Russell Athletic

Managing the Portfolio


  • Russell was competing against an established player, Nike, in the broad market and a well positioned upstart, UnderArmour in the performance segment
  • The Russell portfolio, including the newly acquired businesses were competing against each other rather than specific markets/competitors
  • 40 t-shirt styles, some with 80 colors
  • No entries in fast-growing categories like sport bras


  • Worked with Management, developed category strategies for sport bras and other critical categories
  • Added brands and products in some categories
  • Rationalized brand and product offerings in others
  • Developed life cycle strategies that provided guidance on keeping the offering fresh while avoiding product proliferation
  • Integrated approach to product development and selling


  • Integrated approach to product development & selling
  • Product development based on consumer needs
  • Selling one product to one customer to selling coordinated lines
  • Sales understood when to say no
  • Product line reduced by 20%
  • Sales increased by 60% in key categories


Case Study Russell Playbook