Brooks® Sports Appoints Fritz Taylor to Lead Footwear Team
Leading Running Company Adds Footwear Phenom to Executive Lineup
BOTHELL, WASH. – Dec. 4, 2007
Brooks Sports, Inc., a leading running company headquartered in Bothell, Wash., today announced running industry veteran Fritz Taylor joins its executive team as senior vice president of footwear.
Taylor comes to Brooks with 19 years of experience in the footwear industry. With a long-time passion for running shoes, a knack for identifying consumer trends, and a track record for developing industry-leading products, Taylor now leads the Brooks’ entire footwear product team, including design, development, and merchandising. His goal is to foster creativity and a cohesive product vision and direction, sharpening the team’s fervent focus on making best-in-class running shoes.
“I am very excited to join the Brooks team,” Taylor said. “I have a high level of respect and admiration for the focused commitment to performance running that Brooks has shown over the last six years.”
Taylor previously spent his career at NIKE, Inc., starting as an EKIN tech rep and working his way up to hold various other positions within the company. He most recently served as Nike’s global category footwear leader for Running.
Taylor now joins an award-winning team at Brooks who have been responsible for many industry leading running shoes including the Adrenaline™ GTS, Beast®, Addiction™, and Glycerin®. Most recently, Runner’s World granted the Trance™ 7 its coveted Editor’s Choice award in its Fall 2007 Shoe Review. Likewise, the Trance™ 7 received the award for Best Motion Stabilizing Shoe from Running Network in its 2007 Fall Shoe Guide.
“Fritz will play a key role in helping Brooks continue to deliver on our promise to provide leading product solutions for all runners,” said Jim Weber, president and CEO of Brooks Sports, Inc. “With his experience in the footwear industry and running community, we expect Fritz to positively influence all aspects of our performance running footwear collection and enhance the vision our team has created.”
As global category footwear leader for Nike Running, Taylor implemented strategic changes that resulted in the overall growth of the company’s running category and reversed a decline in market share with runners and running specialty accounts. Additionally, he served as one of the core founders of Nike’s “Bowerman” range—a product line honoring one of the company’s co-founders—and was responsible for bringing to market running shoes that either ranked No. 1 in their category or No. 1 in the industry as a whole.
Taylor’s first official day with Brooks—Monday, Dec. 3—marks a profound new chapter in his rich professional and personal history rooted in running.
“I started running in high school but didn't become really passionate about it until college. At the same time I became equally interested in and fanatical about running shoes,” said Taylor. “I still remember the first pair of “real performance” running shoes I bought—Brooks Villanovas. If you had asked me then what my dream job would be, this is it—leading the team that designs and develops running shoes at a passionate and focused running company like Brooks.”
Brooks Sports, Inc. is a leading running company that designs and markets a line of performance footwear, apparel and accessories in more than 40 countries worldwide. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Brooks was founded in 1914 and is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., near Seattle. The company’s mission is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear that keeps them running longer, farther, and faster. Visit brooksrunning.com for more information.