K-Swiss goes all in with eSports
Heritage footwear brand K-Swiss had recently announced a new partnership with premier eSports organization, Immortals, to launch the first signature sneaker for a professional gaming team.
K-Swiss has expanded from tennis footwear, to include lifestyle and training footwear that stands up to the performance demands of world-class athletes and trendsetters alike. In the first collaboration of its kind, K-Swiss is leveraging more than half a century of expertise in creating innovative products to offer two designs that keep in mind the style, comfort and performance required by Immortals’ competitive athletes, both in and out of the gaming arena.
“eSports is the new frontier of sports and entertainment, and this is another way for K-Swiss to contribute to culture in a progressive and modern way,” says Barney Waters, K-Swiss’ brand president.
The Immortals teams compete in leading eSports titles including CS:GO, DOTA 2 and Super Smash Brothers. They also compete with mobile eSports like Clash Royale and Arena of Valor in its Immortals Mobile division. A lifestyle show and a technical performance model has been created specifically to professional gamers, K-Swiss and Immortals are pushing the boundaries of court style into a rapidly growing sport that boasts the biggest number of viewers and players worldwide.
The first offering in the partnership with Immortals is based on the Kompass, K-Swiss’ latest style that melds cutting-edge technology with sleek aesthetic. Incorporating engineered mesh with four-way stretch on the upper, the lace-up sneaker emulates a sock molding the foot like second skin. Layered over the mesh, the TPU cage is cut precisely to represent K-Swiss’ hallmark five stripes while giving the shoe structure and support in a minimal way. For its landmark tie-up with Immortals, K-Swiss also marks the debut of its brand-new Surge dual-density technology; inside the lightweight EVA sole constructed to resemble a net is encased a soft, pillow-like cushion that can alleviate weight on the heel.
Breathable and flexible, the Immortals Kompass is perfect for pro gamers who not only spend a long time in front of computers, but also travel constantly on the competition circuit. The shoe with an ultra-modern aesthetic is a smart choice for style-conscious individuals who are fans of gaming and the Immortals.
“Like any professional athlete, eSports competitors look for any advantage they can use against their opponents,” said Noah Whinston, CEO, Immortals. “By wearing a uniquely designed shoe specifically created for our esports players with their input, they know that they have an immediate advantage - both physically and psychologically.”
Advancing its unique venture with Immortals further, K-Swiss is stepping outside the box to incorporate scientific research into a new performance shoe designed specifically for the highest-tier esports athlete. Through visits to Immortals’ Los Angeles-based training facility over the next few months, K-Swiss designers will consider a professional gamer’s technical performance needs, such as the rising temperature in a shoe and movement of feet during a match.
To underscore the unique nature of this partnership, Immortals and K-swiss plan to document the entire process of design and development, from design meetings and testing, to social team-building dinners with Immortals’ pro players. Slated for broadcast distribution on social media channels operated by K-Swiss and Immortals, the videos will allow sneaker aficionados and eSports fans to follow the creative journey in real time.
“The announcement of this partnership between K-Swiss and Immortals is the first step on a long journey that we believe will result in the design and creation of targeted, premium lifestyle and performance apparel for esports players and fans around the globe, “ said Ari Segal, President and COO, Immortals.
Available for men and women, the two styles will display accents of Immortals’ signature colors, cyan and black, as well as its bold logo depicting a warrior’s helmet. The The lifestyle shoe for Immortals will launch to consumers in December for a suggested retail price of $110 and the performance style will make its debut in early 2019 with more details yet to come. Distribution will include select retailers and www.kswiss.com.