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Toby’s Sports and runnr Advocate Keeping Healthy Through Physical Activity While at Home

To use a bike analogy, because we’re going through rough terrain, it’s less important where we’re headed as long as we keep pedaling,” says Toby Claudio of Toby’s Sports and runnr. The two brands are part of the Shop Small movement in the Philippines initiated by American Express and BDO

Due to the pandemic, people have been locked down in their homes for months, which has posed certain challenges to how they’re keeping happy and healthy with little to no exercise.


Toby Claudio, the president of Quorum International Inc., the company behind renowned sports retail brands like Toby’s Sports, runnr, and urbanAthletics, knows only too well the effects of the pandemic on one’s physical and mental well-being.

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An avid runner and cyclist, Toby misses the liberating feeling of running and biking for miles across different terrains. And so with the restrictions and self-imposed quarantines, “It’s been tough,” he says, referring both to his health and the business.


But Toby has always been optimistic and resourceful, and this “champion’s mindset” has helped the company through this critical time. “I told my management team: It’s so easy to get discouraged, especially when things don’t go as planned or when you think your plans have gone to waste. But given what we’re going through now, I think what’s important is that we keep moving forward and that we make the most of what we can given our strengths and the opportunities that are presented to us now,” he shares. “To use a bike analogy, because we’re going through rough terrain, it’s less important where we’re headed as long as we keep pedaling.”

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Helping to spark a movement and get people literally moving in their own homes, the Group launched several initiatives to inspire the public to work out during the lockdown. “When the ECQs and MECQs started, our marketing team focused on continuously connecting with our online community through a variety of ways, making sure that we stay relevant to them no matter what,” shares Andrea Tan, Toby’s Sports Marketing and Communications Head.


For Toby’s Sports, they focused on what they knew best and that was health and fitness. So their team developed relevant and engaging content that allowed the community to thrive through home workouts, videos, and podcasts. “We activated our pool of fitness and sports influencers and the result was nothing short of a ‘movement’ that promoted staying fit and healthy to boost both mental and physical well-being during the pandemic,” adds Andrea.


For runnr and urbanAthletics, they also continued their efforts to engage with their online communities by creating Spotify playlists, hosting regular online games, and running digital campaigns covering a variety of topics relevant to each target market.

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Complementing these efforts, the company also focused on how to bring their products closer and faster to their customers. They launched the Chat & Collect service that allows customers to directly order from their nearest Toby’s Sports, runnr or urbanAthletics stores at the comfort of their own homes. The Group also held several Facebook and Instagram live-selling events, and even offered free delivery services for a minimum purchase.


“It’s been a really challenging time considering we have 64 physical stores nationwide, and almost 1,000 people to take care of,” says Toby. “It’s a big responsibility for me. Fortunately for us, we’re prepared and now have a strong online business.”


Indeed, the company is surviving and thriving, and hopes to inspire other local businesses to not give up. And their secret to making it, Toby shares a little wisdom: “We can’t plan for uncertainty, but we can build ourselves to become agile enough in order to navigate crisis when it comes.”

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As the economy works toward stability, you can help businesses bounce back too by shopping local.


Use your BDO-issued American Express Cards to pay for purchases from participating Shop Small merchants and earn 5x Rewards until August 31, 2021. With over 1,000 merchant locations, ranging from retail shops, restaurants, and specialty stores, reward points earned can be used to redeem a reward of choice from a selection of gift certificates, gadgets, appliance, air miles and more.


Help the country move forward by supporting its local economic players. Shops small and make a difference!


For more details, visit https://www.americanexpress.com/en-ph/network/business/shop-small/

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