Before they became Adidas executives, Nicole Vollebregt and Kelly Olmstead were athletes with two different backgrounds. Vollebregt was a figure skater, went to the University of Toronto and worked for an agency after school. Olmstead played both volleyball and softball and earned her bachelors degree at Willamette University in Oregon.Both knew they wanted to continue to work in sports in some capacity. Vollebregt reached out to Adidas in Germany and thought she would work there for one or two years. That was back in 1997, 19 years before she became global head of womens business. After Olmstead finished her collegiate sports career, she remembers thinking, I cant be done. An alumni exchange program led to her meeting the president of Adidas North America and eventually landing a job with the company, where she now serves as its vice president of brand activation.They met early on in their tenures. Though when they did, Olmstead was on the cubicle side of the hallway while Vollebregt sat on the glass office side. The two of them work together from Adidas offices in Portland, Oregon, to try to lead the company into a new market that takes a larger focus on women and features a relatively new subscription-based service.New vision, new athletesNicole Vollebregt: Weve been making products for women since the beginning of our company and our founder, Adi Dassler, worked with some of the great athletes like Wilma Rudolph back in the day. But I think what has been the biggest change in putting together a womens team to look across the company is focusing on the new opportunity thats emerged in sport, which is the emergence of this -- we call her the versatile female athlete. They may or may not be the best name, but essentially its that post-collegiate athlete whos every bit an athlete as they were back in college or in high school, just a different type. They do a lot more different activities, but they are really committed to what the role sport can play in their life and living a lifestyle that includes sport. Its our opportunity now to embrace those women and see this entire new emergence of a whole new generation of athletes. In the past, we may have focused more on the high school or the college or the professional athlete. Its now widening our scope on what our definition of an athlete is.Kelly Olmstead: Shes maybe accessible, maybe inspirational to me, but thats what I think when we look at the campaign that we just put out into market, celebrating these different women, a really broad range of women who are highly competitive by their own terms of I want to be healthier, whether its at rock climbing or at running or just connecting with people and inspiring them to be fitter.Were not trying to force feed these untouchable icons to her; were trying to say we recognize these women are the ones who get you out of bed every day. These are the women who you need motivation to go to SoulCycle or to get you on your run. I think it is more about celebrating them at the level that we traditionally put these untouchable icons at, putting them up there and pointing to some of these major achievements. When we talk about what a woman does to balance her career, her own personal health, help her family, stay healthy and connected, we are trying to say that is a very extraordinary achievement in todays world and look to those as the new superstars.Vollebregt: From a brand perspective, women are influenced much more by their peers and by the inspirational athletes they see at their own gym and in their daily life, so when we change the way that we behave as a brand -- its traditionally been only top, top professional athletes driving down and using their message and their stories to inspire our consumers -- and I think what Womens will do for our brand will be helping create more women who speak to women about their stories and about their goals and about their inspiration. To us, that feels like a much more real and authentic way to grow our brand, which is much more on her terms.Work-life integrationVollebregt: I get up very, very early. A lot of people I work with are in Germany, so Im usually on the phone by 6 and doing conference calls usually until 10 or 11. In that amount of time, sometimes Ive made breakfast for my daughter with the phone on mute and driven her to school and the people on the phone have no idea thats happening, but it is. The afternoon is trying to get caught up in work, answering emails and work on next iterations of strategic plans, and hopefully spending some time to look out in the world as well and trying to leave at a reasonable time to pick up my daughter from school.I think theres no such thing (as work-life balance) anymore. I think you have to love what you do these days. I certainly have never left my job. Even if I leave at 5 oclock, Im never done thinking about it. I think its all sort of blurred together, which I dont mind, actually. Work-life balance has become about how you have it all in your head and compartmentalized different parts of your day. Its not something I strive to find; I think its something that you just need to figure out what you get from work and what you get from your personal life and how it all fits together. It doesnt feel like something that you balance anymore.Many identitiesVollebregt: Because our brand is so big and we have so many, we call them channels of distribution, so many places where our brand can be present. Its about really looking at the entire collection of female athletes through her whole life journey and making sure that we have the right packages of products for that consumer and then for each level of distribution. Its going into more information, but we will develop a specific product for an account like Dicks Sporting Goods thats absolutely right for that consumer. We also want to make sure we have the right product to sell at Barneys or at Bandier and the right product for Six:02, which is the new Foot Locker flagship. So its really understanding that there isnt just one type of woman and one type of activity, and using the breadth of our brand from performance to style, which we luckily have, to bring it together and make sure that were able to offer at different price-points and at different areas of distribution, really something that can be for everybody. There shouldnt be a woman who is an athlete who cant buy product from us. They should all find something they