Well Made

Matt Taylor, Tracksmith: Running Authentically – Well Made E96

October 9, 2019 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

Most runners don't end up on a Wheaties box or an Olympic podium. Most runners squeeze in their workout before coffee or after work. Those are the runners that Tracksmith is made for. 

Tracksmith has garnered a lot of attention for being the “anti-Nike,” but that certainly doesn’t mean that their customers aren’t serious about the sport. Founder Matt Taylor is on the podcast to share how Tracksmith not only captures the Amateur Spirit — they glorify it. In fact, that subdued, inviting, honest brand image is one that they hope will survive 100 years. From the photography to the product offering, every decision is forward thinking. They are strategizing for the marathon, not the sprint. 

Listen in to hear how Tracksmith’s passion for honest photography has paid off, how they’ve used their Boston retail space to become a leader in the running community, and how they stay focused on the long term. 

 Matt Taylor, Tracksmith: Running Authentically – Well Made E96

“To only show crossing the finish line totally neglects  90% of the work that took you to get to that point.”

 Matt Taylor, Tracksmith: Running Authentically – Well Made E96
 Matt Taylor, Tracksmith: Running Authentically – Well Made E96

On this episode, Matt talks about how he co-founded Tracksmith with Rapha co-founder, Luke Scheybeler (2:47). He doesn't hold back on the company's photography strategy. Hear how they stay true to the sport and hold out to capture genuine moments (5:23). Matt shares the strategy behind their aesthetic and why they wanted to avoid making their runners look like Power Rangers (9:54).

Zooming out a bit, Matt explains how for him, running is a lot like starting a company (17:09). He shares the filter he uses to try make decisions for the brand that ensure it'll stick around for 100 years (21:35). Aspiring for timelessness, Tracksmith is mindful about their marketing efforts. Matt shares the two methods of athlete sponsorship and which route they've taken (25:11).

Matt talks about his hopes and dreams for the retail location, Trackhouse, and how it's panned out so far (35:23). He also shares a bit about their home city, Boston, and how despite being home to other huge athletic brands — New Balance, Saucony, Reebok — it's not the athletic startup hub that you might think (41:00). Listen in to hear what's next for Tracksmith and how they're using technology to build a community around the world (49:52).

Also mentioned on this episode:

Photography by Emily Mae.

    You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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