In separate interviews, Tom Waller, Chief Science Officer at Lululemon, and Rob DeMartini, CEO of USA Cycling, speak to the importance of accounting for passion and keeping human nature a focus in R&D.
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Sport Lifestyle Network


Tom Waller & Kim Blair - Lululemon

The Science of Humans Being

“Without any doubt in my mind, the most important technology to understand and develop is the human. And I really wish more companies would recognize that because I think that there’s a lot of technologies that are just not necessary. And I have a fairly healthy distaste for people that post solutions in front of problems.”

A friend of the network, Kim Blair from Cooper Perkins, interviews his close friend, Tom Waller, who is now the Chief Science Officer at Lululemon. Kim covers a variety of topics, including Tom’s early career dating all the way back to Tom’s Ph.D. in sports technology.

Tom shares how that led him down a path at the intersection of design engineering and human performance. Tom went on to consult for many of the sports industry’s largest brands before joining Lululemon and ultimately founding the famed Whitespace, Lululemon’s R & D and innovation group. Tom also touched on why Lululemon is a community first brand, the meaning of Sweatlife, and how Mirror integrates into their plans.

Rob DeMartini of USA Cycling

Plan B as in Bike

“Almost all of our top athletes come from another sport. And they’ve either skilled out or they’ve burned out or they’ve injured out. And then they have a family member or a close friend who says, hey, you got a big engine. Why don’t you get on a bike? Well, that’s a great way in, but it’s not very democratic. It’s not getting to kids who don’t have that path. And that’s what we got to build.”

Guest host Michael Jaquet speaks with his friend Rob DeMartini, the current CEO of USA Cycling and formerly the CEO of New Balance. MJ is uniquely qualified to have this conversation as he is the Chief Partnership Officer at DRAGONFLi Media and was the CMO for USA Ski and Snowboard. 

The guys discuss Rob’s path to USA Cycling, previously running business units and divisions at P&G, later serving as the CEO at New Balance, all before becoming a small business owner in Park City, Utah, where he currently resides.  Rob discusses the challenges of leading a passion-driven organization like USA Cycling, along with the silver linings the Covid Pandemic has provided. USA Cycling has ambitious goals for Tokyo in 2021, along with Paris and Los Angeles.


Little League Baseball

Youth Sports:
Less than Safe

Upcoming SLN guest Jon Solomon, editorial director of the Aspen Institute's Sports and Society Program, writes in USA Today about how and why the youth sports response to COVID-19 has failed. "We all want kids to play given the many physical, social and emotional benefits attached to sports. But we need to do so by following good science," he writes. Check back next week to listen to our conversation with Jon about his career, the Sports and Society Program and how he's adapted his own parenting with regard to youth sports. 

Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash

Other Items We're Following ...


We're super excited about our upcoming guests and conversations. Check back for conversations with:

  • Jon Solomon, Aspen Institute
  • (Nicole Pettito) Jeffrey Scott, Vice President Fitness, Beachbody
  • (David Knies) Jessica Anselmi, CMO of The Sill


Image by Monika Andersson from Pixabay

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