A series of big decisions helped ASICS VP beat the bad guys and spend more time at home
When Sean Condon laces up his ASICS shoes in the morning, you might think he starts his day contemplating the challenges the week may bring. As the VP of Omnichannel for ASICS America, Condon is one of the leaders spearheading ASICS’ digital transformation – a journey that has presented plenty of curveballs along the way.
But for Condon, waking up and hitting the ground running starts with what matters most – his family.
“The biggest thing in my life is that I am a father of two daughters,” Condon said. “My free time outside of work is extremely limited. My daughters are who I spend all my time with. But raising them is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”
The Starting Line
Starting at Brookstone as an eCommerce manager in 2012 – his first corporate job out of college – Condon helped build the company’s drop shipping business from scratch. Five years later, while attending an industry conference, he sat next to the person in charge of Runkeeper, a running, training and fitness app acquired by ASICS in 2016. One conversation led to another, and eventually, Sean decided to take the leap and join the Runkeeper team.
Condon’s time on the Runkeeper team began his quick ascent within the wider ASICS network. In late 2017, after just eight months on the job, Condon was brought into the global corporation as a Senior Director of Digital Commerce. In this new role, Condon acted as an “internal consultant,” spending countless hours traveling worldwide to work with regional teams developing business plans, roadmaps and project requests to expand the company’s eCommerce portfolio.
But as Condon developed into more prominent roles within ASICS, he was increasingly feeling the toll that the extensive travel was taking on himself and his growing family.
“I still enjoyed traveling, meeting people and connecting in person – but my responsibilities and priorities are different than when I was younger in my career,” Condon said. “Being married, and especially having kids, I really value the time that I get with them.”
My responsibilities and priorities are different than when I was younger in my career.
In 2018, Condon started a new role with ASICS America as a Senior Director of eCommerce and Digital Marketing. Shortly thereafter, he began managing the company’s retail portfolio and eventually worked his way to becoming the VP of Omnichannel.
As Condon settled into new roles – both at ASICS America and as a husband and father – he focused on the next step of ASICS’ digital transformation.
The company’s original solution for fraud was a team of manual reviewers processing each questionable transaction. Because of this manual process – and the subjective nature of decisioning – Condon noted that the company was seeing “a lot of chargebacks” and facing a potential suspension of business with Visa.
“As we discussed these problems, there was a stark realization: The manual review process could impact all the hard work we had put into a digital transformation,” Condon said. “It wasn't feasible for us to continue this way.”
Fraud is not something as a business leader you want to spend your time on, but I was spending a lot of time on it.
Facing these challenges, Condon recalls Manager of Retail Accounting Scott McGuckin feverishly researching better ways to operate and reduce instances of fraud. After researching and comparing several fraud vendors, McGuckin ultimately recommended to Condon that the company move forward with Forter as the best partner to help solve their chargeback woes. McGuckin felt that Forter’s fully automated approach, combined with unbeatable chargeback and approval guarantees, was best positioned to help ASICS fight fraud and offer a best-in-class consumer experience.
“We talked to a lot of vendors and you get a lot of people that will sell you the world, but they’re not willing to assume any risk or stand behind their claims,” Condon said. “That was the biggest thing … Forter was willing to take on liability with ASICS. The chargeback and approval guarantees meant Forter had skin in the game and would potentially share in the pain if the solution didn’t meet the expected performance.”
Implementing Forter has been a critical piece of ASICS’ digital journey – a transformation Condon says the company wouldn’t have realized without the company-wide buy-in of the team around him.
“Fighting fraud is impossible without the entirety of the organization,” Condon says. "From our finance, digital business and development teams to our CFO, Paul Ljucovic, we've had a lot of support for this project overall."
Since committing to scaling and automating how ASICS fights fraud, the team has also seen the ripple effects of this positive change across other verticals. Condon notes the customer service team has seen an 85% drop in calls received, creating new opportunities to change how the company offers support.
“I’m proud of our ability as an organization to commit to a digital transformation wholeheartedly,” Condon says. “The entire team realized that a rising tide raises all ships. One of the things I’m most proud of is how supportive every team was of our fraud prevention strategy and our ability to execute.”
To me, a Decision Maker is somebody who is curious, constantly learning and not afraid to make changes.
Leading The Way
In his rise in the digital commerce industry, Condon recognizes two critical ingredients to his success: his curiosity and a talented team.
“I’ve always wanted to understand more, dive deeper, figure out why something works, the way it works, how to make it better,” Condon says. “That’s how I’ve approached my career – there’s no challenge too big or small.”
And Condon’s key to facing those challenges starts with putting together a team of talented people and striving to learn from them.
“You can figure anything out if you have talented people around you … and realize you’re not the smartest person in the room all the time,” Condon says. “You can learn something from everybody. No matter what level of the organization someone is a part of within our team, they have a different perspective or something else that I can gain.”
For decision makers in digital commerce looking to maximize revenue and elevate the consumer experience, Condon has a simple, yet significant, piece of advice – if you want to see growth, you can’t hesitate to take risks.
“If you don’t take a risk and change things, you will become obsolete at some point in time,” Condon said. “You can’t do things the way you’ve always done them … and that’s something to keep in mind as you make decisions and implement new solutions. You can’t shy away from it.”
Condon’s vast experience in digital commerce has provided a front-row seat to how fraud trends shift year over year. And with the continued growth of digital commerce on the horizon, he envisions fraud continuing to evolve.
“Fraud is much more sophisticated than where we were five years ago, and it’s only going to continue to develop and get more sophisticated as we go,” Condon said. “Digital commerce is an emerging and growing channel, and people will start to realize they can exploit it.”
Since implementing Forter’s solution in early 2021, ASICS has seen:
reduction in monthly chargebacks
in avoided penalties from Visa and Mastercard
Return on Investment
But the most meaningful results are less tangible. Condon says he now spends virtually no time thinking about fraud, freeing him up to focus on growing revenue, maximizing the consumer experience and, most importantly, spending more time with his family.
“Forter stepped up to the plate with us because they believed in their solution,” Condon said. “And now, because of them, the amount of time spent on fraud is almost nothing.”
Because of Forter, the amount of time spent on fraud is almost nothing.
Within their organizations, decision makers are the audacious ones. Unconcerned with the status quo, they make moves designed to free themselves — and their teams — from the stress of fraud prevention.
With Forter, decision makers get guaranteed results so they can focus their time and energy on strategic opportunities that have a bigger impact on their organizations.
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The Starting Line
Leading the Way
This story is part of a Decision Makers series featuring industry leaders within our customer base.