Distance Runner Kara Goucher Leaves Nike For Seattle-Based Startup Oiselle
U.S. Olympic distance runner Kara Goucher "has signed with Seattle-based women’s running apparel company Oiselle," according to Hannah McGoldrick of RUNNER'S WORLD. Goucher, who has "been a free agent since December, was a Nike-sponsored athlete for 12 years." She was "based in Oregon for nine years, first coached by Alberto Salazar and more recently by Jerry Schumacher," both of who "coached Nike groups." Goucher's contract "expired twice before in her tenure at Nike" in '05 and '08, but she said that "since she was running with Salazar, she had no reason to leave." Her new coaches "are not affiliated with any sponsor." Goucher has run in both the '08 Beijing and '12 London Games and finished fifth in the '11 Boston Marathon (RUNNERSWORLD.com, 3/20). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sarah Germano notes Goucher's departure "deprives Nike, which uses its affiliation with top runners to help drive sneaker and apparel sales, of the most visible face in women's distance running." Goucher described the Oiselle deal as "not a lot of money." However, Germano notes the deal gives Goucher "equity in the startup and the ability to be more outspoken" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/21).