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Creative Brand Management Independent Study

Each spring, Creative Brand Management students find a client to work on a semester-long project with - here's mine!


Shood: Shoes for Good

For my independent study, I was fortunate enough to work with Richmond-based non-profit Shood

Since their founding in 2017, Shood has given over 25,000 pairs of shoes to individuals in the greater Richmond area experiencing poverty or homelessness. 


Anyone who receives shoes from Shood is professionally sized and fitted, and is also given Bombas socks and other foot care essentials.

Shooding Stars is Born

In 2019, a local high school track coach reached out to Shood with a need. 

"We got the call from the coach that they had kids running in basketball shoes and shoes that were the wrong sizes, and we jumped at the opportunity to put shoes on feet.

And that’s how we started our Shooding Stars program,  to support high school track teams and middle school running clubs with a similar, continuous need."

- Robin Telfian, Shood Founder

The Challenge: More Shoes

Most of the second-hand shoes donated are too broken-in to be a viable option for track and field athletes. Shoes going to the Shooding Stars program are almost exclusively from retailer donations. 

As Shood continues to grow, they need to secure partnerships with larger shoe companies and retailers so they have a steady stream of new shoes coming in. 

The Big Question:

What does we need to do to get more donations directly from shoe companies so we can expand our reach in giving student athletes brand new shoes?

Leaving No Stone Unturned

To get to the bottom of this question, I employed multiple research methods. 


  • Brendon Mason - Community Impact and Social Outreach Director at Nike

  • Patton Gleason - Relay Goods Richmond

  • Coach Hart - George Wythe HS

  • Christian O’Hara - Arthritis Foundation
    of Virginia

Secondary Research

  • The Aspen Institute - National State of Youth Sports Survey ‘23

  • Richmond Times Dispatch

  • Richmond Public Schools

  • Virginia Department of Education

  • The National Federation of State High School Associations

  • Project Play - Cost of Play Trends

  • Nike, Adidas, Hoka, Dick’s

On Site Observation

  • Shood HQ volunteer days

  • Shood Share at Huguenot HS

  • Shood Share at
    George Wythe HS

  • Kellie Wells Classic track meet

Here are Some Themes I Found:

This research tells us Shood’s B2B communications strategy needs to demonstrate:

  • Shood strongly aligns with shoe company’s charitable missions

  • Shood provides a direct avenue to access for youth sports

  • Shood has gained the trust of the community it serves

  • Shood has an excellent track record indicative of exciting possibilities for the future

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