Wheating Signs With The Swoosh

Nike nabs Oregon alum; decides to stay close to his roots in Eugene.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

The 2010 NCAA 800-meter and 1,500-meter champion Andrew Wheating has signed an endorsement agreement with Nike, his management firm announced today.  

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Wheating, a 2008 Olympian who recently moved up to #4 on the U.S.’s all-time list with his 3:30.90 1,500-meter mark at the Herculis meeting in Monaco last week, said he will remain in Eugene, Oregon, where he attended the University of Oregon.  He will continue to be coached by Oregon’s track and field chief, Vin Lananna.

“I can’t even explain how excited I am about staying in Track Town, USA, and about the chance to continue working with my coach at the same school that supported me as an undergraduate,” Wheating said in a statement released by Global Athletics & Marketing, the Boston-based athlete management firm owned by Mark Wetmore.  ”Hayward Field has been a special place for me.  Nike is a great partner in all the cool things happening in Track Town and I look forward to being part of its team as I continue to train and develop.”

Although terms of the agreement were not disclosed, two athlete managers interviewed by Race Results Weekly prior to the Prefontaine Classic on July 3, in Eugene said that Wheating deserved $300,000 to $400,000 per year.  That estimate was based solely on Wheating’s collegiate credentials before he ran personal bests of 3:51.71 for the mile at Prefontaine, and 1:44.62 for 800 meters at Meeting Areva in Paris.   The managers–who did not want to be named–said that this was their estimate for his base salary and would not include income from event organizers or any performance bonuses from a shoe company sponsor.

Wheating is originally from Norwich, Vermont, where he was a soccer player in high school.  He made the 2008 U.S. Olympic team at 800 meters while a sophomore at Oregon when the Olympic Trials were held at Hayward Field, Oregon’s famed athletics stadium.  He was clearly pleased to be able to remain in Eugene.

“I want to be a contributing member of the Oregon Track Club and chase my dreams in front of the fans who cheered for me while I was a Duck,” Wheating concluded.

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