Athletic Propulsion Labs Founders See ‘Opportunity’ in NBA Ban

With the NBA officially banning players from wearing Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Concept 1 sneakers last week, business has only gotten better, said the brand’s founders, brothers Adam and Ryan Goldston.

APL debuted in 2009, with the Concept 1, which is targeted to basketball players and has a patent-pending “propulsion device,” a spring technology under the ball of the foot that its makers claim increases vertical leap. The NBA has stated that the shoes give players an unfair competitive advantage.

The decision, the Goldstons said, is a marketing opportunity. “It basically put our brand out there, in the public consciousness,” Ryan said. “We sold more [products] on the day our shoes were banned than we did the [entire] previous month.”

The day the ban was announced, “Athletic Propulsion Labs” and “Concept 1 shoes” were the fourth and fifth most searched terms on Google. The APL website was also unable to deal with the increased traffic and the site shut down for several hours.

Now the Goldstons are looking for new opportunities. The shoes, which retail for $300, are only sold on APL’s website and at Modell’s in Times Square in New York. Ryan said they are currently deciding how they’d like to expand.

“There’s definitely interest from [Modell’s],” Ryan said. “We’re looking into whether or not that’s the best decision for Athletic Propulsion Labs.”

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