New Balance has signed the first sneaker endorsement deal in history with a sports agent. The athletic shoe company announced its partnership on Tuesday with Rich Paul, who represents LeBron James and other NBA stars. Nike is reportedly considering entering into similar partnerships to avoid losing market share to rival Adidas
The “rich paul new balance 550” is a product endorsement by New Balance. Rich Paul is an agent who has been involved in the sports industry for years and has helped athletes like Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant get endorsements.
Rich Paul, a sports agent, has spent years assisting sportsmen like LeBron James in securing large sponsorship agreements. He’s now putting his own imprint on a product line.
The high-profile CEO has been engaged by New Balance Athletics Inc. to customize and launch a shoe and clothing line. The partnership comes as the sports gear firm, which bills itself as a challenger brand, tries to appeal to a younger audience and separate out against a sea of celebrity sponsorships at shoe brands.
“The collaborative sector has grown more crowded, especially in the past 36 months,” said Chris Davis, New Balance’s chief marketing officer. “We need to go in a new direction.”
Rich Paul has risen to popularity in recent years as a result of his high-profile client list and entrepreneurial initiatives like Klutch Sports Group.
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press photo
Mr. Davis believes that some customers may have previously connected New Balance with “suburban dad style.” However, he claims that the corporation has changed its marketing approach in recent years to make it more relevant to millennial and Gen-Z clients.
Partnerships with up-and-coming fashion businesses like Staud and Bandier, as well as personalities who had never before partnered with any brand, such as actress Storm Reid and Mr. Paul, have played an outsized role in the approach.
Traditional celebrity endorsement partnerships continue to play a significant role in the marketing of Nike and Adidas. Mr. James’ lifetime endorsement arrangement with Nike is one of the most prominent. In recent years, however, marketers have warmed up to collaborations with social media influencers and YouTube artists.
Mr. Paul remarked of his New Balance contract, “This couldn’t have been done five years ago.” “Company CEOs and CMOs were not thinking in the same manner they are today.”
Mr. Paul is the chief executive and creator of Klutch Sports Group, as well as the head of United Talent Agency’s sports business. Klutch Sports Group was acquired by UTA in 2019. He credits the emergence of unorthodox brand endorsement arrangements to the advent of social media, which allowed individuals to express themselves and connect with specific audiences.
Mr. Paul said, “Prior to that, there was a highly subjective point of view on who could truly advertise a product.”
A special design for New Balance’s 550 Colorway sneaker, as well as a range of items carrying the New Balance insignia and Mr. Paul’s initials, are part of the new collection. Starting Dec. 10, it will be available on New Balance’s website as well as the e-commerce site Klutch Shop.
Mr. Paul will not be paid for the cooperation, and all proceeds from the sale of New Balance items on Klutch’s site will be given to charity, according to him.
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Mr. Paul said he’s collaborating with New Balance to encourage young people and teach them that they don’t have to be great sportsmen or traditional superstars to be successful.
Mr. Paul is one of a handful of agents, including Maverick Carter and Scott Boras, who have become renowned in their own right as a result of their high-profile clients, connections, and contacts. Mr. Paul is presently dating Adele, a British singer.
Mr. Davis said the firm analyzes sales data for its limited-edition collaborations as one metric of success, but it also looks at traffic to its website, media mentions, and search results to see how they affect its brand.
Alexandra Bruell can be reached at [email protected]
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New Balance has tapped NBA agent Rich Paul to be the latest athlete to endorse its products. The company has been in talks with Paul for several months, and he will be featured on New Balance’s website and social media platforms. Reference: rich paul.
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