Brooks Sports Announces Brooks PR Invitational, release, deep thoughts by Larry Eder

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For some reason, people try to complicate our sport and business. In truth, the brands which are successful, the brands which are soaring, the brands who resonate with both the young performance athlete (14-22), core fitness runners (19-49), new runners (25-59) and life runners (18-99), do many of the same things, but with their own unique footprint. Stay focused on the prize, and your brand grows.  Cutting back on supporting the high school, core, new and life runners, not understanding that the diversity of the running community is its core strength, will see your brand wither and die.

So, who is the largest supporter of running and track and field in this country? The running brands, from ASICS, to adidas, to Nike to Zoot, each brand finds that, in order to gain support from local dealers, in order to develop foot traffic, in order to sell their shoes, and apparel, the brand, large and small, needs to resonate with the consumer. Each brand has to find out what works for it: Nike sponsors team USATF, a huge investment. For New Balance, it has become the NB Indoor & Outdoor. Brooks was looking for its way to illustrate it's support of high school runners. That is the reason Brooks has developed the Brooks PR Invitational. 

Recently, New Balance has picked up the NB Indoor after the NB Outdoor. Nike has the Nike Cross Nationals and Nike Team Nationals. Saucony has the FootLocker National Cross Country. ASICS has a series of major cross country and track invites. PUMA has Mt. SAC XC and Mt. SAC Track Invitational. These brands do these events to find a way to reach out to the young performance runner, who in many cases, becomes a life long runner.

Brooks took a look at what was going on in the high school firmament and announced a Brooks PR invitational! Taking this step by step, Brooks will have running events this year, and introduce field events in coming years. Built around their new Brooks PR line, with shoes for sprints, middle distances and distances, the 'Name your spike" program involves that young consumer, and gives them a focus as they shoot for faster times in 2011.

The recent exploration of minimalism has done our business good! The truth is, the footwear brands have made minimalist shoes for thirty years, as RunningNetwork footwear reviewer Cregg Weinmann noted: they are called track spikes and racing flats. The concern, and legitimate is that while young athletes and performance athletes do the core and prep work to run in spikes or minimal shoes, the fitness runner does not.

Paul Carroza of Run-Tex has classes where he teaches new runners how to use their core and legs to really run. He limits arm action (actually neutralizes it), until they learn how to be cognizant of their body while running.

High school runners could care less about health & fitness. Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts all go down, and with 30-70 miles a week, the perpetual furnace that is a high school runner's body, just burns and churns. High school runners want to see how fast that they can run! 

I think that it is great that various brands have and are supporting high school and college athletics (oh, and lets be honest-nearly 3,000 colleges have track and xc programs, with about 150 supported by brands, smart brands would workout programs with their dealers to work with these schools)--and we hope that it continues!

Release Below:

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Brooks® Sports Showcases the Next Generation of Runners with Brooks PR Invitational


Indoor Track Meet to Bring Together the Country's Fastest High School Athletes on February 27, 2011


Bothell, WA (December 21, 2010) - Leading running company Brooks Sports, Inc. ( announced today the upcoming Brooks PR Invitational, a unique, indoor track meet for the fastest high school runners in the U.S. Taking place on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, at the Dempsey Indoor track in Seattle, the Brooks PR Invitational will give qualifying high school athletes the chance to run fast, break their own PRs, and compete against the best of the best. 


Qualified athletes will test their speeds on one of the fastest indoor tracks in the country in one of the chosen Brooks PR Invitational events: 60m, 60m Hurdles, 400m, 800m, 1600m, and the 2 mile. Each event will feature eight to 12 of the best high school runners nationwide.


 Brooks Women's PR collection, courtesy of Brooks Sports

The Brooks PR Invitational will occur just weeks after the launch of Brooks' new PR spike collection and a "Name This Spike" promotion anchored on these new competition styles. Throughout 2011, the fastest male and female high school time run in each of three spikes in Brooks' PR collection--the PR LD, PR MD, and PR Sprint--will become the new name of that respective spike in 2012. For instance, if the fastest time in the mile by a male high school athlete wearing the PR LD is 4:08, the new name in 2012 for the men's PR LD will be the PR 4:08.

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Brooks PR Collection: Men's PR LD, courtesy of Brooks Sports, for more info on shoe, please download:S11_PR_LD.pdf


"In high school, it's all about running a personal record or a 'PR'. The Brooks PR Invitational is the perfect venue for PRs to be run, and for the PR spike collection's 'Name This Spike' contest to be brought to life," said Jesse Williams, sports marketing manager at Brooks. "We want to give these promising athletes the opportunity to compete against their peers in a one-of-a-kind event at one of the best track facilities in the country."

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Brooks PR Collection: Men's PR MD, courtesy of Brooks Sports, for more information on PR MD, please download: S11_PR_MD.pdf

To give all high school runners and fans the opportunity to experience the Brooks PR Invitational, Brooks will partner with Flotrack to stream the meet live on meet day. From 1 to 4 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 27, viewers can catch all the action at

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Brooks Collection: Men's Brooks PR Sprint, for more information, please download:S11_PR_Sprint.pdf

For more information about the Brooks PR Invitational and the "Name This Spike" promotion, visit For more information about Brooks performance running footwear, apparel, and accessories, please visit The PR LD, PR MD, and PR Sprint styles will launch January 1, 2011.



About Brooks
Brooks Sports, Inc. is a leading running company that designs and markets a line of performance footwear, apparel, and accessories in more than 60 countries worldwide. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Brooks was founded in 1914 and is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., near Seattle. The company's mission is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear that keeps them running longer, farther, and faster. Visit for more information, and follow frequent brand updates on Twitter (@brooksrunning) and Facebook (Brooks Sports).


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