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43 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
Dave Stover and Kevin Ahearn, Bureo
` Episode Highlights: Hear how Bureo expanded their reach and mission by partnering with brands like Costa Sunglasses and Patagonia Dave Stover and Kevin Ahearn share their founding story of Bureo and their clear mission of ending net pollution in the oceans As consumers continue to align with brands that share their core values, it’s more important now than ever for specialty businesses and brands to be transparent about their initiatives and efforts when it comes to sustainability Description: As part of our Channel Mastery series featuring brands and businesses that are focused on sustainability, we are elated to introduce the team from Bureo, Dave Stover and Kevin Ahearn. Bureo is on a mission to end fishing net pollution in our oceans and shares their story behind their passion throughout the episode. Dave and Kevin offer insight into their interesting journey to gain B-corp status, their founding story and the development of their partnerships like Patagonia and Costa, which has increased their reach tenfold. Bureo is absolutely standing up to the challenge of serving consumers who are aligned with brands and businesses that share common values to them. Kevin Ahearn is one of the three co-founders of Bureo Inc. Growing up in a family of Ocean lovers, Kevin took to surfing at an early age with his Dad and twin brother Brian. The importance of "protecting the places you love" was a lesson ingrained in the brothers at an early age and something Kevin has carried throughout his life and into his professional career at Bureo. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and leads, research and development, recycling supply chain and material integration efforts at Bureo. David Stover is a Co-Founder of Bureo Inc, an emerging company focused on developing innovative solutions to recycle discarded fishing nets. An avid surfer and environmental enthusiast, David left behind a career in corporate finance when his global travels led him to the issues facing our ocean today. Currently residing in Ventura California, David splits time between Chile and the US and is actively involved in Bureo's day-to-day operations alongside the broader mission to prevent plastic pollution in our oceans.
32 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
Michel Gelobter, Cooler and Jon Dorn, Outside Inc.
Episode Highlights: Research showed that through the pandemic consumers eagerly want to align with brands who share their values Cooler offers calculations instantly so you can neutralize your carbon footprint as a business to achieve your customers’ climate goals Michel and Jon share how the company was founded and how they’re working to fight climate change Description: Consumer loyalty through the pandemic and still into 2021 is up for grabs. What we saw throughout COVID and the particularly crazy political climate we’re living in still is that consumers eagerly want to join up with brands that are ethically aligned with their own values. What Michel Gelobter, Jon Dorn and the team at Cooler Incorporated offer is a solution and technology that brands and consumers can trust with a mission to make your business part of the climate solution conversation. Taking action as a consumer against climate change can feel daunting and what numerous studies and reports through 2020 showcased, is that consumers are no longer looking at their governments and representatives to solve the problems for them. They’re looking at the brands they self identify with and are aligning their dollars with those brands who are actively joining the fight against climate change. On this episode of Channel Mastery, you’ll hear how brands can become “Cooler” and work to first identify their full carbon footprint on the products and services they provide and then create a plan to neutralize that carbon footprint. Michel shares the planned official launch of the business, which also happened to align with the very beginning of COVID and explains how his relationship with Jon Dorn of Outside Inc. helped the company pivot to work closely with the outdoor industry. Thirty years ago, Jon Dorn left a low-paying job in academia for a lower-paying job as a magazine editor at Backpacker. But that opportunity to become a full-time adventure journalist fed his wanderlust, and he’s never looked back. He’s slept under the stars in 17 time zones (only 7 to go!), come face-to-face with wolves and grizzlies, led Backpacker to five National Magazine Awards, and made it the world’s first carbon-neutral magazine. At Active Interest Media, Jon served as editorial director and later as president of the company’s Active Living Group, which included brands such as SKI, Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Clean Eating, and Climbing. After several years as the company's Chief Innovation Officer, during which he added oversight of AIM's video studio, online education platform, and in-house marketing services agency, Jon took a break to co-launch Cooler, a software startup that calculates and eliminates the carbon footprint of any product or service at checkout. He jumped back into media in October 2020, helping Pocket Outdoor Media rebrand as Outside Inc. after the acquisitions of Outside magazine, OutsideTV, and several other adventure brands. Today, he oversees Outside and several related business development projects. In his spare time, he serves on the board of a nonprofit serving homeless youth in Colorado and is an avid triathlete, cyclist, and hiker. Michel Gelobter is the CEO of Cooler, inc (cooler.dev) and Managing Director of Reflective Earth (reflectiveearth.org). He has held senior positions in advocacy, government, academia, and business, with an ongoing substantive focus on innovation, climate change, energy, and social justice. As a businessman, he founded the first consumer-facing climate software company, Cooler, and was a founder or senior leader in two other cleantech startups. As an advocate, Michel co-founded a number of environmental justice, water, and oceans organizations, including the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and led Redefining Progress from 2001 through 2006, where he worked to originate and design the world’s most aggressive climate legislation (California's Global Warming Solutions Act). As an academic Michel was the founding director of the Program on Environmental Policy at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Prior to that, his government service included a stint as a Congressional Black Caucus Fellow, staff at the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee and serving as Assistant Commissioner for the New York City's $2 billion-a-year water utility and environmental agency. Michel earned his MS & Ph.D. at UC Berkeley’s Energy & Resources Group and presently serves as a Board member of CERES, the California Clean Energy Fund, and the African-American Advisory Committee of the Spence-Chapin Adoption Agency. He is co-founder the Green Leadership Trust, and is a part-time Director at infoedge, a boutique management consulting firm operating at the intersection of big data and strategy. In that role, he leads the innovation and sustainability practices. Michel also published Lean Startups for Social Change: The Revolutionary Path to Big Impact (Berrett-Koehler Press, 2016). He lives with his three children in Berkeley, CA.
