Sports stars are no strangers to collaborating with big sneaker brands. America’s top hoop shooter LeBron James has an ongoing partnership with Nike, which has seen the creation of 18 unique sneakers as well as custom Air Force 1s, while Serena williams marked her return to Wimbledon in July 2018 with a Nike sneaker – the Air Force 1 Strong – designed by her, for her. What is rarely (if ever) seen is a partnership between a massive, world-renowned sneaker brand and the people behind the scenes of the sports industry, propelling the aforementioned names to fame and glory. .
But that’s exactly what happened at New Balance. The American sports company has, in a rather random gesture, rounded up Rich Paul for his latest collaborative project. Chances are you don’t know Rich Paul and TBH, we wouldn’t blame you for that (although if you’re a fan of Adele you might know him as her boyfriend).
Rich Paul is one of the key people supporting the American basketball industry as the founder of Cleveland-based sports agency Klutch Sports Group. One of the world’s leading sports representatives, he has been active in securing sponsorships for LeBron James, Scottie Lewis, Ben Simmons and John Wall, amassing over $ 1 billion in transactions and keeping the industry and its players afloat. His company is so successful that it now competes with the biggest agencies in the game – Creative Artists Agency by Aaron Mintz and Excel Sports Management by Jeff Schwartz.
For his surprising collaboration with New Balance, Paul, 40, worked on the 550 silhouette, an OG basketball shoe launched in 1989. While in recent years it has been picked up by trendy brands Aimé Leon Dore and Aurale, the Paul’s 550 is exceptionally impressive. The sexy sneakers are available in a delightfully minimal “Raw Cashew” colourway, while the original structural details (chunky flat sole and chunky lacing) remain. Meanwhile, luxurious grained leather, which is often used on sneakers, adorns the upper, and blue, brown and gold “Eclipse” accents add flavor to the sneakers. In addition, a short-fit tracksuit with the brand “Rich Paul for New Balance” is on offer. Elegant.
But there’s more to the Sneaks, which go on sale December 10, than it looks. The collaboration is deeply rooted in Paul and New Balance’s shared belief that success shouldn’t start and end on the pitch. In a statement, Paul said, “Growing up we had few examples of what success could look like off the pitch. When New Balance approached me about a collaboration, more than anything, I wanted to create something to inspire and empower the young people behind us – for boys and girls with creativity, passion and fearless determination to stay true to themselves.
Chris Davis, New Balance Marketing Director, said, “Rich is an individual who is making his own way and is an example for the next generation. Rich’s personal and professional journey is one that has truly defied convention. “
Following? We wouldn’t be surprised if BTS football agent and transfer god Pini Zahavi gets his own deal with NB.
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