At Brooks, we have always supported runners in the pursuit of their dreams, whether it’s running a first 5K, notching a half marathon PR or qualifying for the Olympics. After all, we exist to inspire everyone to run and be active.
When it comes to our sponsored athletes, we choose to work with runners who are not only at the top of their game, but also able to motivate others to experience the joy of running. They achieve lightning-fast race results, and they also share their running journey with every step: the passion, sacrifice, triumph and defeat, hopes and dreams.
Our athletes’ dreams also may include starting a family. We encourage and celebrate their choice, because the value they bring starts with them as a human and extends to the road, track and trail. And they are truly part of our Brooks family.
Like many of you, we’ve listened carefully to what athletes have said this week about brands cutting pay for sponsored runners who become pregnant, and the lack of policy in the industry to support female athletes during and after this time. We want to be clear: Brooks will not reduce its female athletes’ pay or terminate a contract due to pregnancy or postpartum recovery. We will reflect this intention in all current and future contracts to provide much-deserved peace of mind to our athlete partners.
While Brooks has not yet had one of its contracted athletes start a family, we would like to give a nod to our partners in the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project. Keith and Kevin Hanson have run their team in a way that has made the choice to begin a family easier for its female members, by providing unwavering support and delivering on full contractual obligations. They are leaders on and off the road, and have been doing right by athletes for decades.
We’re thankful to the runners and writers who ignited this conversation, and to everyone who brought the issue to the attention of the industry. We are grateful for the opportunity to examine how we support athletes and make choices that ensure they can continue to chase their dreams and Run Happy.