Jenny Barringer Simpson & Josh Rowe, NB Armory 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net
I first met Josh Rowe in 1998, when he and John Truax started the Nike Border Clash, one of the more inventive events in our sport. Rowe & Truax developed an event, that is, in my mind, one of the key events on my schedule. I have missed it once in 11 years. It was evident then that Josh loved the sport.
Josh Rowe is one of those people, and most of the major companies have one or two, who truly love the sport and help affect generations of runners, giving them a chance to compete on their first major event. Rowe is now the marketing manager for running at New Balance, and in a short time, NB has acquired Falmouth Road Race, New Balance Indoor & Outdoor championships, as well as the NB Indoor Grand Prix in Boston, one of the crown jewels of the indoor circuit.
Tom Carleo, GM of New Balance running told RBR a year ago, to watch what NB does and how they position themselves. He made a big case for hiring Josh, and his implicit trust of Mr. Rowe. Carleo, a former 1,500m runner at Nike Boston, is one of the more iconic members of the running biz, and wears his heart on his sleeves: he loves the sport, you just have to hear it through a New England accent and smile. That Carleo hired Rowe for this position was interpreted by the industry as NB wanted to show, once again, that they are serious about performance running.
Josh Rowe allowed us to give him a few questions and his answers should give you some insight into how New Balance is re positioning itself in performance running!
us why NB sponsored NB indoor?
Josh Rowe: The NB Nationals – Indoor is
a natural complement to the NB Nationals – Outdoors. New Balance is very
proud to partner with the NSSF in sponsoring both high school national
championship track and field events. The two events represent the best
two high school track meets in the country, and we are thrilled to be driving
excitement in T&F at the HS level.
us about the NB outdoor?
Josh Rowe: The New Balance Nationals –
Outdoor was New Balance’s first venture into championship high school track and
field. It was the perfect opportunity for NB to showcase the best we have
to offer elite high school athletes, from world-class competition shoes to
state-of-the art training products. It was also a perfect opportunity for
NB product designers and developers to bounce ideas off of these athletes and
get direct feedback on new innovations, designs, etc.
are your plans for the NB Indoor Grand Prix?
Josh Rowe: We plan to use this year’s
Grand Prix to help us launch an amazing new training shoe, the 890. This
shoe has a new midsole compound called REVlite that is incredibly lightweight
and will be the perfect training shoe for runners runner’s who love to run
fast. The shoes are tagged the “Barringer” and the “Baddeley,”
after Jenny Barringer Simpson and Andy Baddeley. It will be the only
training shoes in the industry to be named after current world-class athletes.
RBR, # 4. I
am interpreting NB’s moves, so NB is
making a huge investment in prep athletics and athletics in US and
global, this seems to say NB sees running as its primary business?
Josh Rowe: Yes, Running is at the
core of who New Balance is.
RBR, # 5. Obviously, you
worked at Nike, now you are at NB, how do you describe your work at NB?
Josh Rowe: At NB we are 100%
focused on being the best running company in the world. Every decision we
make I ask, “will this make us a better running company?” It is a
terrific environment in which to work. We have a fantastic team driving
NB Running starting from the top with Running GM, Tom Carleo.
RBR, # 6. You now sponsor
events at NB armory in NY and Reggie Lewis center, both houses of indoor
running, tell us about that?
Josh Rowe: The Armory in NYC is
one of the top T&F venues in the world, and the truly church of Indoor
track and field in the US. Dr. Norbert Sander has done an incredible job
with this facility and I am inspired every time I walk though those
doors. Our relationship with the Armory is something we are very proud of
as a company. The Reggie Lewis center is another terrific T&F
venue. We continue to build our relationship with them and very excited
about our new partnership there with the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.
RBR, # 7. Any more
announcements you care to give us at this time;)?
Josh Rowe: Nothing more at the
moment…We are now digging in, working to bring these amazing assets to life.
RBR, # 8. What do you love
about our sport?
Josh Rowe: What I love most about
our sport is that is the core for all other sports. How fast can you
run? How high can you jump? How far can you throw? I also love the
accessibility of the sport. Anyone can do it, and if you work hard, you are
guaranteed to see improvement and success.
Joan Benoit Samuelson and an old friend, Josh Rowe, photo by PhotoRun.net
thanks to Josh Rowe for his time and candor. Thanks to Kristen
Sullivan, NB communications/PR for her kind assistance, as always. Photos courtesy of PhotoRun.net.
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