Converse is an iconic brand that revolutionized the sports shoe market. It has a rich history. Converse was synonymous with basketball in the mid 20th century, long before Nike was popular. They were worn by Dr.J, Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Michael Jordan wore them at North Carolina. Tennis stars Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors wore them at Wimbledon. They have a history of innovative marketing and advertising. In 1991, they launched the “Grandma-Ma” campaign with Larry Johnson.
The brand also symbolizes a rebellious era of trend setters who began as basketball fans and transcended to Rock and Roll. It personifies a lifestyle of freedom and revolution for consumers who express their attitudes through clothing. Its shoes were also worn by cultural icons such as Elvis Presley, James Dean and 1970’s punk bands such as the Ramones as a symbol of defiance.
Converse was established in 1908 by Marguis Mills Converse in Boston. The company’s motto was to be independent enough not to follow every other company in every thing that they do. They started out making rubber soled boots that were good for winter wear. In 1915, the company began making tennis shoes. The company’s main turning point came in 1917, when the Converse All Star was introduced in 1917. In 1921, basketball player Chuck Taylor joined the company and made the All Stars famous.
As I was watching the NCAA Tournament, I started to think about Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. When I first started playing basketball, Converse was the brand serious players wore. A new pair of high top Chuck Taylor All Stars was a must have every season. They were high quality basketball sneakers at a reasonable price. At their height, Converse controlled 80% of the athletic shoe market. Michael Jordan’s decision to sign with Nike in the 1980’s changed the course of the athletic shoe market. The brand fell behind Nike and Adidas in the battle to capture market share and credibility with young basketball players.
Converse was purchased by Nike in 2001. In recent years, the brand has seen an increase in popularity as a new generation of consumers discovers the brand. Today, Converse is a brand that inspires originality and is a catalyst for creativity. Converse continues to be embraced by optimistic rebels. The real appeal of Converse today is that they are retro and cool. Converse offers consumers the opportunity to design their own pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars.
Did you own a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars?