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A day with New Balance

By Pete Wallis, Product and Training Manager

On the 30th March I was fortunate to attend a brand day with New Balance. These days are a great way to spend some time off a shop floor learning all about how brands are structured, what is planned in the coming season but more importantly what new products are in their range and any changes due.  This event had the added bonus of each attendee being given a pair of shoes and t-shirt to take away with them and use, a thank you from New Balance but also a great way to learn about the products.

The venue was the Crystal Maze experience in Manchester and travel was paid by the company and counts as a day of work. The event was open to all staff, it’s not just managers who can experience these days. For those with longer travel times from the south, a hotel room and evening meal, courtesy of New Balance, was provided to make everyone comfortable on the day.

The day started at 10am with a small breakfast for those travelling on the day followed by a short video all about New Balance. There followed a series of presentations from the marketing, sales, footwear and clothing teams with breakouts in groups to look at product across the whole range. We looked at future shoes in trail and racing to get an idea of what will come and how the technologies are applied to each shoe. To end the morning there was a test to check what we had learned and how fast we could answer the questions asked, good fun in a room of competitive people. The winner had an option of an entry or hospitality day for London Marathon, an amazing prize to give away.

We had spent the morning in teams, meeting staff from other stores and Head Office, and it was nice to put faces to voices on the phone. A few new friendships have certainly been made which makes us all feel part of a team. The afternoon then involved going through the Crystal Maze experience in our teams. This was the most fun I’ve had in a long time, yes it was just like the TV show, and the staff who took us through to the final in the dome made the day even better. Everyone received a crystal for taking part but each member of the winning team also received a pair of shoes, of their choice, from the New Balance website. Another fantastic prize and New Balance certainly made sure we all felt welcome and rewarded. 

For me brand days are a great way to feel a part of the Up and Running team, the experience was amazing, and I will remember the day for a long time. I really enjoyed learning about New Balance through the day has helped me to talk to customers about their products in a more informed way. This has been my biggest takeaway; the free kit was also very welcome, but the experience was so much more.