10 Sep Fleet Feet Appoints Director of Marketing
Fleet Feet, Inc. hired Ellen Donahue to the newly created role of director of marketing. Reporting directly to Fleet Feet President and CEO Jeff Phillips, Donahue, formerly at Nathan Sports, will work with the executive team to develop marketing campaigns that ignite success locally and propel sustained national growth and recognition of the Fleet Feet Sports brand. Donahue will also manage all marketing functions connected to key brand strategies like Experience 2.0, Fleet Feet’s omni-channel initiative designed to elevate consumer connectivity.
“With the launch of Experience 2.0, it’s absolutely critical that we have a dedicated marketing resource in place that’s supporting our franchisees and overseeing all marketing functions,” says Phillips.“Having Ellen on board will ensure we’re driving a consistent and powerful message that resonates with customers and empowers our franchisees to engage locally and purposefully.”
Donahue comes from Nathan Sports, a leader in creating hydration, visibility, and gear essentials for runners. During her six years with Nathan, Donahue rose from communications manager to her most recent role as director of brand marketing. As director, Donahue created seasonal retail marketing initiatives that drove category and brand growth by double-‐digits while also spearheading the brand’s inaugural H2O Pro Program, an effort designed to help stores increase hydration conversion rates.
Donahue also managed Nathan’s first-ever public relations agency of record to help achieve product accolades from publications including Outside Magazine and Runner’s World. Additionally, Donahue managed the brand experience at national events and expos, including the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo and Boston Marathon, the Ironman® World Championship, and Outdoor Retailer summer and winter markets, as well as led key brand message development to all internal and external audiences including the brand’s domestic sales team, 45 international distributors, and retail advisory board.
Donahue comes on board at an important juncture for Fleet Feet; its first-ever national event – Fitnatic Weekend – will take place Nov. 28-‐30, and Donahue will drive the rollout at all participating Fleet Feet Sports locations. Fleet Feet will also launch its e-commerce platform in November, and Donahue will support the creation of brand messaging and content on the site as well as the promotional strategy.
“It’s an exciting and pivotal time for the running channel as retailers and brands continue to evolve and create new ways of engaging, attracting, and keeping customers,” says Donahue. “The entire Fleet Feet team has an infectious and genuine passion for helping our stores and vendor partners succeed, and I’m pumped to drive initiatives focused on helping our locally owned-‐and-‐operated stores build healthier and active communities.”
Donahue is a graduate of Penn State University and a 2013 ING New York City Marathon finisher. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, she now resides in Morrisville with her family.
In the past two months, four new Fleet Feet Sports locations opened, bringing the total number of Fleet Feet Sports locations to 132. New store openings include one each in Asheville, N.C., Longmeadow, Mass., Spokane Valley, Wash., and the Westlake area of Cleveland, Ohio, which joins two existing Cleveland locations. The company was recently named one of America’s fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine for the eighth year in a row.