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(GOLETA, Calif. And Chamonix, France), October 25, 2021 – Emboldened by shared origins in the French Alps, UTMB® World Series and HOKA®, a division of Deckers Brands (NYSE: DECK), have announced a multi-year partnership. Driven by the same pioneering spirit that propelled HOKA’s founders down Mont-Blanc in category-defining trail shoes, the performance footwear and apparel brand is poised to become the first global Premier Partner to the world’s ultimate trail running circuit, debuting in 2022. Striking a natural synergy, both trail icons embrace the power to shape the future of trail running around the world.
As Premier level Footwear and Apparel Partner, HOKA aims to inspire the global trail running community through the newly launched series, as runners compete in the best international events and begin their quest to UTMB® Mont-Blanc and the UTMB® World Series Finals in Chamonix, France. Announced in May 2021, the new UTMB® World Series seeks to unite and inspire the world-wide community of trail enthusiasts of all abilities and the sport’s biggest stars, giving all runners more opportunities to live the UTMB® experience closer to home with events held across six continents.
The partnership is official through 2023, with options to extend to 2024 and beyond. As the Premier Technical Footwear and Apparel Partner of the UTMB® World Series, HOKA will help bring the global trail running community together not just in Chamonix, but all over the world. Eight UTMB® World Series Events have already been confirmed, with additional Event announcements planned over the coming weeks. There will be Events in at least eight European countries, as well as eight Events across Asia and Oceania and at least four Events in North and South America.
Throughout the partnership, HOKA will provide a curated assortment of footwear and apparel to volunteers across all UTMB® World Series Events, as well as runners at select Events. A new range of UTMB® World Series products will also be created and available at some Events and at the official e-shop which will be launched in 2022.
Founded in the French Alps in 2003, UTMB® Mont-Blanc quickly became the most prestigious trail race in the world, spanning 10,000 entrants across seven races. The event has evolved to encompass a globally branded World Series of international races Events that will take place in exceptional locations starting in 2022. A brand founded in the French Alps, HOKA joins UTMB® World Series with a natural synergy, creating a cohesive partnership between two major players in trail running.
HOKA’s role as Premier Partner highlights the brand’s ascendancy in the trail running community. HOKA was first adopted by trail and ultra-runners as a best-in-class footwear option for those seeking to perform to their fullest potential. The brand has since established a strong presence in the ultra-trail running community, known for its innovative trail running shoe assortment. In addition to top performing footwear, HOKA unveiled a brand-new apparel line in 2020, created from insights by trail running icons like Jim Walmsley, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Ludovic Pommeret. The brand’s global presence is growing nearly as fast as its American operations, with fast-growing markets ranging from Europe to Asia.
“HOKA was born in the mountains, and has many meaningful ties to Chamonix, France. We’re honored and humbled to partner with UTMB® World Series under the unified goal of making the special sport of trail running accessible to all athletes around the world,” said Wendy Yang, president of HOKA. “The passion that UTMB® brings to trail racing is only going to grow, and we’re thrilled to grow along with it as the first brand to join the UTMB® World Series global partnership program.”
Catherine Poletti, Chairwoman of UTMB Group, stated: “We share a common history with HOKA since many years as we both have grown in the foothills of Mont-Blanc to become leading brands in trail running. We’re thrilled to write the first chapter of the UTMB® World Series together to unite the worldwide trail running community around our shared values and offer all runners the chance to live an extraordinary adventure close to them.”
Andrew Messick, President & CEO for The IRONMAN Group, shared: “We are thrilled to bring HOKA on board as we build the new UTMB World Series together. HOKA’s shared history with UTMB and their expertise in inspiring a community of athletes through the Humans of HOKA franchise is the perfect fit as we launch the series in 2022 that is rooted deeply in the core values, spirit, and camaraderie that the trail running community is known for.”
HOKA® is one of the fastest-growing performance footwear and apparel brands in history. Conceived in the mountains, HOKA footwear delivers an unprecedented combination of enhanced cushioning and support for a uniquely smooth ride. Every day, HOKA pushes the innovation and design of its footwear and apparel by teaming up with a deep roster of world champions, taste makers and everyday athletes. From finish lines to everyday life, HOKA fans love the brand for its bold and unexpected approach, and its belief in the power of humanity to create change for a better world. HOKA empowers a world of athletes to fly over the earth. For more information, visit HOKA.com or follow @hoka. #TimeToFly
About Deckers Brands
Deckers Brands is a global leader in designing, marketing and distributing innovative footwear, apparel and accessories developed for both everyday casual lifestyle use and high performance activities. The Company’s portfolio of brands includes UGG®, KOOLABURRA®, HOKA ®, Teva®, and Sanuk®. Deckers Brands products are sold in more than 50 countries and territories through select department and specialty stores, Company-owned and operated retail stores, and select online stores, including Company-owned websites. Deckers Brands has over 40 years of history building niche footwear brands into lifestyle market leaders attracting millions of loyal consumers globally. For more information, please visit www.deckers.com.
About UTMB® World Series
The UTMB® World Series is a revolution for the sport, that will bring the trail running community together through a new, integrated sports system that is open to all. Inspired by the high standards of UTMB®, runners will be able to take part in the most beautiful events on the planet, and the UTMB® World Series will be the only place where runners can begin their quest to Mont-Blanc, France, where the prestigious UTMB® World Series Finals will be held. In-line with the rapid growth of the sport, events will be held across six continents, giving all runners more opportunities to live the UTMB® experience on a global scale. For more information, visit www.utmb.world.
About UTMB Group
Over the last 18 years, and since the creation of UTMB® Mont-Blanc in 2003 by a group of passionate friends, UTMB Group has been the driving force behind the development of trail running. The UTMB® Mont-Blanc is the sports pinnacle event, and every year, 10,000 runners earn their place on the start line. UTMB Group also pioneered the LiveTrail® technology, an innovative digital service that supports the management of endurance races. Revered by hundreds of thousands of athletes, UTMB® has become a global, premium, and leading brand. In May 2021, UTMB Group and The IRONMAN Group partnered to launch the ground-breaking UTMB® World Series, the world’s ultimate trail running circuit that allows all runners to experience the UTMB® adventure through the best, leading international events. Find out more at www.utmb.world
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, UTMB World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and gravel racing like Gravel Epic®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
HOKA Media Contacts:
Miranda Young, PR Manager, HOKA
Rachel Martin, PR Manager, HOKA EMEA
Gordon Wright, Outside PR
UTMB World Series French media enquiries:
Hugo Joyeux +33 4 50 53 47 51
UTMB® World Series international media enquiries:
Sabina Mollart Rogerson +44 7922 140148