28 Mar '14, 4pm
[email protected]'s deal with @Oiselle could signal a shift in how elite sponsorships are made.
Well, not literally, but theoretically, at least for the time being. Last week when she left Nike after 12 years for Oiselle , a Seattle-based company that makes women's running apparel, it broke ranks with the customary elite runner sponsorship agreement. Traditionally, professional runners sign with a major shoe company that exclusively outfitted them from head-to-toe. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement. The shoe sponsor was the primary, and often most stable, source of revenue for the athlete. In return, the shoe company had a well-muscled billboard for their brand. Now, by leaving a shoe giant for a seven-year-old company that doesn't even sell running shoes, Goucher is providing a glimpse into an alternative way for elite athletes to structure sponsorship deals.