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Skechers eyeing a run for Clippers stake

Linda Miller Modified: May 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm •  Published: May 2, 2014
Hold on Oprah Winfrey and everyone else who reportedly  expressed interest in buying the Los Angeles Clippers.

Skechers USA Inc. believes a partnership with the NBA team could be a slam dunk.

 The company said Friday morning it is considering leading an investment group to acquire an interest in the basketball team, according to a story in Footwear News. The Clippers made news this week after controversial owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life for making racist comments.

“As one of the five largest athletic footwear companies in the United States and with roots deep in Southern California, we believe acquiring an interest in the Los Angeles Clippers is a natural fit,” Skechers CEO Robert Greenberg said in a statement. “With numerous accolades for [our] performance division, Skechers has become a serious player in the athletic performance footwear market globally. Like Skechers, the Clippers are a great Los Angeles brand with a loyal following and recognition that extends way beyond Southern California.”

Skechers, one of the most visible marketers in footwear, has dramatically upped its performance focus over the past few years with it’s GoRun product line, according to the Footwear News story. Just last week, endorser Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon in a pair of the brand’s sneakers.

The firm also has had endorsement deals with athletes such as Joe Montana, Larry Bird and Wayne Gretzky, among others.

“We believe this presents us with a tremendous opportunity to leverage and cross promote both the Skechers and Clippers brands,” Greenberg said. “The Clippers play in the second-biggest media market in the country, and Skechers is an advertising-driven brand. … We hope that Skechers can be part of giving the Clippers organization and fans a fresh start.”