Spalding Launches Footwear

Spalding wants to be the go-to basketball brand — and that includes footwear.

Bowling Green, Ky.-based Russell Brands LLC, parent company of equipment manufacturer Spalding, is launching a 45-model lineup of performance and lifestyle basketball shoes for July 2014, according to David Zumbach, VP of Spalding Footwear.

“It’s just the natural evolution for the Spalding band to take all of the brand equity that it’s established on the equipment side and move directly into basketball-specific footwear,” Zumbach said.

Spalding is the official basketball supplier of both the NBA and the WNBA, as well as the official backboard supplier for the NBA and NCAA.

According to Zumbach, a past president of Johnston and Murphy and Dockers Footwear, the line for men’s, women’s and kids’ will comprise 26 performance-oriented models, with prices ranging from $80 to $120. Nineteen vintage-inspired shoes, including vulcanized models, will retail from $35 to $60, he said.

The performance models, he said, will make use of the brand’s new proprietary D30 Pulse Technology, a non-Newtonian shear material that combines with cushioning to provide energy return and support.

While sell-in is just beginning, he said, Spalding is targeting the “entire trade channel.”
That includes team dealers, department stores, sporting goods and mall athletic retailers, volume moderates, family shoe stores and the large family retailers. Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat will be one of the brand’s endorsers, the company said.

The line, Zumbach said, will be aimed at 11- to 17-year-old basketball enthusiasts, from “aspiring NCAA Division I players to rec-league players.”

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