Fleet Feet Sports franchise, will acquire FrontRunner, a running retailer with two locations in Columbus.
With the acquisition, co-founder and current FrontRunner owner Kevin
O’Grady will move into an ambassador role for all three locations. The
acquisition will be finalized June 15.
“This is just a great example of the power of local ownership and
putting the community first,” says Jeff Phillips, CEO and president of
Fleet Feet Sports. “Kevin is able to transition ownership of the
business the way he wanted, leaving his customers, staff, vendor partner
relationships, and legacy in the hands of Tim and his amazing team at
Fleet Feet Sports Columbus.”
Fleet Feet Sports has an extensive track record of local support in
the Columbus community, holding over 200 local races annually through
its Premier Racing event management company. The store coached over
1,800 participants last year through its training programs, which range
from beginning distances to half and full marathon.
The acquisition affirms Fleet Feet Sports continued commitment in
building thriving local running communities, and speaks to the goal of
supporting the Columbus running community holistically and conveniently,
“Kevin and his staff have done a fantastic job with FrontRunner for
close to 30 years,” says Flahaven. “I’m excited about building on the
legacy that Kevin has created by bringing additional resources and
support into those locations for customers, and continue delivering
training programs, epic service and support, sought-after products, and
an unrivaled in-store experience.”
O’Grady co-founded FrontRunner, Central Ohio’s first running store,
in 1987 with Richie Cohen-Smith, who retired in 2009. Staffs of both
stores, as well as all vendor partners, were notified earlier this week
about the acquisition.
Following the acquisition, the current Fleet Feet Sports location in
Lewis Center and the FrontRunner location in Upper Arlington will have
complete physical therapy practices embedded in-store. In addition to
physical therapy, the practices will conduct runner and walker gait
diagnostics, active release therapy, and athletic trainer injury
The practices will work closely with Dr. Darrin Bright’s OhioHealth
Max Sports Medicine practice. Dr. Bright, medical director of both the
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon and
the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon, is a preeminent physician in
the region for treating runners and walkers.
With the addition of the two FrontRunner locations, Fleet Feet Sports
now has a total of eight locations across the state of Ohio; the
original Columbus location, a two-store franchise in Cincinnati, and a
three-store franchise in Cleveland. Fleet Feet Sports Columbus first
opened its doors in 2005.