The release below is great news. HOKA ONE ONE, one of the few brands that is continuing to grow in this strange time in our sport and business, has extended their contract with the Northern Arizona Elite.
What do we learn from this? Well, if something is working, let it the hell alone. Too many running brands think that, when core running is going well, change it up, and try and find another loyal group to grow the business. Some brands, key brands in performance running are nearly out of the real running business. Fashion products have these cyclical huge increases, then, go away and brands are left with, What the hell happened?
Supporting the grass roots, as HOKA ONE ONE has done, are good for the sport and also good for the brands.
Congrats to Coach Ben Rosario and his team. Nice to see Ben Bruce moving into coaching as he evolves in his running career as well.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (March 13, 2018) – Northern Arizona Elite announced today that the team has signed a new multi-year partnership with HOKA ONE ONEÂ® through the 2020 Olympic cycle.
NAZ ELITE began its partnership with HOKA in February of 2015. One year later, HOKA NAZ Elite placed two athletes in the top ten at the United States Olympic Marathon Trials and three athletes in the top ten at the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials, including two fourth-place finishes. HOKA NAZ Elite athletes have competed at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, the World Half Marathon Championships and the World Track and Field Championships.
“HOKA Northern Arizona Elite is a tremendous group of athletes training in one of the best distance-running locations in the world,” said Mike McManus, Senior Sports Marketing Manager for HOKA ONE ONE. “Training groups like theirs provide the support and resources athletes need to develop and compete with the world’s best, and we are excited to continue supporting them as they continue pushing their limits.”
The 2018 HOKA NAZ Elite Roster includes established stars Scott Fauble and Kellyn Taylor who each finished fourth at the 2016 Olympic Trials over 10,000 meters. Taylor has run three marathons under 2:30 and recently finished eighth at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. Fauble ran his debut marathon in 2:12:35 at the 2017 Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. He joins teammates Aaron Braun, Matt Llano and Scott Smith who have all run 2:12 for the marathon distance. The team also features 2016 National Cross Country Champion Craig Lutz and six-time Northern Arizona University All-American, Futsum Zienasellassie. Joining Taylor on the women’s side is Stephanie Bruce who was tenth in New York City and has become one of the most recognizable figures in U.S. distance running, known for her fast times as well as for her transparency on social media.
The team’s newest member is seven-time U.S. National Champion Aliphine Tuliamuk. Signed in January, Tuliamuk moved to Flagstaff in February and will compete in this weekend’s United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. Another change to the roster will be veteran Ben Bruce, who will move into an assistant coaching role in addition to continuing his career as an athlete.
“We love the HOKA brand, we love the shoes and we love the people,” said HOKA NAZ Elite Head Coach Ben Rosario. “For the company to commit to us financially for three full years in a way that will allow us to be truly professional means we will have all the resources we need to compete at the very highest level possible.”
ABOUT NORTHERN ARIZONA ELITE
HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite is a professional sports organization whose mission is to recruit, develop and produce distance runners to compete at the very highest level of international athletics and operate as a successful business by building a global fan base for the team and its athletes through comprehensive and ongoing marketing efforts on a local, national and international level. For more information visit nazelite.com or follow @naz_elite.
About HOKA ONE ONEÂ®
HOKA ONE ONEÂ® is the fastest growing premium running shoe brand in the world. Two life-long runners launched HOKA in 2009, after years spent handcrafting and shaping lightweight shoes with extra-thick midsoles. Initially embraced by ultrarunners because of their enhanced cushioning and inherent stability, HOKA now offers shoes for all types of athletes who enjoy the unique ride the shoes provide. For more information visit hokaoneone.com or follow @hokaoneone #hokaoneone.