Manzano Also Finds A New Agent As Hawi Keflezighi – Meb’s Brother – Negotiated The Deal
April 9, 2014
2012 Olympic 1,500 silver medallist Leo Manzano is no longer sponsorless. Today, Manzano, who amazingly has been without a sponsor since the end of 2012 and has recently been running races in a self-designed t-shirt, signed a deal with upstart shoe company Hoka One One.
“I’m honored to represent HOKA ONE ONE. I feel blessed to have connected with such a game-changing and innovative company that is led by runners who understand the needs of runners,” said Manzano in a press release. “I hope to leverage this opportunity to showcase how HOKA’s brilliantly engineered products benefit runners of all distances.”
Quick takes appear below and then we present the full release from Hoka One One.
Quick Take #1: Today’s deal must be a huge relief for Manzano and it will be interesting to see if having the financial stability of what of a shoe deal will improve Leo’s performance on the track.
Consistent performances have never been the name of the game for Manzano, but we had started to wonder if the pressure of being sponsorless was starting to impact his performance. After indoors, where he was last at New Balance Boston, seventh at Millrose and fifth at USAs, it came out that Manzano and agent Ricky Simms had parted company. So heading into outdoors, Leo was sponsorless, coach-less and agent-less. Not a good combination for a runner.
Quick Take #2: This is a big win for Hawi Keflezighi, the brother of Meb who negotiated the deal for Manzano and now is his agent.
“He’s a brilliant guy, very down to earth. He and I really connected,” Manzano said to Runner’s World about his new agent.
To be honest, when we saw that thread, we thought it was most likely a joke. But it’s good to see a new company trying to make a name in elite running.
Quick Take #4: Wondering why the company is named Hoka One One and not just Hoka One? The company is named for the Maori language phrase meaning to fly.
Note: The press release below is dated April 10, 2014 but clearly came out on April 9, 2014.
Olympic Silver Medalist Leo Manzano Signs with HOKA ONE ONE®
U.S. 1500-meter star will showcase revolutionary running brand
MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Zakhary | Brainerd Communicators | 212.986.6667 | [email protected]
Richmond, CA (April 10, 2014) – HOKA ONE ONE® is proud to announce the signing of 2012 Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, who specializes in the 1500-meter and mile distances, to a multi-year agreement.
Manzano, 29, was a five-time NCAA Champion at the University of Texas, and has been ranked among the top three milers in the U.S. for the past seven years. A model of consistency, he has made every U.S. Olympic and World Championships team since 2007. Known for his signature kick, Manzano was in sixth place coming off the final turn at the London Olympics before storming up the homestretch to earn a silver medal—the first Olympic medal of any kind for the U.S. at 1500 meters since Jim Ryun in 1968.
As part of his new relationship with HOKA ONE ONE, a division of Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NASDAQ: DECK), Manzano will play a key role in the company’s development of its first racing flats and spikes.
“I’m honored to represent HOKA ONE ONE. I feel blessed to have connected with such a game-changing and innovative company that is led by runners who understand the needs of runners,” said Manzano. “I hope to leverage this opportunity to showcase how HOKA’s brilliantly engineered products benefit runners of all distances.”
“Adding Leo to the HOKA family elevates our brand visibility and is a testament to the momentum we are gaining in the highly competitive running industry,” said Jim Van Dine, HOKA ONE ONE Brand President. “Leo is not only an Olympian and track-and-field all-star, he’s also a person with great integrity and character. We look forward to closely collaborating with Leo on product development—specifically racing spikes and flats.”
Until now known primarily for its remarkable success in ultra-marathon and trail-running communities with its revolutionary oversized cushioned shoes, HOKA ONE ONE recently received the 2014 Competitor Magazine Fit, Feel, Ride Award for Best Innovation for its newest shoe, the Conquest for men and women, designed for runners of all distances.
Manzano’s relationship with HOKA was negotiated and will be managed by Hawi Keflezighi of HAWI Management.
About HOKA ONE ONE
HOKA ONE ONE was founded in 2009 by Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud and was created to design shoes that offer improved performance, primarily for ultrarunners. Deckers Outdoor Corp. acquired the brand in late 2012 and is investing to broaden the product line to service all runners. Due to HOKA ONE ONE’s unique ability to provide cushioning while still offering stability, runners of all types may greatly benefit from its products. For more information, please visit www.hokaoneone.com.
About Deckers Outdoor Corporation
Deckers Outdoor Corporation is a global leader in designing, marketing and distributing innovative footwear, apparel and accessories developed for both everyday casual lifestyle use and high performance activities. The Company’s portfolio of brands includes UGG® Australia, Teva®, Sanuk®, TSUBO®, Ahnu®, MOZO®, and HOKA ONE ONE®. Deckers Outdoor products are sold in more than 50 countries and territories through select department and specialty stores, 117 Company-owned and operated retail stores, and select online stores, including Company-owned websites. Deckers Outdoor has a 40-year history of building niche footwear brands into lifestyle market leaders attracting millions of loyal consumers globally. For more information, please visit www.deckers.com.