Former athlete turns passion for sports and apparel into a career

When Armani Brumfield was choosing a career path, he wanted something he’s passionate about. That's why he’s pursuing a master’s degree in sports product management at the UO’s Lundquist College of Business in Portland.

“My path has been about learning what I don’t like and narrowing down my passions,” Brumfield said.

Brumfield grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and went on to play football for Texas Tech University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human sciences.

After holding jobs at Champs Sports, LA Fitness and Chase Bank, he decided none of those were right for him and it was time to pursue something more aligned with his passion for sports and fashion. He said he heard back within a week of applying to the sports product management program at UO Portland.

“It was like it was meant to be,” Brumfield said.

The graduate program is teaching him about designing, developing and managing product lines. He’s also gained hands-on experience with pattern-making, using software programs and a sewing machine to make shoes, shirts and more in the program’s Innovation Lab.

Cutting patterns in the Innovation Lab

Brumfield and some of his classmates also teamed up to develop a multifunctional yoga bag that doubles as a mat to sit on.

Shelly Gourlay, director of the sports management program, said Brumfield is a great example to his classmates.

“He always gives 100 percent,” Gourlay said “His dedication is inspiring, and so is his heart. I’ve learned a lot from Armani, and I’m excited to see how he changes this industry.”

 Krista Martenson, an instructor at the Innovation Lab — an innovative workspace for students in the program — said Brumfield has an infectious cheerfulness.

“Armani has the ability to focus and persevere with a design idea, no matter how many prototypes he iterates,” Martenson said.

Brumfield said the program takes initiative and dedication.

“I’ve made three shirts successfully, but I’ve tried about 20 times,” he said.

This summer, Brumfield has been busy as a sport-style footwear product line management intern for Under Armour in Portland. He said the experience has helped him understand the industry as well as network with professionals.

He said his focus is helping bring products to market and creating a hype around them.

Brumfield will graduate in March 2020. In the future, he hopes to go into product line management, which involves using consumer research to build a product line, then managing the line while keeping pricing, forecasting, marketing and retail in mind.

“As a former student-athlete, I have to be challenged,” Brumfield said. “I love to constantly progress toward my goals.”

—By Emily Hoard, University Communications