The sneaker market is about to get a little more crowded, with Skechers preparing to launch their basketball division. For years, Skechers was seen by many as a brand of shoe geared toward skateboarders but also produce a wide range from casual to walking, running, and other types of shoes. Now, they’ve decided to venture into a basketball shoe market, which is already oversaturated. In doing so, they’ve set their sites on Joel Embiid as the face of the brand.
Snatching up the reigning league MVP would be quite the coup for a new brand in the hoops arena. It sounds like an announcement could come soon, as Embiid, and Skechers are close to agreeing on a deal. Randle and Mann might not move the needle like Embiid, but with so many players already having shoe deals, they’ve got to start somewhere.
Nowadays, acquiring a sneaker deal isn’t the honor it once was. Of course, the money is far better, but it feels like nearly half the association has, or will have some sort of shoe contract during their career. It’s not that many, but that’s how it seems compared to the mid-90s, where roughly a handful had a signature shoe.
Whether it’s Nike, Jordan Brand, Under Armour, New Balance, or one created by a family like Big Baller Brand, it’s much more common to see players aside from superstars with their own shoes. Reebok is even looking to jump back in by re-launching its basketball brand with Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson leading the charge.
So, with Skechers being the new kid on the block, it won’t be easy to break through and make an impact on the hardwood. Landing Embiid would be a start, but they’ll ultimately need some more prominent names to go alongside Embiid eventually. As good as Randle has been at times in New York, it’s hard to imagine the masses clamoring for his sneaker. The same goes for Mann but to an even lesser extent.
It’ll be tough for Skechers to start, with many stars of name value already tied to a shoe brand. Nikola Jokić is another former MVP (2x) with a Nike deal but not a signature shoe. The odds of Skechers prying him away from Nike are miniscule at best, but sometimes, you’ve got to shoot for the stars. They’ll have to wrap things up with Embiid, get him onboard, and continue to build from there.