Posted on Jul 15
The Role of Athletes at New Balance
Throughout the last 30 years, athletes have played a key role in building the New Balance brand and shaping our corporate philosophies. New Balance was one of the first athletic brands to work with elite athletes to develop better products and to communicate our commitment to running and sport. Examples of athletes that wore the New Balance brand and helped us develop better products are Dick Beardsley, Lou Whittaker, M.L. Carr, James Worthy, Francie Larrieu-Smith and Khalid Khannouchi. These athletes all articulated new ideas and needs that we successfully translated into better product.
In the mid-90s, many high-profile athletes demonstrated attitudes and behaviors that we felt did not represent our brand, company and associates. It was at this time that "Endorsed by No One" began to define our position. While we avoided high-priced athletes who failed to demonstrate values that matched our own, we never intended to reduce our role in sport. In practice, we have continued to support Team New Balance runners, with their role primarily focused on helping us build better product.
Today, we still involve athletes with our brand by supporting them in their training and competition, and leveraging their expertise to help us develop better product. In addition we are now engaging them as brand ambassadors, which means we select only those who share our philosophy that doing good is just as important as doing well.
In January of 2010, we announced the signing of Olympian and American record holder Jenny Barringer to a multi-year endorsement contract. Barringer, who recently graduated from the University of Colorado in December, owns the American record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 9:12.50. One of the best athletes in the world, she has earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, two world teams, and is a seven-time All-American and 12-time All-Big 12 honoree. Jenny has also won four NCAA titles and two national steeplechase titles. Jenny will partner with New Balance to support our sponsorship of the Girls on the Run® organization, encouraging young girls to respect themselves and develop a healthy lifestyle through running.
We are proud to associate our brand with athletes like Jenny, who share our values, believe in our brand, and are committed to giving back to their communities.