SOURCE: Collective Brands, Inc.

September 07, 2010 17:11 ET

Saucony® Appoints Chris Lindner as Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer

Seasoned Industry Leader Positioned to Drive Brand's Global Marketing Offense, Create Stronger Consumer Connections

LEXINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 7, 2010) -  Saucony, Inc, a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel, today announced the appointment of Chris Lindner to the newly created role of senior vice president/chief marketing officer. In this role, Lindner will be responsible for providing strategic development and execution of Saucony's global branding initiatives, including brand positioning, marketing and retail strategies, as well as advertising, general marketing communications and digital strategies. Effective immediately, Lindner will report directly to Richie Woodworth, president of Saucony.

In making today's announcement, Woodworth said: "Chris brings tremendous value to the company. He's an experienced and results-driven leader with a proven track record of building global brands and creating world-class consumer experiences. With his passion and expertise, Chris is positioned to drive a focused and inspired marketing offense across all of our global platforms."

Lindner brings over 20 years of experience building leading global brands in multiple categories, including: footwear and apparel; sporting goods; interactive entertainment; retail and e-commerce; and consumer packaged goods.

Prior to his new role at Saucony, Lindner was vice president of global marketing at Converse Inc., a subsidiary of Nike, Inc., where he oversaw all marketing execution throughout North America as well as the brand's global regions. Lindner joined Converse in 2007 as its first vice president of international marketing after serving as vice president of global marketing for Nike Bauer Hockey, as well as brand director for Nike's new media strategy. Just prior, Lindner directed product marketing efforts for the Electronic Arts' Action Game group and prior to that, Rollerblade, Inc.

Lindner has a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Today's announcement comes as Saucony's momentum continues to accelerate:

  • The company capped off a successful first half of 2010, once again outperforming the market with solid double-digit growth.

  • Saucony's footwear and apparel continues to be recognized by the industry for its award-winning innovations: The ProGrid Kinvara, named "Best Debut" by Runner's World magazine, has assumed a leadership position in the expanding minimalist segment.

  • The brand's sponsored athletes are winning medals on the global stage, including 2008 U.S. Olympian Wallace Spearmon, Jr. clinching 200-meter victories this summer at both the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the London Diamond League, and Molly Huddle setting an American 5,000-meter record at the Diamond League's Belgacom Memorial van Damme.

"Chris' experience in building global brands and creating extraordinary consumer connections with these brands will both amplify and elevate Saucony's marketing efforts. His leadership and drive are great cultural fits for us, and we look forward to the positive impact he will bring to our brand and team as we continue to inspire runners everywhere," added Woodworth.

For more information, please contact Sharon Barbano at Saucony (617-824-6126), sharon.barbano@saucony.com or Jeff Lawrence at Mullen (617-226-9945), jeff.lawrence@mullen.com.

About Saucony, Inc.: Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including Flexion Plate™, ProGrid™, Arch-Lock®, and ViZiPRO™ apparel. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.

About Collective Brands, Inc.: Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk®, Dexter®, Champion®, Zoe & Zac™, the first-ever affordable green footwear brand, and designer collections Lela Rose for Payless, Unforgettable Moments by Lela Rose, Christian Siriano for Payless and STLP x Airwalk, among others; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider®, Robeez®, and Saucony®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.

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