Welcome to North America, PEAK.
When it comes to the NBA and sneaker endorsements, the current top dogs are Nike and adidas. But outside of these two giant shoe conglomerates, who ranks third in NBA player footwear? It may surprise you to know that PEAK Sports USA has taken up that slot for the the 2010-11 NBA season. During the festivities of the 2011 NBA All-Star weekend, PEAK announced that their roster was fifteen players strong thanks to new additions of Kevin Love, JaVale McGee, and Gordon Hayward. PEAK also has home arena sponsorships with both the Houston Rockets and New Jerseys Nets as well as the CBA (Chinese Basketball Assosication), NBA China, WNBA and FIBA. The 2011 All-Star weekend in Los Angeles was PEAK’s official USA launch point to declare their stake in the highly competitive North American basketball footwear business and to spotlight for select media the shoe and apparel maker’s expanding domestic presence.
I attended the PEAK Sports USA launch during All-Star and after a long day of delayed flights, multiple events and endless LA traffic, the PEAK event was low-key but very informative. There was an open bar and buffet as well as a patio with a giant television showing a reel of PEAK athletes that I caught Gordon Hayward gawking at a few times. The mix of media at the event was about one-third North American and two-thirds Chinese – much more diverse than other footwear events and also much more intimate thanks to the press-only invite. Usually at events held by larger companies, it’s hard to get in-depth interviews or get close to all the product. PEAK Sport Products Company (the parent company of PEAK Sports USA) CEO Mr. Xu Zhihua was more than willing to explain the brand’s North American presence and plans for the future despite his limited English. All involved preached that PEAK Sports USA would be built specific for the American market only, not just re-tread designs from the Chinese market where PEAK has a domestic stronghold. This means if you want to acquire all the different PEAK shoe models out there, you’ll need to visit China for part of your stockpile – something that may pique a collector’s interest and affect price points. PEAK also hired their own North American designers for the PEAK Sports USA headquarters based in sunny Los Angeles to help aide stateside success in the market.
I was given a private tour of PEAK’s new Los Angeles office and showroom and there were a variety of not only sneakers but apparel and performance sportswear on display. PEAK plans on adding more athletes to their roster throughout 2011 who exemplify the company’s “I Can Play” brand slogan. The PEAK team has over twenty years of experience in developing and manufacturing sportswear along with five factories in China, so experience is on their side. It was interesting to see the differences between their product catalogs for USA and Chinese buyers and how both athletes and products will be marketed in their respective markets. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the PEAK USA offices and 2011 brand launch event. And be sure to check out my interview with PEAK Sports USA CEO, Jia Su…
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