Candace Hill signs with ASICS for ten year sponsorship deal, by Larry Eder

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Updated with new photographs, 18 December

It was announced today, in an article by the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/sports/16-year-old-candace-hill-sprints-into-professional-track.html) by Lindsay Crouse, that Candace Hill has signed a ten year sponsorship deal with ASICS.

The signing has been confirmed by representatives of ASICS and Ms. HIll's management team, Global Athletics & Marketing.

Hill_Candice-NBON14.jpgCandice Hill , NB Outdoor 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Candace Hill has turned many heads this year, as the sixteen year old ran 10.98, the fastest time by a high schooler. Candace Hill, at the age of sixteen, is the youngest athlete in athletics (track & field) that we have been able to confirm, under a professional athlete contract.

There was discussion of Candace Hill considering going professional over the summer, but the package has just been completed. Candice Hill is represented by Mark Wetmore of Global Athletics & Marketing, located in Boston, MA. Global Athletics & Marketing represents athletes in track & field, road running and other professional sports.

PR meet-41.jpg

Candace Hill running 10.98 at Brooks PR Invite, June 2015, photo courtesy of Brooks Running

Per an article in EME News and the NYT Times piece, Candace Hill will be training under a new coach, Tom Carpenter.

What is fascinating to RunBlogRun about this situation is how recently brands are looking at younger athletes, especially young women. Many will recall Mary Cain, who turned professional at the age of 17, with a sponsorship agreement ith Nike.

U.S. record holder in the mile, Alan Webb, reportedly had a ten year contract with Nike, when he gave up his college elgibility after his freshman year to turn pro. Jennifer Prandini recently signed a long term contract with PUMA, where she will run and act as an ambassador for women's fitness. Trevor Bromell signed with New Balance at the age of 19, and RunBlogRun has been told that NB is focusing a new approach at young athletes using Mr. Bromell. One of the most promising signings of a young athlete has been Ajee' Wilson, the fine 800 meter runner signed by adidas. While Ajee' runs as a professional athlete, she has spent the last several years finishing her college degree.

For ASICS, under a new president in Gene McCarthy, this makes lot of sense. Many of its top athletes in Athletics are getting older, from Deena Kastor, to Ryan Hall and Sara Hall.

With the growth of high school track and cross country in the U.S. (1.4 million boys and girls out of 9.6 million sports participants at the high school level, ASICS' sponsorship of Candace Hill could be a great platform to reach out to this age group. Average purchases by high school athletes for actual running shoes is five per year, per survey with Athletes Only magazine, a partner of RunBlogRun.

What will be interesting is to see how ASICS handles the marketing of Ms. Hill and how she responds to the added pressure of being the new sprint star in town.

This story has been confirmed with both the sponsor and the management of the athlete. Special thanks to EME News and the New York Times.

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