Buy Champion - All releases at a glance at

Champion Sneaker Releases

Shop all Champion sneaker releases

A brand once considered a choice for "broke" has become one of the leading fashion brands. Champion has proved to be the real champion in producing high-quality shoes. The brand started its legacy by selling products to a college sports team. Soon, they saw a massive increase in sales. However, they got shaky as soon as people associated them with being cheap, but the company bounced back with all its might. In this article, we look deeper to understand Champion's rise, fall, and rise. And how a simple marketing strategy helped them in making money. 

The Legacy of Champion and Their Epic Comeback

In 1991, the brand was started by two brothers, William and Abraham Feinbloom, as a passion project. The founders were fed up with the low-quality sportswear available at that time. The initial rise to fame for Champion was due to their clothing lineup. Students all across colleges loved the breathable fabric and fit of the clothing.

Champion was the brand that introduced the "hoodie." These two innovations made the brand choice for every aspiring athlete. Moreover, in 1938, the brand filed its first patent, "Reverse Weave" technology. This innovation prevented clothes from shrinking and was heat preventive. Partnerships with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) and National Football League (NFL) made the brand unstoppable.

Sara Lee Corporation bought the company for $320 million. For the time being, it was a great move for the growth of Champion as it allowed the company to expand its operations further.

The brand was at an all-time high. In addition, any sports brand's dream collaboration is to deal with the NBA. And Champion lived that dream. Unreliable only that, they created the Olympic Basketball "Dream Team" jerseys as well.

Everything was going great for the company, and nothing could stop them. However, things could have been smoother for a long time.

Rate us on

In the 90s, things started going south for the rising brand. Sara Lee Corporation, the new owner of Champion, turned its back on the company. The corporation was invested in the food category and didn't care about the clothing brand. It had lost its contract with the NBA. 
Champion was also selected to produce outfits for the Xtreme Football League (XFL), but with the downfall of XFL, Champion took the blow with them.

And the last nail in the coffin was people losing interest in the brand. Consumers stopped relating to the brand because of their baggy clothes and big shoes.

A brand once the face of sportswear was now struggling to make sales. It became just another hanging shirt on the rack.

People started to view Champion as a cheap knockoff for adidas or Nike. Soon people stopped caring about the brand, which was thought to be old school. However, this image of being vintage became their reason for growth. 

The Comeback

By 2006, Sara Lee Corporation had set its interests right. They were fully invested in the food business. At the same time, Champion was now handled by the parent company HanesBrands Inc. It proved to be the first step on the ladder of success.

Gradually the brand was reinventing itself by making more appealing products for the youth. In 2010, they partnered up with streetwear moguls Supreme and BAPE. Soon, the clothes were in demand once again. 

Also, the brand was one of the earliest adopters of influencer marketing. They used the domino effect to regenerate the brand identity. People like what they see their favorite personalities wearing. Soon, the big "C" logo was on every celebrities' shirt. Champion used their logo as much as they could. They knew it was the way to leave a lasting impression on people.

Champion Low Cut X Rounder

As with other brands like Fila, Tommy Hilfiger, etc., the biggest role in Champion's revival was played by trends. As the vintage clothing trend saw a rise, Champion was again relevant. Wearing clothes like it's the 80s or 90s was considered cool. And Champion was a king in this sector.

The thing that was once their weak point, now become the reason for their comeback. But they didn't stop there. They knew this was their last chance to become cool again. Thus, they started making products that appealed to younger audiences. 

The company's success is a great example of a stroke of luck combined with hard work and passion. The Champion now makes more than $2 billion in sales annually. And they have no plan of stopping anytime soon.

The History of Champion - A Rollercoaster

The advantage of Champion feels like a movie. They shifted from being the choice of everyone to no one. And, in the end they gained their throne back.

It teaches us that it might be hard to swallow your pride to change yourself, but sometimes it is the only option you have. To gain something, sometimes you have to lose everything.

Moreover, Champion has shown us that in this fast pace world. It is important to associate yourself with a trend. Or otherwise, you will be just a chapter in the book of history.

What do you think was the reason for their downfall? And what is your favorite shoe from their collection?
Read more