Game Changers

Game Changers 150 150 Chute Gerdeman


It’s undeniable that the world of sports has changed over the years, and along with that so have consumer motivations and intentions for what fitness and sport mean to them.



In retail your staff defines the experience, and when it comes to performance that means a whole new level of expertise. Consumers are looking for products and solutions that pertain to their personal needs. They’re looking for recommendations from ambassadors of the sports. We believe associates should be sport superstars. Trainers, athletes, and coaches replace the associates who use to just don a brand logo on their shirt. Experience and passion matter.


Millennials want the brands and products they buy to reflect their social values. No longer can you sit passively on the sidelines when a prominent platform can be used to reassure a brand’s mission and like-minded consumer values. Consumers want to feel good about who they shop with, how the products they purchase make an impact, and if they can make even the slightest difference in the world.


Field to phone to in-home, sport is a full-time element of consumption. Even when not active, consumers are engaging in a world that never stops moving. It’s a way to connect news, friends, fashion, and the latest in pop culture. They are looking for brands to be as nimble as they are, but faster on their feet.


Whether it’s the team they play with on the field or a shared sense of fashion on the street, the community element is a unifying factor for brands and retailers. If social networks have shown us anything it’s that people are looking to connect, engage, and share common interest. As an in-store and online conduit for community, brands can create a shared sense of value and passion for sport. Brands will need to take cues from our favorite sports–good things happen when you hustle.


Claiming consumer loyalty is the equation every brand and retailer is trying to solve, but the formula isn’t a total mystery. Consumers are willing to provide data in exchange for certain perks, and the element of customization ranks high at the top. If consumers feel that they’re being recognized on a personal level then it not only helps to foster an emotional connection with the brand, but also reinforces the value-benefit monogamous relationship.

Consumers look for an energized vibe that immerses them in the brand. By tapping into the emotions and passion often experienced during a sporting event it further fuels the connection.” 

Tracy Zaslow | Senior Retail Creative Director
A/E/C Solutions


The lines between athletes, celebrities, and social media stars are blurring; just like fashion and function has in sports retail. We live in a world where they coexist–they influence and shape our day-to-day choices. New voices have entered the equation and consumers are looking to see who might make up the special team of their favorite brand. We see brands needing to embrace the societal influences of today and anticipate forward motion.


In a historically male dominated industry, female consumers are demanding an equal playing field. They’ve dominated in consumer spending and purchasing decisions for years, but now it’s about putting the focus on their needs and not a modified version of what is delivered to men. Women want to be defined by their own success and deliver products that empower their performance. This isn’t about excluding men, but it’s about eroding stereotypes and pushing boundaries.

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