Five graduate students from The University of Oregon’s Sports Product Management* program flew to ISPO 2020 to source fabric for a backpack designed specifically for runners. The pack, they call Intencity, was designed from consumer research they conducted during the design phase.

Attracted by the fabrics presented by Hyosung Performance Textiles at ISPO, the students, who call themselves Team Intencity, learned about the yarns the company uses in its materials and selected its Mipan robic nylon for the pack’s face for its lightweight yet durable properties.

“Through all of our design ideation and development processes, we came to the realization that we needed a fabric that was more than just the standard material a factory would provide,” said Jacob Bullock, Team Intencity. “We needed something that could withstand what our core consumer, an ultra-runner, goes through. The team at Hyosung were gracious to take the time to meet with us when we were turned away from other suppliers who did not have the time to understand our project. Hyosung understood our needs and worked with us to find the perfect fabric solution.”

Roman Park, Hyosung senior manager, textile marketing team said, “Jacob and his Team Intencity colleagues have been extremely knowledgeable and professional from our first meeting at ISPO through every step to final production of the fabric of the pack.”

“The strength of our program is how we teach design thinking in a business school,” said Krista Martenson, instructor, Innovation Lab Apparel manager, The University of Oregon Sports Product Management. “Although we teach students design and teach them the whole process of product development and innovation in our lab, they also learn consumer research, marketing and business to bring a product successfully to market.”

Team Intencity produced a limited number of its packs which are being tested by their running/commuting peers. According to the team, the feedback has been very positive. “In about 18-to-21 months, these students could very well be our customers,” said Deborah Richert, North America West marketing manager, Hyosung Performance Textiles, who is also a Nike veteran. “We are grateful for this special graduate program that is bringing highly educated and experienced new talent into our industry.”

*The University of Oregon’s Sports Product Management graduate program began in 2015 and was Co-founded by Ellen Schmidt Devlin, a retired Nike executive, and Roger Best, Ph.D. electrical engineering and professor emeritus at the University.