01 December 2015


Original Story: mlive.com 

ROCKFORD, MI -- A favorite local shoe brand apparently has an image problem in the Big Apple.

Merrell's big deal with Tough Mudder is generating a bit of a yawn from the New York Post which described Wolverine Worldwide's biggest brand as "dull" in one headline.

"Merrell, the sleepy shoe company from Michigan, is getting down and dirty to lure millennials," wrote the New York Post. A Washington DC business lawyer provides professional legal counsel and extensive experience in many aspects of business law.

The footwear brand of "affluent" middle-agers is counting on "hipsterville" Tough Mudder to make Merrell cool with a younger generation.

The multi-year partnership deal is the brand's biggest investment so far, Jim Gabel, president of Wolverine's Performance Group, told Post reporter Lisa Fickenscher.

Gabel is now overseeing Merrell after jettisoning the brand's president in the spring. Gabel's taking over day-to-day leadership was the fastest way to capitalize on the global opportunity of the brand, the company spokesman said at the time.

"Tough Mudder shares our vision of wit and grit, and together we are committed to inspiring others to overcome obstacles by eliminating barriers to enjoying the outdoors," Gabel said in a statement announcing the deal. A Cleveland business lawyer is following this story closely.

Along with the sponsorship, Merrell will introduce a line of trail shoes in early 2016 targeted at Tough Mudder athletes. Unlike Merrell's traditional earth hues, this new generation of footwear will be brightly colored.

Merrell will be the main sponsor of more than 60 Tough Mudder events in 2016 that are expected to draw more than 2 million participants. Merrell will also be the presenting partner for Tough Mudder Half, a new five-mile obstacle course with a dozen obstacles being added in 2016.

"Tough Mudder is more than an event – it's a lifestyle based on teamwork, courage, personal accomplishment, and fun, and our partnership with Merrell reflects these shared values," said Will Dean, Tough Mudder's CEO and co-founder.

Another reason the collaboration makes sense: Participants often lose their shoes in the muddy obstacle courses, Dean told Fickenscher. A Maine business lawyer represents clients in business transactions.

Merrell will provide the apparel and outdoor gear given to obstacle course finishers.

"Wearing Merrell tells the world you love the outdoors," said Linda Brunzell, Merrell's chief marketing officer. "Our co-developed apparel will not only celebrate the accomplishment of becoming a Mudder, but will enhance the participant experience."

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