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AO401 Introduction to the Athletic and Outdoor Industry

Certificate Track: Athletic and Outdoor Product Management

The Introduction to the Athletic and Outdoor (A&O) Industry course focuses on the overarching challenges people working in the industry face every day. This includes exploring challenges in innovation, incorporating sustainability practices, branding and positioning, strategic planning, and achieving long-term strategic objectives as well as short-term goals. Competition in this industry is tremendous with global brands dominating the market and start-up businesses emerging at a rapid pace; this course examines strategic initiatives of the global players as well as the developing companies that are tomorrow’s innovators. 

Coursework includes lecture and small-group work in class, and selected readings and case studies to be completed outside of class.

 What You Cover

  • What is the A&O Industry?
  • What are the challenges unique to A&O?
  • Why are sustainability initiatives important in A&O?
  • The role of innovation and creativity in capturing the interest of consumers
  • The important relationship between manufacturers and retailers
  • Industry leader perspectives from case studies and guest lecturers

How You Benefit

  • Become informed about the challenges of the A&O industry
  • Be able to speak articulately about how and why the A&O industry is different from other industries
  • Learn from industry experts and gain real-world insights

Cost: $435
Discounts may apply, please refer to the registration page for details.

Instructor: Chris Elkins
Chris Elkins has spent nearly 20 years supporting global consumer products brands, including Columbia Sportswear, Sorel, Mountain Hardwear, Stairmaster, and Star Trac fitness. After starting his career in corporate finance, he decided to focus his efforts on helping bring products that provide value to everyday life to market. Working in a fast-growth environment, his exposure to complicated supply chains and retail distribution partners put him in a unique position to solve complex, high dollar problems. Chris earned an MBA in Finance and Operations Management from the University of Minnesota, and a BS from Villanova University. Chris was also a co-founder and board member of the Answer to Cancer Foundation. His spare time is spent enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife and two children.