How Olivier Bernhard Started On Running And Made It The Fastest-Growing Athletic Shoe Brand In America

The CITIUS MAG Podcast

December 14, 2022

All they threw at me was ‘impossible, impossible, impossible.’ I said, ‘OK. I accept but how are you going to do it?’ They said, ‘You don’t get it. It’s impossible.’ I said, ‘No, you don’t get it. How are you going to make it happen anyway?’ Probably from being a coach and an athlete, I can set that spark in people so that they trust me and if I really believed so much in this idea that they joined the team to make it happen.”

Olivier Bernhard is one of the founders of On Running. He’s been a runner and athlete his entire life but in 2010, he was looking to pitch several major sportswear companies on selling runners and athletes a new experience and feel while running as opposed to just another product. When he was turned away several times, he took it upon himself to create a prototype and pursue the project independently. He showed off the first Frankenstein shoe to his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti and they decided to partner on starting On. The brand has since partnered with tennis legend Roger Federer and IPO’ed in September 2022 with a $6 billion valuation. I had the chance to sit down with Olivier last month and got a bit of the story of how this company came together and why they’re going to continue pushing innovation and high performance with their athletes and a major investment in running.

You can now listen to our conversation on The CITIUS MAG Podcast. Catch the latest episode of the podcast on Apple Podcasts. We are also on Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify.

Olivier Bernhardt On Running founder


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Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.