Fleet Feet Sports held its annual National Franchise Conference at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC June 18 to 22. Over 600 guests attended the event that included educational sessions and workshops, keynote presentations and speakers, a vendor trade show, and special events in support of the conference theme “All In.”

During the week, the brand unveiled three key initiatives to franchise owners: its first in-store 3D scanning technology, fit id, available now in 25 locations with an ongoing rollout happening through October; a reboot of the brand’s original brand positioning and consumer marketing campaign, fitlosophy; and a brand new email platform and internal communication hub in partnership with FranConnect, the leading provider of franchise management communication software and solutions.

“We know we have the unbelievable opportunity to create and embrace advantages that keep us top-of-mind for the customer, the community, and the channel so long as we align, focus, and execute,” says Joey Pointer, CEO of Fleet Feet Sports. “Whether it’s the ability to provide our customers a 3D scan of their feet or create a seamless customer experience across all touch points, conference reaffirmed that now more than ever, we are focusing and acting as one cohesive national brand while also remaining 170 hyper-local, locally-owned running stores, and that’s really powerful and exciting.”

The conference culminated in the brand’s awards banquet, which saw the presentation of grants to five stores, as well as the presentation of the brand’s Pinnacle Award to Ellen Brenner and David “Boots” Boutillier. The co-owners of the Fleet Feet Sports locations in Rochester, N.Y., and Buffalo, N.Y., Brenner and Boutillier received the award for ongoing contributions to the Fleet Feet Sports brand and continued retail and community excellence.

Fleet Feet Sports presented two other awards during the banquet: New Balance received the Channel Champion Award in recognition of its outstanding and unmatched support of the Fleet Feet Sports brand, and Brooks received the Superior Service Award in recognition of its ongoing customer service support.

Additionally, at a separate event earlier that week, Balega presented the Induna Award to the Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford, Conn., store and to the Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke, Va., store, in recognition of outstanding leadership, service, and commitment to community.

Fleet Feet Sports’ next annual franchise conference will take place in June 2018 in Minneapolis, Minn.

– National Franchise Conference by the Numbers –

  • 136 stores represented
  • 639 total attendees
  • 92 total expo vendors
  • 28 first-time expo vendors

– Grant Recipients –

The following Fleet Feet Sports franchise locations received grants:

  • Athens, Ga., for its involvement with Ridge Runners, an organization that uses the sport of running to bring positive role models to children living in an isolated and underserved section eight housing unit.
  • Wayne, Ind., for its work with Team Turnstone, a training program that supports children and adults with disabilities.
  • Richmond, Va., for its work with the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation and its Minding Your Mind school-based programming that brings awareness, education, and help to teenagers battling depression.
  • Syracuse, NY., for its “Brendan Jackson This is Not a Hill” Road Race, an inaugural event and scholarship created in memory of the eponymous store team member and coach.
  • Tucson, Ariz., for its work with Community Kicks, an organization that outfits up to 500 local children with new or gently-used running shoes.

– Store Anniversaries –

Fleet Feet Sports recognized the following franchise owners celebrating anniversaries in 2017:

In celebration of 10 years:

  • Bob Shooer, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Marty and Scott Broerman, Annapolis, Md.
  • Krista and Tom Dugosh, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  • Cheryl and Shahin Hadian, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Stacey and Eric Bartos, Orlando, Fla.
  • Megyn and Andy Avedisian, Birmingham, Ala.

In celebration of 20 years:

  • Rhonda Roman, Santa Rosa, Calif.
  • Rob and Patti Calega, Marlton, N.J.

In celebration of 30 years:

  • Claudette and Jim Braden, Houston, Texas
  • Dawn and John Fabbro, Montclair, N.J.