I have always been a huge fan of Nike, running and Kara Goucher. They seem to go hand in hand. I have loved hearing from Kara Goucher and seeing her cheering on runners at the end of the Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon Race Series in San Francisco and Washington, DC. Kara has always been a huge inspiration to me and I was lucky enough to meet her at this year’s Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. Kara and Nike have been synonymous to me, but that is all about to change.
Photo: Kara and I at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco
The recent news that Kara has left her sponsorship with Nike and signed with the small women’s running company, Oiselle, came as a bit of a shock to me. It is a huge decision and one that I am not sure I could ever make personally. The decision made me respect and admire Kara even more. She is a role model in so many ways, not only just in the running world. Her decision shows young girls and women everywhere that money and status are not the most important things. You often have to follow your heart. You have to make decisions based on what is right for you. She followed her heart and that makes the sacrifices worthwhile. You can read more about her decision on KaraGoucher.com and Outside Online.
Kara declined a much more financially advantageous deal with Nike to pursue more opportunities and freedom with Oiselle. She says that “budget” will now be a common word in her house, but that it will be worth the sacrifice. She believes in the female focused brand and sees potential to use her influence to help the company grow and inspire women. Oiselle has built a brand around social media, empowering women and a niche following over the past seven years. Their future is bright and the addition of Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman over the past few years has only served to make that future even brighter. I have received questions about Oiselle from new runner’s because of Kara’s big decision and Oiselle’s name will see much more brand recognition. This decision alone has catapulted their brand name into the headlines of running websites and news articles around the world.
I first heard of Oiselle last year when I was selected to run Hood to Coast with Nuun Hydration and Oiselle graciously sponsored the team. We received great product from them, a jacket, t-shirt and super soft luxe long sleeve shirt. I fell in love with their brand, product and team right then and there. They even invited us to their headquarters and gave us a tour of their offices. Relationships are key for Oiselle and they do a great job of connecting to their customers. I respect them as a company and love that I can integrate some of their running pieces into my wardrobe.
Oiselle scored big with Kara Goucher. I can’t help but believe that this has everything to do with their commitment to women and their unwavering dedication to the sport of running and their customers. Oiselle has a loyal following of amateur female runners because of their passion and ability to connect on a level that larger brands, such as Nike, may not be able to do.
Kara will always be an incredible athlete and whichever brand she supports will benefit from her running talent and hard work. I will miss seeing her at the Nike races, but I’m excited to see how the relationship between Oiselle and Kara helps each grow in the running world. I see nothing but a bright future for both.