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Product Manager - Sport & Recreation Manufacturer

"Walk into any sporting goods or outdoor recreation retailer and you’ll experience some of the impact of my job. I develop both what’s inside the box and the feeling you get when you see the brand on a shelf; it must stand out from the competition. Sometimes my work helps customers imagine a new lifestyle, or it signals social status, or the customer wants to perceive good value from the packaging. I communicate these benefits on everything from product design and packaging to Instagram feeds to TV campaigns to community events."

Salary Range:

$80,000 - $120,000

The Tip

Do a program with work terms or create your own workforce experience. This forces you to get out of a classroom and apply yourself. Your GPA will be the one thing that doesn’t differentiate you.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
  • Financial management

  • Consumer insights

  • Market analysis

  • Segmentation

  • Sales & distribution management

  • Product launch strategy

  • Pricing

  • Revenue generation

  • Marketing communication

  • Branding & positioning

  • Content marketing

  • Promotions & sponsorship

  • Public relations

  • Event & experiential marketing

  • Contextual knowledge of product category

Core Transferable

Be an expert at all core transferable skills:

  • Thinking skills

  • Communication skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Technical literacy

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Business (Marketing) with a minor in sport & recreation management

  • Diploma in finance from local college

  • Certificate in digital marketing from Coursera

  • Listen weekly to Under the Influence Podcast


"Being a product management in sport & recreation is what I aspired to. The challenge is, it’s what a lot of people aspire to. To compete, I need to be current and understand not only marketing, but also finance in sport & recreation. Leveraging education and learning was critical to be one step ahead of my competition."

Employment Experiences:
  • Did an internship at a large sporting good manufacturer. This company offered me a position at graduation.

  • This company offered a structured development plan and in five years I worked in creative, sales, market research, finance and manufacturing

  • Promoted to assistant product manager and then product manager


"My big break happened by deciding to do an internship. This single decision redefined my career. It showed me what I love to do and what I am good at. It also allowed me to show this to others. I didn’t always love the jobs I was assigned to do, but I realized that to become a product manager, I was accountable for the whole business from design to distribution. Finally, my commitment to the organization built my personal brand equity."

Community Experiences:
  • On the board of my local marketing association

  • Coach soccer at the Boys & Girls Club


"Volunteering not only allowed me to contribute my skills to my community, it broadened my network and relationships. The diversity of these relationships forced me out of my comfort zone."

Contextual Experiences:
  • Becoming a parent is huge context


"Balance requires discipline and perspective. I’ve become a better manager because I’ve internalized the principle of “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

  • Cold-called a product manager at sporting goods company in first year. This cold call led to my internship and 13 years later she is both a mentor and a friend.


"All relationships take risks. The biggest challenge was that first phone call I made. I realized that if I didn’t make it, someone else would. I took a leap and never regretted it."

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