Seventeen time NCAA Champion Ed Cheserek has signed a long term agreement with Skechers Performance, it was announced on BusinessWire today. Ed Cheserek is one of the most popular athletes on the collegiate circuit and much has been made of what he will do post NCAA. There had been much scuttlebutt about where @KingCheserek would land, and it is in Manhattan Beach, headquarters of Skechers Performance.

Skechers Performance has built a running brand around iconic athletes such as 2014 Boston Champion and 4 time Olympian (2004 Olympic silver medalist) Meb Keflezighi and World silver medalist Kara Goucher, a two time Olympian. Skechers Performance has embraced major events such as the Houston Marathon and the Skechers Performance LA Marathon, as well as core track events such as the Portland Track Classic.

Their forays into running have focused on road runners and with Ed Cheserek, they have an athlete who reaches out to the younger runners, the more performance oriented.

The signing of Ed Cheserek shows that Skechers Performance is reaching out to the lucrative 17-24 year old market, from high school and college runners, who are developing their brand loyalties. Many brands reach into this market, but most lose interest and focus. The key to success in the high school market? Stay relevant. Skechers Performance's long time agreement with Cheserek suggests that the brand is in it for the long haul.

In high school sports, athletics (cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field) is the largest high school participatory sport with 1.6 million across 50 U.S. states in 2016-17. The average high school cross country and track runner purchases an average of five pairs of training shoes a year, average price $130.

Ed Cheserek lead his University of Oregon team to cross country, indoor and outdoor titles as well as seventeen individual titles while a collegiate athlete. In high school, Cheserek was already prominent, having won National Indoor and Outdoor titles. Ed Cheserek was also named the Gatorade Athlete of Year in high school.

The level of competition in performance running continues to grow. Brands that can find their niche, with spokespeople that resonate, programs and most of all, consistently fine product, and retailers that support that product, are the winners in todays market. Skechers Performance has had much success with their GoWalk and Golf product, and are looking for that kind of success in running. The sponsorship of Ed Cheserek is another step in that direction.

Skechers Performance went into running eight years ago, and signed Meb Keflezighi nearly seven years ago. With athletes such as Meb Keflezighi, Kara Goucher, and Tara Welling, Skechers Perfomance has been working to find their place in this highly

How big of a deal is this for Skechers Performance? Skechers has had much success with Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, and they see Ed Cheserek as their entree into the younger core market, which many keen observers see as open to a brand that will support grass roots running for the long road ahead.

Here is the complete release from Skechers Performance via Business Wire. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170906005574/en/Skechers-Performance™-Signs-17-Time-National-Champion-Edward