Ropes in Shane Bond, Sreesanth as brand ambassadors
"To break into the Indian market, we had to either make a cricket shoe, or convince Indians to play basketball," said Mr Chris Cook, Senior Developer, Nike Inc, quoting what one of the Executive Directors of Nike had said in the US three years ago.
Speaking at the launch of Nike's first cricket shoe, the Air Zoom Yorker, Mr Cook said the company would be doing both.
The company has roped in two international pace bowlers Shane Bond from New Zealand and S. Sreesanth from India as brand ambassadors for the product, both of whom were present for the event.
Mr Shane Bond said the shoe is lighter than other cricket shoes, and Mr Cook corroborated, saying that the shoe is about 400 gm in weight compared to the competition brand of cricket shoes that were about 600 gm. The company has spent about three years doing research for the product, having roped in Shane Bond and Jeff Wilson from the New Zealand cricket team to help in the research in 2003.
Some of the features of the product include increased durability, less water retention, and cushioning at the heel and forefront to reduce cleat pressure and increase responsive cushioning, said Mr Cook.
The company would also be releasing Air Zoom Opener, a pair of shoes for batsmen, this month along with a range of apparel and accessories including Indian cricket replica jerseys, training gear, kit bags and backpacks exclusively for cricket. The Air Zoom Yorker, a premium brand of cricket shoes, is priced at Rs 8,900.