23 minutes | Jul 2, 2021
Holly Fraser, Managing Director, Outsider’s Network
Episode Highlights: Marketing Director, Holly Fraser, introduces Outsider’s Network, the newest network connecting talent and content creators in the outdoor industry Outsider’s Network helps drive inclusiveness with their mission to find a diverse, collective of outdoor talent Holly shares what phase of their launch Outsider’s Networks is currently in and where the network is headed over the next few months Description: All of us in specialty businesses and in the outdoor industry know that it can be challenging to find talent in remote locations or professional models that can do the incredible activities - kayaking down a river, rock climbing, mountain biking - we need them to do to showcase our brands. That’s where the Outsider’s Network comes into the equation. They connect professional models and welcome non-professional enthusiasts to their network with producers, agents, and the makers behind the brands. My guest this week is Holly Fraser, Marketing Director for Outsider’s Network, a website and talent marketplace in the early phases of their launch. Outsider’s Network helps people search and then book talent in the incredible places where outdoor shoots happen across North America. Holly partnered with the founders of Origin Outside, an outdoor focused marketing agency, to launch Outsider’s Network. The network is now in what Holly referred to as the “Model Car” phase of their official launch. The components of the car are all available at outsidersnetwork.com and they’re accepting applications for both the talent and booking side of the program, but the engine (or official launch) won’t be added until a little later this summer. Learn about the newest network connecting brands with talent in the outdoor industry on this week’s episode of Channel Mastery. Holly Fraser is the co-founder of Outsiders Network. The concept of Outsiders Network came from her career as an outdoor content producer with Execution Media Ltd, her Whistler-based boutique production company that works locally and around the world. Execution’s client list includes major car companies, clothing lines and adventure gear brands, all of which benefit from Fraser’s professionalism and creative instincts that she’s been honing since her days studying photography and media at Ryerson University. Prior to founding Execution in 2011, Fraser worked in creative agencies, ran a photo-arts gallery and event space and traveled the world raising awareness for animal rights, a cause that she passionately advocates for in her day-to-day life (just ask her three-legged rescue dog that found the good life when Fraser brought him home). Now a mother of a toddler you can find Holly working from home on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Lil’wat and St’at’imc Nations with her daughter and three rescue animals or out exploring the beautiful world on her dirt bike, mountain bike, sled, board or skis.
34 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Russ Roca, Content Creator, Path Less Pedaled
Episode Highlights: Hear how Russ and the Path Less Pedaled team have grown their Youtube following to over 100,000+ by speaking to the enthusiasts, as opposed to the pros, within the biking community Party Pace is the how Russ describes the audience of Path Less Pedaled. They aren’t the cyclists on the podium, they’re the newcomers or long-time riders enjoying two wheels as their own pace With a tech savvy audience on YouTube, Path Less Pedaled focuses on authenticity and honesty on their channels Description: In the active outdoor lifestyle and outdoor recreation markets, and cycling in particular, we tend to get in our own way. We’re known as being too competitive and focus on the professionals. On this episode though, we’re talking about the enthusiasts. In 2020 and through the pandemic, the cycling boom meant newcomers to the sport in a way that has never been recorded and my guest today is speaking directly to that newcomer and inviting them into the community. Content Creator at Path Less Pedaled, Russ Roca joins me for episode 173. Russ and his partner, Laura, spent a few years key-less, as he put it, meaning they traveled the U.S. and then New Zealand by bike creating content. They launched Path Less Pedaled, which has since grown to an impressive 100,000+ followers. He shares how they’ve been able to grow their YouTube channel and their Patreon network by listening to their fan base and meeting their needs. I have been a fan of the Path Less Pedaled channel and network for quite awhile now but am particularly impressed in how they guide their consumer, in their case, viewers, and make them feel like you’re in the garage with them, talking shop and enjoying a chat. Tune in to hear all about the Path Less Pedaled! Russ Roca is the content creator behind the Path Less Pedaled Youtube channel. Prior to Youtube he had worked as a freelance writer/photographer for various bicycling publications such as Bicycle Times, Adventure Cycling and Momentum Magazine. He and his partner, Laura Crawford, have also worked as bicycle tourism consultants helping tourism destinations market themselves to cyclists and have worked with organizations like Travel Oregon, Visit Idaho, Travel Iowa and other state and local level destination marketing organizations.
