After more then a decade of being sponsored by Nike, American distance runner Kara Goucher has decided to leave the juggernaut for the upcoming brand, Oiselle. Goucher was the Bronze medalist in the 10,00 meter race at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics and represented the United States in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Oiselle Running is just in it’s seventh year as a brand, and the signing of Goucher could propel their brand recognition rapidly.
When Goucher announced last week she would be leaving Nike after such long and mutually beneficial partnership, it led to many people wondering why? According to Goucher, the small, spirited, female-driven team that Oiselle had was her driving force in switching over brands, who’s seen revenue grow by 100% year-to-year, over the last three years.
“I wanted to be an Oiselle athlete first,” Goucher said. “I made my decision on Oiselle knowing I could possibly not be picked up in any other categories.”
Goucher’s exact role for the brand has yet to be detailed but we do know she will wear Oiselle clothing, promote the brand, and provide feedback on designs. Goucher isn’t the only person to recently cut ties with the Oregon based super brand, as runner Nick Symmonds left Nike for the emerging Brooks Running, saying he wanted more freedom of the market then Nike allowed.
Goucher may spark a trend for other athletes to switch from big box retailers to smaller start ups with more personalized goals and agendas for athletes of smaller market share like runners or Olympians. Keep an eye out for Goucher outfitted in her Oiselle gear as she tries to improve on her 6th place finish from last years Boston Marathon.