PB CAREERS: Academy Sports – Senior Director Product Development

Academy SportsAcademy Sports – Senior Director Product Development


  • Drive and oversee the development of all private labels and develop short and long-term goals for the department and allocate team resources as appropriate.
  • Direct all stages of development while monitoring calendar timing to meet company goals and initiatives. Identify challenges while strategizing action plans for Product Development and Technical Design to work toward.
  • Lead the product development team through the execution of product development strategy with the Buying team, as well as interface with Sourcing operations on sourcing and supplier strategy matrix.
  • Drive Product Development to follow established supplier matrix. Communicate global sourcing strategies to Product Development team.
  • Troubleshoot product execution, quality and production issues through interaction with Sourcing operations, and establish corrective action plans.
  • Ensure all products developed/engineered and produced in accordance with all specifications, including compliance and quality standards, while meeting cost targets and overall financial goals.
  • Coordinate with Technical Design to ensure that all technical specifications are communicated and met.
  • Coordinate raw material and production leverage opportunities with Sourcing & Global Production and drive to execute through product development techniques.
  • Troubleshoot and solve any issues related to the execution of product. Provide expert advice to Product Development team and external partners.
  • Prepare, manage and adhere to the annual approved departmental budget.
  • Provide strong leadership to Product Development. Hire, train, motivate and coach Product Development team members. Ensure performance appraisals and goal setting are completed annually. Guide team to set and accomplish goals that are in line with company initiatives.
  • Lead and communicate the development strategy with Merchant DMM & VP. Guide direction for product based on current business, trends, and ensure direction is aligned with corporate goals, brand and sourcing strategies.
  • Develop, leverage, manage internal and external partnerships to maximize achievement of business goals by collaborating with key stakeholders in the development execution, and evaluation of appropriate business plans and initiatives.
  • Visits Academy stores to view private label product for presentation, production issues, brand/designs, packaging, etc.
  • International and domestic travel required. Travel overseas to work with all vendors to ensure all developments and company initiatives are followed.
  • Required to learn company policies, procedures and safety rules.

Duties may change and associates may be required to perform other duties as assigned.

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field of study or equivalent years of related work experience required.
  • At least eight to ten years of related work experience required.
  • Background in apparel, footwear or hardgoods private label product development and global sourcing
  • Communication – effective listening, speaking, and writing
  • Computer – Excel, Gerber Web PDM, Island Pacific, Lotus Notes, Word, Oracle RMS, e-Fit software
  • Domestic & international travel
  • Interpersonal, managerial/leadership, negotiation, organization, prioritization, problem solving skills
  • Product development
  • Product testing – product performance standards & product safety
  • Quality assurance
  • Raw material knowledge for apparel and footwear
  • Ability to work flexible hours such as evening, weekends, and holidays as necessary.
  • Acceptable level of hearing and vision to perform duties

Job: Merchandising
Primary Location: TX-Houston Metro-Katy-1800 N. Mason Road

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.