David Monti of Races Results Weekly has reported that Kim Smith and Bobby Curtis have been dropped by Reebok.
Unfortunately, Reebok has decided to cut back on its runner sponsorship. Both Smith and Curtis were signed by Reebok after incredible senior years at Providence College and Villanova University, respectively.
In their final year at school, Curtis claimed his first NCAA title in the outdoor 5k while Smith took home four individual titles (one in cross, two indoors, and one outdoors).
Smith’s professional running career is highlighted by New Zealand national records from nearly every event from the mile to the marathon.
After running personal bests of 14:39.89 (2009) and 30:35.54 (2008), Smith began to move to the roads. In 2010, she posted her personal best in the marathon (2:25:21) with a 7th place finish at the London Marathon. The next year she ran 67:11, which was the fastest recorded half-marathon on American soil.
However, major championships have been difficult for Smith outside of her fifth place finish in the Osaka 10k.
|2004 Athens 5k||15:31.80 (11th)|
|2005 Helsinki 10k||31:24.29 (15th)|
|2007 Osaka 10k||32:06.89 (5th)|
|2008 Beijing 10k||30:51.00 (9th)|
|2009 Berlin 10k||31:21.42 (8th)|
|2012 London Marathon||2:26:59 (15th)|
Curtis also had arguably his most success in 2011 as well. That year, the Villanova alumnus ran personal bests in the 10k (27:24.67), half-marathon (61:52), and the marathon (2:16:44). Curtis had run his PR in the 5k the year before, clocking a 13:18.97 fifth place finish in Montreuil-sous-Bois.
Finally running clothes that fit properly! (spoiler alert: I'm no longer with Reebok)— Bobby Curtis (@BobbbyCurtis) January 12, 2013
We’ve been told by management agencies that it’s typical for shoe companies to drop athletes following an Olympic year. Rather than ride the “Olympic high,” companies must act in their best interest going forward as a business.
For example, Nate Brannen did not continue his contract with Saucony and fellow Reebok athlete, Dan Huling, is now with Nike and training with OTC.
Both Smith and Curtis still have plenty of promise in the longer distances, but the funding is simply not there. Thankfully, Brooks has picked up Curtis while no reports have surfaced regarding Smith’s sponsorship.