Two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds announced this week that he’ll be leaving Nike for the Brooks Running Company. Symmonds was sponsored by Nike for the last seven years.
Symmonds explained that while both Brooks and Nike offered similar contract terms, Nike wanted to restrict his ability to seek outside sponsorship:
They wanted to have total exclusivity. I couldn’t pull the stunt of selling my shoulder again. I couldn’t court other sponsors. I understand their perspective. Of course, they want total exclusivity. That’s what they have with Tiger Woods. But they’re paying $80 million for that. Track & field is totally different (The Oregonian).
Symmonds added that it’ll be tough to leave Eugene, the city where he’s trained with the Nike-affiliated Oregon Track Club since 2006:
I really feel the community adopted me. I love Eugene-Springfield. I’ve spent the last seven years of my life there. I’ll always have fond memories. I saw Eugene as a place I could spend the rest of my life, and I’m not saying I won’t come back. But for my goals leading into 2016, I needed to be with Brooks.
Symmonds finished in fifth in the 800 meters at the 2012 Olympics.
[Source: The Oregonian]