UO Sports Product Management – Industry Event

UO Sports Product Management – Industry Event

UO Sports Product Management program Ellen Schmidt-Devlin

An inspiring event took place in the heart of the outdoors at the Oxford Hotel in Bend, Oregon.  Sustainability was the theme, as the University of Oregon’s Sports Product Management program hosted an event for students and peers to exchange ideas. Small to large size organizations shared their thoughts including Nike, Cairn, Sara Bella Upcycled, Hydro Flask and University of Oregon Center for Sustainability.

Key take-away from the event:

  1. “Edit to Amplify” is a key macro-trend that is taking place due to consumers declining purchasing power. Product longevity, defined as the “timeline of value proposition”, is the ‘new’ equation. (David Visnack, VP of Marketing & Products, Hydro Flask)
  2. To decouple growth from constrained resources, without compromising performance or price, is at the heart of Nike’s sustainability strategy. (Ed Thomas, Sr. Dir. Materials Science Innovation, Nike)
  3. A “customer’s willingness to pay more” for products directly relates to the story that product tells.  (Michael Crooke, Avamere Professor of Practice at University of Oregon)
  4. Product impact: 80% of the impact is determined within the first 20% of the design process, and 60% of impact is based on material choices.  (Ed Thomas, Sr. Dir. Materials Science Innovation, Nike)
  5. Brands must provide transparency and use discipline in how and where products are sold in order to manage consumers’ perceptions. These perceptions are imperative in elevating product and margins.  (David Visnack, VP of Marketing & Products, Hydro Flask)
  6. Success around sustainability begins with just one person.  It starts with education and is woven into our daily habits and within our own homes.  (Sara Wiener, Owner/Founder/Designer, Sara Bella Upcycled)

In summary, brands and individuals are on their own unique path towards sustainability.  Embracing sustainability is a key innovation platform to manage finite resources, attract/retain talent and to secure our future. Seek to find many ways that we may all contribute to the triple bottom line…because there is no finish line!