Cricket brands should be worried. Very worried. This is because New Balance is making waves in the cricket market and while cricket fans and players will ride on the crest of these waves with superb New Balance cricket gear, competitors may just be washed up in them.
What makes me so sure?
Well, to put it simply, New Balance know what they are doing. New Balance a company which is based in Boston is a $3.3 Billion dollar in sales a year company. The bulk of their money comes from their sales on athletics gear and footwear. New Balance has been leveraging sales of their athletics equipment on the back of brand new exposure to the New Balance brand. By foraying into the cricket gear market, New Balance is now putting its brand in front of billions of eyeballs. This is a huge brand identity stunt that has been working extremely well for New Balance.
This is not new territory for New Balance and this is what should worry New Balance’s competitors. New Balance entered into the baseball footwear arena in the late 2000’s, to date approximately 25% of all Major League Baseballers use New Balance baseball cleats. Yes, that is a quarter of that market in a very short space of time.
New Balance are currently also moving into the soccer market, they have signed some top players like Aaron Ramsay. This was a well calculated move having acquired the Skreamer brand of soccer brand that had the kit sponsorship of Premier League Club, Liverpool.
While New Balance will surely be up against tough competition in the soccer market. The beautiful game could be a bloodbath for equipment investors that cannot keep up with the giants of the industry like adidas and Nike. Even major brands like Reebok found that out.
New Balance already has made big inroads into the USA cricket market. While you might say that USA and cricket is not a big feat but the USA has one of the highest numbers of active cricket players and if the point is to get in front of eye balls, then when Joe Root, Steve Smith and many others come out to bat, then New Balance are doing that in the biggest way possible.
New Balance have negated what could only be a dormant Nike and adidas. Nike is barely a company to be taken lightly and while they have built the preeminent sporting brand empire, they have not dominated the cricket market. They do not produce a lot of cricket equipment.
New Balance differs from brands like Woodworm and Spartan in the fact that they are not promoting cricket as an entity itself but rather they are using cricket leverage to promote sales all over the place. They are doing it very well.
New Balance points to how cricket could really become an entity in American popular sporting culture. They have noticed that as the second biggest sport in the world, cricket is bound to boost their company in a wide variety of sales categories. American businesses and broadcasters need to realize the huge potential that lies in cricket. They probably have already but like New Balance, they have to have the patience and be ready to build it from the grassroots up.