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Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by jorh xd, Aug 20, 2010.
so whats up? are we ever gonna see any of these under armour basketball shoes release?
From yesterday's Baltimore Sun...
Nike made its mark with Michael Jordansneakers in the 1980s, eventually wresting near-total control of theU.S. basketball shoe market from Adidas, Reebok and other smallerplayers.
Now, Baltimore sports apparel company Under Armour Inc.is trying to gain a foothold in the fiercely competitive business withits first-ever basketball shoe collection, which was unveiled Thursdayand will hit stores in limited numbers in November.
The step is a crucial one for Under Armour, whose footwear business hasbeen struggling even as executives consider it a key part of thecorporate growth strategy. Building a successful sneaker business canhelp Under Armour cement its brand as a major player in the athleticindustry, open new distribution channels and increase revenue, saidGene McCarthy, the senior vice president of footwear at Under Armourwho had spent two decades at Nike.
Basketball shoes, in particular, hold pop culture significance — andcan be marketing and retail gold. Jordans have become collectibles andcan fetch hundreds of dollars, with lines forming outside stores forthe debut of the latest version, the first of which Nike launched in1985.
The basketball shoe category is a "powerful one and a very lucrativeone," McCarthy said. "On the other hand, it's not a category to befooled with."
Trying to make inroads in the $2.4 billion U.S. basketball shoe marketis especially difficult, considering that Nike controls 95 percent ofit, said Matt Powell, chief retail analyst at research companySportsONESource. Nike also owns the Jordan and Converse brands.
Brandon Jennings of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks,a top young player, will serve as the face of Under Armour's Micro GBlack Ice — the centerpiece of the four-shoe collection — and will wearthe shoe during the upcoming season. The shoe name was inspired byJennings' on- and off-the-court presence, his fashion and playing style.
Under Armour debuted the shoes at an exclusive media party Thursdayevening at the penthouse of the Cooper Square Hotel in New York City.
Under Armour contends its Micro G technology is a lightweightalternative to heavier, thicker foams, giving athletes increasedquickness, improved turning ability and enhanced elevation. Prices forthe Under Armour shoes range from $80 up to $110 for the Micro G BlackIce.
The company has tried to make inroads in the athletic footwear marketbefore, including the disappointing launch of its running shoe inJanuary 2009. But to truly make market gains, Under Armour has toestablish a basketball shoe presence, Powell said.
"If Nike is the brand you want to go after, you have to get them at basketball shoes," he said.
Sonny Vaccaro, an industry luminary who once worked for Nike, Reebokand Adidas, said Under Armour could become a competitive No. 2 playerin the market because its shoes are fresh and new.
"Your competition isn't Nike. That game is over," said Vaccaro. "You have to compete against the others."
Vaccaro signed Jordan to his first shoe deal at Nike and helped createthe shoes' endorsement frenzy that followed with other NBA players. Healso served as Jennings' unpaid adviser and brought him and UnderArmour together, Vaccaro said.
But Under Armour stopped short of a full-scale launch. Instead, thecompany is providing a "taste" by selling a limited number ofbasketball shoes in November, McCarthy said. The company worked closelywith retailers to determine where the shoes will be sold, includingindependent retailers it has never done business with, such asBaltimore's Downtown Locker Room.
Under Armour is not disclosing how many shoes it will release into themarket in November. Powell, of SportsONESource, speculated the numberwill be less than 100,000 shoes, much smaller than its running shoelaunch when more than 1 million shoes were brought to the market.
The launch is intentionally small to create buzz and excitement — andto keep expectations manageable, Powell said. "Under Armour wants thisproduct to sell out in the first week," he said.
The company tested its basketball shoes with Division 1 basketballteams and top high school basketball programs for three years, McCarthysaid. Besides Jennings, high school and college players will be wearingthe shoe at the University of Maryland, Boston College and University of South Florida, among others, the company said.
Under Armour will debut a marketing campaign featuring digital and television advertising on TNT, ESPN, NBA TV and YouTube in the fall.
Not bad for the price.
14. Kevin Plank
Founder and CEO, Under Armour
Rank change: Up
Plank's sports-apparel juggernaut is on a roll: The stock is up 60% this year and sales are expected to hit $1 billion for the first time. You won't find Plank celebrating; he's too busy gunning for sales of women's apparel (25% of sales) to exceed men's -- most notably with a splashy ad campaign featuring skier Lindsey Vonn -- and pushing his new line of basketball shoes.
Tough love: "There is no time for 'loser talk' about the economy limiting growth," says Plank. "We have to go and grow!"
Got my pair to test last Friday. If you give them a chance, you will be surprised. Black Ice is a great shoe, with my full review coming on Counterkicks.com very soon.
^ Can you hurry up !
I've been losing sleep and refusing to eat by craving for these shoes. I can't even make up my mind on which ones to get and how many pairs.
I will tell you, you will be surprised by how good they feel, at least the Black Ice. I have to let my website post the review first, but it is done and should be on Counterkicks.com by the middle of next week.
Duke, can you comment on the traction of the black ice?
Very good on clean floors. It is a translucent rubber, so it is sticky, but it picks up all sorts of dust, so you have to wipe them often. Not very deep, so it may not last you long on blacktop, but on gym floors you should be good.
Duke, do you have any info on whether they will have enough supply for their initial launch to go around?
And also, how does the cushioning setup compare to that of zoom air (AJ 2010's, Zoom BB 1's, ZKV)?
I can't really say alot more until the review is published, but I was VERY surprised at how good the shoe really is.
Thanks for your review on counterkicks.com, Duke !