Strutting the investor day catwalk
Investor days are usually an opportunity to put the spotlight on your company, but at sporting goods firm Amer Sports’ recent event it was fashion that took center stage.
The Finnish company – which houses a number of brands including Arc’teryx, Salomon and Wilson – has tripled its apparel and footwear business in the last five years, says Päivi Antola, the firm’s head of corporate communications and investor relations. The plan was always to unveil a new five-year growth plan on the day and, with further growth in Amer Sports’ apparel lines planned, including a fashion show was a ‘natural addition’ to the presentations, she explains.
This was the third time models were invited to strut Amer’s stuff on the runway at the company’s investor day, after successful catwalks in 2011 and 2012. A recent investor day in London saw the live models replaced by mannequins, though investors were also invited to visit a newly opened Arc’teryx store in Piccadilly.
The catwalk provides an opportunity to make sure investors and analysts understand the company’s varied product line, and to keep the focus on the consumer, both of which are important to Antola. ‘After the fashion show the models stayed on the stage and we were able to use them as examples when explaining the footwear and apparel offering our brands have, the differences in the offering and how we’re accelerating the growth,’ she says.
Feedback was strong, with most saying they found it useful because it gave a good overview of Amer Sports’ brands’ offering. ‘It’s easier to understand the broadness in the offering and the differences Amer Sports’ brands have in their soft goods approach when you actually see them in action and not just in presentations,’ Antola explains. ‘It was especially useful for those investors and analysts who are new to the company.’
Is it necessary to grab your constituents’ attention in such a way? Not necessarily, says Antola, and any outreach activities are always in line with the company’s larger aims. ‘Everything starts from the company strategy, what is relevant from the company strategy point of view and what supports the messaging,’ she adds.
And there are plans in place to do more similar events ‘in a way or another’, if it’s still useful for her audience. ‘It’s not about doing tricks and having entertainment for fun’s sake,’ she explains. ‘It’s about providing more flavor on what the company is all about, what the company’s logic is and what the building blocks are for reaching our targets.’