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Shoebox Savings Blog

Friday, October 22, 2010

News Flash! Under Armour has new plans for Basketball shoes


We are excited to hear about Under Armour's new plans for their basketball shoe, the Micro G! We all know the brand for its amazing clothing line, but could this be a great start to break into the footwear category? Will their newest team players, Eugene McCarthy as VP of footwear, Dave Dombrow as creative director, and Charlie Brown as sourcing chief, all long time Nike veterans, make the difference?  Let us know what you think; is it a go or will it blow?  


By Matt Townsend - Oct 22, 2010 10:55 AM MT 

Under Armour Plans to Dethrone NIke, Jordan in Basketball Shoes

Under Armour Plans to Dethrone Nike, Jordan
The "Black Ice" model from Under Armour Inc.'s new basketball shoe line Micro G. Source: Under Armour Inc. via Bloomberg
Under Armour Plans to Dethrone Nike, Jordan
Models from Under Armour Inc.'s new basketball shoe line Micro G. Source: Under Armour Inc. via Bloomberg
Under Armour Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank beat the odds in college when he walked on the University of Maryland football team and eventually became a captain. His next challenge could make that feat look easy.
Tomorrow, Under Armour is launching a basketball shoe line, called Micro G, to take on Nike Inc. It’s all part of Plank’s quest to become “the biggest, baddest brand on the planet.” Plank has recruited three Nike veterans to help him succeed after previous efforts to move into athletic shoes left Baltimore-based Under Armour with 1.1 percent of the market, according to the research group SportsOneSource....
If Plank harbors doubts about taking on Beaverton, Oregon- based Nike, which dominates the $2.5 billion U.S. basketball shoe market, he isn’t saying.
“Our goal for getting into basketball is to be number one,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m 38. I’ve got a long time.” As for Nike, he added, “those guys are old.”
With his foray into basketball shoes, Plank confronts not just Nike’s 95 percent market share and the billions it spends on marketing. Sales of basketball shoes in the U.S. have slid for the past three years as fewer people play the sport, says SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell.
Another failure in athletic shoes could hurt Under Armour’s long-term prospects, says Nathan Brown, an Overland Park, Kansas-based analyst for Waddell & Reed Financial Inc., the second-largest holder of the company’s shares.
‘Strike Two’
“If the basketball shoe doesn’t do well there will be questions because now you’ll have strike two and critics will say this company can’t ever be a footwear company,” Brown said in an interview. “Then the probability of that dream of eventually becoming an Adidas or Nike has to go down.”
Under Armour has learned from its previous missteps, says Plank, who calls the decision to buy a Super Bowl ad in 2008, three months before a training shoes hit stores, “pretty cocky.” The four-fold sales growth of Under Armour’s sweat- wicking apparel over the past five years led the company to underestimate the challenge of moving into footwear, he says.
Most of the company’s outlet stores didn’t carry the shoes and they were hard to find on Under Armour’s website. “You look back and think, ‘How did we make that mistake?’” Plank said.
This time, Plank reached outside the company for expertise, hiring Eugene McCarthy, who previously ran Nike’s Jordan brand, to be senior vice president of footwear. McCarthy pushed the reset button on the entire business.
Nike Veterans
McCarthy added Nike veterans Dave Dombrow as creative director and Charlie Brown as sourcing chief and moved two- thirds of the 90-member staff into new positions. He also decided to revamp the running and training shoes and put a priority on getting rid of unsold shoes at stores to make way for new versions next year.
The release of the Micro G, promoted by Brandon Jennings of the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks, will be a less splashy affair, says Plank. There are no big ad buys. A small number of pairs will land at national retailers, such as Foot Locker Inc., and urban chains like Jimmy Jazz in New York to create pent-up demand that the previous shoes lacked. Prices for the lightweight Micro G basketball shoes will range from $80 to $110, the company says.
As Plank prepared for the Micro G launch, he exhorted his employees to start thinking of Under Armour as a footwear brand not just an apparel maker. He told them to cut the word “apparel” from voicemail messages and trashed a mat in the company’s headquarters featuring the word.
‘Believe It’
“I called our marketing team and said go through this building and find anything that says we are only an apparel brand and throw it away,” Plank said. “We are Under Armour performance. We are going to live it. We’re going to walk it. We’re going to breathe it. We’re going to talk it and we’re going to believe it.”
Founded by Plank in 1996, Under Armour has posted sales growth for every quarter since going public in 2005. Last year, the company posted a profit of $46.8 million on $856.4 million in revenue. Under Armour reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 26. The company rose $1.11, or 2.4 percent, to $46.52 at 1:37 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
Plank, who holds a controlling stake in the company with his Class B shares, succeeded by identifying gaps in the marketplace, specifically base-layer apparel and cleats, says Michael Baron, an analyst for New York-based Baron Capital Inc., the largest holder of Under Armour shares.
Getting into hoops is “a whole other level,” Baron said.
Nike, founded in 1972, spent $2.4 billion on marketing in its last fiscal year, or almost three times Under Armour’s annual sales. Nike has enough top NBA players, including Kobe Bryantand LeBron James, under contract to host an All-Star game and financed a basketball festival last summer that featured the U.S. National team playing inside New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
“While our main focus is on fulfilling our own potential, which is unlimited, we thrive on competition of any kind,” said Derek Kent, a spokesman for Nike, when asked about Under Armour’s foray into basketball. “We expect to further expand our leadership position.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York atmtownsend9@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net
Accessed Oct. 10th 2010

