CONVERSE SELECTS NBA ALL-STAR DWYANE WADE AS THE NEXT NAMESAKE FOR A SIGNATURE BASKETBALL SHOE
North Andover, MASS (October 25, 2005) – On November 3, Converse reintroduces itself as a leader in performance basketball by unveiling an all-new signature shoe for one of the NBA’s most notable up-and-coming stars – Miami HEAT player Dwyane Wade.
Converse, who created the industry’s first-ever signature shoe with the Chuck Taylor® All Star® shoe in 1923, aligned with Wade as he entered the NBA and has been his shoe of choice as he’s gained national recognition for his on-court talent. But as he checks into his first game for the 2005-2006 NBA season, Wade will wear a new shoe – his own signature shoe called WADE.
The Converse WADE is the first product offering to follow Converse’s recent announcement of a long-term, strategic partnership with Wade to create footwear, apparel and equipment for America’s first basketball brand.
Over the course of a year, Converse designers used HEAT basketball games as their laboratory to study Wade’s moves on the hardwood. Wade played an integral part in the design by working closely with the Converse Design Team to create the perfect shoe for his quick, cutting style of play, while reflecting his humble and respectful approach towards the game.
Converse pays homage to Wade through strategic design discovery elements that tribute his awe-inspiring basketball accomplishments and personal attributes. The Converse® WADE features “.08” displayed on the inner heel to reflect two game-winning shots in his first two seasons. His number “3” is shown on the shoelace eyelets and his name appears on the back and top of the shoe. Functionally, the shoe enables Wade to play at the top of his game with a Foot Strike Management System, internal sock liner and heel stabilizers.
“Converse has been a part of basketball since the beginning. I grew up idolizing NBA legends such as Julius Erving, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson wearing the Converse brand,” said Wade. “It’s an honor to professionally play in the game these guys helped establish and follow in their footsteps with this legendary brand. My life-long dream of playing in the NBA is now taken to a new level with my own Converse shoe.”
The Converse WADE will retail for MSRP at $90 at Footlocker, Finish Line, Footaction, Champs, select independent retailers and online at www.converse.com. The shoe’s two color variations include Miami’s red/black and Marquette’s blue/gold, signifying his college career. A third color variation will hit retailers later this year.
“Converse’s legacy is to partner with one-of-a-kind athletes who embody the values of our brand and who adopt Converse as their own,” said Ric Wilson, Converse Sports Marketing Director. “No other company can claim the same level of history when it comes to basketball. We will honor our heritage and move it forward in the performance category with Dwyane Wade.”
The Converse WADE will be supported through a print, television and outdoor advertising campaign titled “Fall Seven Times. Stand Up Eight.” created by Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners in Sausalito, CA. Wade was involved in the creative process of the campaign that was inspired by his play and attitude on the court. “Fall Seven Times. Stand Up Eight.” is an old proverb that teaches the lesson of persevering by always getting up. Television spots will begin airing Oct. 31 on ESPN, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Spike TV, Turner NBA, Spike TV, Fuse Network and NBA Inside Stuff. Print advertising will run in Bounce, Complex, Dime, Elemental, King, Slam, The Source, XXL and ESPN the Magazine.
Wade was drafted by the Miami HEAT in the 2003 NBA Draft. He grew up in Chicago playing basketball in his South Side neighborhood before heading to Marquette University, where he led his team to the 2003 NCAA Final Four in his junior season. Following his Final Four run, he joined the NBA and moved his wife and young son to Miami, where he’s become a leader in the NBA during his first two seasons.
In 2005, he earned the nickname “Flash” from teammate Shaquille O’Neal, delivered an outstanding performance in the NBA playoffs, and was awarded “Breakthrough Athlete of the Year” at the 2005 ESPY Awards. Off the court, Wade has received acclaim as well. Earlier this year, he was named to People magazine’s 2005 “Most Beautiful People” list and was selected by MTV as a presenter for the 2005 Video Music Awards.
Converse was the first basketball shoe to ever make contact with the court in 1917. Soon after, Converse gained iconic status with the creation of the Chuck Taylor All Star shoe, which went unmatched through five decades of professional basketball. Converse carried on its First School legacy when it created the Pro Leather, worn by NBA great Julius Erving, followed by shoes such as the Converse® ICON Pro Leather and the Weapon® shoe.
Established in 1908, the Converse brand has built a reputation as “America’s Original Sports Company”™ and has been associated with a rich heritage of legendary shoes such as the Chuck Taylor® All Star® shoe, the Jack Purcell® shoe and the One Star® shoe.