5 days ago
Friday, September 18, 2009
Spent Monday through Thursday of this week in Boston, visiting New Balance... and wow, what a trip! Loved every minute of it...well, maybe all but the 5 1/2 hr avg sleep each night. Oh well, you only live once, right?!
New Balance pulled out all of the stops to treat their "Elite Dealers" of the Running Specialty world. An immaculate hotel, a trip to the NB factory, a Boston Red Sox game, and countless hours with the incredible people part of the running world.
The first day we took a trip one of the five NB factories located here in the US. It was about an hour away in Lawrence, MA. It was unbelievable. The 1st floor was the tech lab/smash lab where shoes (both NB and competitors) are tested, demolished and picked apart, and athletes were evaluated and recorded in various shoes. The second floor was the factory store that sold old and new models produced just a floor above. The factory existed on the 3rd floor...where NB shoes were either built entirely or put together. The top, 4th floor was design and marketing. We spent about an hour on each level, where they explained the ins and outs of how each location operated.
Wednesday, we spent the day learning about new NB apparel (materials/styles) and shoes coming out in the next two years...very cool stuff. They will use this new fiber called X-Static that is 99% silver and antimicrobial. Yes, for those runners out there that don't like to wash your running clothes (I won't name any names)- it kills odor causing bacteria, so you don't have to wash it all of the time. NASA currently has an astronaut in space using underwear with X-Static. Anywhoo...I thought it was pretty cool. We were given a long sleeve with the fiber in it, so i'll let you know once I test it out. A Boston Red Sox game was the plan for the evening and we were wined and dined yet again once we stepped foot in the stadium. I don't think anyone dressed warm enough for the occasion and my face was definitely wind-blown. Being at Fenway Park was so amazing and I will remember it always.
A few more pics from the week. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend this conference. Boston, the people of NB, and the Elite Dealers that attended, were an absolute joy.