With the launch of a new ad campaign, its largest ever, New Balance, the sports shoe manufacturer, is hoping to increase its share of the international market which is dominated by the likes of Nike and Adidas.
The global ad campaign, which will feature television spots in 70 countries, is directing its appeal to younger buyers. The company also intends pushing heavily into print and social media. The new ad campaign features 17 up-and-coming young athletes in the efforts of the privately owned Boston based company to improve its market share.
The brand has also signed endorsement deals with 10 major soccer players in a move to kick-start the game for a larger part of the sports market. “Always in Beta”, the catch phrase indicating that there is always room for improvement, leads New Balance in its thrust to increase exposure to the market and to increase sales.
Nike and Adidas have a large number of the world's top athletes from most sports disciplines tied in to endorsement and sponsorships deals giving them huge exposure to sport enthusiasts, which is a tough act to follow and compete with.
According to the Nike 2013 annual report, the company spent $2.75 billion on advertising, promotions and the cost of endorsements, a figure that grew by a further 13% to $3.1 billion, according to the 2014 annual report.
The Nike spend puts the degree of catch-up that New Balance, with revenues of $3.3 billion in 2014, has to do to become a leading player in the game.
Other moves by New Balance include the introduction of a number of new products including the “Made for Movement” apparel collection. The company has also announced an updated version of its sneakers range encompassing built-in performance technologies.
This move from New Balance coincides with the announcement from Nike that its chairman and co-founder, 77 year old Phil Knight, will step down. A new chairman will be announced in 2016 with New Balance CEO Rob DeMartini probably hoping that the change in leadership at Nike will create opportunities to grab a slice of the market.