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Volume 27 No. 13
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Converse Trying To Regain Standing In Basketball Marketplace

Converse is "determined to regain its prime position in the basketball market," yesterday unveiling the All Star Pro BB, a "performance basketball shoe that is intended to highlight the company's return to the sport it helped pioneer more than a century ago," according to Jean Palmieri of WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY. The All Star Pro BB shoe was "developed by Converse's design team" along with Nike Creative Dir Eric Avar, and is "intended to allow the foot to move in many directions while still being supported." The shoe will be available starting next month in "black or white with orange details," and will retail for $140. Converse VP/Global Footwear Brandis Russell said that the shoe will be worn by brand ambassador, Suns F Kelly Oubre Jr., at the "start of the next NBA season as well as other athletes" within the company's portfolio (WWD.com, 4/17). ESPN.com's Nick DePaula noted Oubre "signed on as the first face of the Converse Basketball relaunch" last fall, and the brand will "look to sign additional players in advance" of next NBA season. Converse will also be "keeping a focus on style influencers and designer partners." The Boston-based company will "look to represent a fusion of style and performance within the Nike Inc. umbrella, in between its big brother categories of Nike Basketball and Jordan Brand" (ESPN.com, 4/17).