Jim Weber took a huge chance when he took over Brooks. He let go a reportedly $5 million client, to the consternation of many. But, Weber was right. He knew that he had to focus Brooks on its core business, and he had to find its secret sauce.
I spoke with Jim Weber in Atlanta, on the weekend of the Olympic Trials, where he outfitted 80 athletes. His top athlete, two time Olympian Des Linden, took 4th, barely missing her third Olympic team.
The following letter was posted 17 March 2020 on the coronavirus…
Dear Brooks Community,
We are in unprecedented times. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact communities around the world, our thoughts are with all individuals personally affected and the medical professionals dedicated to their care.
At Brooks, we are working daily to do our part to slow the spread of the virus, in accordance with guidance from government and health authorities. We support everyone who is doing the same, and we are grateful for their efforts.
To help flatten the curve of the virus, we’ve temporarily closed our retail stores. Our retail employees will still be fully compensated to minimize the impact of these closings on their lives.
Organization-wide, we have paused work-related travel and implemented remote work for all employees who are able to do so. We continue to monitor official advice to maintain safe practices for all of our employees.
It is difficult to see running events around the world cancelled. We stand behind race organizers who are making tough decisions to protect the health of the running community. It is also difficult to see retail partners suffering as they manage through their own impacts.
In the coming weeks, the human and economic toll of this global pandemic will be hard to grasp. Facing this challenge makes us even more committed to supporting health, community and each other.
We encourage all who can to get outside and put one foot in front of the other, as we know it will make your day better. Running is a source of positive energy, and we want to put as much of that energy into the world as possible when people are ready for it.