Jason Grisby ’11 jumped into a career with adidas right after graduating with his BS in business administration. We spoke with Grisby, who is now working for adidas in Germany as a global product manager, about what he’s up to.
Describe your current position and role.
I’m the global product manager for men’s apparel in adidas Originals. I work with the design and development team to ideate, create, and manage the men’s apparel collection each season.
How has your Warsaw Center experience shaped your professional career?
The Warsaw Center was my introduction to everything. It laid the foundation for what the industry was, who the players were, and what I needed to do to become a part of the marketing world. From the very beginning, I had the opportunity to visit the campuses of some of the leading companies in the field, hear from a lot of different guest speakers, and work with peers on events and activities outside of our standard curriculum.
What key business trends are you following right now?
3D-printed footwear is one of the coolest trends and innovations I’m seeing right now. A few years back, knitted uppers were driving energy behind some of the best silhouettes in the industry. Now, 3D-printing is the next evolution we’re seeing in footwear. What adidas is doing with its Futurecraft Series is especially interesting. The thought that one day in the near future, we’ll be able to analyze a consumer’s foot and running patterns in-store, then 3D-print a custom midsole within the same visit is exciting and promising.
What is your favorite social media platform for personal use and what social media platform is best for your business purposes?
I have two favorites for both business and personal use—Instagram and Snapchat. I think they’re great for a few different reasons. First, it’s always good to see what my friends and family members are doing. I’m from California, but I lived in Oregon for eight years between Eugene and Portland. And now I live across the world in Europe, so social media is the best way for me—outside of talking on the phone—to stay connected to my family and friends. I enjoy seeing what their current interests are, where they’re traveling, what new series they’re watching on Netflix, or what new city they’re living in.
In terms of professional use, I use Instagram as a resource every day. It lets me see who the influencers are, what they’re wearing, what other brands are doing, what consumers are wearing, and how those consumers feel about different products within the market. Ten years ago that level of access wasn’t so readily available—now I can have all of that information in the palm of my hand from one free social media platform. It’s amazing.
From a cultural perspective, I think about the meme phenomenon that’s exploded from Instagram specifically and what impact that’s had on marketers. It’s really interesting to watch the creative (and ridiculous) things that the social community comes up with and how fast they come up with it. It’s kind of surreal and ironic (and slightly disturbing) to think that a kid born in 2005 could potentially know an athlete, entertainer, or a public figure more for a meme that they’re featured in as opposed to their actual body of work.
And Snapchat is great simply because it opens up another window of access to people and brands. The “My Story” feature was a great update and really elevated the platform in my opinion. I think, overall, Snapchat is just more informal, less produced, and seemingly more organic right now than other social media platforms. I’m always checking to see how friends, influencers, and brands get creative with it.
What do you miss most about Eugene?
I definitely miss the atmosphere. One of the best things about being on campus, and in Lillis especially, was the sense of ambition and competition. Working with my peers, talking about internships, collaborating on projects, and discussing career goals was always motivational. I also miss the vibes on campus during football season. The games at Autzen were always live and the student section was legendary—we literally never sat down during a Duck game.
—As told to Whitney Wagoner, Warsaw Sports Marketing Center