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Last month at Wodapalooza in Miami, FL, CrossFit Games athlete Danielle Brandon announced she has signed with, and is a shareholder, in the brand new Portland, OR-based shoe company, R.A.D.
Though perhaps a surprise to the onlooker that a Games athlete would sign with a shoe company that has yet to prove itself to the community, Brandon has all the confidence in the world about her decision.
- “R.A.D aligned a lot with my lifestyle and fashion choices. I think for me being able to represent more than just my athleticism and fitness on the competition floor…it’s fun to be able to express myself through clothing, shoes, and even occasionally my hair,” Brandon said.
Cooper Marsh rings in: Brandon’s manager Cooper Marsh said he wasn’t at all surprised by Brandon’s decision to begin a relationship with R.A.D.
- In an Instagram post, he wrote: “Danielle Brandon is a different breed. Not in the overused saying where people try to hype themselves up to mask insecurities. I mean in the way she approaches people and societal norms. It’d be easy to stay where you are comfortable, with a brand that is known the world over and (is) willing to pay you big time money.”
- He added: “When the opportunity to become an equity-owner in R.A.D and jump headfirst into the trenches to create something meaningful, impactful and long-lasting, she chose it with her not only gut, but her heart….She is creative and sassy, thick headed and loyal. She is as they say, unapologetically herself. And that’s the only way R.A.D…would want her.”
What R.A.D is saying: R.A.D founder Ben Massey, a 2017 CrossFit Games team athlete, said he specifically went after Brandon to sponsor, not just for the short-term, but for the long-term vision for his brand.
- “We want to position ourselves as a training (shoe), but we (also) want to look at action sports like skating, surfing, snowboarding, and move into that space (too). And I think there are more and more of those athletes…that are using CrossFit to train for that sport. And so I wanted to pick a CrossFit athlete that has that skate vibe…and she’s edgy, right? And I think how she is off the floor really resonated with the brand,” Massey said.
- After building a relationship with Brandon for some time, she was on board with the brand, Massey explained, but there was one last important thing to do: Try the shoe. That’s when Massey flew to Las Vegas to meet up with Brandon, and “two days after, she tried the shoe and was like, ‘Yeah, these are good, let’s do it, I am fucking R.A.D’” he said.
One big thing: One of the reasons Massey sold his affiliate in the UK three years ago to start a shoe company was because he didn’t love how most of the other CrossFit shoes on the market looked aesthetically, so one of his goals for R.A.D, which stands for Rally Against Destruction, was to create a shoe that not only performs well, but also looks good and could double as a lifestyle shoe, which according to Brandon, he has successfully done.
- “Clothes help us tell a lot about ourselves and others. R.A.D shoes are everything I need in a shoe while also making me look stylish and unique,” Brandon said.
The big picture: Before Wodapalooza in January, nobody knew who R.A.D was. But by the end of the weekend, largely thanks to signing Brandon, it’s safe to say there’s a new player in the shoe game.