Berkshire Hathaway’s Brooks Running crossed the finish line in 2022 with record global revenue, up 6% over 2021 with growth in all regions, and direct-to-consumer sales up 16%.
The brand navigated supply chain obstacles during the first half of the year, returning to complete inventories in the back half with a record fourth quarter, up 26% year over year.
In January 2022, Brooks became the top brand at U.S. retail in adult performance running footwear, maintaining that position through the year to finish with 21% market share.
For 2022, Brooks again held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in adult performance footwear styles sold at U.S. retail with the Ghost and Adrenaline GTS respectively, contributing to the running brand’s strong momentum heading into 2023.
Brooks competed for customers across run categories in 2022 with innovative products and key initiatives in cushion, speed, trail, and walking. Notably, the launch of the new Glycerin 20 Super Franchise with a nitrogen-infused midsole offers runners more choice in fit and support, with the addition of the GTS stability system and a new StealthFit option alongside Brooks’ classic fit.
“In 2022, Brooks overcame economic and supply chain headwinds to gain new customers across all categories including running, walking, hiking, and more,” said Jim Weber, CEO at Brooks Running. “As we head into the new year, we’re positioned for continued growth in multiple fitness and outdoor performance categories.”
Expanding global reach and capacity
In 2022, Brooks focused on opportunities to engage runners and better service customers in key markets around the globe. During the year, Brooks launched e-commerce sites in six additional countries and invested in new distribution centers in the U.S. and U.K. to address increasing demand and scale for growth.
In the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, Brooks grew revenue 15% in local currency year over year. The Asia Pacific and Latin America region grew 33%, with Australia and China up 24% and 21% respectively, driven by wholesale success and a digital-first approach.
Running retailers around the world recognized Brooks for its brand strength and best-in-class service. Brooks was recently named as the top running brand in Canada by independent running retailers in 4 of 5 categories when surveyed by the IRRC (Independent Running Retailers of Canada).
German publication SAZ, a trade publication that tracks retailer sentiment, recognized Brooks as running brand of the year for the sixth year in a row.
In the U.S., Brooks ranked No. 1 overall in Brand Rating and Ranking in this year’s Running Dealer Report issued by the Running Industry Association (RIA).
Connecting with runners and fostering growth in community
Brooks made investments in the running community in 2022 through new initiatives, including the August launch of the “It’s Your Run” global brand campaign, which celebrates runners of all types on their journeys to achieving their best runs. Coinciding with the campaign, the brand grew 2 points of unit share at U.S. retail for adult performance running footwear from August to December 2022, year over year.
The brand’s loyalty program, Brooks Run Club, hit nearly a quarter million memberships last year as the community expanded from digital events to include physical activations across the U.S.
Brooks also organized events at marquee trail and road races this year, including Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in Chamonix, France, and the Boston and New York City Marathons. Brooks-sponsored athletes blazed new trails, with CJ Albertson setting the world record in the 50k at 2:38:43 and Josh Kerr clocking 3:48:87 to break the British and European indoor mile records at the Boston University Last Chance Meet.
Last year’s Sasquatch by Louie Gong (Nooksack) collection and Run Proud collaboration with LGBTQ+ artist Lisa Congdon celebrated diverse identities within running and supported Brooks’ goal to champion the run for all.
Brooks also extended its existing relationship with free community event group parkrun, becoming parkrun’s exclusive global footwear partner and the presenting partner in the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands through 2028, supporting the organization’s growing community that currently includes eight million registered participants in more than 20 countries.
Poised for success in the new year
As Brooks looks ahead to 2023, the brand will continue to meet the evolving needs of runners through product innovation and advancements in nitrogen-infused midsoles and assisted transitions, including its Glideroll rocker. Market trends project growth in running and walking participation, and Brooks will deliver new speed, trail, and cushion products to meet that demand. Brooks will also take further steps down its People and Planet path by deepening investments in youth running and developing elite athletes. Brooks will also launch additional carbon neutral products and a new Green Silence shoe that will showcase advancements in sustainability.
“The future has never been brighter for performance running,” added Weber. “We look forward to introducing more runners to Brooks this year, giving them the premium fit, performance, and experience they desire from their gear while connecting uniquely through our Run Happy spirit.”
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.