21 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
LifeHandle Inventor and Co-Founder, Joe Wold
Episode Highlights: Inventor and Entrepreneur, Joe Wold shares the backstory behind LifeHandle, a versatile sling created to handle anything Hear how Kickstarter introduced the LifeHandle team to a new audience and ultimately a new target consumer Introducing ambassadors to the product has simultaneously introduced new ways to use LifeHandle’s products Description: I have been looking forward to introducing Joe Wold, inventor and Co-founder of LifeHandle to the Channel Mastery audience because he offers a very unique pandemic story. Like so many brands and specialty retailers, LifeHandle experienced supply chain issues in 2020 when they were expected to officially launch their first product. Rather than hiding under a rock, they shifted gears and introduced a Kickstarter campaign to ensure their product was introduced to the market and that they stayed in touch with their target consumers. Through the Kickstarter campaign, they were able to tell the story behind product development, Joe’s personal need for it after a car crash and they actually discovered new uses and audiences perfect for the product. I’ve always thought the Kickstarter platform allows brands to get closer to your audience than traditional avenues and LifeHandle proves this to be true. Along with details of the Kickstarter campaign, you’ll also hear about LIfeHandle’s experience adding an influencer program to their brand and the discoveries made from that experience. As always, thanks for listening. Enjoy the show! Joe Wold is the inventor and Co-Founder of LifeHandle, a carrying assist and dog leash company that makes everyday life and adventures a little bit more enjoyable and a lot more comfortable. Joe is a geologist by training but has always been a tinkerer to make solutions for common problems. Joe grew up in Wyoming and is an avid fisherman, skier, mountain biker, hunter, and lover of the great outdoors. He lives in Boston with his wife Chelsey and two children, Wells and Tucker, and their Chocolate Lab, Bruin.
27 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Stephen Regenold, VP of Strategy at Lola Digital Media
Episode Highlights: Vice President of Strategy, Stephen Regenold is focused on continuing to connect with Lola Digital Media’s and AllGear’s consumer through authentic content Lola Digital Media recently acquired a number of sites. Hear what’s on the horizon next for the network of sites. With an emphasis on authentic content, journalistic integrity and honesty, Lola Digital Media continues to be the reliable source for today’s evolving consumer Description: It doesn’t matter what channel you, as a consumer, buy from or engage on - it all starts with trust. The entire universe has been built on relationships and reciprocity and my guest and longtime friend, Stephen Regenold with AllGear and Lola Digital Media lives and breathes this. He is the absolute caretaker for the focal consumer and works to grow the trust of that beloved consumer. As brands, we are responsible for giving the consumer what they need and empowering them to buy where they want to buy, maybe even more so than we were prior to COVID. On this episode of Channel Mastery, Stephen shares how they are further fostering customer and brand relationships through the development of a new network of sites. With the ever-changing algorithms and data shifts, it’s nearly impossible to keep up, but what Stephen and his team at Lola Digital Media and AllGear are focused on is continuing to put a majority of their efforts into the heart and soul of true research, journalism and writing that leads to authentic content. I have been lucky enough to call Stephen my friend for nearly two decades now and love hearing how he’s continuing to further media through the creation of authentic content and always staying closely connected to that North Star we’re always talking about - our consumers. Stephen Regenold is the Founder of GearJunkie, a publication covering the outdoors and active-lifestyle categories with millions of monthly readers. GearJunkie was acquired by Lola Digital Media in April 2020, and Regenold now serves as VP of Strategy with the startup company building a new network, AllGear. Regenold is a journalist by training and former writer for the New York Times. A climber, skier, and ultra-endurance athlete, Regenold launched GearJunkie in 2002 as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, Tara, and their five children.
43 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Rob DeMartini, CEO of USA Cycling offers insight into the long-term strategy of the organization
Episode Highlights: Rob DeMartini, CEO of USA Cycling since 2019 offers listeners a clear picture of the organization's long-term strategy and plans for the future With the recent shift to free youth memberships, USA Cycling isn’t dwelling on the past, but planning for the future of cycling and adapting a mission-driven mentality Hear how the vision of USA Cycling is shifting to include a different kind of member; a member that is excited to be a part of USA Cycling and wears it with a sense of pride. Description: In the cycling world, it’s no secret that there are strong opinions about USA Cycling. What I have always believed in life and in business is that what’s happened in the past, does not dictate our future, which is why I was eager to interview Rob DeMartini, CEO of USA Cycling. Rob is a newer leader to USA Cycling, joining the organization in 2019 and came to the organization from outside of the fishbowl, but with a background working with a number of outdoor brands. He’s incredibly fluent with “our people” in the Channel Mastery community and offers a vision that will be extremely beneficial to the future of both USA Cycling and cycling as a whole. We’ve talked about the monumental growth of the cycling industry in 2020 through 2021 and the importance of not only catching and collecting newcomers to the sport but keeping them. Rob shares the long-term vision and strategy for USA Cycling, including offering free youth programming and the importance of doing so for the future of the sport. He also shares how the organization is putting “compliance” in the rear view mirror and steering toward a mission-driven mentality for the future. This is a must-listen to episode for our Channel Mastery cycling enthusiasts, but also for anyone interested in hearing how an organization can make strides to become a more inclusive, receptive to feedback and open to change. Rob joined USA Cycling in February 2019, bringing with him extensive knowledge and experience from a diverse background as well as strong business-building experience across various industries. A passionate athlete and cycling enthusiast, Rob was drawn to the opportunity to lead USA Cycling after recognizing the potential for the organization to take on a larger leadership role in the cycling industry. Rob came to USA Cycling after spending 12 years as President and CEO of New Balance where under his leadership, New Balance doubled its global annual sales to reach $4.2B and achieved one of the highest growth rates in the athletic footwear and apparel industry. Prior to joining New Balance, his career at Procter & Gamble spanned 20 years, beginning in their Food & Beverage Division and including management roles with the Gillette Company, North American Snacks, and Millstone Coffee. Rob is the past Chairman of The American Apparel & Footwear Association and is a former board member of The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, a nonprofit spinoff from MIT, focused on accelerating innovation in the apparel industry. He is also a current board member of Welch Foods, a Farmer Owned Cooperative and former board member of Aloha Foods. Rob earned his B.S. in Finance from San Diego State University. Rob, along with his son and daughter-in-law owns Park City Bike & Demo Bike Shop, and resides with his wife in Park City, Utah.
