It’s official. The rumours have come to pass. Brooks has distanced itself away from Sportslink and decidedly come under the purview of Key Power International. Good on them. It’s a choice RunSociety fully supports, especially with all the mediocre marketing support they’ve received for years which has seen the brand fall way below the local pecking order. And we’re not saying that based on any form of nostalgic propensity. Originating from the United States, Brooks was founded in 1914 and boasts nearly a century worth of shoe cred in the running circle. Topping it up, the company is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – Warren Buffett’s cradle.
“Everybody knows Brooks is the number one running shoe in U.S. right now, even in Australia. And Key Power, we want to grow our company so we need a brand like Brooks to really go into the mass market of you know, most of the Singapore runners. Well, Brooks has been with Sportslink for quite a while and the reason why we took over was because Brooks U.S.A. recognises Key Power as a company with a lot of marketing strategy, events, and as myself also, I’m a runner also actually you see. So the way will be totally different and this is Brooks’ U.S. direction.” comments Robert Lu, President, Key Power International.
Speaking to Lu further, it was brought to our attention that the recent shift in distributorship took place on the back of a major restructuring push by Brooks in Asia. Japan is currently the second largest running market in the world and in pole position within Asia. From our understanding, Brooks hopes to get in touch with the nuances of regional markets to expand its presence in this fast developing part of the world. Why go so far? Count the number of races in Singapore within a year.
The official relaunch of Brooks in Singapore was held at Velocity@Novena Square with a campaign promoting the brand’s new Pure Project series. Comprising five distinct shoe attributes that include special workings to toe flex, anatomical shape, nav band, midsole and the ideal heel, it’s considered “radically lightweight” where “flexible material merge with smart design to naturally align your stride and empower every push-off.” They come in four different models: PureConnect, PureFlow, PureCadence and PureGrit.
In a show of support, members of Punggol Runners were down to conduct a five-kilometre test run on behalf of all who purchased shoes at the launch.
“Basically we’re (Punggol Runners) here to you know, help out, to do a lead up run for people who have purchased Brooks shoes. It’s to let them have a feel of Brooks running on the road in a Brooks guided run.” says Michael Kang, 50, Chairman, Punggol Runners.
RunSociety also caught up with Kenny Han, 33, Teacher, to garner feedback on the PureConnect which he hammered out during the five-kilometre trial, “Feels very springy. Feels very close to the ground. So when I’m running, I actually get to feel a bit more on the ground. I’ve tried Nike. I’ve tried New Balance. Currently I’m using the Saucony Kinvara. So I’m quite actually used to the minimalist range of shoes. I would say that this shoe has a good feel. Perhaps only drawback is the width of it because I have pretty wide feet so I generally go for the ‘2E’ widths. So this one on the ‘D’ might be a little bit slim but still a pretty snug fit but I doubt for a start I might take it out for a very long distance run. Probably up to 20K would be good.”
We've not seen the last of Brooks that's for sure. Singapore, brace yourselves.