Jerry Turner, the legendary president of Brooks in the 1960s and 1970s and most recently head of American Sporting Goods, has come out of retirement to launch Turner Footwear, a collection of performance running and workout footwear.
Turner has tapped veteran sales and marketing teams, including David Edge and Ryan Osterman. Turner will lead footwear design and engineering, bringing back an entrepreneurial approach to introducing performance technologies. “I am excited and energized to be back in the business and particularly working closely with my team and our great retail partners,” noted Turner.
Turner Footwear will launch in May with a small package of performance running and workout collections with an expanded lineup rolling out shortly thereafter. Further details on the launch are not currently being disclosed.
“We are particularly thrilled with Turner Footwear’s first midsole material cleverly named RUBBA which needs no further explanation” noted Ed Goldman from Hal’s Napkins Marketing Services and the former VP of marketing at Avia. Goldman, along with Turner and his team, are developing a rollout strategy blanketing many consumer targets.
Goldman went on to describe the approach of the brand position: “This is not another startup athletic footwear company but rather a peek into the chronology of the athletic footwear industry from the early 60s to the 80s from one of the industry’s few pioneers.”
Goldman added, “We have created interest from millennials to boomers with the tagline, Legends Evolve.”
Turner was last active in the industry as CEO of American Sporting Goods, which owned Avia, Ryka and And1. The business was sold to Brown Shoe in February 2001 and Turner agreed to stay on as a consultant for one year as part of the transition.
In being inducted into the NSGA’s Sporting Goods Hall Of Fame in 2004, Jerry Turner was praised as one of the key innovators in the athletic footwear business, including introducing nylon outsoles for cleated products and EVA midsoles for running shoes while at Brooks. Turner was also seen as one of the first “brand aggregators,” turning his former Turntec business into a group of brands including Turntec, Ryka, Apex, Nevados, Avia and others.
Photo courtesy Brooks