From a public relations perspective, it has been a busy 2014 so far for the shoemaker Skechers. Recently, their logo was spotted all over Triple Crown candidate California Chrome but the impressive Public Relations run by Skechers began long before they put their logo on a high-priced horse.
The effort is calculated to help the company promote its new high-performance line – called GoRun. Consumers got one of their first high profile looks at the GoRun line on the feet of a genuine athletic superstar. Meb Keflezighi, a long distance runner, wore the brand during April’s Boston Marathon. He was not expected to win, and for the most part, Skechers was just hoping for a notice on the world stage …then, Meb went out and defied the odds with a strong win.
Truth be told, this was not the runner’s first win wearing Skechers, but it was certainly the most high profile. Businessweek is reporting that Keflezighi signed a longterm contract with Skechers back in 2011, a sponsorship deal that will keep him in those kicks at least through 2016.
This relatively long-term commitment to promoting their brand shows that Skechers is committed to making the transition into the crowded performance shoe market. They may have a long way to go to compete with the Jumpman in the NBA or with Reebok in soccer, but Skechers is not chasing those rainbows.
It is in targeting this underserved niche that may be the biggest win for Skechers. Sure, other shoe brands have strong presences in that market, but they have focused their efforts in other venues.
Competitive running is a wide open opportunity … at least it used to be.
Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur & author – who runs often in NYC’s Central Park.