Skechers’ latest ad is a direct attack on Nike.
The Manhattan Beach, Calif., Based brand released a print and online ad calling on Nike in light of the Zion Williamson shoe explosion incident during the Duke-UNC game on February 20. Williamson’s shoe collapsed in court, leaving the first year with a minor injury and a pair of unusable sneakers.
“Just blown out,” the top copy of the ad read, showing an image of broken kicks. In a smaller text below the Skechers logo, it says, “We will not part with you. “
The comfort shoe brand placed the ad in several national newspapers, including United States today and the The Wall Street Journal. New York Times design editor Josh Crutchmer revealed on Instagram that he will appear on page 3 of the Times’ sports section tomorrow. Eagle-eyed Instagram users spotted it on their feeds as well.
Skechers is not Nike’s first rival to publicly address the incident. The Puma Hoops account tweeted about it the night of the, writing, “That wouldn’t have happened in Pumas.” However, the German sportswear company garnered negative attention for the post, which it later cut.
With Williamson as the projected No.1 pick in the draft – and with the injury from a major clash attended by President Barack Obama himself – the sneaker break has garnered national attention, so he’s not surprising that other sneaker brands have taken notice.
The negative press caused Nike shares to drop rapidly 1 or 2 points, but Matt Powell, senior sports industry analyst at NPD Group Inc., says the burst shoe is just a drop in the bucket for the Swoosh.
“There have been cases over the years where a shoe [simply] failed – under similar circumstances. It’s a shoe and Nike makes hundreds of millions of pairs of shoes. Even if the whole chain breaks down – and it has happened before – things do happen in the making. Not all products work as expected, ”he explained.
In a nationwide poll conducted this week at Seton Hall University, two-thirds of those polled said they felt the sneakers breaking was just a fluke. But about 20 percent of those polled felt differently, responding that they thought the explosion was indicative of the quality of the brand.
FN has contacted Skechers and Nike for comment.
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