47 minutes | May 28, 2021
Gareth Richards bridging the gap between outdoor industry professionals, brands and specialty retailers
Episode Highlights: By sticking to their original business model, Outdoor Prolink offers exclusive membership to active industry professionals Hear how guides are the original influencers bridging the gap between brands and consumers With a database of over 130,000 members, Outdoor Prolink still provides a customized experience for their members Description: For specialty brands and businesses, referrals and recommendations from industry pros are a make it or break it tool and ultimately, a channel in and of itself. I invited Gareth Richards, CEO of Outdoor Prolink on the podcast for this episode to offer insight into the Outdoor Prolink membership, and how the members continue to drive the relationship between brands, specialty retail stores and consumers. Outdoor Prolink was created to connect outdoor industry professionals directly with brands. Through a handbuilt approach for accepting applicants and monitoring members, they’ve grown immensely over the years and now have a database of over 130,000 industry professionals. They have never wavered from their original business model and still require proof of employment and annual verification to continue membership. Influencer marketing has existed since the dawn of time, though it hasn’t always been known as it is today. Guides, along with specialty retail associates, were the original influencers offering advice for newcomers in the sport on which gear and equipment they used and put full trust in to keep them safe. What Outdoor Prolink does is continue to build the relationship between brands and outdoor industry professionals through a tech driven platform, which eventually drives consumers to independently owned retailers. With a quickly changing landscape, brands and retailers should be focused on consumer centricity now more than ever. The members of Outdoor Prolink offering third-party testimonials continue to drive consumers directly to retail and master their channel. Gareth Richards is CEO and owner of Outdoor ProLink. He has a demonstrated history of working in the sporting goods industry and is skilled in retail, sales, event management, team building, and sporting goods. He is a strong business development professional with a MA focused in Experiential Education from University of Colorado at Boulder.
46 minutes | May 21, 2021
Abby Mickey, Cycling Tips
Episode Highlights: Hear how the welcoming and engaged community of Veloclub is fueling their membership growth Abby Mickey shares her personal story against inequality in cycling and as a female journalist Learn how Youtube as a channel is helping build an audience excited about women’s racing Description: I’ve been a long time follower of Cycling Tips and became even more of a fan when Abby Mickey, retired professional cycling and extraordinary journalist joined the team. Abby brings a beautiful narrative touch and has such a strong sense of storytelling that it makes every story richer and offers a point of differentiation. I was absolutely thrilled to host her as my guest on this episode of Channel Mastery. During our interview, Abby shares the story of joining the team at Cycling Tips as Associate Editor and the negative response from some of the audience members. This unwarranted feedback was sent to her via email, comments on podcasts and articles or directly to the Editor in Chief. She also shares how the community of Cycling Tips membership, Veloclub is highly engaged, loyal and quickly expanding. You’ll also hear how Youtube is becoming a channel important to women in cycling. Abby was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado. Until college she was a ski racer but once at the University of Colorado Boulder she discovered the world of bikes. She participated in mountain and road racing until she graduated from school with a degree in History. Afterwards she pursued a professional career in road racing and competed in Europe and the USA until 2019 when she hung up her race bike. Now she is an Associate Editor at CyclingTips. She focuses on covering the women’s professional peloton through writing and also on her podcast, Freewheeling.
