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Game Changers named ‘Top 50’ running store nationwide

POSTED: December 6, 2016 10:33 a.m.
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From left: Game Changers Running Company owners Ron and Sandra Elliott and general manager/partner Phillip Howe at 'The Running Event' in Florida last month where Game Changers was named one of the top 50 running stores in the country by Competitor magazine.

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After a little more than four years in business, Georgia Game Changers Running Company has been named one of the top 50 running stores in the country by Competitor magazine (http://bit.ly/2g2xV7h).

“The support we’ve received from the community has really encouraged us,” said Sandra Elliott, who along with husband Ron owns the store. “This is such a huge deal for us.”

Game Changers is just one of two running stores in Georgia to make the list, and the only one nationally that does not carry what Elliott referred to as “big name brand” running shoes.

“I think this will certainly increase our standing with them as far as being a distributor,” she said. “At least with a couple of them that we’d like to bring in because they fit our philosophy of natural running.”

The process in being named to the top 50 was difficult to say the least.

It started with an online consumer nomination process that topped 16,000 stores. Once the list was pared down to 120, the real work began.

Elliott said that involved a written application, consumer data gathering, a visit from a “secret shopper” and interviews with vendors about credit. Judges also looked at community involvement regarding race sponsorships and participation, a category in which Game Changers excels.

“We are more than thrilled to be growing and changing with our community of fitness-minded folks,” Elliott said.

The awards were presented in late November in Orlando at The Running Event, a large industry gather for running stores.

In announcing Game Changers, an overhead screen above the stage had this to say about the company: “They support everyone, they spend extra time with beginners on training, networking and running forms.”

Next up for Game Changers, though, is striving to be named one of the top four stores nationally.

“I think the opening of our second location in Savannah next month could really help with that,” Elliott said.

To celebrate, Game Changers is inviting the community to its store, 8872 Ford Ave., to take a “drone” photo of the assembled crowd at 9 a.m. on Dec. 17. Refreshments and snacks will be served. 

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