In recent years, NBA players have begun to go against the grain and break the mould with all-new performance sneakers from emerging brands. In the early days of the NBA, Converse dominated the market, with players like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson wearing the iconic brand. In the ’90s, Nike found their foothold in the NBA community through Jordan Brand.
Now, however, brands like Lin-Ning/Way Of Wade, ANTA, and Rigorer have begun to shake things up and disrupt the market. In a press release, KICKS CREW said it reported a 560% increase in Li-Ning/Way Of Wade sales.
As a result, the brand has taken hold of the second-highest US market share of performance basketball shoes, second only to Nike. On KICKS CREW, the demand for Li-Ning/WOW sneakers, specifically the WOW 10, has seen a 10x spike in GMV year-over-year.
Similarly, Rigorer, with the backing of LA Lakers star Austin Reaves, has emerged as a powerhouse brand thanks to their AR1 sneaker. Since its release last summer, the Rigorer AR1 has cemented its place as a top-10-selling performance basketball shoe on KICKS CREW, beating out Puma.
NBA star Kyrie Irving helped fuel massive growth for ANTA, increasing their market share by 600%
Back in late 2022, NBA star Kyrie Irving and Nike mutually parted ways, according to Irving’s agent, Shetellia Riley Irving. The move was surrounded by controversy at the time. Irving has, since then, partnered with ANTA, resulting in a massive surge in their sales.
According to the previously referenced press release from KICKS CREW, ANTA’s monthly market share of US basketball sneakers on the global sneaker marketplace increased by a whopping 600%. A notable spike was witnessed when Irving first donned the Shock Wave 5’s on-court.
This resulted in ANTA’s US market share doubling almost overnight. Since then, it has been nothing but big moves for ANTA, as the company prepares for the highly anticipated release of Irving’s first signature shoe.
In addition to the success of ANTA, Rigorer, and Li-Ning/Way Of Wade, another emerging brand, 361° has also positioned themselves for a big year after the signing of reigning NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic.
While his signature shoes have yet to release, the anticipation around his signing and his upcoming signature line can’t be denied. With plenty of interest around the deal, the expectation is that when the NBA star’s signature shoes release, they too will be among the most sought-after performance basketball shoes.
With more and more players continuing to break the mould and go against the grain with emerging brands, the landscape of the sneaker industry is poised for more change for years to come.
In other news, KICKS CREW is hosting its first-ever Scavenger Hunt to give away prizes ranging from $500 store credit to 50% off discount codes.