Brooks Running reported that it set new records in 2021, ending the year with global revenue exceeding $1.11 billion, an increase of 31 percent year-over-year. This result marks the first time the running brand has reached $1 billion in annual revenue.

The gains come on top of a 27 percent hike in sales in 2020 despite supply chain disruptions. Brooks said it benefited by “reaffirming its commitment to the running community, remaining agile and transparent in servicing strong customer demand and attracting new runners worldwide to the brand while investing in research and runner insights.”

“Brooks had a record year across every metric we track,” said Jim Weber, Brooks CEO. “Crossing the $1 billion threshold is especially gratifying as it reflects the outcome of a 20-year focus and commitment from our global team to inspire and serve runners better than any brand in run. We enter 2022 with strong demand for Brooks products in all retail channels as the only major brand exclusively anchored in performance across the run lifestyle, from sport enthusiasts to fitness seekers. I am optimistic the best is yet to come for the run community and for Brooks.”

Setting The Pace For The Market
Brooks said worldwide demand for performance running footwear continued to grow during the past year. In 2021, Brooks sold 25 percent more shoes globally compared to the prior year.

The U.S. total running shoe market increased dollar sales by 20 percent in 2021, according to The NPD Group, as Americans adapted to COVID-19 realities and sought to reclaim active lifestyles. Brooks’ commitment to reach runners where they shop is reflected in strong market share across channels in 2021.

According to NPD’s point-of-sale data, Brooks was again the leading brand in the running specialty channel, which Brooks views as an influential, community-centric channel. In the athletic specialty and sporting goods (ASSG) channel, Brooks also earned the number one market share in adult running shoes, with 28 percent dollar share in 2021—a year-over-year increase of 4 percentage points. Across all U.S. retail channels combined, Brooks was the number two ranked adult performance running footwear brand in 2021, with 19 percent dollar share, gaining 2 percentage points year-over-year, reflecting strong sales growth up 37 percent.

Brooks produced the industry’s top two franchise styles for adult performance running footwear—Ghost (No. 1) and Adrenaline GTS (No. 2). Finally, Brooks’ direct e-commerce revenue in North America grew 149 percent over pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

In local currency, Brooks’ EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) business grew 25 percent in revenue year-over-year. Momentum occurred across all countries and distribution channels, including specialty retail, general sporting goods and directly on BrooksRunning.EU. This pace further underscores the brand’s demand throughout the region.

Innovating At Scale
On the heels of announcing its commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, Brooks introduced the Ghost 14, making its highest-volume style carbon-neutral shoe using recycled materials and carbon offsets. Brooks continued to invest in innovative and groundbreaking experiences for the runner, introducing the Aurora-BL shoe from the brand’s BlueLine Lab. The Aurora features its latest biomechanical and product engineering, including DNA Loft v3, a nitrogen-injected cushion compound and a decoupled midsole to support natural movement.

Outpacing Challenges
Brooks’ global revenue has doubled since 2017, despite industry challenges that began in early 2020 with the worldwide spread of COVID-19. The pandemic-related supply chain disruptions significantly affected global business operations with mandated factory closures leading to production disruptions and product development inefficiencies due to an inability for product and sourcing teams to travel internationally. Brooks pushed through the challenges, prioritizing product quality, service and timely communication with manufacturing partners and customers.

The Path Ahead
Brooks said its future success will be driven by the company’s long-term focus on building the “best performance running gear in the world for its customers, execution excellence and increasing runner demand.” With a backdrop of increasing global participation in running, the company said it plans to “continue to invest in mining human and science-based insights, engineering fit, feel and ride, leveraging proprietary technologies, creating franchise products, and delivering designs that connect emotionally with customers who are looking for the best products available in run.” Brooks also said it will continue partnering with “the best retailers for runners with a multi-channel distribution structure coupled with an engagement strategy to reach runners when and where they shop.”

Photo courtesy Brooks