Here there be giants – industry giants. Nike. Adidas. Columbia Sportswear. And newcomer Under Armour.
Oregon has been an unexpected magnet for athletic apparel companies since Nike moved its world headquarters to Beaverton in 1990. In the decades following, the state has become a global hub for companies interested in athletic footwear and apparel. And Portland, as a generator of innovation and technology, is the epicenter of all this energy.
The athletic apparel industry is an important economic driver in Oregon, one that is accelerating aggressively. Companies are planning growth, expanding their physical offices, and debuting programs and products. And according to The Oregonian, sports apparel and footwear sales have jumped 42 percent to $270 billion over the past seven years. It’s a sector that pays well, attracts talent, and feeds an entire ecosystem of service providers, from marketing firms to retailers.
What will this intra-industry competition bring to Oregon? Does it promise job growth and more revenue for the state? Will Portland become the Silicon Valley of athletic apparel? And what about the small, creative athletic apparel startups – do they have a shot at “making it” in the shadow of the large, powerful players who already own the field?
Join us this week on PRP between 1 – 2 p.m. for our encore Biz503 episode of “On The Growth Track: Oregon’s Athletic Apparel Industry.” Co-hosts Suzanne Stevens of the Portland Business Journal and Mark Grimes of NedSpace covered why Oregon is home base for the athletic apparel industry, what innovations are in the works, and what it takes to lure producers to manufacture here.
Our guests this week include:
Jennifer Nolfi – Director of the Athletic & Outdoor Industry Program at Portland State University
Anna Van Tol – Founder of It’s Only Love Activewear
Matthew Kish – Footwear and Apparel Reporter at the Portland Business Journal
Kelly Roy – Owner/Founder of ADX Portland
Dawn Moothart – Co-founder/Design Director at Portland Apparel Lab
Listen to the encore episode here:
Or tune in to the original episode, sponsored by Albina Community Bank, below:
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