love.From Shark Tank to Avenue AOlmstead: Weve made a lot of efforts, both globally and locally, to find new ways to recognize great ideas. We have a system, I dont know if youd call it a contest, that we went through this year called the Shark Tank where anyone at any point in the organization can come up with ideas, something they thought, Hey, I dont know why were not doing this. I think we should be doing this. I think we had over 800 submissions or something like that, and it ended with this really inspirational, amazing day where the top teams were able to talk through their ideas. We had a panel of both internal and external influential leaders in the industry to test and challenge some of those ideas. I think several teams, if not all of them, walked away with significant funding to execute their ideas.One of the ideas that came out of the first contest was Avenue A, which is subscription-based shopping for women and running. I think we are being asked to think unconventionally and to partner in new ways and to break down barriers of what group do I work in and what am I responsible for to find the next great ideas that will make consumers ability to embed sport in their life that much easier. ... I know that its not intended to be only for women forever. I think its absolutely a concept that can and will be used to the male athlete as well.Women leading the chargeVollebregt: Largely, what weve spoken about in terms of the use of icons as we call them or superstar male athletes resonate more with men than with women and is something we know to be true. I think actually, depending at what age, if you look at high school or the collegiate athlete, theres a lot less of a difference between men and women than we realize, maybe a bit moreso post-college. I think thats changing as well. I think, in a lot of respects, its women who are leading the shift to the modern athlete, and I think men are following in terms of the transition thats happened in the way that people stay fit and the way that they are interested in nutrition and the way that they see a wholistic life. I have done quite a few interviews on this with male journalists and they always say, Everything youre saying applies to me, too. I think its absolutely true. 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Any real chance at payback wont come until the playoff. Still, Pittsburgh knows its taut 3-2 win over the Bruins on Wednesday night is a pretty good place to start laying the groundwork. "They are a very good defensive team," Penguins forward Brandon Sutter said. Air Max 90 Wholesale . But what about the officials? Every sport has officials and they also have stories about hard work and sacrifice but their accomplishments are seldom recognized by anyone outside their inner circle. Virginia Tech failed in its first bid to lock up the ACCs Coast Division title, and now will have to wait two weeks for a chance to try again.Right now, the Hokies focus is on preparing to play at Notre Dame on Saturday.Weve got to turn the page, just like we talked about when we win ballgames, draw the focus inward and try and get this football team better, Hokies coach Justin Fuente said Monday. It kind of highlights the slim margin between victory and defeat when you look at the league and the teams that are playing each other.The Hokies (7-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) helped with one of their worst performances of the season in a 30-20 loss to the Yellow Jackets . Jerod Evans threw for one touchdown and ran for two more, but the last two came in the final five minutes with Virginia Tech trying to erase a 30-7 deficit. Evans also threw two interceptions, doubling his total for the season, as the Hokies had four turnovers.We made obviously too many mistakes and they made plenty enough plays to beat us, Fuente said.Virginia Tech could have clinched the Coastal Division with a victory on Saturday, but the Hokies and North Carolina both face non-conference game this weekend -- the Tar Heels play The Citadel. North Carolina finishes the season against rival North Carolina State in two weeks, and Virginia Tech wraps up versus Virginia. The Hokies hold the tie-breaker should the teams finish tied thanks to a 34-3 win at Chapel Hill earlier this season.Notre Dame (4-6) that needs to win its last two games to become bowl-eligible.Fullback Sam Rogers believes a week of focus will get the Hokies back on track.We just have to do better at all positions, he said. Theres no one person or anything like that. We just all have to look ourselves in the mirror and see what we got to do better and do that. And just really ttake a self-check and realize what weve got to do moving forward and well do better.dddddddddddd Im very confident in that.Wide receiver Isaiah Ford agrees, adding the Hokies got outplayed by Georgia Tech.I think its just us, said Ford, the Hokies leader with 58 catches and career leader with 24 touchdown receptions. We like to say that everything falls back on us. How we play will determine the outcome.The loss was the second head-scratcher for Virginia Tech this season, and each has knocked them out of the Top 25 . They rose to as high as 17th before a 31-17 loss at Syracuse in mid-October, and had climbed back to 18th before allowing the surging Yellow Jackets to strafe their defense for 309 rushing yards at Lane Stadium.And the Yellow Jackets did it without injured starting quarterback Justin Thomas and suspended top rusher Dedrick Mills. Marcus Marshall ran for 143 yards and a score, and QB Matthew Jordan ran for 121 yards and two TDs.The Notre Dame game seems to come at odd time in Virginia Techs schedule.However the pause in the battle for the Coastal Division title gives the Hokies an opportunity to get things straight before the critical finale.It falls at a time when we can really just focus on getting better right now, Rogers said. We know we didnt play well last week and we didnt deserve to win the Coastal championship last week, but we still have an opportunity so right now we just have to focus on getting better. It falls at a perfect time. This week the main focus is just, lets just get better at what we do so we can have those opportunities later in the year.---More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org---Follow Hank on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hankkurzjr cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '