See the full interview with AdAge here
Ad Age: Where has New Balance been embraced as a brand, and what are some regions you are still trying to penetrate?
Ms. Keates: New Balance in the United States is a brand that’s been around for over 100 years and that’s not the case in other markets. As you go into Europe, our brand is strong and growing, as it is in Asia Pacific, as well. We’re looking to enter some markets that I haven’t mentioned. We have a strong brand presence in the U.K., France, Germany. Latin America is a growing market — we have a presence there, and have a subsidiary in Mexico, and are really growing in Brazil and Argentina right now. We’re just moving into Russia, which is new. It’s been really fun to see the new creative and the adaptation in Russia.
Ad Age: Earlier this year, New Balance announced a partnership with Westin Hotels to help travelers stay fit while on the road. Can you tell me a bit about the thinking behind this? Are you stepping up partnerships as you try to capture more global market share?
Ms. Keates: As a company, we launched into an exercise to talk about our brand essence and who we want to be. Our objective as a company is to get people moving, and we are driving a movement for movement. We’ve engaged in partnerships like the Westin, in particular, because we want our consumers to be engaged in their fitness regimen no matter where they are. Any partnerships you see will be singularly focused on that.