Corpus Christi Place I Suite 117 Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 t 843.686.3036 tennisindustry.org Worldwide 8211 South 194th Kent, WA 98032 t 253.872.8746 wdi-wdi.com

Photo courtesy On and Thomas Stoeckli


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