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Streaming ahead: Brooks Sports steady flow of performance product makes it a market leader.(Brooks S

Time:2016-11-16 05:57Shoes websites Click:

Sports ahead makes market performance

Five years ago, Brooks Sports, Inc. sold few shoes in the performance running category. Despite gaining notoriety with its products during the sport's formidable years in the 1970s and early 1980s--the last American to win the Boston Marathon did so in 1983 wearing Brooks shoes--the brand deviated from its core running product line by expanding into an array of categories and losing focus on premier running shoes. In fact, in 2000 nearly half of Brooks' running products sold for less than $75.

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"Four years ago, did running retailers need us?" asks Jim Weber, president and CEO of the Bothell, WA-based Brooks since April 2001. "No. Being everything to everybody is not the pathway to success. We would rather be good at something than mediocre at everything."

With a laser focus on the performance running category instituted in 2001, Brooks is now considerably more than "good" within the specialty running channel. By initiating what Weber calls an "equipment strategy" and by recommitting itself to selling performance running shoes priced above $75, the company is capturing the hearts, minds and feet of runners and is watching its market share and sales rise.

"Our story is a product story--we are competing with product," explains Weber, whose tenure at the helm of companies such as Sims Sports and O'Brien International provided the impetus to market running shoes as essential equipment to runners. "Our focus is function first, on performance. It's a niche strategy for premium product. We're trying to build pinnacle product. Frankly, we're executing an equipment strategy. …

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