Raptors' VanVleet Out Front As AND1 Makes Return To Shoe Game
AND1 released the Attack 2.0 shoe at a Foot Locker location in Toronto on Friday to mark the company's "reentry into major sporting good retail stores," and Raptors G Fred VanVleet is "front and centre" in the efforts, according to Blake Murphy of THE ATHLETIC. VanVleet is the "new face" of AND1, and he has "worn several versions of the Attack 2.0" this season. The company's marketing strategy "leans heavily on marquee games and NBA events that are sure to catch social media attention," so he has featured "custom designs" on days like Halloween, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, his attempts to customize his shoes to "mesh his brand with AND1's has been seamless, thanks in large part to AND1's willingness to let him maintain his own brand alongside theirs." VanVleet, since entering the NBA, has been "building his FVVShop brand around the 'Bet on Yourself' mantra," something that has "grown from wristbands and T-shirts that teammates would wear to a full-blown webstore with summer pop-up shops." AND1 Head of Sports Marketing Dexter Gordon: "We're kind of trying to change the whole landscape where we partner with guys, not only on our brand, but we're going to help them build their brands." Murphy notes VanVleet has been endorsed by the company since '18, as he is seen as "everything the brand had once been and could become again: An underdog who wasn't supposed to make it but did, never once losing its roots" (THEATHLETIC.com, 2/7).