Ian is an experienced executive in the sporting goods and fashion lifestyle business. A business leader, who believes in building brands through developing best in class product innovations.
Most recently he was CEO of the UK based specialist running and fitness brand inov-8, where he initiated a Knowledge Transfer Project with The University of Manchester Graphene Institute, to develop graphene rubber compounds for use in running shoes, the focus of his presentation today.
Since 1988, his sports industry experience started with adidas, firstly in product management in their UK subsidiary and later in a global capacity at their head office in Germany where he was involved in football product development and marketing. He was a key player in the development of the adidas Predator football boot that significantly changed the approach to making performance footwear in football.
In 1993 he joined Nike Europe in Holland and became the Director of Category Marketing where he led the European product marketing team across all sports categories. This involved the strategic development and execution of regional marketing plans that drove the growth of the brand in its European subsidiaries.
He led the project to set up a new European Team Sports division which involved planning and recruiting a new apparel group dedicated to Nike’s strategy of developing authentic sports roots in the region through equipping top teams and athletes and creating licensed goods sales.
He then joined Umbro International in 1997 where he managed the global product division as Director of Product Marketing including two UK production facilities. He was instrumental in setting up Umbro Hong Kong Ltd to outsource production in Asia while building a consumer focused design, development and product marketing team.
His move into the Lifestyle business came three years later when he joined Wolverine Worldwide as EMEA VP International. In 2007 he became a Board Director of Wolverine Europe Ltd and General Manager of the EMEA region for the Heritage Group managing the regional P&L for a $250m business.
His final corporate career move was to join inov-8 as CEO in 2016.