Fabulous Friday Shoe of the Week: Nike Air Max Solas 09

Check out another great shoe in Nike's popular Air Max line!  The Nike Air Max Solas 09 is a classic Nike runner, providing full-length impact protection for the distance runner with a neutral gait.
  • Seamless, no sew, mesh upper offers a breathable, comfortable, and supportive fit.  
  • Full-length Max Air cushioning offer superior impact protection to keep you going strong.
  • BRS 1000 carbon rubber outsole provides durability and traction for a variety of surfaces. 
  • Lightweight Duralon™ around the Max Air™ unit for superior comfort.
Whether hitting the gym or pounding the pavement, you'll be quite pleased with the performance of the Nike Air Max Solas 09.  Available in several sizes.  Take a look at the Air Max Solas 09 here, or take a peek at our other name brand, authentic items by going to Shoebox Savings or on eBay at www.ebaystores.com/shoeboxsavings.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Featured Shoe of the Week is the NIKE WOMENS LUNARSWIFT+!



The Nike + Lunarswift women's running shoe features an ultra-lightweight, stitch-free construction for a smooth, breathable fit. It's designed with a LunarLite cushioning system in place for springy, responsive shock-absorption, and the BRS 1000 outsole provides traction and durability. For sizes and auctions, please use the following link and search for "NIKE WOMENS LUNARSWIFT+" and your size: www.ebaystores.com/shoeboxsavings

Friday, October 8, 2010

Our Featured Shoe of the Week is the NIKE ZOOM LEBRON VI!

Basketball is more than just a game to LeBron. The culmination of his past six years in the game, The Six is designed to support his speed, power and all-around style. Zoom Air provides a powerful cushion for the big impacts while the triple-stitched midsole adds extra support on the fast cuts. The inner lining features LeBron's own words that will inspire you to go higher than ever before.

Product Features:
-Lateral stability rand for maximum lockdown and support.
-Triple stitch midsole for extra strength.
-Full length Zoom Air, double stacked in the heel and carbon fiber heel cup for stability.
-Breathable tongue featuring lion head logo.
For sizes and auctions, please use the following link and search for "Nike Zoom Lebron VI" and your size: www.ebaystores.com/shoeboxsavings
Please also visit www.shoeboxsavings.com for more great items at phenomenal prices!!



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