Track and field athlete Boris Berian has officially signed with New Balance, just in time for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which take place Friday through July 10.
The 800-meter runner had been in the middle of a dispute with Nike, with whom Berian was signed until December 2015. Earlier this month, Nike filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in the U.S. District Court of Oregon to prevent Berian from entering into an endorsement relationship with New Balance or any other Nike competitor. The brand claimed that it had the right to match any third-party offer that Berian received during a certain period of time immediately after his Nike contract ended.
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Despite Nike’s challenge, it seemed Berian had moved on with New Balance and posted photos wearing the brand’s gear while training. Last week, Nike decided to drop the lawsuit, as it realized this is a significant time for Berian.
“Nike legitimately exercised its right to match the New Balance offer and believe we would prove this at trial,” Nike said. “As a running company, we also recognize that this is a significant time for Boris, and in light of the judge’s decision to delay the ruling until June 28th, the eve of the Olympic Trials, we decided to eliminate this distraction for Boris.”
New Balance made the announcement today, and said that Berian will wear its SD200 and SD400 for competition and train in the Fresh Foam Zante v2 and 1400v4.
“I appreciate the values that New Balance represents, and it is clear to me that New Balance cares about runners,” said Berian. “I’ve always liked New Balance as a brand and have found their running products help me run fast.”