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After FTC Crisis, Skechers Going Global With Montana, Cuban, LaSorda, Quiggly

By Barry Janoff

August 31, 2012: Skechers USA, fresh off its run-in with the Federal Trade Commission, is planning a major marketing push that will hit in the U.S. and internationally, which will include the return of Mark Cuban and Joe Montana, the addition of baseball icon Tommy LaSorda, as well as Mr. Quiggly, the pooch who starred in the the company's most recent Super Bowl commercial.

The campaign will supper the global launch of its  Relaxed Fit footwear collection for men. Skechers previously said it would return to the Super Bowl with a commercial to run on CBS during Super Bowl XLVII in February.

The effort will be anchored by TV spots starring, respectively, Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Montana and LaSorda, a member of the baseball Hall of Fame who has been associated with the game since the 1940s. Skechers said that the three spots would run consecutively, starting with Cuban’s commercial, this Fall. The TV spots are designed to reflect each man's unique personalities "to showcase Relaxed Fit’s wide range of features," according to Skechers: "Cuban’s popularity, Montana’s ability to remain calm under pressure and Lasorda’s spirited character."
The campaign also will include  print, in-store, online and social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Earlier this year, the Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based company agreed to pay $50 million to settle allegations of false advertising filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of 44 states. Ads featuring Montana, Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke came under fire by the FTC over claims that Skechers' toning shoes would help people lose weight, tone muscles and fight heart disease.

Skechers denied any wrong doing and said it agreed to the settlement "[to avoid] the exorbitant cost and endless distraction of several years spent defending multiple lawsuits in multiple courts across the country."

“Mark, Joe and Tommy are three sports legends promoting an idea that’s inspired by the ingenuity of relaxed jeans: product that doesn’t just offer more comfort, but looks great as well,” Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers, said in a statement.

“Guys want their shoes to feel roomy without making their feet look wide and Relaxed Fit shoes are designed to offer this kind of comfort with a more stylish design. Plus, with these power players in professional basketball, football and baseball backing this new brand, we’re confident that Relaxed Fit footwear is going to strike a chord with guys everywhere," said Greenberg."

Relaxed Fit will be Cuban and Montana’s second endorsement for the Skechers, with both previously starring in Super Bowl spots for the company.

Skechers recently began an association with LaSorda through Skechers Foundation, designed to support families and communities in need. Skechers and Lasorda co-host a day at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 1 for members of the Friendship Circle, an organization dedicated to nurturing and inspiring the special needs community.

“[Super Bowl XVLI in] 2012 was our third year at the Big Game and thanks to Mr. Quiggly, we ranked third in the viewer polls," Greenberg said of the commercial the featured Cuban and Quiggly. “Next year we’ll be celebrating our second anniversary as a performance brand and we already have Mr. Quiggly booked and back in training for his triumphant return. We’re aiming for the No. 1 Super Bowl commercial this time.”

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