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St. Pete Threads sells RunFest merchandise & rights

Bill DeYoung



(Photo: St. Pete RunFest)

St. Pete Threads, a local aggregator of T-shirts and other apparel promoting St. Petersburg nonprofits and artists, has sold its merchandising contract with St. Pete RunFest.

St. Pete Running Company has acquired all RunFest merchandise, and the remaining two years of Threads’ three-year contract as the exclusive, official provider of RunFest merchandise.

“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about Threads,” said Ryan Jordan, who co-founded RunFest in 2017 with his brother Keith. “We loved the partnership, loved the designs and the collaboration we had on last year’s event.”

For the 2018 RunFest (Nov. 16-18), the new deal with St. Pete Running Company – which, unlike Threads, has a brick-and-mortar retail location – seemed like a win-win for everybody involved.

“I think the retail expertise of St. Pete Running Company – they really understand the running market – made sense,” Jordan added. “They’re close to runners and they know what runners like.”

St. Pete Threads, an initiative of the digital marketing company Big Sea, was created seven years ago and became successful in bringing local designs to the community and visitors. Its “makers” have included Chad Mize, Adam Steadman, Joey Neal, and Mitzi Gordon. The nonprofit client list includes Keep St. Pete Lit, S.P.C.A., First Friday and others.

“Building St Pete Threads has been a rewarding process,” said Big Sea CTO and managing partner Dzuy Nguyen. “We’ve made some great connections to the community and benefited our local artists and nonprofits.”

Still, Big Sea has quietly put St. Pete Threads on the market.

“As Big Sea has grown, we’ve streamlined our resources around our core marketing work,” Nguyen said, “and so we want to pass the Threads baton to new ownership who can continue growing it.”

Nguyen added that “the RunFest merchandise represented a large block of themed goods which were an unusual pairing with the rest of the more general items.”  Thus selling those goods and the rights separately made sense. 

St. Pete RunFest is a weekend-long celebration of running (via a half marathon and other activities) and concurrent immersion in St. Petersburg arts, music and culture. The 2018 St. Pete RunFest is scheduled for Nov. 16-18, on Bayshore Drive; according to Jordan, 2,300 runners have already registered.

“For us, this is a no-brainer,” St. Pete Running Company co-owner Cody  Angell said. “Basically, St. Pete RunFest is one of America’s best half marathons, and we’ve just been rated as one of America’s best running stores. So our beliefs are congruent.”

“The partnership just seems like it’ll be an opportunity for both of us to help each other out.”



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