Happy Friday!

Crazy to think that we are already on Newsletter #5. It feels like yesterday that I was exploring the possibility of starting something like this. I want to take a quick moment and thank you all for supporting me. I hope you've enjoyed reading these as much as I've enjoyed putting them together.

I have a survey down below that allows you to share feedback on how I can improve the newsletters moving forward.

A summary of recent events happening in the sports and outdoor industry.
My Takeaway on This Week's News

  • Companies are exploring different avenues to get closer to their consumer. Whether it be through domestic manufacturing, direct-to-consumer models, or experiential retail, companies are stretching to new heights in order to stand out amongst the competition. I believe the companies that maintain a consumer-centric mindset as they explore ways of differentiation in the marketplace will have long-term success.

Peloton is building a manufacturing facility in Troy Township, Ohio. The facility is expected to be over 1 million sq. feet and sit on 200 acres while providing 2,100 jobs.

Peloton operates in a unique space that covers both sporting goods and technology. Both industries have faced a recent challenge of domestic manufacturing vs. offshoring. This challenge has amplified due to COVID-19 supply chain complications. Ultimately, I think this is the right decision by Peloton in order to be closer to the market and their consumer.

Rothy's made a splash in the footwear industry five years ago by introducing ballet flats made of recycled water bottles. Today, the SF-based startup is getting its feet wet in men's footwear.

Sustainability is top of mind for many consumers when they make a new footwear purchase. Rothy's is offering the sustainably-minded consumer another option alongside brands like Allbirds, Toms, and Everlane.

This benefits the consumer by giving them increased opportunities to support more brands taking on sustainability.

The world we live in continues to push the boundaries of innovation. Ralph Lauren is focusing on in-house customization and on-demand production for the future. Soon, customers will be able to order products that offer "millions of combinations," said David Lauren, Chief Innovation Officer. Lauren later addresses the benefit of on-demand manufacturing I am most excited about, zero waste. Much like crowdsourcing, the ability to optimize on-demand manufacturing produces only what is necessary to supply the exact amount of product to interested consumers.

Naomi Osaka, global tennis star, announced her withdrawal from the French Open due to mental health concerns. The news came a few days after she decided to skip her media day, citing that speaking to members of the media often causes feelings of anxiety.

While this isn't directly related to sports products, I think this is an important issue to address. Athletes are often idolized and overlooked as regular people. For Nike to support Naomi during her step away from tennis is a pivotal moment to remind all of us that athletes are human too.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and Higg came together to design a model that allows for increased transparency into a brand's supply chain. Soon, we will see the first rollout phase where consumers will get an in-depth look into details about products they purchase and what environmental implications those purchases may have.

This program will positively impact how we view sustainability. “Transparency itself is not the end game, but it’s a critical step for transforming the industry and establishing a new era of accountability,” Amina Razvi.

This year marks the 25 year anniversary of the WNBA. For many years, the league was often shadowed by the NBA. However, with the help of global ambassadors, partnership with the NBA, and support from brands like adidas, the WNBA is getting the recognition it deserves.

It's important to note that other brands like Nike and Under Armour are doing great work with the WNBA as well. With the support of global brands, the WNBA is in a great position to grow the women's game and continue to push the game of basketball around the world.
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