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Brooks Sports Sales Team Propels Strong Retail Momentum; Focused Sales Strategy Reinforces Leading Running Brand's Core Promise.

BOTHELL, Wash., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Brooks Sports, Inc., a leading high-performance running company, today announced a sales team power play designed to lengthen a stellar sales run and reinforce the brand's strategic category drive. Four internal employees, who have recently raised sales figures to new heights, were promoted in unison. Rick Wilhelm now serves as vice president of specialty retail accounts, Parker Karnan as vice president of apparel sales, Dan Sheridan as director of national account sales and Mike Billish as Eastern regional sales manager.

"We're energized by our recent sales numbers and mounting acceptance in the specialty running category," said David Bohan, COO for Brooks. "We're excited that the core team members who have driven our specialty retail momentum are charged to take us into another banner year."

America is home today to more than 34 million runners and joggers. With plenty of room for additional growth, the running footwear market is expected to exceed more than $2 billion wholesale in 2003. Brooks Sports hopes to inspire and serve its customers with high-performance product innovation, customer service excellence and strategic sales distribution. The following recently promoted individuals keep the company's sales team in great stride:

Rick Wilhelm, VP of Sales for Specialty Retail Accounts

Rick Wilhelm joined Brooks Sports in February 1997. His current responsibilities include overseeing the independent sales agencies; managing all sales aspects at the specialty retail channels; and providing strategic market feedback to Brooks' footwear development team. During his six and a half years at Brooks, Wilhelm has served as Brand Warrior, Western regional sales manager and director of specialty running account sales. Prior to joining Brooks, Wilhelm spent seven years as a buyer and manager at an industry-leading specialty running store in Seattle, an experience that today helps him develop relevant retail sales programs and promotions. Wilhelm ran Cross Country and Track for the University of California, Irvine, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics.

Parker Karnan, VP of Apparel Sales

Parker Karnan joined Brooks Sports in 2000. He is currently responsible for managing the sales effort, revenue and margin plans for all of Brooks' apparel and accessories lines. With a sharp sales focus and a keen understanding of the running market, Karnan offers Brooks insights on both the product and strategic planning fronts. Prior to joining Brooks, Karnan spent nine years learning the links in the sales industry chain as an outside representative, the last six of which were for Brooks. Recognized for his talent and dedication, Karnan was awarded Brooks' coveted Sales Representative of the Year Award in 2000. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Dartmouth College and a master's degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco.

Dan Sheridan, Director of National Account Sales

Dan Sheridan joined Brooks Sports in August 1998. With a laser focus on national retail account sales, Sheridan drives sales programs with Brooks' athletic specialty, general sporting goods, mass merchant and department store accounts nationwide. In addition to this role, Sheridan also provides forecasting, marketing and sales strategy for Brooks' team sales. During his Brooks tenure, Sheridan served as a Brand Warrior, marketing programs coordinator, national team sales manager and national sales manager. Prior to joining Brooks, Sheridan taught and coached high school students. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Washington.

Mike Billish, Eastern Regional Sales Manager

Mike Billish joined Brooks in January 2003. A direct liaison to specialty retail salespeople on the East Coast, Billish is responsible for growing Brooks' core distribution channels in that region. Additionally, Billish collects and delivers strategic market feedback to Brooks' footwear and apparel development teams. Prior to his Eastern regional sales manager appointment, Billish served Brooks as a Southern California Brand Warrior, organizing various running clinics, supporting local event marketing programs and educating local podiatrists and sports medicine professionals about Brooks. Previously he worked at a specialty running retail store in Long Beach, Calif. Billish was a Division I Track and Cross Country athlete at Loyola University in Chicago, where he earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and a master's degree in business.

One of the top running shoe and apparel brands sold globally in specialty retail stores, Brooks Sports is quickly gaining on category giants with its unwavering charter: to provide high performance running equipment that inspires people to run and be active. Comparing year-to-date sales through June 2003, Brooks achieved roughly 20 percent growth in the specialty running retail channel and 16 percent growth in its overall business. Worldwide Brooks brand sales for the 2002 calendar year clocked in at $120 million. Third-party statistics also support the success of Brooks' strategic stride. This spring Sports Marketing Surveys USA ranked Brooks No. 1 for the second year in a row on its respected Market Strength Index (MSI), which analyzes footwear brands' momentum as reported by running specialty store dealers who participate in the panel. Additionally, the same report states Brooks' Brand Mean Rating currently rates second, with only a hair separating it from the current first-place brand. Brand Mean Rating averages the panel's feedback on a variety of running shoe brands' company and product performance attributes, including credibility with serious runners, performance technology, in-house customer service and sales rep support.

About Brooks

Brooks Sports, Inc. is a leading running company that designs and markets a line of performance footwear, apparel and accessories in more than 80 countries worldwide. Founded in 1914, Brooks is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., near Seattle. The company's mission is to inspire people to run and be active by creating innovative gear that keeps them running longer, farther and faster. Visit for more information.
 CONTACT: Tamara Otto

CONTACT: Tamara Otto of Brooks Sports, Inc., +1-425-489-2444, or

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Date:Aug 27, 2003
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