Happy Friday!

Thank you for the feedback you provided two weeks ago. I've implemented some changes to the newsletter that I hope will improve your reading experience.

Going forward, more of my personal input will be included in each section of the newsletter. Whether you agree or disagree with what I have to say, I'd love to hear from you. There's a button below that allows you to respond directly to this email.

A summary of recent events happening in the sports and outdoor industry.

Throughout the streets of Barcelona lie hundreds of make-shift retail spaces that offer anything from sneakers to designer purses. While most, if not all of the products, are counterfeit, selling such products in Las Ramblas and other surrounding tourist areas is the only way these vendors can make a living. Most "Manteros" are African-born immigrants who have sought refuge in Spain. Today, with the help of their community, they are selling their own hats, t-shirts, and sneakers through the brand name, Ande Dem.
My Thoughts

(1) Having been to Barcelona and experienced what an interaction with a Mantero is like, I'm happy about this news. Many of them come from nothing, yet treat everyone in the Barcelona community with respect.
(2) When I think of consumer insights, I think of turning deep qualitative research into actionable results. This brand was started by the people that live on the streets of Barcelona every day. Their local knowledge is unparalleled to any business person that would try and start a brand of similar values.

Kanye West is in the headlines once again, but not for pop culture drama reasons. The collaboration between Ye and Gap has been a long time coming. The release date for the full collection was pushed back until later this year, but they gave us a sneak peek as to what the line may look like, dropping a $200 puffy jacket made of recycled nylon. While this jacket may be marked at a premium price point, the fast fashion industry is quickly heading that way. Incorporating better materials and safer production processes has raised prices for all quick-turn retailers.
My Thoughts

When I hear the term fast fashion, I think of brands like Zara and H&M. However, as sustainability becomes increasingly important in the industry, fast fashion evolves. Gap has quickly found themselves in a similar space as Zara and H&M. Competing for the same consumer can be difficult considering the market share these fast fashion companies have acquired. As controversial as Kanye is, his collaborations increase brand perception in the eyes of the consumer. Gap has the ability to reach a new target demographic moving forward.

National team football is back! The European Championship (commonly known as the Euros) kicked off earlier this week and will go through July 11. Similar to the Olympics, the Euros and the World Cup are enormous opportunities for sports brands to get "free" marketing promotion from the logos on jerseys and sideline gear. Nike (9) has a slight edge over adidas (8) in terms of team sponsorship, but the greatest exposure comes from the teams that make it far in the tournament.
My Thoughts

While there is a correlation between team success and (sponsoring) brand value, I believe that individual athletes are more important assets to brand promotion. Many of the athletes playing in the Euros are signed to different brands than what their national team is endorsed by. Sports have shifted so that it's easier to root for specific players in the current age of social media. How Nike, adidas, Puma, etc. market their athletes during this tournament will be the key to grow brand value, post-covid.

All-NBA superstar, James Harden, joined the Saks board in order to help achieve the goal of "becoming a luxury e-commerce platform," said Richard Baker. Harden and other notable players have changed how athletes express themselves through fashion, specifically in their pregame outfits as they walk into the arena. The shift in athlete expression has increasingly intertwined the sports and fashion worlds. Saks recognizes this and hopes that a partnership with a global basketball star will serve well as they reach a digitally savvy consumer.
My Thoughts

This is a great decision by Saks. James Harden has been one of the NBA's biggest stars for nearly a decade and has expanded his following since his move from Houston to Brooklyn. His 11.5 million followers on Instagram make him the 6th most followed player in the NBA. Not only will Harden create organic impressions for Saks, but his voice in board meetings will help to guide the digital strategy for the fashion retailer. More and more NBA players are exploring business ventures outside of basketball and I believe they'll continue to have success in this space.

What is the true definition of good product design? We may never know the answer but this article explains how bad design occurs and the potential pitfalls of poorly designed products. Don Norman's book, The Design of Everyday Things, wonderfully sums up what (good and bad) design means in our day-to-day lives and piggybacks off what the article (linked above) touches on.
Ever wonder what it would be like to assemble your own car? Well, look no further. Ryan Schlotthauer recently conceptualized a DIY Electric Vehicle. Drawing inspiration from IKEA's easy-to-assemble furniture, the vehicle would come in 374 pieces that would allow practically anyone to put together.
Father's Day is around the corner and what better way to celebrate than gifting a beer koozie inspired by the iconic Dad Shoe. Talk about product innovation!

If you're in need of a last-minute gift, the Shoezie drops on Sunday at 7:00 am PST.