Sneakers

MEN’S SNEAKERS – HISTORY * Late 18th century, people wore rubber soled shoes called plimsolls, there was no right foot or left foot. * Around 1892, the U. S. Rubber Company came up with more comfortable rubber sneakers with canvas tops, called Keds. * By 1917, these sneakers began to be mass produced. That same year, Marquis Converse produced the first shoe made just for basketball, called Converse All-Stars. * In 1923, an Indiana hoops star named Chuck Taylor endorsed the shoes, and they became known as Chuck Taylor All-Stars. These are the best-selling basketball shoes of all time. Sneakers went international in 1924. That’s when a German man named Adi Dassler created a sneaker that he named after himself: Adidas. This brand became the most popular athletic shoe in the world. * During the first half of the 20th century, sports shoes were worn mostly to play sports. TYPES * High-tops cover the ankle. * Low-tops do not cover the ankle. * Mid-cut are in-between high-tops and low-tops. * Sneaker boots extend to the calf. TARGET MARKET Men are the target market in my category. Athletic Footwear includes athletic, sport, and active lifestyle footwear for men women and children.

Major athletic brands include Adidas, Asics, Fila, K-Swiss, New Balance, Nike, Puma, Reebok, and Saucony. Athletic footwear also includes footwear that is not specifically for a specific individual or team sport but may be performance inspired or intended for other activities. Products include “outdoor” footwear (hiking boots and sandals) by brands such as Merrell and Teva, and casual sneakers by brands such as Converse, Skechers, and Vans. COMPETITION To properly review the manufacturing in the footwear industry, it is necessary to first gain an understanding of the dominant leaders in the marketplace.

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The industry is currently experiencing hypercompetition, led by six main firms – Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Fila, Converse, and New Balance, with nearly $7 billion in revenues domestically. Nike is the industry leader, with a 47% market share, followed by Reebok, a distant second at 16%, and Adidas at 6%. SOCIAL/CULTERAL Sneakers are one of the most basic necessities of a person’s wardrobe. People depend upon them for safety and comfort, and to help protect their feet from the elements. Sneakers also aid in making walking and running a more comfortable experience for people.

In the last hundred years, however, sneakers have evolved into a form of fashion as well. In addition to buying sneakers based on comfort, people also purchase them depending on the particular season or to match the colors and style of their clothes. People also buy sneakers in order to stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends and top-selling brands. Sneakers began to be produced for every sport, including walking, skateboarding, football, baseball, basketball, and cross training. Sneakers have also become an important part of pop and hip-hop culture since the 1970s.

Presently, numerous rap artist sign million dollar deals with major brands such as Nike, or Adidas to promote their shoes. Many professional athletes sign deals with major brands such as Tiger Woods. Sales of sneakers really took off in 1984, when Michael Jordan signed a contract to wear a Nike shoe called Air Jordan, the most famous sneaker franchise ever made. Even after Jordan retired from the NBA, his shoes continued to be best sellers. Sneaker collectors also known as, “sneaker head,” use sneakers as fashionable items.

Sneaker head are found in any society ranging from the suburbs to the urban environments. Artistically modified sneakers can sell for upwards of $500 depending on their popularity. Casual sneakers like the Air Force One (Nike) or Superstar (Adidas) have also become icons in today’s pop culture. In today’s society several exclusive sneakers become so popular that, during the release of these shoes people often line up several hours before the shops open, patiently waiting to get their hands on the shoes. Sometimes it has even led to violence.

The opening day cost for these shoes can range from USD $170–300. BEST SELLING PRODUCT CATEGORY: NIKE – Running, basketball, cross-training, and men’s shoes ADIDAS – Basketball, training, baseball, football, urban, originals, workouts, and walking REEBOK – Running, walking, aerobic TECHNOLOGIES Due to rapidly changing tastes of shoe buyers, it is important for shoemakers to continually offer better and bolder product lines to catch the consumer’s eye. For the athletic shoe companies, this largely means improving comfort and performance. New sneaker technologies increase performance.

Nike’s Air Force used little pockets of gas to create better cushioning, while Reebok introduced The Pump—air pumped into shoes to make them fit more snugly. The packaging of the sneaker boxes durable which allows people to keep their sneakers in the sneaker box when no using them. DEMOGRAPHIC/GEORGRAPHIC In the 1970s, sneakers led their own way as jogging quickly became popular and so did the necessity to have a pair of sneakers for the occasion. Until this time, factories had been concerned with high production, but now the companies started to market their products as a lifestyle purpose.

Soon there were shoes for football, jogging, basketball running, every sport had its own shoe. This was made possible by podiatrist development of athletic shoe technology. By the 1980s, sneakers were everywhere. The shoes originally developed for sports became the mainstay for most people. Nike and Reebok were among the market leaders. Newer brands went in and out of fashion, and sneaker companies started offering major endorsements to professional athletes. One of, if not the largest, endorsements was to NBA Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan, for a contract with Nike to make his own signature line of shoes and apparel.

WHO? * Men spend more per pair and buy more pairs of athletic shoes than women. * Nearly 33% of all athletic footwear spending is done by those ages 18-35 * Less than 30% of athletic shoes purchased are for use in sports or a fitness activities HOW? * Internet order (via websites) * Telephone orders * Walk-in orders (malls, outlets) ECONOMIC * Economic recession * Consumer purchases slowing down since 2003 * Falling international economy’ fluctuation in foreign currency and exchange rates * Baby boomers pushed into late forties are less inclined for sporty activities

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