Interview with Mr. Su Jia, CEO of PEAK Sports USA.
With the rapidly emerging athletic footwear market in China providing a platform for growth for global sports conglomerates, the reverse is also taking place with Chinese brands and the American consumer. In the highly competitive basketball shoe market in particular, we’ve seen brands like Li-Ning, ANTA, and Luyou all make plays for NBA player endorsements. In this past 2010-11 NBA season, one Chinese brand managed to put its logo and product on enough NBA feet to call itself the No. 3 footwear sponsor in the NBA. That brand is PEAK, who have planted their official North American headquarters in Los Angeles (with a 2011 NBA All-Star weekend unveiling) and is gearing up for a US retail launch later this year. We chat with PEAK Sports USA CEO, Jia Su…
CounterKicks: PEAK officially opened up its Los Angeles-based North American headquarters and showroom to media during the 2011 NBA All-Star weekend festivities. What does this mean for your company?
Jia Su: This is a good start. Obviously, it’s big and important for us. With it being All-Star Weekend, we had three players that are All-Stars. It’s a first for a China brand, so it’s very big.
CK: PEAK is currently the No. 3 endorsed footwear brand in the NBA. Did you have athletes you wanted to target for team PEAK?
Su: Yes, we want to try to sign more players. We want more of the league.
CK: When are you hoping to launch in the US market? Any aims?
Su: We talked to a lot of potential distributors to get our products for sale. Hopefully later this year.
CK: How do you think PEAK is different from other companies in the market now?
Su: We try to learn from the big boy companies such as Nike, adidas and some other brands to learn more and give something new.
CK: How do you change or market a shoe for the American market versus the Asian market?
Su: Yeah, the marketing here is totally different. We hired American designers to improve our products. All of the products selling in America are special designs by Americans.
CK: Will those products be available in other markets or just North America?
Su: Just North America.
CK: What sort of price range will PEAK be looking to compete at?
Su: Based on Nike’s price range, we are more expensive than other Chinese brands, so maybe in the middle.
CK: With the players that you signed, are they are going to be having specific pro signature models?
Su: Yes. And every year, we have a championship that we promote every year. We promote our players all over the world.
CK: What else should consumers know about the PEAK product?
Su: We have some technology that others don’t have. The most important is called the Cushion-3. We also have some other technologies.
CK: Will all the shoe models be available at the same time? Will it be the full product lines at once?
Su: Depends if the players are using them and what the stores order.
CK: How do you think PEAK is different from other Asian-based footwear brands that are coming into the market right now?
Su: Our company most importantly has 13 NBA players. Also, we have five factories in China. So maybe other Asian companies like Li Ning are not as big as us.
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