37 minutes | May 7, 2021
The Camber Outdoors Team and Kristin Carpenter discuss Tools to Meet the Moment
Episode Highlights: Host, Kristin Carpenter, sits down with Renita Smith and Emily Newman to offer a look at the tools Camber Outdoors offers to “Meet the Moment” A recent workplace survey by Glassdoor reported that 76% of employees and job seekers said a diverse workforce was very important when evaluating companies and offers. Hear how Camber Outdoors works with companies to move closer to the goals of diversifying their workforces As we approach the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, it’s timeto check in on the goals and promises you made as an organization over the past year Description: In June 2020, Emily Newman and Renita Smith of Camber Outdoors went live on Facebook with Channel Mastery host Kristin, in the midst of protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd. During that discussion, they announced the release of new resources Camber had created to help brands and businesses in the specialty markets and outdoor industry move forward with their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Now, as we approach the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder in late May, Emily and Renita offered a check-in or progress report and “Tools to Meet the Moment.” The discussion invites organizations to revisit the promises made a year ago and continue to learn, act and change within their organizations. With a recent Glassdoor workplace survey reporting that 76% of employees and job seekers said a diverse workforce was very important when evaluating companies and job offers, it’s important now more than ever to continue work in this space and continue to revisit the promises outlined in 2020. Emily Newman is Executive Director of Camber Outdoors and serves as ex officio on the organization’s board of directors. Prior to joining the organization in 2019, Emily served as Founder and Founder & Principal of Beechwood Partners, a social-impact consultancy dedicated to developing vision, strategy, operational systems and teams for foundations and field-leading nonprofit clients. Notable projects included work with the Obama Administration’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, Microsoft, Majestic Realty Foundation, PeerForward, the Los Angeles Urban League and a variety of prestigious Tribal Government and Family Foundations. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College at Columbia University and a Master of Science from the New School for Social Research. Renita Smith is Chief Programs Officer of Camber Outdoors and a proven leader in driving superior performance, financial value, and positive social impact for enterprises spanning the private and nonprofit sectors. She is passionate about creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces that enable companies to better reach and serve customers, employees, partners, suppliers, and their communities. In her role at Camber, Renita devises our strategic roadmap and leads the implementation of all programs, initiatives, and resources that will support the $887 Billion Outdoor Recreation Economy in building a diverse talent pipeline and creating inclusive hiring practices and workplaces. Renita serves on the boards of several organizations focused on health, education, and the arts. She is particularly passionate about helping to equip low-income, minority, and/or underrepresented young people actualize their potential in college, career, and beyond. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
29 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Scott Buelter, Ascent 360 CEO on Consumer Trends for Specialty Retailers in 2021
Episode Highlights: Scott Buelter, Ascent 360 CEO and founder returns to the show to share the newest consumer trends to focus on in Q2 2021 In the 2020-2021 ski season, resorts went from 15% consumer data collection to 90% consumer data collection almost overnight. What’s next for the ski industry? As biking is about to pick back up, hear what you can do as a specialty retailer to stay connected and engage with your target consumer above your competitors Description: Ascent 360’s CEO and founder, Scott Buelter is back for another appearance on this episode of Channel Mastery. Scott joined us for episode 157 in January 2021 and shared key consumer trends we could expect as we were in the first month of a brand new year and quarter. We were eager to get him back for this episode so he can share a wealth of information from Q1 and what we can focus on in specialty business as we’re now into Q2. We’ve all known that consumers in specialty markets are passionate. They’re willing to work around fragmentation and friction for our products because they adore their sports and the community that come along with them. Scott shares some of the personal touches he’s seen retailers hone in on this year to uplevel their human to human connections and increase their engagement. With so many newcomers first to the skiing industry and now as we enter the 2021 biking season, the specialty experience has to evolve. This is a must listen to episode, as Scott advise on what’s working and what’s not working with the data to better understand it. As CEO and president, Scott Buelter guides Ascent360’s strategy and vision. His mission is to bring enterprise-level marketing capabilities to midsize businesses through a powerful CDP, allowing them to better understand their customers and achieve continual growth. Buelter draws upon his data analysis and digital marketing experience at companies such as Nike, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Loews Hotels, American Express and Samsung, as well as upon his academic background. Buelter received an MBA from the University of California–Irvine and a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of San Diego, in addition to studying at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education Sciences in Berlin and Vienna.
38 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
Live Feisty’s founder, Sara Gross, on the importance of knowing your target audience
Episode Highlights: Live Feisty founder, Sara Gross, shares how creating content that fits their ever-evolving target consumer and staying connected with that consumer has helped Live Feisty grow and expand their community Sara shares insight to her life and story as a professional athlete, mom, content creator, podcast host, Ph.D., and business owner and more Hear how Live Feisty expanded into a number of different spaces when the pandemic hit and how they pivoted from in-person to virtual events Description: On the Channel Mastery podcast, we focus on the importance of knowing your target audience and really speaking to them, engaging with them, and staying connected to them. What I enjoyed most in speaking with Sara Gross, Live Feisty founder, for this episode is that she not only focuses on staying true to her target audience, but is also quick to pivot and expand Live Feisty’s content as their audience continues to grow and change. Sara tells us how the name “Live Feisty” came to fruition and how building a safe and inclusive community is at the heart of all they do. She also shares the challenges and opportunities Live Feisty faced in order to shift from in-person events to virtual events through 2020. To wrap up the interview, she said something that is still resonating so much for me. She said, “...people say to fake it until you make it, but I don’t think that’s it. It’s a willingness to work in the dark.” If you’re an entrepreneur struggling to forge ahead or simply looking for some inspiration from a real visionary, you’ll find a lot of value in this episode. Sara Gross is an Ironman triathlon champion, an academic, podcast host, tiktok-er and the founder of Live Feisty Media. After twelve years as a professional triathlete and three major international wins, Sara set her sights on shifting the cultural narrative for athletic, performance-minded women. Sara founded Live Feisty Media in 2017, a company that creates content for active, feisty folks who love to sweat or be covered in mud from time to time. Sara’s PhD is in women’s history and you can hear her unsolicited opinions about many things every Friday on the ‘If We Were Riding’ podcast.
