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Jun 26, 2020

Matt Taylor grew up in the industrial city of Pittsburgh, PA with a family history in the steel and coal industries. As that city (and its industries evolved), his father lost his job with a steel company. His dad's career struggles and then watching his mom start a store of her own planted a seed for Matt that he wanted to eventually pursue entrepreneurship as well.

Meanwhile, he played basketball and ran track and cross country growing up which began a connection to sport that he would eventually carry with him to Yale and then well beyond into his career.

In this conversation with Shanna and Chris, Matt shares his journey from playing basketball and running track as a kid to founding Tracksmith in 2014. He tells the story of the handwritten and hand-delivered letter that got him his first career break at IMG. He talks about what he learned about product, branding, and the opportunities in the running world while working with Usain Bolt at Puma.

He gives us the inside story on the beginnings of Tracksmith, well before he had a name for it. Then, he shares how and why Tracksmith approaches building the sport the way it does, including its grassroots effort to put kits on over 130 athletes at this year's Olympic Marathon Trials. Finally, Matt talks about what it means for a brand like Tracksmith to support clean sport while he calls out the biggest founder and brand in running for not doing more.

The importance of brand allies in the fight for #cleansport cannot be stressed enough. We thank Tracksmith for being one of those allies, and we encourage you as listeners to support them and other brands who have signed the clean sport pledge.