Newton Names New President

Newton Running Co. has a new leader.

Craig Heisner has been appointed president of the Boulder, Colo.-based running brand, effective immediately. Heisner, former VP of sales, marketing and merchandising for Li-Ning’s American launch, will direct sales, marketing and branding for the firm.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to leverage the technology, product base and [our] very unique and relevant point of view to extend the whole line,” Heisner told Footwear News. “[I want to] help expand and improve the product further and continue on the [brand’s] growth track.”

Newton, which was founded in 2007, is sold in almost 700 doors in the U.S. and 500 in Asia, Europe and Australia. In June 2011, Fireman Capital Associates, the investment firm led by Reebok founder Paul Fireman, made a $20 million minority share investment in the company. Heisner’s hire, according to CEO and co-founder Jerry Lee, is a result of that investment.

“That capital allowed us to broaden our marketing and our sales staff, and is one of the key things behind bringing in Craig,” he said. “Craig is someone with a proven track record of building brands.”

Heisner will oversee a team including newly hired VP of sales Kirk Nichols, formerly of Columbia Sportswear. The brand will continue to focus its efforts on the specialty channel.

“Newton is already good at supporting the runner in the field, and we’ll continue grassroots efforts. Running is a sport [that requires a brand] to be out there supporting the market each and every day,” Heisner said. “I’m anxious to work with Kirk to expand relationships and expand in specialty.”