Jessica Klodnicki interview

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CEO KT, expanding from its market leading kinesiology tape into the KT Health line of performance and recovery products.
Posted on
June 7, 2023
by
M. James Ward in ,
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Background

Jessica Klodnicki has been with KT for one year. She spent much of her career leading product, marketing and overall general operations for multiple sports and outdoor brands beginning with Mizuno, focused on golf, running and team sports.

She led several outdoor brands including Bell, CamelBak and Camp Chef until she took over as CMO at Skullcandy, an action sports focused audio brand. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Gathr Outdoors, which includes golf cleat and accessory brands Softspikes, PrideSports, Champ and Pride Golf Tee.

Jessica Klodnicki interview - KT

The Klodnicki Story

The company is going through an exciting transformation shifting from KT Tape to KT, where the brand will continue to focus on its market leading kinesiology tape, but also expanding its KT Health line of performance and recovery products.

The brand will continue to support top athletes but is also extending its communication efforts to the everyday athlete who can benefit most from their offerings.

This includes a completely new website, new approach to communications and many new product launches, including most recently their Pro Oxygen line of tape and 360-degree cooling Ice Sleeve.

***

You wake up in the morning, what's the driving passion?

KT has recently embraced a new company purpose - to empower movement to unleash every body's potential.

The spirit of this statement is that we want to support athletes and active consumers at all levels. I am a passionate mountain biker, skier and former marathoner. Through all these sports, I personally understand the impact of pain and injury prevention and recovery.

I wake up every day thinking about how to keep our consumers in the game, continuing to enjoy the activities they are passionate about.

What was the genesis for KT Tape?

KT Tape was founded shortly after the 2008 Olympics after the founders observed the use of kinesiology tape on top athletes. While the practice of kinesiology taping originated out of Japan, at the time it was thought that only clinicians could apply the product.

The founders of KT Tape believed that the practice could be deployed directly to consumers to apply to themselves to provide drug free pain relief for sports related injuries. Since then, the brand has become the dominant market leader in North America in the category.

 

What is the primary differentiator between KT Tape and those who attempt to compete with it?

KT Tape has the most extensive and advanced range of kinesiology tape that spans a variety of materials and adhesive strengths to suit a variety of use cases and duration of wear.

Further, the company has extended the product line beyond kinesiology tape to include Pain Relief Gel, Ice Sleeves, Blister Relief and Chafing products to serve athletes as they prepare, perform, and recover for their sports.

We also recently launched Pro Oxygen kinesiology tape that is infused with Celliant® Infrared mineral powder to convert body heat to infrared energy, bringing more oxygen to cells in the local area.

 

In approximate terms, what is the sales percentages for golf shops, online, and brick and mortar retail outlets?

KT is a privately held company that cannot disclose that level of detail. However, the brand prides itself on truly omni-channel distribution to serve the consumer wherever and whenever they have the need for our product. Distribution spans food, drug, sporting goods, specialty and online.

Many consumers look to sporting goods stores or departments when they are in preparation mode, while they look to pharmacy sections when they are seeking recovery products.

 

 

Jordan Spieth is using the product because of a nagging wrist injury. As best as you can tell, how did he become aware of your product?

Over the years, KT has partnered with athletic trainers, physical therapists and chiropractors that serve top tier professional athletes. So, many trainers are familiar with the benefits of KT Tape, and they are likely the source for application on athletes.

There are countless professional athletes across all sports verticals and other players within the PGA tour that have utilized KT Tape in competition, making it very visible.

 

Is there a specific age when KT Tape is used extensively?

KT Tape can serve athletes, active consumers and those looking for a drug-free pain relief alternative.

It’s popularly used by school age athletes seeking to provide proactive support all the way to aging athletes that require additional recovery tools.

Jessica Klodnicki interview - KT

Will the company seek out professional golfer endorsements and, if so, who on the PGA and LPGA Tours?

Golf is a great use case for KT Tape, just as any other repetitive motion sport is. Our focus in the near term is to ensure that athletes of all ages and skill levels understand the benefits and use cases for our products.

We don’t have any immediate plans to sign a golfer to an endorsement deal, but we have recently launched a program called The ColleKTive that invites everyday athletes to participate as an ambassador and we would welcome applications from golfers of all kinds.

KT has also had a partnership with PGA magazine as an official kinesiology partner since 2019.

Many companies tout the importance of customer service. Define the term and the approach you follow.

We pride ourselves on customer service and provide opportunities for consumers to reach us via phone, email, chat, and social media. We have an NPS score of 84 from all consumers who have interacted with our customer service team.

Perhaps even more importantly, we try to provide a high level of education via our instructional videos on how to apply the tape on our website and YouTube.

 

Are there other sports in which KT Tape is used?

KT Tape can be used for ANY sport or activity. KT began its legacy with volleyball but has since extended to a variety of sports partnering with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, several governing bodies such as USA Soccer and USA Triathlon, various National Trainers' Associations, many individual athletes, and sports medicine professionals.

There are certain repetitive motion activities and sports that often create a greater need for the product, such as running, cycling, and weight training.

 

Biggest challenges, short and long term, and what strategies are the company engaging to deal with both?

The company is already the market leader with strong distribution at every top retailer. Our biggest challenge now is to expand the market for kinesiology tape.

As the market leader, we feel that it is our job to lead the category and educate consumers on the benefits of kinesiology tape.

So, our recent communications have focused on the why and the how of KT
Tape to remove any barriers to entry and bring new users into the category.

***

For more info go to:

KT Tape Therapeutic Kinesiology Tape

About KT

Based in American Fork, Utah and founded in 2008, KT has revolutionized the sports medicine industry with the introduction of the most advanced and recognized kinesiology tape and recovery products. KT Tape is recognized as a leader in sports related drug-free pain and injury treatment. The mission of the company is to develop breakthrough solutions to help enable athletes and fitness enthusiasts to perform at their best.

KT Health products are distributed worldwide to individuals, medical professionals, and teams through major retailers, specialty sports stores, medical, and team distributors worldwide.

Built for performance, the KT Tape brand is KT Health's featured product line that is quickly becoming the favorite accessory of athletes in every sport. KT Health is focused on innovation, quality, and customer service. We look forward to working with you, our customer, to make sure that every experience with the company or its products is exceptional.

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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