Business

Running (shoe) joke

K-Swiss's new ad has the fictional character Kenny Powers taking over as CEO

Running (shoe) joke

YOUTUBE

K-Swiss has come a long way since debuting the world’s first leather tennis shoe on the hushed grass courts of Wimbledon in 1966. It recently released a profanity-laced video on the Web featuring Kenny Powers, the fictional former baseball pitcher from the HBO show Eastbound and Down, who sports a goatee, curly mullet and attitude to match. The spoof suggests Powers acquired control of the California company and installed himself as CEO. His strategy? Drop f-bombs and hire a roster of athletes to run K-Swiss, including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who proudly comes up with the tag lines, “Come at me, bro,” and, “We let the dogs out,” for a line of sneakers. The video is designed to generate buzz around K-Swiss’s fading brand, which it accomplishes in spades. Now the question is whether K-Swiss’s decision to soil its tennis whites in pop culture’s gutter will actually boost sales.

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