Making the Most of the Running Boom

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM US Eastern
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM US Central
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM US Mountain
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM US Pacific
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM UTC

With COVID-19 forcing gyms to close throughout the country, running became the preferred way to stay in shape for newcomers and enthusiasts alike. But how did the reinvigorated passion for the activity impact the greater market? And with fitness centers reopening, how will brands ensure people stay running? Industry insiders address these topics and more, including the running boom’s recent impact on the market for years to come.  

About this Event

Key Takeaways:

·       Is the Running Boom Actually Impacting Sales and How People Shop?

·       How the Coronavirus Will Change How People Run

·       Now That People Are Running, How Do You Keep Them Running?

·       How the Coronavirus-Prompted Running Boom Will Impact the Industry for Years to Come

About the Speakers

Justin Burdon

Justin Burdon - Co-Founder and President, Heartbreak Hill Running Company

Justin Burdon is co-founder and president of Heartbreak Hill Running Company. He is responsible for developing and executing the strategic vision of the company. Heartbreak is a growing running brand serving runners on the ground from locations in Boston and Chicago. Heartbreak serves runners everywhere through its team, The Heartbreakers, and online at  

Anne Cavassa

Anne Cavassa - President, Saucony

Anne Cavassa is President of Saucony, a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW), and a leading global performance running lifestyle brand. Founded in 1898, Saucony exists to empower the human spirit, with every stride, on every run, and in every community. While Saucony, one of most innovative brands in the Wolverine portfolio, continues to win industry awards for its performance running line of road, trail, and competitive footwear, the brand’s sport lifestyle and Originals offerings continue to expand, further resonating with active consumers worldwide.

With more than 20 years of experience in global brand building, Cavassa is a true visionary who drives brand growth through relentless consumer focus, compelling storytelling, and a commitment to marketing and product innovation. Passionate about the goodness that running brings to the world, Cavassa is a significant and authentic voice in the running community, committed to the people and partnerships that drive and elevate the industry. The brand’s call to action, Run for Good, is Saucony’s invitation to people everywhere to experience the transformative power of running. Cavassa helps bring this ethos to life in her role as President of the Saucony Run for Good Foundation, established in 2006 to help combat childhood obesity by providing financial support to community-based youth running programs.

Prior to Saucony, Cavassa served as Chief Customer Experience Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Apparel for the Brooks Running Company. Prior to her position at Brooks, Anne held various leadership roles with The Timberland Company; Nike; Ibex Outdoor Clothing; Eastern Mountain Sports; and Reebok International, among others.

Cavassa earned a B.A. degree in psychology from Loyola Marymount University. When she’s not leading brands, Cavassa is a marathoner and an Ironman finisher. Cavassa lives in Lincoln, MA with her husband Bob and two young children.

Ian Dickinson

Ian Dickinson - Vice President of Categories, Asics North America


A 22-year veteran of the footwear industry, Ian Dickinson is the Vice President of Categories at ASICS North America.  Ian joined ASICS in October 2017, as Vice President of Footwear Merchandising. 

In his current role, Ian leads a team of merchandisers across Performance Running, SportStyle, and Core Performance Sports categories- along with a head-to-toe regional creation team.  Their ambition is to ensure ASICS has the right footwear, apparel, and accessory product offering for the North American consumer and marketplace.

Prior to ASICS, Ian spent nine years at Under Armour, where he held several global leadership positions, including leading the Global Running Merchandising and Global Running Product Creation teams.   

Before his time at Under Armour, Ian worked within the running specialty sales divisions at Nike and Fila. His career in footwear began in 1998, at Fleet Feet Sports in Lawrenceville, GA.


Ian earned a bachelor’s of Business Administration, Marketing at the University of Georgia, where he served as UGA’s Track team captain.   

Today, Ian is still an avid runner with a 2:23 marathon best from the 2006 Chicago Marathon.  He cites his favorite ASICS performance running shoe as the GEL-Cumulus 22.   He can often be found running the streets of Boston, where he resides with his wife and son.

Nick Molnar


Nick Molnar, Co-Founder and CEO of North America, Afterpay

Nick Molnar is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of North America for Afterpay, the leading retail installment payments innovator and one of the fastest growing global fintech companies.

As a former investment analyst and young, serial-entrepreneur, Nick’s vision for Afterpay was to create a global payment solution that would allow consumers to pay for items in four interest-free installments. As a millennial himself, he recognized that this generation has an aversion to credit cards because they can lead to compounding debt. Nick launched Afterpay in Australia in October 2014 and listed the company on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2016. The company expanded into the U.S. in May 2018 and the UK in June 2019.  

Prior to establishing Afterpay, Nick launched the leading American online jeweler,, in Australia and successfully grew the business to become the largest online-only jewelry and watch retailer in Australia. Earlier in his career, Nick worked as an Investment Analyst at venture capital fund M. H. Carnegie & Co., where he was primarily responsible for growth stage investments.

Previously, Nick was a semi-professional rugby player in Australia and now is an avid skier and sports fan.  He lives in San Francisco, with his wife and daughter. You can learn more about Nick from his LinkedIn profile and hear him talk about the founding of the company here.


Dan Sheridan

Dan Sheridan - COO, Brooks

Dan Sheridan joined Brooks Running in 1998 and through his career, has been critical in the continued growth of the brand. As Chief Operations Officer, Sheridan leads the brands sales, e-commerce, digital, supply chain and information technology teams. In this role, Sheridan is responsible for overseeing the growth of the brands enterprise and digital platforms, developing Brooks’ wholesale and ecommerce businesses, cultivating distributor partnerships around the world and building stronger connections with runners to fuel e-commerce. Prior to this role, Sheridan led global sales, e-commerce, regional marketing execution, business development and customer service. Sheridan has deep experience leading teams, driving process and ensuring the runner stays at the center of all business decisions. He attended the University of Washington, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and an Executive Education certificate from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. 

Peter Verry

Peter Verry - Senior Editor Athletic & Outdoor, FN

Peter Verry is FN’s senior athletic and outdoor editor and has immersed himself in two of the footwear industry’s largest and most influential markets for more than five years. Since March 2015, he has covered the companies, executives, celebrities, products and trends that have defined the categories. Prior to joining FN, he held editor roles for leading community news online newspaper Patch and contributed feature stories to leading lifestyle publications including Urban Ink Magazine and Tattoo Magazine. He is a Hofstra University graduate and lifelong Long Island, New York resident.