Berkshire Hathaway’s running shoe and fitness apparel company, Brooks Running, for the second consecutive quarter holds the top spot in the U.S. adult performance running footwear market with 21% market share based on revenue, and continued its momentum with record global revenue, up 11% compared to the second quarter of 2021.
In the face of ongoing economic and supply chain stressors, Brooks began to meet strong demand in May, keeping the company on track for projected double-digit revenue growth in 2022.
Brooks captured five of the top 25 adult performance running footwear shoes at U.S. retail in the first half of 2022: the Ghost 14, Adrenaline GTS 22, Adrenaline GTS 21, Revel 5, and Glycerin 19. The Ghost and Adrenaline maintained their positions as the top two selling franchise lines in the U.S. market, with a combined 14% of sales revenue.
“We’ve seen great excitement over our revolutionary nitrogen-infusion technology and the launch of our Glycerin 20 franchise, and we look forward to bringing the carbon neutral Ghost 15 to runners this November,” said CEO Jim Weber. “By spreading the run and its energy to an even greater number of individuals across the globe, Brooks has captured double-digit growth with more to come in the second half of this year.”
The running market around the world continues to normalize after the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruptive impact on consumer behavior, retail markets, and the supply chain. While the running footwear market in the U.S. was down 10% in Q2 versus last year, Brooks’ long-term growth outlook remains positive as global participation is expected to grow coming out of the pandemic and outpace historical trends.
Manufacturing recovery allowed Brooks to fully meet demand beginning in May and launch the highly anticipated Glycerin 20 franchise in June, both key factors in achieving 12% revenue growth in the U.S. and 38% revenue growth in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions in the second quarter. Brooks also began a soft launch into the China market in Q2, focusing on digital sales. With over 20 million people in China running, the country represents a large market for premium running footwear, with over $1.5 billion in sales and 13 million pairs sold annually.
Brooks gains insight through human and science-based research to deliver products for any type of runner. Brooks launched its latest footwear innovation in engineered midsole technology with the nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3. This technology allows Brooks to control cell structures and density in its midsoles, fine-tuning the underfoot experience of each style to meet the different needs, preferences, and environments of runners.
Developed through the brands’ BlueLine Lab, this nitrogen-infused technology provides more cushioning in the midsole without sacrificing weight. Road runners and trail runners can reap the benefits when wearing the Glycerin 20 franchise or Caldera 6 shoes. Brooks will continue to invest in technology to bring innovation into more products that deliver the performance gear that every runner deserves.
Brooks was back to in-person running events this past quarter, engaging runners in the community and representing the brand at the highest levels of the sport. Four Brooks athletes competed at the World Athletics Championships, and the brand gathered the nation’s top high school runners to compete in the Brooks PR Invitational and attempt a personal record (PR). Now in its 10th year, the event saw the fastest U.S. time recorded in the girls’ 400m in 2022 and a record in the boys’ mile.
This August, Brooks launched a global brand campaign, “It’s Your Run.” The campaign is a celebration of the creative ways all types of runners get to their personal finish lines. Built on the insight that running can be hard for even for the most committed runners, the campaign focuses on the creative ways that runners achieve their best run.
© 2022 David Mazor
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.