Why Athletes Are Important To Shoe Brands
Posted on March 19 2019
As we approach March Madness, we started to think about the relationship between shoe brands and athletes. When people think of athletic shoes, what do they think of first? Do they think about the shoes that they saw at school or at work the other day? Do they think of the pair of shoes that they walked past in the mall window? It is possible — but when most people think of a pair of athletic shoes, they think about the athlete that wears them.
Sure, there are signature shoe lines that always produce highly anticipated colorways like the Lebrons or the KDs — heck, there is even the Currys — but shoe brands make money off of athletes wearing the shoes that you can get at your local shoe store, too. But how does it work? And why does it work?
In today’s blog post, your local Los Angeles shoe store, Laced., will be discussing the relationship between athletes and shoes — especially in the sport of college basketball.
Athletes & Shoe Companies
Everyone knows that if you become a great athlete, you are bound to get a sponsorship or two — and if you are really good you might just get a shoe deal. But what about college athletes?
Currently, there is a huge debate about whether or not college athletes should be paid. While we do not want to get into that argument in today’s blog, it is important to recognize that the student athletes cannot be sponsored individually by shoe brands because that would mean that they were getting paid by an entity other than their athlete food and housing stipend from their university. Because of this, shoe brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Puma, and even New Balance watch these young athletes waiting to sign the athlete to a sponsorship once they go pro and can legally do so.
When people think of athletes like Lebron James and Michael Jordan, they tend to think about amazing professional athletes with iconic shoe deals (as we discussed in a past blog — check it out!). What people don’t often consider is how the face of the athlete influences their views on shoes as a consumer. Sure, it is much more obvious when children want the latest and greatest basketball shoe adorned by their favorite star — but it happens to adults, too. Large shoe companies pay big-name athletes money (in the form of an endorsement deal) so that the player wears their brand of shoes. In turn, the player is essentially a billboard in their marketing campaign — influencing the popularity of whatever shoe brand they wear. But what does this have to do with March Madness?
Shoe Deals & March Madness
To begin this conversation we want to point out that March Madness does not have much to do with the betterment of shoe brands in the eyes of the American consumer (other than the impact of the shoe brands sponsoring entire teams). That being said, rising stars in collegiate basketball do have an impact on shoe brands — even before they can go pro and get paid.
Rising stars like Zion Williamson of the Duke Blue Devils are not quite out of college, but they still heavily influence the basketball shoe industry. Why? Simply, because every major shoe brand will soon be vying for their professional contracts. In fact, people are so intrigued by Zion Williamson that news agencies and sports reporters are even following the odds of what shoe brand he will sign with (with Nike falling behind after the most recent shoe debacle).
In February, the likelihood of Zion signing with each shoe brand ranked as follows:
- Adidas: 5-4
- Nike: 3-2
- Puma: 9-2
- New Balance: 16-1
- Under Armour: 16-1
- Big Baller: 100-1
Why Does It Matter?
It doesn’t — not to us, at least. We just found it to be interesting. What does matter, however, is that when you need a new pair of shoes, athletic or not, that you know where to go. At Laced., we offer a variety of high-end shoes to customers of our L.A. fashion boutique. Whether you are in need of some casual sneakers, running shoes, or even basketball shoes, you can find it here at our Los Angeles shoe store.
So what are you waiting for? Come visit us today at our Los Angeles shoe store and visit our online store to #GetLaced. And be sure to our social media pages @lacedsouthbay for updates on new sneaker releases.