Company Sets Industry Pace with Runner Obsession and Performance Focus
– Seattle, WA
Brooks Running set new records in 2021, ending the year with global revenue exceeding US$1.11 billion, an increase of 31% percent year over year. This result marks the first time the running brand reached US$1 billion in annual revenue.
Brooks navigated the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and related supply chain disruption 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. All the while, the company continued to invest heavily in scientific research, technology, and industry-leading runner insights to deliver best-in-class performance gear.
“Brooks had a record year across every metric we track,” said Jim Weber, Brooks CEO. “Crossing the US$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 the 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
The worldwide demand for performance running footwear continued to grow during the past year. In 2021, Brooks sold 25% more pairs of shoes globally compared to the previous year.
The U.S. total running shoe market increased dollar sales by 20% in 2021, according to The NPD Group, as Americans adapted to COVID-19 realities and sought to reclaim their active lifestyles. Brooks’ commitment to reach runners where they shop is reflected in strong market share across channels in 2021. 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 No. 1 market share in adult running shoes, with 28% dollar share in 2021 — a year-over-year increase of 4 percentage points. Across all U.S. retail channels combined, Brooks was the No. 2-ranked adult performance running footwear brand in 2021, with 19% dollar share, gaining 2 percentage points year over year, reflecting strong sales growth up 37%. Brooks produced the industry’s top two franchise styles for adult performance running footwear: the Ghost at No. 1 and the Adrenaline GTS at No. 2. Finally, Brooks’ direct e-commerce revenue in North America grew 149% over pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
In local currency, Brooks’ EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) business grew 25% 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 achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, Brooks introduced the Ghost 14, making its highest-volume style carbon-neutral through a combination of 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 featured cutting-edge biomechanical and product engineering, including DNA LOFT v3, a new, nitrogen-injected cushion compound, and a unique decoupled midsole to support natural movement.
Brooks’ global revenue has doubled since 2017 despite industry challenges that began in early 2020 with the global spread of COVID-19. The pandemic-related supply chain disruptions significantly affected global business operations, with mandated factory closures leading to production disruptions, as well as product development inefficiencies due to an inability for product and sourcing teams to travel internationally. Brooks pushed through these challenges, prioritizing product quality, service, and timely communication with manufacturing partners, and customers.
Running Is a Team Sport
Brooks’ 2021 success was driven by strong execution from 1,100+ employees across the globe. The company made progress in attracting and retaining diverse talent, adding 147 new employee roles in the year and achieving a North America workforce with 35.7% BIPOC employees, up 2.6 points from 2020. The company’s voluntary attrition rate for the year remained low, reflecting a stable and engaged workforce and strong culture even in blended remote / in-person work environments.
Brooks also fostered inclusivity within the running community in 2021, continuing its leadership in and support of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC). As well, it spotlighted stories of diverse runners across several identities through the “Who Is A Runner” video series and announced sponsorship of Angel City Elite, a professional running team actively working to bring more BIPOC representation to the sport. Brooks athletes represented the brand on the world stage as races returned, and Brooks Beast Josh Kerr became the brand’s first athlete to win an Olympic medal, taking Olympic bronze in the men’s 1,500m, representing Team Great Britain.
The Path Ahead
Brooks’ 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 will continue to invest in mining human and science-based insights; engineering fit, feel, and ride; leveraging proprietary technologies; creating compelling franchise products; and delivering designs that connect emotionally with customers who are looking for the best products available in run. Brooks will also 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.
Brooks Running sells its performance footwear, apparel, run bras, and accessories worldwide. Brooks’ purpose is to inspire everyone to run their path by creating the best gear, tools, and experiences. Founded 1914, Brooks is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is headquartered in Seattle. Visit www.brooksrunning.com for more information or follow @brooksrunning.
1 Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service, U.S. dollar sales, 12ME December 2021
2 Source: The NPD Group /Retail Tracking Service, U.S. dollar sales, 12ME December 2021
3 Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S. dollar sales, 12ME December 2021
4 Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, U.S. dollar sales, 12ME December 2021