The massive success enjoyed by Nike Skateboarding over the past eleven years has given rise to similar divisions from adidas and Converse, not to mention burgeoning brands like Supra. New Balance isn’t exactly the most likely brand you’d expect to join the fray, but thanks to a distribution deal with skate veterans Black Box Distribution, they’re positioned to make a strong run starting with the first previews of the New Balance Numeric line at Agenda in early January with a retail debut to follow in July. NB# will be distributed by the same company that brought us Jamie Thomas’ Fallen, Mystery and Zero labels, featuring creative direction by Westlife of 686 and Matix fame. It’s worth noting that despite the similar sounding name, NB# has no direct connection to the classic clothing brand Alphanumeric, but expect New Bal’s dedication to performance to gain traction with the kick-push crowd and stick with Sneaker News to see just how Black Box and Westlife do it.
NEW BALANCE ENTERS SKATE FOOTWEAR MARKET THROUGH PARTNERSHIP WITH BLACK BOX DISTRIBUTION AND CREATIVE DIRECTION BY WESTLIFE
Boston, MA – December 10, 2012 – Boston-based New Balance announced today that it will enter the skate footwear market through a license agreement with Black Box Distribution of Carlsbad, CA. Branded as New Balance Numeric® or NB#® Black Box will produce and market performance footwear and apparel for skateboarding. New Balance Numeric will combine the unique requirements of skateboarders with New Balance’s heritage of product excellence through comfort, fit, quality and technical materials.
“New Balance is proud to partner with Black Box on the New Balance Numeric skate footwear initiative,” says Rob DeMartini, President & CEO at New Balance. “As one of the most authentic and talented skate companies in the industry, Black Box offers industry knowledge and a strong commitment to skate specialty retailers that matches well with our 107-year-old tradition of delivering technical design-forward performance products for athletes.”
“I have always found the heritage and integrity of New Balance inspirational, therefore it’s truly an honor for Black Box to partner with New Balance on the New Balance Numeric project,” says Jamie Thomas, Black Box company founder and professional skateboarder.
New Balance Numeric will officially debut at the Agenda Trade show in Long Beach, California on January 4th, 2013 where team announcements and additional marketing plans will be revealed. New Balance Numeric will be available in the U.S. and Canada starting in July 2013 through specialty skateboard and action sports retailers only.
For the creative direction and design of New Balance Numeric, Black Box has partnered with Los Angeles based Westlife Distribution, to ensure the collection will bring a distinct new perspective to the skateboarding market.
“The vision for New Balance Numeric is to bring something unique to skateboarding. We combine the East Coast heritage and supreme workmanship of New Balance with the West Coast lifestyle and culture of Skateboarding,” says Michael Akira West, President & CEO at Westlife Distribution.