Day one – The Running Event – Orlando, Florida November 30, 2016
Best session – The New Rules of Marketing and PR – presenter David Meerman Scott, author of “Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead.”
We’ve all heard a lot of keynoters. We’ve snoozed through some, left midway through others, and checked our watch continually when the topic did not match what was promised. Meerman Scott delivered an engaging, often humorous talk, complete with witty personal stories that resonated with the packed ballroom. With a smattering of well-placed visuals, which included informative slides and a few cool YouTube videos, Meerman Scott, who was proud to share his success story with running having shed some 60 pounds since he turned 50 a few years back, animatedly danced back and forth between two movie screens on stage highlighting salient points in the slides. After sharing each success story – and there were several – he engaged the audience, having the group repeat, “I can achieve similar success.”
Key takeaways: How people BUY has changed – grow your business accordingly. Get “found” on social media and encourage social media sharing. Build a community of loyal, dedicated customers. Publish GREAT content on your website and refrain from being part of “the gobbledygook manifesto.” Don’t use tired words and phrases. STOP using stock photos – hire a professional and have him or her photograph REAL customers. Create a mindset shift in how you are going to do things differently. Move the needle on growing your business. In sum..the time is now, STOP making excuses.
Cool recovery footwear for trail runners – Oofos®
Based in Cohasset, MA, Oofos was founded in 2012. Utilizing OOfoam® Impact Absorption Technology, the footwear is meant to cradle the arch, absorb more impact than traditional foams, reduce stress on sore feet, knees, and back, and enable more natural motion. “Oofos® are good for anyone on their feet a lot,” said Edie Shimel, digital marketing manager, and a decade-long trail runner who considers the Fells area in New England among her favorites. “You can throw them on after a run and get the rest you need while stretching your toes and plantar.” Choose from a slide, thong, or clog.
Silver ion technology in a sock – Balega International
The Silver sock from Balega is the most compressive sock the company has made to date. With silver ion technology, the anti-microbial properties reduce footwear odor. “We are very excited to introduce the Silver as the new pinnacle sock on the market. The technology captured in this sock speaks to the athlete who relies on the highest quality fibers and performance when training,” said Tanya Pictor, VP of Marketing of Implus Specialty. “The construction behind our sock design work is similar to the way running shoes are designed; lock in the heel, lock in the mid-foot but allow toes to move freely.”
Produced in three “lengths” the no-show, quarter, and crew, there’s a sock for everyone and with at least 20 styles, there are lots of choices. Balega sock colors are based on sport and fashion pallets, according to Pictor. “We are shoe agnostic. Sock colors have to live with all shoe and apparel colors. Shades for our socks are relevant to the season.” A new color introduced this year that will resonate with trail runners – Macchiato. This rich, chocolate brown color is attractive and sensible. Equally sensible for trail runners, is a more durable fiber, which stands up to harsher conditions. The more voluminous sock is also more protective and a little bit higher.
Asked about the cool logo on the socks, Pictor explains it as the mannetjie (pronounced man-a-key), translated as “little man” from her native South African language of Afrikaans. A final question posed to Pictor was, “What is the one thing you should think about when purchasing a sock?” Her quick response was simple, “A sock that fits you properly.”
Wireless on the trails – JBL and yurbuds powered by JBL
Ty DeVille, national sales manager for Harman (the parent company of JBL), shared trail-specific items to include Reflect Mini, Reflect Contour, Under Armour Sport Wireless, Under Armour Wireless Heart Rate, Inspire 500 and the Clip 2. “These products make sense for the trail runner because they won’t fall out (of your ears), they won’t hurt your ears, they are sweat proof, and they allow ambient noise so you can hear things around you as you use them,” said DeVille. “Additionally, they are all wireless with blue tooth capability.” The other cool feature, all of the products have multiple sizes of ear buds (except the Clip 2 – a speaker which attaches to a bag, belt, or hydration pack as an example). Another cool thing with the reflect series … the cable provides high visibility in low light. Good for the nighttime trail runner. With most Bluetooth ear buds selling for over $100, the Inspire 500 is a good choice because it has a price point of $59.95.
In line with the sport-motivated products on display at TRE, DeVille shared the ErgoSport armband and ErgoSport arm sleeve, useful to carry a cellular phone while on a run. Back to the Clip 2, this product is great if you don’t want to wear ear buds. With easy attachment to a bag, the Clip 2 is completely waterproof, shock resistant, scratch resistant, has a built-in microphone (allows use as a speaker phone), and retails for $59.95.
Energy boost – RunGum
Olympian Nick Symmonds founded RunGum in October 2014. “It’s not your normal piece of gum,” says Symmonds, who holds a degree in biochemistry from Willamette University. “You get an immediate boost of energy and focus without the sugar and without the calories.” Sold in a two-piece packet retailing for $1.89, RunGum provides 100mg of caffeine, 40mg of Taurine, as well as B vitamins. Symmonds recommends, for those who don’t tolerate caffeine as well as others, chewing one piece of the gum at a time (ie: chew a piece for 5-10 minutes. The cool thing for trail runners is the packaging, which is waterproof, a new feature as of August 2016. RunGum is made in Baltimore, packaged in Boise, and distributed in Eugene. Check out rungum.com for the nearly 300 locations in the US where the product is available.
Three trail shoe choices from Topo
Stopping by the Topo booth, Natalie Riley, director of finance and operations, shared Topo’s three models of trail running shoes. According to Riley, the footwear from Topo provides a roomy toe box, is smooth in the waist and heel, is lightweight in construction, with an all-neutral platform with not much drop between the heel and forefoot – between 0mm and 5mm. The MT2 is the lightweight choice named Runner’s World best buy. The shoe provides enough traction, has a tear resistant mesh and retails for $100.
The Terraventure retails for just $10 more and sports a rock plate throughout the sole and is a bit heavier, yet still flexible with durable mesh, and more traction than the MT2.
The Hydroventure is the lightest waterproof trail running shoe on the market. The waterproofing feature is built into the textile and is really breathable, according to Riley. National Geographic named the Hydroventure, Trail Running Shoe Gear of the Year spring/summer 2016. The shoe offers a full-length rock plate and the tread pattern is not as “heavy” as that of the Terraventure.
Topo footwear is manufactured in China and one of the biggest retail outlets is REI. The company has experienced significant growth since its launch in July 2013. Riley considers Topo a “non-gimmick shoe” meant to encourage “natural running.”
Reinventing its line – CamelBak
According to Kevin Taylor, associate marketing manager for CamelBak, the entire run line has been redesigned for 2017. “We now have a line to bring into the mix for the trail running community,” said Taylor. “Trails are inherent to the outdoors and who CamelBak is.” A new hydration platform with a soft flask incorporated into a vest has been introduced. “We will have our first hydration pack ever that is non-reservoir or non-standard bottle based.”
To choose a color palette for its hydration packs, CamelBak focuses on trend research and what is going on color-wise in trail running apparel and footwear. In creating the product line, CamelBak is working closely with athletes to get direct feedback on what works, and what doesn’t. For the future, “Gender-specific sizing is on the horizon,” according to Julianne Ryan, assistant product manager.
No more tying shoe laces – Hickies
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Hickies lacing system is a one-size fits-all product. Says public relations and communications manager Keith Martine, “Our product has the ability to customize the fit. The user can pinpoint specific areas to be tighter or looser.” Geared toward a user aged four and up, Hickies are made in a wide array of colors. Learn more at www. Hickies.com.