Book Review: One Great Shoe by Zach Schonbrun

One Great Shoe by Zach Schonbrun, is a story about the Basketball Clothing brand, AND1.

BUY One Great Shoe One Great Shoe (Kindle Single)


The History of Sneakers & Nike — How AND1 became popular

By the early 2000s, more NBA players were wearing AND1 shoes than any other basketball or sports men’s footwear company. AND1 was so successful it had its own retail stores, a television show on ESPN2, and a popular video game.

They were successful because of their passion to make “the kids feel cool” and confident. Modern sneakers came out of the 1970’s break-dancing wave and culture. The men’s footwear market grew by 8% in two years; twice as fast as women’s shoes.

AND1 capitalized on the jeans and sneakers combo; noting that the two went hand-in-hand. In the 1970s and early 1980s, a separate wave of jogging, swimming, cycling and aerobics entered the market. AND1 failed to penetrate this market and decided to stick with basketball footwear.

Their foundation was mostly based on “street cred”, while Nike was busy seeking endorsements from the NBA stars. AND1 and many customers in the space acknowledge that there are better products than Nike, but Nike has this way of making you feel like a better athlete or player. Nike thrives on this boost of confidence and perceived ability it offers to its customer base.

Kids act as a walking billboard when they wear your shoes around the streets and the courts. Nike had more of an urban feel to them; they developed this through their marketing. AND1 claims that Nike just lacked that street “swagger” in their marketing.


AND1’s Decline and Revival

AND1 started failing when they tried to sell their products to a winder variety of sports. In the beginning they were strictly a basketball footwear company. When they started messing around with their logo, the customers had started to doubt whether AND1 was still passionately dedicated to making great basketball sneakers.

Today, hot sneaker brands are sold very limited in small batches. The number of stores selling hot brands shrinks every day. AND1 has revived their brand through appealing to “mom,” by offering a cheaper shoe through the Walmart and Amazon marketplaces – which account for 40% of the footwear market.

BUY One Great Shoe One Great Shoe (Kindle Single)

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