In search of a future legend
The world of footwear, and more specifically, sports shoes, is highly competitive. It’s rare to see new brands emerge that can compete against the big ones to keep a portion of the market, but in recent years, On Holding (NYSE: ONON) has been innovating this sector to compete with the big brands.
The company was founded in 2010 by David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti and Swiss duathlon champion Olivier Bernhard. Together they intended to create the perfect shoe for long-distance running.
While the first model they designed was so ugly that even the founders themselves called it “Frankenstein,” when it came to wearing it, it was like running “in the clouds,” hence the name of the cushioning technology they created called Cloudtec.
But it wasn’t until two years later that the ON (NYSE: ONON) brand started to become known among athletes, thanks to Swiss Olympian Nicola Spiring, who used the Cloudracer model at the 2012 London Olympics and took first place in the Triathlon category. This story is reminiscent of how Adidas became known for Jesse Owens wearing Adidas shoes at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he was one of the stars.
And this will be one of ON’s (NYSE: ONON) strategies over the years to get the best athletes to be the image of the brand. But there is no doubt that the addition of tennis legend Roger Federer as a shareholder was one of the best things that could have happened to the company. After this, they decided to launch a line of tennis shoes, which Roger Federer himself was involved in its creation in order to achieve the best possible product.
Although Federer is the face of Tennis, the company needs to have active players using their brand, so it won’t be easy as they have to fill Roger’s place. So who do they choose?
What better than betting on the young? On the one hand, they chose Iga Swiatek, who, at only 21 years old, is already the number one in the world and has 3 Grand Slams being that only in 2019 she reached her first final in a WTA tournament. So possibly, we are facing the next Tennis legend, and the world will begin to compare her with the greatest like Venus and Serena Williams or Steffi Graf.
On the men’s side, ON (NYSE: ONON) will be the sponsor of the young American 20-year-old Ben Shelton, who, although he has not achieved Iga Swiatek’s success, has climbed quite fast in the ATP ranking. And possibly one of the intentions of the brand is to sponsor what could become the next American Tennis star, which would make the company more known and thus be able to compete with the big sports brands that are in the U.S.
It is clear that the goal of ON (NYSE: ONON) since the creation of the first model aesthetically was quite ugly, but functionally was spectacular, is to create the best possible sports footwear, and from there, they seek to compete against their rivals since the price is higher than the average of their biggest competitors. But not only is innovation the key to the brand’s growth but also having the next sports legends on their side.