The Revival of Skechers: How Sports Ignited Their Brand

You may have heard the word on the street…

Reigning MVP of the NBA, Joel Embiid is reportedly set to sign a deal with Skechers.

And what the evolving brand has been able to do over the last few years is worth a deep dive.

They’ve executed to near perfection on every major trend — most of which have had a sports angle.

Let’s Dive In 👇

Hype Cycles

Most core trends seem to repeat every ~20 years (a concept often called the “20-Year Rule”).

This 20-year timeline could be that creators consciously or subconsciously take inspiration from their parents’ styles 🤔

So as fashion trends from the 1990s resurge…it makes sense that Skechers wants to take credit as the originator of the popular “dad sneaker”.

While wearing clothes isn’t going away anytime soon…

Technology also has hype cycles, but they tend to come and go much quicker.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to be at its climax when compared to other recent technological hype cycles.

Skechers Nails the Trends

We started this article touching on Joel Embiid, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle.

Skechers has nailed nearly every major movement over the last few years when looking at Google Trends.

  • 2018 – Dad Shoes
  • 2021 – Pickleball
  • 2023 – Entering Basketball?

From little relevance a decade ago (25 score) to multiple 100s (max score) and now in the consistent 75 range.

Here’s how Skechers accomplished this through sports:


When pickleball started popping off a few years ago, it had an “old person” stigma attached to it.

Then leagues such as the APP, MLP, and PPA popped up — this helped bring a younger crowd in.

Pickleball’s growth is actually insane:

One of those players was Tyson McGuffin.

Not only is TM a top athlete within the racquet sport — he’s also trendy, tatted, and a brand’s dream when entering a new sport.

Skechers hit the ground running in pickleball and have one of the top shoes in the game.

Now they’re trying to do the same thing in a much bigger market size…


Skechers has caused a social media stir with several NBA players spotted wearing unreleased basketball kicks.

  • Julius Randle (NY Knicks)
  • Terance Mann (LA Clippers)
  • Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

We all know basketball is dominated by Nike and Adidas…

But brands such as Under Armour, Li-Ning, and Puma have made moves in the space over the last decade.

If pulled off, Skechers will have captured the entire consumer age range — in large part thanks to sports (pickleball and basketball).

Props to their team — lots can be learned from their execution.

Emerging Companies

I know several of you reading this are probably thinking…

“This is great, but how can capture this and achieve similar success with much less of a budget”.

Sports. Athletes. NIL.

Equity is one of the greatest tools capitalism ever created – find athletes and get them to be a part of the upside in the form of ownership.

Got a budget?

Then pay attention to sports capturing attention and don’t be afraid to put marketing dollars into it.

Skechers advertisements can also be seen all over pickleball tournaments (and at a fraction of the price of bigger sports like basketball, soccer, and football).

And don’t be afraid to dip into the college and high school space with NIL deals.

If I’m Skechers, my next major move is signing some promising younger athletes across the college landscape.


Sports is one of the most effective places in the world to advertise.

Athletes are extremely influential and live TV is pretty much dead outside of sports.

I had no Skechers did anything within sports two years ago…

Thanks to great execution, they’re now a legit brand within athletics.

No matter what your business does, I think there are takeaways to be learned.

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