Bird helps bring The Running Bee merchandise to life!

The Running Bee Foundation, one of Bird’s clients, recently launched their very own line of runner’s clothing merchandise in a collaboration with RonHill Sports, one of the country’s premier sports clothing brands.

Bird has been along for the ride every step of the way; From inception, through the creative side, all the way to marketing and distribution, the Bird team have helped The Running Bee release their vision of a comfortable and visually impressive line of clothing that runners of all shapes, sizes and athletic levels can enjoy.

Natalie Potts, Bird’s in-house Designer, spearheaded the design process and worked closely with both The Running Bee and RonHill Sports to help make this a reality. We recently sat down with her to discuss her experience in helping to create an original line of merchandise:


Tell us a little bit about the new Running Bee Merchandise? 

“We met with the team at RonHill to discuss the Running Bee in great detail, so we could come up with a look and feel that’s as authentic to the Running Bee brand as possible. After offering an overview of the kind of thing we were looking for, their designer went away and came up with a few really amazing ideas! These ideas where what I went on to adapt, and what eventually became the Running Bee merchandise that’s available to buy today!”


Where did the inspiration come from for the design of the merchandise?

“As a whole, the merchandise is designed around the branding that’s already in place for The Running Bee. We needed to be consistent with the look of it, so steering away from things like the Running Bee colours wouldn’t have made much sense at all, especially to Running Bee regulars who will be purchasing the clothing. When it comes to branding, consistency is the name of the game! In terms of the vest – one of the pieces that’s now available to buy – it was very much based on more traditional running club vests, so they have a real nostalgic feel to them. It’s one of my favourites.”


Was it a challenge to design the new merchandise?

“Actually, not at all! I loved the chance to get creative on something like this that people could actually see, feel and wear. Seeing things through to the end-product is always a thrill for me, and working with Annabel (RonHill’s designer) was an absolute pleasure. She had some great ideas!”

The Tour of Tameside shirt has a very special retro feel to it. How did you develop this look?

“Speaking of Annabel, she was the one who came up with the majority of the design for the retro TOT shirt. I added my thoughts and a few specific design elements, like the silhouette behind the Ron Hill figure, and we completely amended the design and font of the Tour of Tameside logo to closer fit the retro theme. I’m really proud of what we ended up with.”


Was it important to maintain the Running Bee brand during the design process?

“Oh absolutely. As we talked about before, consistency is the name of the game. You need to keep the brand identifiable, otherwise, what’s the point? Plus, we knew people would be proud to wear Running Bee merchandise, given all the great work the charity does with local communities.”


Did you consider how to make the merchandise appeal to both male and female runners?

“All items of clothing are unisex. But, from a design standpoint, there wasn’t much need to try to distinguish between male and female; The Running Bee colours look great on everyone, why change them, right?”


How long was the design process overall?

“We knew just how important this merchandise would turn out to be, for everyone involved as well as the people purchasing them, so we didn’t want to rush anything. Everything was carefully planned out and put together over time to produce the highest-quality product possible. Overall, I’d say it was between 4-5 months. But looking at the finished product, it was 100% worth it. They’re all fantastic.”


As you’ve mentioned, The Running Bee partnered with RonHill Sports for this merchandise. How was it working with them?

“It was a wonderful experience, from start to finish. Given all the other sensational products they’re involved in, it’s no surprise that they really knew their stuff! And working alongside a designer from another company was a lot of fun too.”


RonHill is a huge name in sportswear. Tell us a little bit about the quality of the merchandise.

“First of all, I’m no runner! But even in my hands, you can tell just how exceptionally-made the merchandise is. Everything RonHill does, they do with the runner in mind. They know what runners need in sportswear and they give them everything they’re after and more. Looking and feeling great when training is so important, and RonHill products are guaranteed to offer that.”


What do you hope runners will get from the new merchandise? 

“As we said, first and foremost, is quality. These clothes feel great, the material is gorgeous, and they will last you for a good, long time. Plus, the bright colours make them so much fun to wear!”


All profits from sales of the merchandise go straight back to local communities. How does this make you feel, given that you helped make it happen? 

“It’s an incredible feeling to know that you’re helping others, and that’s exactly what The Running Bee Foundation was designed to do. Now, thanks to this merchandise, we can raise even more funds for communities and help combat childhood obesity. I’m very proud that I was able to be involved.”

To purchase your very own piece of Running Bee Foundation merchandise, click the link here:

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