“Sneakers” that is. I watched a bit of Andy Roddick’s 4th set against fellow American, Michael Russell, in the first round of the U.S. Open last night with my son and my husband. You see, having grown up in Southern California, I come from a tennis family. My mom and dad play; my brothers play; and my sister and I played on the same doubles team in high school at one point. My 10-year old son has been playing tennis since he was 3, and this Fall my girls want to start playing too!
My son and husband couldn’t bear to watch the match with me. My little guy kept saying, “MOM! Do you HAVE to keep saying stuff?” as I’m calling serves “out,” before the ball even bounces – or making some sort of commentary. My husband with, “Seriously, can you be quiet?!” Me retorting, “As if we don’t listen to football referee calls out of your mouth before a call is made?” (My husband takes pride in the fact that he can do this – make the right call – as the rest of us are watching replay after replay). Then…I get a glimpse of Roddick’s sweet red sneaks. Who makes those? Are they Nike? No. No swoosh. Adidas? Can’t get a close-up. Then my son, “MOM!! Do you have to talk about his shoes and his shirt?!” Me: “Yes, hon! It’s ALL about the fashion!” (His shirt, by the way, is Lacoste. Me, intrigued by the drape/material of his shirt.) Which led into an explanation, by my husband to my son, of brand sponsorship — that I (and those like me) am a marketer’s dream. SOLD! I want to buy my little guy a pair, but after a quick Google search I find it: Babolat Propulse 3. Probably not available in kids’ sizes, not to mention have been flying off the shelves since their release in February 2011. (My son didn’t love them anyhow.)
Our discussion brought back memories of John McEnroe’s highly coveted Nike Air Trainers from back in the ’80s. And the unprecedented skyrocketing popularity of the basic white Keds sneaker, thanks to Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing.
Andy Roddick’s shoes also reminded me of an article I had read sometime ago called, “The Secret to Selling Cool” (Boston.com) about Bodega, the only sneaker boutique/convenience store in the world. Bodega has a cult following due to their highly sought after assortment of sneakers; including limited-editions, rereleased models of shoes from the ’80s (like the McEnroe Air Trainers), and a secret entrance that shoppers must know (how to enter) or figure out themselves. And wouldn’t you know? Bodega was conceived by 3 guys in their thirties.