45 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Robin Thurston, Outside
Episode Highlights: You’ll hear how Outside Inc., is modernizing endemic journalism through editorial and experience acquisitions and a strong content ecosystem Robin and Kristin share how Covid-19 shifted consumer behavior and how those shifts are connected to a massive influx of newcomers into the outdoor markets You’ll get Robin’s take on one of the most important approaches to retain these newcomers - making it easy for them to identify and actively engage with their passions Discover the long-term vision and strategy for Outside Inc., including its membership program and how the teams at Outside Inc.’s myriad of publications and brand experiences will work to “catch and keep” our outdoor recreation newcomers in 2021 Welcome to another season of Channel Mastery! This episode featuring Robin Thurston, CEO of Outside is our inaugural episode of season four. We can’t wait to offer another season of Channel Mastey, presented by Verde Brand Communications. Robin is the CEO of Outside, the world’s leading creator of active lifestyle content and experiences. Formerly known as Pocket Outdoor Media, Robin acquired Outside along with other companies such as OutsideTV, Gaia GPS, AthleteReg and Peloton magazine in February 2021. To say I was excited to interview him is an understatement. Through these acquisitions and a major rebranding, Robin and the Outside team have created an incredible content ecosystem that is changing the experiential and outdoor media market and single handedly modernizing journalism. On the episode, he shares how their strong content enables them to create data that leads to personalization and ultimately converts to membership and a tailored consumer experience. We touch on the consumer behavior shifts that took place in 2020 and how Outside is focused on connecting and engaging with newcomers to the outdoor industry. As always, thanks for listening to Channel Mastery! Subscribe today to hear new episodes first all season long! Robin Thurston is the CEO of Outside, the world's leading creator of active lifestyle content and experiences. Formerly known as Pocket Outdoor Media, Robin acquired Outside along with other companies such as OutsideTV, Gaia GPS, AthleteReg, and Peloton Magazine in February of 2021. Outside now reaches 70 million of the most active consumers across its web, print, podcast, social, video, and TV platforms. Before joining Outside, Robin ran a consumer genetics company called Helix in Silicon Valley, and co-founded and built MapMyFitness into one of the world’s largest open fitness tracking platforms. A Colorado-native, Robin resides in Boulder with his wife and three children.
48 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Encore Episode, replay of Jennifer Kriske, Machines for Freedom
Description: For this week’s show, we’re replaying our MOST downloaded show ever in four plus years of Channel Mastery - the Jennifer Kriske, Machines for Freedom show, originally released as episode 118 in January 2020. Jennifer is founder and CEO of Machines for Freedom, a very specialized, very awesome women’s cycling apparel brand. Her entrepreneurial spirit and approach showcases a spirit and drive to serve her target consumer. She does that through the right mix of channels, remarkable content and a comfort around putting a continued stake in the ground with inclusivity. She was a groundbreaking leader in this regard and I am completely inspired by her. Her message in this episode is one that should really resonate with the specialty business community served with Channel Mastery. Enjoy this encore episode, and know that within a couple of weeks, Channel Mastery will enter a new season with a stellar line-up of guests. We’re up-leveling the show to be the vehicle you need to know what’s working and what’s not to serve your focal consumer today. Jennifer Kriske is Founder of Machines for Freedom, a high quality, high performance, women’s cycling apparel company. Prior to Machines for Freedom, she held positions ranging from entertainment media and hotel and restaurant design. In the midst of designing restaurants, she took up cycling and realized the need for kits that were more specifically designed for women. Machines for Freedom launched in 2014 and immediately created palpable changes in the cycling world which has led to an industry-wide shift in the way cycling apparel is designed and marketed. Machines For Freedom not only proved to the industry that an entire market exists, but the company innovated and elevated cycling apparel for women in a way no other brand has, while building a strong and organic community riders who support each other, challenge themselves, and spread good vibes.
30 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Snowbound Festival, sustainability at trade shows and welcoming newcomers to winter sports with Brian Stephenson
Episode Highlights: After in-person events were cancelled in 2020, SIA names tradeshow and event veteran, Brian Stephenson Director of Snowbound Festivals What changes can consumer trade shows like Snowbound make to minimize the negative environmental impact of such large in-person events? Hear how offering educational and relevant content year-round through SIA’s membership portal creates a barrier-free entry point for newcomers to the sports and bridges the gap between experts and novices Description: In the summer of 2020 and in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brian Stephenson was named Director of the Snowbound Festival, an event that many of us have always considered the kick off for the winter season. Brian was hired by SIA and brings with him an extensive background in consumer events like Comicon, Star Wars Celebration with Disney and Lucasfilm, and many others. The cancellation of in-person events was our reality over the past year, and though we can’t say for certain what the next year will bring, developing a whole new ecosystem and expanding on the concept and community facet of an event like Snowbound is what Brian will bring to the table. A membership site is a platform we haven’t discussed here much on Channel Mastery, but our consumers are continuing to evolve and become even hungrier for our content. Similar to email lists, memberships create an audience willingly engaging in what we have to say and offer a community. SIA and Snowbound are widening the portal for the newcomer to winter sports, bridging the gap between an expert and a novice and bringing all of these components together under one portal and then the literal, roof, of the consumer shows. Also on the minds of so many of our evolving consumers is sustainability and how their favorite brands, businesses and organizations are aligning their practices with that of the consumers. Brian shares what Snowbound Festivals of the future are doing to ensure they’re practicing what they preach and keeping the environment and sustainability at top of mind. Brian Stephenson is the Director of Snowbound, the new consumer platform of Snowsports Industries of America (SIA). Brian started his career in the winter division of Airwalk and then became the Sports Marketing Manager for SoBe Beverages at PepsiCo and oversaw the partnership with Burton Snowboards including the US Open of Snowboarding and the winter athlete program. After leaving Pepsi, Brian helped create a new consumer pop culture event division at Reed Exhibitions called Reedpop. Reedpop runs some of the largest consumer events in the world including New York Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, ComplexCon, PAX, Emerald City Comic Con, and many more. While at Reedpop Brian built and maintained relationships with global partners including CBS, Crunchyroll, Disney, DC Entertainment, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Microsoft, Warner Bros, and many others. Brian joined the SIA team in 2020 and is bringing his multi-faceted brand and event experience together with his love of Snowsports to build the new Snowbound Festivals.
