by Robert Johnson
January 2, 2014
US 800 meter star Nick Symmonds wasn’t without a shoe contract for long. The former Nike runner has signed a new sponsorship deal with Brooks this morning. Here are 4 Quick Thoughts About Nick Symmond’s Move To Brooks.
1) A smart move by Brooks which will be good for the sport.
The Brooks Beast Track Club was started last year and was building into a respectable outfit but the PR value of the club was very low high until now. Now they’ve got a ‘name’ and face to draw attention to the whole group.
It’s a good development for the sport as well. When adidas bought Reebok in January of 2006, I was worried there would be minimal competition for elite runners, but other companies have come in slowly to fill the void.
Team sports have a big advantage over running because fans love having a team to root for. What is by far the most popular event in running? The Olympics and there fans have a team to root for (Team USA, Russia, etc).
Running has a long way to go but it would be a good thing if fans sort of had teams they could root for. Instead of rooting for the Yankees or Redsox, you can root for Nike OTC, Brooks Beast Seattle, adidas/BAA, etc.
2) Money talks. Nick Symmonds has always praised coach Mark Rowland as being one of the best in the world, but is willing to leave him behind. It will be interesting to see how Simpson does with a new coach Danny Mackey.
Symmonds has consistently praised his coach at the Nike Oregon Track club, Mark Rowland as being one of the best in the world. He did so on video with us this summer and just last week to David Monti when he said, “I can say with confidence that I could not have been able to accomplish all that I have without the Oregon Track Club Elite and the wisdom of Mark Rowland.” Reading the quote now, it’s clear Nick was saying good-bye.
Personally, I think Symmonds will probably do just fine. In the modern, post-Internet era we live in today where the training secrets are largely a thing of the past, the runner makes the coach and not vice versa.
Jenny Simpson won a world-title under Juli Benson and a silver with Mark Wetmore. Leo Manzano was a star with Jason Vigilante in college and post-collegiately with Ryan Ponsoby/John Cook. Matthew Centrowitz won bronze with Andy Powell guiding him and silver with Alberto Salazar.
Running is like the NFL. A great quarterback is going to shine no matter where they play. Nick Symmonds is Peyton Manning and will do well whether he’s in Indy or Denver.
When someone is a seasoned as Symmonds is now (he just turned 30 on December 30th), normally by that time, the athlete is acting at a minimum as a co-coach with the actual coach. The good news is we known Symmonds kept a detailed training log as he sold copies of it last year online (we bought one) so he’ll have a lot of material to work with.
Plus, we think change for runners can be good.
After five or six years of the same routine, it’s hard not to get stale. With Symmonds, that wasn’t the case as there is no doubt he’s never run better than he has the last two years which were phenomenal, but change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
3) Nike is the opposite of the New York Yankees.
In professional sports, a slew of big name franchises like the New York Yankees are known for using their incredible war chests to sign big stars who were developed elsewhere. Often times, these contracts end up being for too much money and too much time (Alex Rodriguez is the perfect example) for an aging star.
Nike, seems to take the opposite approach. They get the big talents when they are young, are with them on the way up, but then Nike has consistently refused to pay a ton to keep them once Nike views they are past their peak.
Some probably think of it as heartless, others would call it shrewd business making. You decide but it’s a consistent pattern:
1) Olympic medallist Meb Keflezighi left for Skechers in 2011.
2) Leo Manzano won an Olympic silver in 2012 while running for Nike and is now still without a shoe contact.
3) Now there is Nick Symmonds – World Championship silver in 2013 – moves to Brooks in 2014.
4) Nick Will Have Plenty of People To Train With
We know casual fans may wonder, but who will Nick train with? The Brooks Beast club is by no means the Nike Oregon Track Club but it’s got a pretty stellar mid-d roster. The full Brooks Beast roster appears below, but here’s how a mythical 4 x 800 matchup between Symmonds old team and new one looks on paper based on PBs.
|Brooks Beast 4 x 800|
Matt Scherer – 1:46.11
Mark Wieczorek – 1:45.36
Casimir Loxsom – 1:45.28
Nick Symmonds – 1:42.95
|Nike OTC 4 x 800|
Elijah Greer 1:45.04
Andrew Wheating – 1:44.56
Tyler Mulder – 1:44.34
Nick Symmonds – 1:42.95
2014 Brooks Beast Track Club
Nick Symmonds – 1:42.95 pb
Casimir Loxsom – 1:45.28 pb
Mark Wieczorek – 1:45.36 pb
Riley Masters – 3:37.19 pb
Matt Scherer – 1:46.11 pb
Katie Mackey – 4:04.60 pb
Angela Bizzarri – 15:16.04 pb
Deb Maier – 9:02.35, 15:29.24, 32:12.47
Jessica Tebo – 15:19.43 pb
Jamie Cheever – 9:29.13 pb
Erica Moore – 1:59.97 pb
Coach: Danny Mackey
More: Messageboard Discussion: *Nick Symmonds’ Free Agency Is Soon To Be Over – New Shoe Deal Coming At 1pm ET – – Update has signed with Brooks!!
*NICK SYMMONDS WITHOUT A SPONSOR
*Who does Nick Symmonds think he is? LeBron?
*I respectfully disagree with Symmonds’ “big announcement”
More: *Press Release from Brooks with video announcement from Symmonds: Brooks Running Company Jumpstarts 100th Year with a Clear Focus on the Future of Run, Signing Olympian Nick Symmonds.
*Brooks Beasts TC Website