These Athletic Game Changers Will Discuss Their Winning Strategies at the FN Summit

There’s no question that the athletic market is the hottest shoe segment — and two innovative leaders will open their playbooks at the upcoming FN Summit in Miami.

Mark King, the president of Adidas Group North America and winner of FN’s Person of the Year award last November, will discuss Adidas’ aggressive strategy in the U.S. as well as its incredible momentum and buzzy celeb partnerships with such big names as Kanye West.

At the time of King’s appointment, Adidas had lost its mojo in the U.S., after focusing too much on soccer players and creating sneakers that appealed more to European tastes. King quickly put a plan in place that pooled global resources to create what he calls “breakthrough product innovations” and consistent marketing campaigns around U.S. sports. He encouraged his team to focus more heavily on the running and basketball categories, as well as stylish lifestyle looks.

Adidas North America Mark King
Adidas Group North America President Mark King.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas

“We asked how we could take the strength of the brand, the strength of the resources we have as a global company, and deploy those more effectively here in the U.S.,” King said late last year. “We’ve come together as a company to compete in America. That’s first. The second thing is that the products have been fantastic, and they’re continuing to get better.”

On the retail side, Kith and Ronnie Fieg are also making a major statement. Fieg will open up about how Kith, which received FN’s Retailer of the Year award in 2016, takes an egalitarian approach. “Kith caters to a large spectrum of people — every race, every age, both genders, kids as well. We cover anyone who wants to be special,” Fieg told Footwear News last year. “We try to be the people’s champ when it comes to product and retail, and that’s made a big difference.”

Ronnie Fieg FNAA 2016
Kith’s Ronnie Fieg accepting Retailer of the Year award.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

Just last week, Kith unveiled a new partnership with Puma. The New York–based boutique retail standout announced that it is working with the athletic label to bring the Tsugi Shinsei to consumers. Fieg also revealed another upcoming drop: His popular Volcano concept — first seen on 2013’s Asics Gel-Lyte V release — is set to make a comeback on a new silhouette.

To register for the summit, click here, or contact Kim Mancuso at kmancuso@wwd.com or 646-356-4722.

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