33 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Jill Nazeer of Diamondback and Athlete Rach McBride on Inclusivity in the Outdoor and Cycling Industry
Episode Highlights: Rach McBride, a non-binary pro-athlete, shares how they use their platform to be a vehicle for positive change and how brands can follow their lead People for Bikes introduces new sub committees including a DEI focused committee bringing together individual brands to discuss racial and gender inequality and how to make everyone feel safe on bikes Hear why accepting progress over perfection is the first step for brands! Description: Rach McBride is known in the sports community as ‘the most interesting person in triathlon.’ They were the first triathlete to come out as non-binary and they are using their voice, story and platform, to create an inclusive community and bring awareness and education to individuals and businesses. Rach joins me on this episode of Channel Mastery, along with Jill Nazeer, Diamondback’s Director of Marketing. You’ll hear Rach’s story of becoming a professional athlete a little later in life, respectively, and what’s ahead for 2021 after the cancellations of so many races in 2020. Rach and Jill share details of the Diamondback Gravel Scholarship, the growth of gravel and what People for Bikes is doing to create a more inclusive and safer environment for new or established cyclists. This is a must-listen for brands and businesses unsure about where to start when it comes to inclusivity, diversification and equality. Brands are in the driver seat of the vehicle of change and it’s time to embrace progress over perfection. Rach has been racing full-time as a professional triathlete since 2011. Known as the “Purple Tiger,” they are a three-time Ironman 70.3 Champion and have numerous podium and course record results across several distances in the sport. Deemed "the most interesting [person] in triathlon" by TRS Radio, Rach is the first professional triathlete to be out as gender non-binary. They hold two graduate degrees in genetics and are an accomplished cellist. Rach loves being a minimalist, spinning fire, and working in sexual health education and advocacy in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, where they live and train. Jill Nazeer is the Marketing Director at Alta Cycling, the parent company of Diamondback, Raleigh, Redline, Haibike, and IZIP. Jill has experience working in the outdoor industry for brands such as K2 and The North Face, as well as at non-profits such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training where she managed their Triathlon and Cycle teams. Originally hailing from Chicago, Jill takes full advantage of Seattle’s adventurous spirit, and enjoys bringing her passion for the outdoors to the community.
27 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Mastering your Multi-Channel Mix through Authentic Content, Insights into the Future of Consumer Shows and More with Scott Brady, Overland International
Episode Highlights: Learn how Overland International is utilizing a multi-channel approach to marketing - print, podcasting, online, email - to connect with its customers. Why authenticity is so important in your marketing strategy - it makes all the difference and Overland International is doing an amazing job at it! The future of consumer shows, like the Overland Expo. Is there still a place for shows like this today? Overland International’s secret sauce to making newcomers feel welcome - and how this is the key to success for the industry. Description: Scott Brady of Overland International has been a path burner for the overland community for years, and continues to lead the charge when it comes to connecting, engaging with and welcoming new participants to the industry. Overlanding, which has grown into a nearly a trillion dollar industry was once thought of as separate from the outdoor industry, but Brady continues to tie together the two into a broader ecosystem that is beneficial for everyone. In this episode, you’ll hear how he’s mastering a multi-channel mix to continue to connect with his established audience on channels he owns, while also welcoming and engaging new enthusiasts. He also highlights the importance of continuing to diversify the fans and followers of the sport for long-term industry success. We also touch on predictions for the future of consumer shows like Overland Expo and the challenges we’ll face in years to come because of the pandemic and shutdowns. Overlanding may be a lesser known branch of the outdoor industry, but it’s one I’ve been excited to keep an eye on for the past few years and even more so while studying how the consumers have changed and shifted their behaviors and preferences because of COVID-19. Scott is an adventure driver and consultant who has worked on various specialty-vehicle projects for auto manufacturers, aftermarket companies, and television producers such as Top Gear. He is a passionate photographer and writer with international credits, the only American to have won the esteemed Outback Challenge, Morocco, and a Tread Lightly Master Trainer. Business ventures during the past decade include the Overland Society, Expeditions West, Expedition Portal, and Overland Journal. He has traveled through over 60 countries and across every continent. His most current project, Expeditions 7, is a round-the-world overland odyssey in two 78 Series Toyota Land Cruisers. After reaching the end of the road, he enjoys canyoneering, climbing, and mountain biking. Scott lives in Prescott, Arizona.
