Brooks Running reported record third-quarter global revenue up 49 percent year-over-year, leading to a 2020 outlook of 27 percent growth.
Brooks said its results reflect the brand’s careful navigation through the global COVID-19 pandemic and related economic downturn, clear performance positioning, and ability to fulfill demand across channels.
“We believe in the positive power the run can create in someone’s day and its additive benefits over time. It is also an effective antidote in troubling times, and we’ve seen that prove true as running participation increased since March,” said Jim Weber, CEO at Brooks Running.
According to Brooks sales data, the brand gained 1.6 million runners through October of this year. The company credited the 2020 running boom created amidst the pandemic that has been driven by people running for mental and physical health.
Added Weber, “We have worked alongside our retail, factory and distribution partners to ensure those who want to run can find the product they trust and need to bring positive energy into their lives.”
Brooks said it came into the global pandemic positioned well in the run channel with a number of strong product lines. Market share growth accelerated in Q3 as the brand added new runners. According to The NPD Group, Brooks captured the largest share increase year-to-date through September in the U.S. adult performance running footwear category, gaining 4 share points versus the same period in 2019.
Run-Sight Research Amid COVID-19
Brooks said it benefited by adjusting its communication approach its Run-Sight Lab research identified a mindset shift for those running amid COVID-19 many of whom are leveraging the run for its mental benefits rather than running to achieve fitness, distance or event-related goal. Brooks also reinforced its omnichannel distribution support to connect authentically with runners and make sure they can find Brooks whenever and wherever and they choose to research and shop.
E-Commerce & Retailer Growth
Brooks’ digital sales, both through brooksrunning.com and retail partners, flexed from less than 35 percent of sales in 2019 to a peak of 82 percent of all sales this past April, and has since stabilized at 42 percent of sales, up 7 points from pre-COVID-19 levels. As pandemic precautions seized brick & mortar retail, the brand increased support for same-day delivery and curbside pick-up programs for retail partners, helping them get product into runners’ hands in a safe and efficient manner.
During the past 10 months, the brand introduced new footwear styles including the Hyperion Tempo and Hyperion Elite training and racing shoes, and the Catamount trail shoe. The brand also launched its Dare Run Bra collection and recently unveiled the brand new Run Visible collection, featuring science-backed technology that helps runners be seen in low- and no-light conditions. Existing franchise styles continue to gain traction with trusted shoes like the Ghost and Adrenaline GTS up 25 percent and 17 percent year over year, respectively.
Over the past year, Brooks’ brand awareness and familiarity amongst runners and retailers have continued to increase as evidenced by industry surveys and reports. According to Running USA’s 2020 National Running Survey that looked at 2019 data, Brooks leads the pack at more than 2.5 times the next competitor when it comes to the favorite brand of running shoes amongst those who run. Miro AI, in its Q4 2019 report released late January, analyzed event photography containing nearly 260,000 runners at races of all sizes across the U.S.; for the full year 2019, Brooks was the No. 1 brand on feet at 24 percent of participants, 4 points ahead of the next brand. In Germany, Brooks was awarded “Brand of the Year” in the running category by SAZ Sports for the fourth year in a row. Amongst competitors, SAZ ranked Brooks first on service, brand values, partnership behavior, products, and sustainability.
Photo courtesy Brooks