We are back with seven more fun facts about New Balance, American-made sneaker company. Keep reading, you might be surprised by what you see!
Number Seven: They were ‘Endorsed by No One’
New Balance’s executives didn’t believe in advertising. They wanted their customers to use NB shoes for their top quality and comfort, and always refused to sponsor any teams or events. Their mantra was “Endorsed by No One”, which they maintained until 2009, when the brand’s executives finally allowed elite athletes and celebrities to wear their products for publicity.
Number Six: Model 320 Was Advertised by Old People
The New Balace 320, its flagship product in the late ’70s and early ’80s, wasn’t advertised by athletes or celebrities; it was advertised by a couple of older folks dressed in every-day older folks clothes. This commercial decision would further confirm their desire to reach everyone, regardless of gender or race.
Number Five: New Balance Were Happy about Nike Comparisons
By the time the “N” was first getting stamped on their sneakers, Nike had already rose and was on top of the sneaker scene. Terry Heckler, the man behind New Balance’s logo design, was advised to drop the “N” from their shoes, as customers could mistake them for Nike sneakers. He believed that to be a rather positive outcome, as it would bring more sales to the brand.
Number Four: A Model Was Made for the Israeli Army
The NB team produced a unique 577 model specifically for the Israeli Army in the ‘90s. The army-model was colored black and silver, but other colors were available for the general public as well. These shoes were reissued in 2002 in Europe and Japan, and are very popular among British runners today.
Number Three: They Still Make Shoes in America
New Balance prides itself in being American-made. It is, in fact, the only high profile athletic wear company in the U.S. that still makes shoes in America. 25% of their production comes from Massachusetts, while the remaining 75% is manufactured in Asia. In addition, only 75% of the each sneaker is American-made. Different elements in the shoe come from different factories.
Number Two: Steve Jobs’ Favorite Pair of Shoes
Apple’s former chief executive officer and co-founder loved his New Balance 922 so much he never wore a different pair of shoes. The New York Times said that “the 990 has a cult following […] it was favored by Steve Jobs, and has also been worn by the actors Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Hilary Duff, among others.”
Number One: Obama Has His Own Custom Pair
The shoe brand crafted a custom pair of sneakers specifically for Barack Obama during a brief stop in Maine, right before he got re-elected. The model chosen for the occasion was the 990, because it is the longest American-produced running shoe!