35 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Maria Boustead, Po Campo
In this episode of Channel Mastery, I sit down with Maria Boustead. Maria started Po Campo, an international distributor of functional, stylish, and practical cycling bags for riders of all ages after realizing there was a major need for a bag that cyclists would find functional and enjoy using throughout their normal workday. Maria and I dive into the foundation of Po Campo, how the pandemic completely shifted their marketing efforts, product focus, equity crowdfunding, and much more. Over the past 11 or so months throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen huge booms and a wave of newcomers in the cycling industry. Maria admits that their success at Po Campo, may have been a bit of - right product at the right time - but she is incredibly proud of being able to support and serve both the new cyclists of 2020 and the veteran cyclings with good gear from Po Campo. Through the biking boom, she and her team were especially focused on finding the right channel mix to reach their target consumers, who were surprisingly different in 2020 compared to years prior. While their company website may have been the initial workhorse, investing heavily in their digital presence and a new website, proved to be a focal point and necessity for the brand in order to reach and engage with their new consumer What I was most excited to talk to Maria about is a channel we haven’t explored much here on Channel Mastery and that’s Equity Crowdfunding. Rather than crowdfunding with a model like Kickstarter, Po Campo opted for a Equity Crowdfunding, which provides donors with a financial stake in the business. After building the brand alongside their customers, Po Campo felt providing this piece of the Po Campo pie and financial stake was the absolute right move for their business. If you’re interested in scaling a small business, while keeping the end consumer at top of mind and focusing on how to reach and engage them, tune in to this week’s episode of Channel Mastery. TAKEAWAYS FROM THE EPISODE Maria shares the channel shifts and growth they discovered at Po Campo with the massive influx of newcomers to the cycling industry. Through a new website focused on serving their target consumer and investing in their digital presence, Po Campo grew their online sales by 250% yoy. Po Campo brought in a team of industry professionals, including past Giro and Marmot teammates to grow the business in marketing, product development and financial management to help with planning for the future. Through equity crowdfunding rather than a more traditional crowdsourcing platform like Kickstarter, Po Campo offers a piece of the company to continue to connect with their consumers and brand followers. Maria is the founder and CEO of Po Campo, an internationally-distributed line of functional, stylish, and sustainable bags designed specifically to make biking a better and more seamless part of your life. Since May 2013, Po Campo has partnered with World Bicycle Relief, donating a portion of sales to funding the purchase of bicycles for girls in developing countries so that they can get to school. An in-demand speaker, Maria has presented about her entrepreneurial journey in the bike and outdoor world at the League’s National Bike Summit, the Industrial Designer Society of America (IDSA) National Conference, and the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show, among others.
56 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Kim Miller, SCARPA North America
Kim Miller, CEO of SCARPA North America and a revered friend of mine and client of Verde Brand Communications is our guest today on Channel Mastery. In 2020, Verde launched a regular monthly episode series featuring resources and solutions to ensure people of color are more comfortable identifying as part of the outdoors communities. Verde is committed to strategically using our reach and the reach of our clients to welcome a more diverse participant base into the incredible outdoor community. On this episode, Kim shares the initiatives SCARPA North America has made to ensure they’re continually thinking about equity, diversity, inclusion and sustainability. In early 2021, they launched the inaugural “SCARPA Stands for Guiding Growth - Athlete Mentorship Initiative.” The goal of the program is to connect and engage the SCARPA Athlete team with accomplished athletes from historically marginalized communities, who are aspiring to take their sport or career to the next level. Listen to the full episode to learn more about the new initiative, Kim’s past and the mindset for SCARPA’s future and how diversity plays a role in the outdoor industry, growing a brand, and creating a sustainable working environment. TAKEAWAYS FROM THE EPISODE: The Scarpa team launched a program in 2021 entitled, “SCARPA Stands for Guiding Growth - Athlete Mentorship Initiative.” The program is designed to connect and engage the SCARPA athlete team with accomplished athletes from historically marginalized communities, who are aspiring to take their sport and career to the next level. Kim talks through the development of SCARPA’s Pillars of Principles or Pillars of Values - people, planet, principles and product. Now, more than ever, it is important for speciality businesses and brands to be vehicles of positive change. Kim shares how he and his team at SCARPA are ushering this type of positive and forward change. Kim Miller is the CEO of Scarpa North America, a performance-driven and purpose-built backcountry skiing, climbing, hiking, mountaineering, trail running, and telemark footwear company.
34 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
Scott Buelter, Ascent 360
Scott Buelter, CEO and President of Ascent 360 joins us on this episode of Channel Mastery. Ascent 360 was founded with the mission to build advanced technology that does amazing consumer personalization and bring it to the outdoor industry and specialty businesses and brands. This idea was an incredibly forward thinking idea at the time and I truly believe it has elevated the opportunity for small and mid-sized specialty brands to earn the hearts, minds and trust of their target consumers - a mantra you hear me say often, Channel Masters. If nothing else, 2020 granted us all in specialty business experiences that worked or didn’t work. We now have so many things we can look back on and either graduate forward as we’re looking to manage another year or leave behind. Consumer behavior shifted at unprecedented rates last year and with that, consumer expectations changed too. We have to continue to be nimble and connect with our consumers on an emotional level and Scott is here today to offers real life examples of how to do just that. This episode is a great way to lead into 2021 and I am excited to see what Ascent 360 does next! GUEST PROFILES: As CEO and president, Scott Buelter guides Ascent360's strategy and vision. His mission is to bring enterprise-level marketing capabilities to midsize businesses through a powerful CDP, allowing them to better understand their customers and achieve continual growth. Buelter draws upon his data analysis and digital marketing experience at companies such as Nike, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Loews Hotels, American Express and Samsung, as well as upon his academic background. Buelter received an MBA from the University of California–Irvine and a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of San Diego, in addition to studying at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education Sciences in Berlin and Vienna.
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